Defending the ADFS by Steven Flintham (15A) Prompted by the "Please recycle"article last issue, I would like toattempt to defend the ADFS. Firstly,the storage capacity issue. Yes, Iadmit, disks are quite cheap now, butit is important to remember that thisisn't the whole story. If you arewriting a program which needs largedata files, you can't switch disks overin the middle of a file - it has to beon one disk. Also, if you only have lowcapacity drives (like me), the 160k onADFS compared with 100k on DFS is likea miracle. And, being a bit lazy, Imuch prefer having as much on each diskas possible, rather than having torummage through a disk box. (Call meahead of my time, but having to do thatsort of thing seems a bit antiquated intoday's technological society!) Secondly, the"files-lost-in-directories" issue.Personally, I don't find this to bemuch of a problem at all, but thatcould be because I organise my disksdifferently to everyone else - but it'snot likely. As far as I'm concerned,there are two main "types" of disks ona home computer system. There are thosewhich contain completed software andassociated files - disks full of games,disks holding wordprocessors and theirfiles etc - and those on which programsare being developed. On the first type,there is often no need to divide intodirectories - just because the facilityis there, you don't have to use it.Even if you do use it, (on awordprocessor disk, for instance, tokeep the printer drivers/segmentprograms away from the documents) therewill usually only be one directoryaccessed on a regular basis (thedocuments directory, in this case), soas long as the !Boot file leaves you inthis directory, it's quite hard to losea file. On the second type of disk, I tend tocreate directories in the root for eachprogram on the disk (I tend to startdeveloping something in a fit ofexcitement, hit a problem and leave itfor a while, so it's not reallypractical to use a disk for each) andthen just stay in that directory. Onceagain, as long as you remember to setthe directory initially, it's hard tolose files - and if you do forget,there IS the CATALL program. However, Ican't remember the last time I lost anyfiles so badly I had to use it. However, I will admit that ADFS doeshave some disadvantages - the COMPACTcommand is rather annoying, as is thelack of a format and verify built intothe ROM. However, the latter are notrequired all that frequently, and ifyou have sideways RAM to spare, my ADFSUtilities ROM solves the first problem(plug, plug!). Altogether, though, I do prefer theADFS to DFS - certainly the Acorn DFSat any rate. With a third-party DFSsuch as the Watford DFS, the gap ismuch narrower, and if I was not using aMaster the DFS would win easily, simplybecause it takes significantly lessuser RAM. 0E7 (Fred Nevin) adds the followingcomments: I have always used ADFS. I only usedisks in DFS if received as suchtherefore I am a comparative strangerto this storage system. I have alwaysused ADFS ever since I first managed topurchase a Disk Drive and put my DataRecorder into retirement. Only recentlyhave I come to grips with DFS, havingto do some shuffling of programs, andhave learnt one or two things, a lot ofwhich reflected my lack of knowledge onhow the system operates. It is verysimilar to ADFS but with subtledifferences in the commands and onetends to automatically use ADFScommands and then sit in front of theVDU for five minutes or so wonderingwhy nothing has happened. Working on the old axiom "if you can'tbeat them join them" makes me think Ihave a sneaking agreement for quite alot of the things Chris says, but onreflection I can categorically bring tomind what to me is the greatestadvantage of ADFS over DFS, that is thenumber of files that can be storedunder ADFS as opposed to DFS. Thisbecame very clear when shuffling filesfrom ADFS to DFS. Of course the answeris to have a good Utility to keep trackof all your Directories and Files ondisk. Editor: In my own opinion the ADFS isvery much superior; on an 80T DS driveyou get 240K extra on a disk and thatis a lot. Certainly as far as usingword-processors go, all my letters etc.go on a single disk, and that includesentire 8BS disk magazines,questionnaire results, letters to PDlibraries, address database programsand label printers, personalcorrespondance, Play-by-Mail gameletters (LOTS of them), etc. After all,640K is 100,000 words of text and thatis a fair number (Though I do use itall and it runs out very quickly ifused unwisely. I doubt I could copewith all that lot under DFS). I don't do any rummaging through diskboxes to find something; if everydirectory in the $ is labelled withwhat's in it, (or in the case ofprogramming, one project in eachdirectory, as Steven says), you CAN seethe total contents of a disk in one go;and no "*.2" needed either. A logicallyorganised ADFS disk (no more than adozen entries per directory except fora good reason, like it was copiedstraight from DFS) is an awful loteasier to understand than a list of 31horrible little seven-letter filenames.So I have one disk for letters etc.,one for my own programming (I doubtI'll fill 640K very quickly since Idelete abandoned projects), two forutilities (about fifty programs oneach, maybe more), and 2-3 more forgames (you can get about thirtyfull-size commercial games on an ADFS Ldisk, just about). Of course all my PD for distribution ison DFS 80T DS, since everyone else usesthis, but I wish it wasn't; I'd beusing about one-third the number ofdisks, and it'd take a lot less time tocopy. Of course if you can get disks for free(some people have all the luck) then itis less important, and I suppose anorganised directory structure is notvital if you're recording large soundsamples, but it still seems a waste.Apart from aything else, you can't usewildcards to load things, which wouldslow me down a fair bit. To add one final point, the ADFSversions of 8BS have been very popularamong Master users (I admit the Beeblacks the necessary RAM for efficientoperation), and I don't think anyonehas requested a return to DFS.