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M68008
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Re: The background to my presence here

Postby M68008 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:42 pm

TMD2003 wrote:As I understand it, to get the correct 4:3 aspect ratio with 512x256 pixels, it should be scaled 2x horizontally, 3x vertically, and that gives a final screen size of 1024x768.


4:3 is not the correct aspect ratio, although it's a good and convenient approximation (Q-emuLator used that ratio in full screen mode until Windows XP).

With a ROM JS, start in TV mode (F2) and type: CIRCLE 50,50,50
With the aspect ratio used by Q-emuLator, you should get a perfect circle. Using a 4:3 aspect ratio would result in a slightly compressed circle.


TMD2003 wrote:took a screenshot in monitor mode


If you are interested in screenshots and are using the Windows version of Q-emuLator, Ctrl+F11 takes 512x256 screenshots.


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Re: The background to my presence here

Postby TMD2003 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:08 am

janbredenbeek wrote:If you want an exact pixel-to-pixel mapping, try QL2k which is a port of QLAY2 with sound, better timing and a 64-bit version available. It supports several screen sizes including 1024x768 which gives an image which is pixel-aligned but stretched vertically. This is because the original QL's pixels were not square-shaped like those of modern flat-screen monitors.

I just did - see above (or, now, see my last post on the previous page). In the immortal words of Jeremy Clarkson, "that's not gone well." That's doubly annoying because I recognised the QL2K.INI file as an equivalent of QLAY.RC and I'd already had an idea how best to tweak the settings so that the sound was correct.

Any suggestions about what went wrong?


M68008 wrote:4:3 is not the correct aspect ratio, although it's a good and convenient approximation (Q-emuLator used that ratio in full screen mode until Windows XP).
With a ROM JS, start in TV mode (F2) and type: CIRCLE 50,50,50
With the aspect ratio used by Q-emuLator, you should get a perfect circle. Using a 4:3 aspect ratio would result in a slightly compressed circle.

How very annoying. Still, having seen what QLAY put out in various window modes and wondering why the circles on the Connect 4 game weren't perfectly circular, I suppose that explains it.

TMD2003 wrote:took a screenshot in monitor mode

If you are interested in screenshots and are using the Windows version of Q-emuLator, Ctrl+F11 takes 512x256 screenshots.[/quote]
I suppose that's good to know, but the imperfections on the screen are going to remain very irritating.

I note janbredenbeek's point about pixel smoothing, but that's something I tend to avoid at all costs with any 80s or 90s system with a screen size much smaller than what we're used to now. I'd rather have the screen scaled up by a whole number of pixels and have sharp edges, than have the screen look like I've smeared Vaseline all over it. Some emulators, I find, are a lot easier to achieve this with than others. It goes for things like the Doom engine as well - it's even worse there because there'll be a ton of sprites that all look like they've had the Vaseline treatment except that, being sprites, they've got sharp outer edges. Ugly, ugly, ugly.


Also, if anyone knows how - or if - I might get EightyOne's QL emulation to work, now would be a very good time to tell me. I've tried the JM and JS ROMs, several different processors and all memory sizes in the hardware options, but none of them produce anything other than a load of flashing lines. There isn't even the startup-screen shash. I'm probably going to have to write that one off completely and keep it for ZX81 emulation... seeing as that's what it's meant for. Why include a QL option on there if it can't be used, though?


Spectribution: Dr. Jim's Sinclair computing pages.
Features my own programs, modified type-ins, RZXs, character sets & UDGs, and QL type-ins... so far!
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TMD2003
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Re: The background to my presence here

Postby TMD2003 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:24 am

This morning's QL experiments so far (and I know it's only 10:00 on a Saturday morning and most of you haven't got out of bed yet) are as follows:

QL2K:

I've tried this on a 21-year-old Compaq laptop (which is now older than the QL itself was when the laptop was built, and by quite some way...) which is running Windows 2000 - seeing as this is the OS that QL2K is designed for. It starts every time, unlike my most recent PC, which is an improvement. However, it still flatly refuses to do anything other than print "At line 5530 out of memory" when there isn't a program there. This is with 128K of memory, and when I change it to any more than 128K, a black stripe appears across the emulator window and it crashes.

