MAILSHOT PLUS by Stefan Posthuma
The most well-know usage of a computer at home is the database of
friends 'n relatives. They are all neatly typed into a database
and the computer owner proudly shows his wife that he now can
select everybody that lives in Nothingtown and is older than ten
years. Eventually, this leads to more efficient usages. The
computer owner becomes the chairman of the local zero-G-rugby
team and want to send all the members a nice letter telling them
about the contest coming up. After lots of figuring out, he
finally manages to design a report that will print neatly on the
labels he has fitted in his Matrix printer.
The most extravagant example of this is that people print out the
addresses of their friends and take those labels with them to the
places they act as tourists and get a sunburn. Colourful post-
cards, mostly showing nude girls on beaches will arrive at the
homes of those they left behind, with an address label neatly
stuck to it.
For those people and everybody else who wants to send mailings or
other stuff involving labels, (you don't have to use addresses,
you can also label you collection of stuffed lizards) Mailshot
Plus has been created. A program that lets you create labels.
It might sound simple, a little basic program will do the job,
but Mailshot Plus is pretty powerful. The first thing that
strikes you is that the program does not use any GEM. It is all
done with the VT-52 emulator, resulting in a black screen white
characters only, no fancy graphics. Personally, I like this no-
nonsense approach. The left of the screen shows a menu and the
right of the screen shows a mailing list, complete with labels
and printer-holes. You can use the cursor keys to move a
highlight around the menu, or select menu items directly using
the mouse. Most of the time, a sub menu will appear, allowing you
to select various options. Pretty nicely done, just like they do
it on the PC's. In fact this program is also available for the
IBM compatible computers.
Despite having no graphics, the program is WYSIWYG. You define a
label layout (number of rows and columns) and the screen will
show the appropriately sized labels. After selecting the right
size, you can start entering labels. You can scroll the labels up
and down to select a label you want to edit or delete. The layout
menu has options like right-left-center justify and top-bottom
justify, allowing for neatly centered labels.
Of course, there are things like sort and search. You can sort
the labels on any line, or on markers you set in the labels. This
is great, because not every label has the same amount of lines,
or you just want to sort a part of the line. If you have entered
names, complete with first name, you still can sort on the last
name by putting a marker there. Markers can be set using the
function key. Using this, I had no trouble or whatsoever sorting
all ST NEWS foreign distributors by country. You can also search
on the markers.
Searching is not limited to markers, there are lots of search
options, all the things like 'greater than', 'equals', 'not
equal to' are there, complete with AND and OR. If you have
completed a search operation, a subset will be created which
consists of all found labels. This subset can be printed, sorted,
You can also enter memos in the labels. Memos are fields in the
labels that are not printed, and are there to add some more
information. You can also sort and search on memos, which can be
assigned field-types, like numerical or date.
The number of labels per file is limited to 3,000, 12 lines per
label and 48 character per line are possible.
The program also has features to import or export ASCII files, so
it can be used in conjunction with any database that can create
Printing of labels is simple, any ASCII printer can be used and
no complex printer drivers are needed. Consecutive numbers and
messages can be added to each label.
I think that anybody ever wanting to print a mailing list, or
use labels for other purposes can use this program. Since it is
dedicated to labels, it is very easy to use and quite powerful.
Of course it has no sophisticated database functions, but the
sorting and searching capabilities are good enough. The manual is
clearly written, with a tutorial intro, a guideline to people
unfamiliar with mailings. The package includes a quick reference
card, some sample mailing labels, a registration card, and a disk
containing the program and some demos of other Digita products.
Program name : Mailshot Plus
Price : £49,95
Rating : 8+
Remark : very nice program. Pity it is a little expensive,
but if you are serious about labels, it is worth
its price. There is a cheaper version, called
Mailshot (£24,95) which has less fancy options.
Company : Digita International
Kelsey House, Barns Road
Budleigh Salterton, Devon,
EX9 6HJ, England
Telephone: (0395) 45059
Thanx to Jeanette Hackwell of Digita for supplying me with a