microTALK - QWK reader

Tony Greenwood of STOSSER Software has a look at a QWK reader for all you comms enthusiasts

After trying several OLR ( Off Line Reader ) packages I found myself drawn to this one, its simplicity is its major advantage, some OLR's presume you to have a hard drive and thus expect you to load your own text editors etc.

Well with microTALK its all built in, it doesn't have as many options as many more well known readers such as Kivi, but it is easy to use.

Setting up

On running microTALK you are presented with six drop down menus as this is a gem environment, the first "READER" gives you some information about the authors plus the ability to access other ACC files, such as breakout :)

Config: is the menu you will need first, this lets you set default paths to your QWK and REP files as well as three possible archivers, the QWK and REP paths can be set with *.QWK thus enabling you to load packets from any BBS easily, if you are determined to use the one BBS then use there QWK name and files will be found easily.

Under config you will also find the "macro editor" that lets you assign just about anything to an FKEY, as the program itself does not use FKEYS as shortcuts then there's no need for control+fkey etc, just assign straight to an FKEY, you can assign to shift+fkey thus giving a possible 20 macros

Fonts are in there as well, with font changing and resizing options Save Config: and that's your lot, simple!

So we run microTALK and load our first QWK file.

If no file present then the prg will automatically look for a QWK in the path you previously selected, if none found then it will ask "where is QWK" and using a file selector you can manually find one yourself.

TOS SHELL is supported from the file menu, also using the bulletins option from here you can load individual unzipped files.

Okay down to the nitty gritty :), OPEN FILE will present you with a list of file areas loaded, along with information telling you how many messages are in each area, this includes personal messages just to you if supported by your BBS.

Click on the area you want to view and the first message is loaded, you can click on the arrows or use the arrow keys to quickly move forward and backwards through the messages.

There are search and open/close and cycle window options,

Enter message prompts you for an area then presents you with the header options where you can change the TO/FROM and subject lines.

Quote message will simply take the current message and prefix every line with a little arrow, the text editor is then invoked and away you go, there are text import/export options and indeed i am writing this review from within microTALK and will then export the text to disk :)

The Atari clipboard is supported as well as printer options.

The whole thing is very simple to use, it may be lacking in tagline options and other little things, but its ease of use and built in text editor are its strong points, in my opinion this is the ideal OLR for the first timer, indeed I still use it.

Anyone on a floppy disk system and a little stuck for disk space then this really is the one for you.

It's available from just about any BBS and as far as I am aware is still supported by its author.

Program: microTALK

Tony Greenwood


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