QPC2:

I suppose I'm getting some success, though not as much as I'd like. I don't need all the extraneous SMSQ/E applications, all I want is a standard SuperBASIC window that I can write programs in, and which I can see running. I've managed to get it running in a 1024x768 window, but the SuperBASIC window is locked at 512x256, and I can't use that without making my sight permanently worse than it already is. Is there any way to scale up the SuperBASIC window inside QPC2 to fill the Windows window, and also is there some way to switch it between monitor and TV mode? Already in my brief foray into QL type-ins, I've found several that are only designed to be used in TV mode (otherwise text prints off the screen, or it stops with an Out of screen error).

uQLx:

I thought a good idea might be to see if I could run a Linux-based QL emulator - and this looks to be the only one. I have Lubuntu 15.04 on a USB drive, and I usually run that in Live mode when I need any basic Linux applications (everything it comes with seems to do fine for me). But, weirdly, I haven't been able to run uQLx at all so far, because of a problem with the OS. No matter what I do, I cannot get the uQLx files to become executable - they're on another USB drive (i.e. not the one with all the Lubuntu files on) but it doesn't matter how many times I chmod 777 them, or even if I sudo chmod 777, they all flatly refuse to obey the command and remain at read/write only for me, read only for everyone else, non-executable. The first job here is to install a permanent Linux partition on my other laptop - a 13-year-old machine running Windows 7 (but which is designed mainly for XP), and see if the chmod command will work on a permanent installation. If it doesn't, then this is a dead end - and even if it does work, it doesn't solve the last of my problems - unless, that is, I can get Cygwin to work - which is mentioned on the uQLx page - and, no surprises here, I've had no joy with that either, as it's missing a .dll that I have no idea where to find.

In summary, this is what I am looking for:

- An emulator that will emulate the QL with the JS ROM, and does so "straight out of the box", or with a minimal amount of tweaking that someone without a PhD in computer science can understand.
- It can read .MDV files that I've created so far, and SuperBASIC stored in bits of text as a _BAS file (with LF only at the end of each line).
- It can display the QL screen at 512x256 or 1024x768 (this pretty much rules out QemuLator, unless there are some super-secret settings I'm not being told about).
- The sound isn't intrinsically tied to the performance of the computer it's running on, so it doesn't wobble at the slightest hint of interference. (This rules out the old DOS-based QLAY.)
- I can use it with a screen recorder, for which I need to be using my main PC, the one with the highest specs (so uQLx may be a dead end anyway).

If I ask the same of a Spectrum emulator, I'm spoiled for choice. If I ask this of a ZX81 emulator, there's still plenty to choose from. If I ask this of a C64 (boo, hiss, etc) emulator... I load WinVICE and have done with it, ditto CaPriCe 32 for the Amstrad CPC, BlueMSX, XRoar, STeem, WinUAE, quite a few machines out there have one choice that stands head, shoulders, knees, toes and enormous 1970s platform shoes above all the others.

Does anyone know the way? There's got to be a way.

Now, on with the Linux installation, for further tests.


Spectribution: Dr. Jim's Sinclair computing pages.
Features my own programs, modified type-ins, RZXs, character sets & UDGs, and QL type-ins... so far!
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Andrew
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Re: The background to my presence here

Postby Andrew » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:06 pm

TMD2003 wrote:In summary, this is what I am looking for:

- An emulator that will emulate the QL with the JS ROM, and does so "straight out of the box", or with a minimal amount of tweaking that someone without a PhD in computer science can understand.
- It can read .MDV files that I've created so far, and SuperBASIC stored in bits of text as a _BAS file (with LF only at the end of each line).
- It can display the QL screen at 512x256 or 1024x768 (this pretty much rules out QemuLator, unless there are some super-secret settings I'm not being told about).
- The sound isn't intrinsically tied to the performance of the computer it's running on, so it doesn't wobble at the slightest hint of interference. (This rules out the old DOS-based QLAY.)
- I can use it with a screen recorder, for which I need to be using my main PC, the one with the highest specs (so uQLx may be a dead end anyway).

