QXL host computer

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QXL host computer

Postby dex » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:18 pm

What are requirements for QXL card?

I wanted to use small, quiet system, so as host computer I used Cyrix 233 MHz mini-PC with PCI and ISA slot (as QXL requires the ISA slot).
VGA, PS/2 mouse and PS/2 keyborad connectors are present together with ethernet and USB.

With MS-DOS 6.22, CuteMouse mouse driver and recent SMSQ/E 3.16, the system starts, and displays SBasic Windows (red, white, black).
Sometimes, it displays the mouse cursor (which moves with mouse movement).
Sometimes, there is possible to type few letters from keyboards.
But then (or sooner) computer freezes.

In the manual, there are almost no system requirements mentioned, excepting, that wait_states should be ON.
So, is the 233 MHz Cyrix system too fast?
Is Cyrix processor suitable for the x86 part of SMSQ, or an genuine Intel will do better job?
Has anyone a computer (e.g.HP Vectra 386) proven to run with QXL?
Or is it software or hardware bug (bad QXL binary)?

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Re: QXL host computer

Postby Derek_Stewart » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:28 am

The minimum spec. for the QXL is a 80386 MSDOS PC, but I have always found the whole system runs better on a 80486 machine, running MSDOS 6.22.



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Re: QXL host computer

Postby tofro » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:00 am


I am running my QXL on a 200 MHz Pentium 2 System - That should be even faster than yours - Without any problems (other than that it's so slooooow ;) )

So the speed shouldn't be the problem.

Can you evaluate whether it's the host that crashes or the QXL (or both)?

If (in the "crashed" state) you can revive the PC with <Ctrl>+"Scroll Lock" back to DOS - It's the QXL that crashed. (And I would certainly suspect the RAM chips)

If (in the "crashed" state) you can still access the QXL's network ports from a standard QL, it's the PC where you need to look further.

Once you got it generally running, a general recommendation would be to use the QXL with Windows 98 or (peferably) OS/2 Warp - This makes the jump from host to guest much easier, you can run the QXL in a DOS window, use Networking and so on. I'm running my QXL on an OS/2 Warp computer and it feels nearly "modern"


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Re: QXL host computer

Postby skagon » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:38 pm

The Cyrix processors of that era run the bus at non-standard speeds, usually 75MHz instead of the nominal 66, so depending on your motherboard's settings and chipset, that could bring the ISA bus to operate at non-standard frequencies. If the designer tied the ISA bus clock with a fixed (or even programmable) divider to the system/PCI bus, then instead of, say, 16MHz you'd end up with 18.75MHz, something which the QXL card might not appreciate.
Of course, you could always change the settings on your motherboard to reduce the bus speed down to the "official" 66MHz and see if that solves the issues. Usually, motherboards of that age used jumpers to select bus frequency and CPU multiplier, so you'd need to find some manual -- even though a lot of them actually had the settings silkscreened on the motherboard itself, next to the relevant jumpers.

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Re: QXL host computer

Postby qxl-kumbah » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:18 pm


I'm running my QXL on a Pentium 3 at 450mhz that's got Windows 98 installed
and I boot into the "DOS" it comes with ... the QXL seems to be pretty happy.

It's a pfiarly bare Win98 SE installation, but it's good fun to play with. :)

Couldn't go anywhere without my QXL, Spectrum and "Eighty-One" emulations.

Working on "porting" some of these to the Chromebook using the free
DOS Box "app" they have - there's one that works online, and one that can
use local files ( but it's definitely lacking some features ).

Right now, that system doesn't seem to use the function keys too well, so
many programs will simply not be accessible.

In fact, I think QLay would "start" but not get past the F1/F2 screen ...

... other than that, it's still a bold frontier out there! :)

* qxl-kumbah *
"TS-1000, Eighty-One,TS-2068, Spectrum Anywhere, QXL, QLay, and Qemulator on board"
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Re: QXL host computer

Postby QLvsJAGUAR » Sat May 09, 2015 9:17 pm


Today - for the first time this decade - I fired up my COWO ExeQtor MKII prototype computer (AMD K6-III CPU at 500 MHz, 128MB RAM) under Windows 98 to verify and prove that its QXL2 card (XC68040RC33M CPU at 33 MHz, 8MB RAM) can run SMSQ/E v3.21 and the QLE.WIN system of THE DISTRIBUTION. It all went well and I took some pictures. See:
https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=C250D874 ... &sc=photos

Latest release of THE DISTRIBUTION is from today. See:
http://www.sinclairql.net/repository.ht ... stribution

QL forever!

http://www.sinclairql.net/ - Go and get THE DISTRIBUTION & QL/E!
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