Sherlock. (file management software) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by Charles Idol
MS-DOS has seen many improvements over the years, but unfortunately, it's still saddled with the painful filename limitation of eight-plus-three characters. When you create a file, you must make up some clever abbreviation to remind yourself of the file's contents. But a few months later, you probably can't remember whether you stored your expense report as M07EXP.EXC or EXPRPT7.EXC and you're forced to go on a tedious search.
Sherlock is designed to solve this problem. It organizes your hard disk files just as you would your paper-based files in an office. Files go into folders, folders go into drawers, drawers go into cabinets, and cabinets go into offices.
The program runs under Windows and comes up as a TSR when you use the Save As command from a Windows application. I used Sherlock often with Lotus Ami Pro, for example. The Sherlock Save card asks you for a document description, which can be many words; document type (memo, car expenses, or anything else you like); contact; user name; format; and keywords. Most of these are optional, and when you finish the task, the program asks where you wish to store the document.
The first time through, you name an office, a file cabinet, a drawer, and a folder. Each of these names can consist of several words. Sherlock remembers these, and when you save your next document, it offers you your earlier system, which you can change or supplement at any time.
The fun comes when you wish to retrieve a document. Perhaps you've forgotten which folder or drawer or cabinet you used. Sherlock will find documents for you on the basis of words in the description, document type, or keyword list and present you with a list of those documents which meet your specifications. Choose one, and Sherlock will tell you where it is filed and open it if you wish. (The newest release also supports standard MS-DOS filenames.)
Sherlock is a very good program. It's fast, friendly, and easy to learn. The manual is well written, and the tutorial is very helpful. Sherlock offers a solution to your filing problems that's better than a file clerk--and much better than trying to remember MS-DOS filenames.