No QL emulator will fullfill all your wishes
1. QEmulator: can start with JS ROM or Minerva ROM, can use .mdv and has the correct aspect ratio (meaning: circles are circles) but it is not 4:3 so you cannot make the window exactly 512x256 or 1024x768 PC pixels (althought the QL resolution is 512x256 QL pixels). Remember that QL pixels are not square.

2. QPC - it runs SMSQ/E, not QDOS
settings:
Set Resolution at 512x256
Mark Window Mode and set it to 1024x768
Mark Keep Aspect Ratio

You can change between TV and monitor mode with the commands: wTV and wMon
But you cannot set it to use JS ROM, use only 128Kb memory or run at QL speed
Last edited by Andrew on Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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mk79
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Re: The background to my presence here

Postby mk79 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 1:28 pm

TMD2003 wrote:I suppose I'm getting some success, though not as much as I'd like. I don't need all the extraneous SMSQ/E applications, all I want is a standard SuperBASIC window that I can write programs in, and which I can see running. I've managed to get it running in a 1024x768 window, but the SuperBASIC window is locked at 512x256, and I can't use that without making my sight permanently worse than it already is. Is there any way to scale up the SuperBASIC window inside QPC2 to fill the Windows window, and also is there some way to switch it between monitor and TV mode? Already in my brief foray into QL type-ins, I've found several that are only designed to be used in TV mode (otherwise text prints off the screen, or it stops with an Out of screen error).
As Andrew also wrote, if you want the QL to have a 512x256 resolution then select that one. Then basic fills the screen by default (you can also of course make basic bigger, your choice). The size of the QPC window is independent, but when "keep aspect ratio" is selected it will even "snap" at the exact 2x, 3x etc zoom resolutions when you resize it to get a pixel-perfect window.

Marcel


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TMD2003
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Re: The background to my presence here

Postby TMD2003 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:36 pm

My tests are still not going well. I've installed Linux on the laptop, fired up uQLx and... it's as silent as a ZX80. As soon as I'd found that, I stopped fiddling with the configuration to see if I could make the screen appear at the right size (which the documentation falls woefully short on), but I suppose that's all academic now.

So I went back to QL2K, just to see if I could make it work, somehow. Installing it on the primary SSD in the Program Files directory does mean it will start up a second, third, fourth time and any other time I want, which is a bonus. However, I still can't get it to do anything other than crash. The problem appears to be a program called "Boot" in the WIN1_ directory, containing a SuperBASIC program that causes QL2K to stop with the "At line 5530 out of memory" error. So I trimmed the program down, further and further, until it was just a single line along the lines of PRINT "hello". Even this wouldn't work - all I get is a "bad name" error. If I make "Boot" a blank file, or if I delete it altogether, the emulator starts but never shows a cursor.

I know I should persevere with this one, because...
janbredenbeek wrote:If you want an exact pixel-to-pixel mapping, try QL2k which is a port of QLAY2 with sound...

...even though the documentation of QL2k says it doesn't have sound.

Before I throw any more of my time and effort at QL2K, can anyone absolutely confirm whether or not QL2K, build 096a, has sound? If I can't get it to recognise a BEEP command without it spitting an unrelated error message at me, i can't test for myself.


Spectribution: Dr. Jim's Sinclair computing pages.
Features my own programs, modified type-ins, RZXs, character sets & UDGs, and QL type-ins... so far!
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Andrew
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Re: The background to my presence here

Postby Andrew » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:04 pm

TMD2003 wrote:Before I throw any more of my time and effort at QL2K, can anyone absolutely confirm whether or not QL2K, build 096a, has sound? If I can't get it to recognise a BEEP command without it spitting an unrelated error message at me, i can't test for myself.

i have never used QLay, but I was curious - so I downloaded QLay2K 0.1 build 0101 64 bits edition from Dillwyn's site
- doesn't need any special installation - just unzip it in a directory and run QL2K-x64.exe
- It works ! (on a Windows 10 PC - from any directory and any drive)
- has sound
- I was able to write a short program and run it
- I was not able to load and access a .mdv image (I have a bunch of .mdv images that work with QEmulator and vDriveQL - I have no idea if these images should also work with QLay or not)
- I have no idea how to create a qlay.dir file so I have not even tried to use win_

Later Edit
I downloaded QLay2 and extracted from the archive the WIN and MDV samples and tried to use them wih QL2k
They do not work !
if i load the mdv file as MDV1_ then QL2k starts but no cursor is shown
if I load .win file as WIN1_ then QL2K starts, cursor it shown and you can write and run programs, but dir WIN1_ results in "not found"
Also tried the QL2k 0.1 build 0101 32 bits edition - same results

Note - it is clearly stated on dillwyn's site:
QL2K 01 build 0100 and build 0101 have sound and flash
QL2K 01 build 0.96a and build 0.98 do not have sound nor flash
Last edited by Andrew on Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: The background to my presence here

Postby Derek_Stewart » Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:27 pm

Hi,

I do not use QL2K, as it was a good attempt, but not as good as Qemulator, SMSQmulator or QPC2.

The QPC2 startup screen is able to be configured as Marcel stated, here is a QPC2 startup screen that is configured as a QL 512x256 screen, which is expanded to 1024x768
QPC2_QL Mode Setup.png
QPC2 QL Mode Setup

Selecting the Window Mode disable full screen mode.

The use of SMSQ/E is much better than JS, which is full of bugs and can not multitask basic.


Regards,

Derek
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RalfR
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Re: The background to my presence here

Postby RalfR » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:35 pm

I always wish to use QPC2 with any of the QDOS ROMs, as MK did with his first versions of QPC1


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TMD2003
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Re: The background to my presence here

Postby TMD2003 » Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:27 pm

The plot certainly thickens here...

Andrew wrote:i have never used QLay, but I was curious - so I downloaded QLay2K 0.1 build 0101 64 bits edition from Dillwyn's site
- doesn't need any special installation - just unzip it in a directory and run QL2K-x64.exe
- It works ! (on a Windows 10 PC - from any directory and any drive)
- has sound
- I was able to write a short program and run it
- I was not able to load and access a .mdv image (I have a bunch of .mdv images that work with QEmulator and vDriveQL - I have no idea if these images should also work with QLay or not)
- I have no idea how to create a qlay.dir file so I have not even tried to use win_

I downloaded QLay2 and extracted from the archive the WIN and MDV samples and tried to use them wih QL2k
They do not work !
if i load the mdv file as MDV1_ then QL2k starts but no cursor is shown
if I load .win file as WIN1_ then QL2K starts, cursor it shown and you can write and run programs, but dir WIN1_ results in "not found"
Also tried the QL2k 0.1 build 0101 32 bits edition - same results

How very odd - I couldn't get anywhere near writing a program, as it wouldn't allow me to do anything without an error. The thought occurs, where I may have been going wrong was in trying to go straight from build 96 to build 101, but if build 96 wasn't working properly, there'd not have been a lot of point continuing.

Again, excuse the extremely noobish questions here, but is an .MDV file as universal to QL emulators as a .TAP would be to Spectrum emulators, a .P to ZX81 emulators, etc.? QemuLator's documentation implies that an .MDV I've created with QLAY 0.90 will be recognised, but until I've stumped up £26 or so for it, I'll not be able to find out.

Unless, of course, someone else does it for me...

In true Blue Peter fashion, here's one I made earlier. This is Gossamer, a type-in from Sinclair User, which I typed back in April, when all I knew about (or at least, all I knew I could get working) was QLAY for DOS. It's a simple program to draw patterns of symmetrical lines on the low-res screen. The package contains:
- An .MDV file. This started out, I think, as one of the QL business software cartridges that I copied and deleted all the files, because I couldn't work out how QLAYT generated a new one. dir mdv1_ and it'll show the name as QLAY.MDV whatever happens, as I usually found it more convenient to copy any cartridge to the QLAY folder, rename it QLAY.MDV and have MDV1 in the QLAY.RC config file pointing at that. The program's been saved with save mdv1_gossamer_bas and it should show up with just that one SuperBASIC file on there.
- A folder called "files", which I had QLAY pointing to, designated as WIN3. Hence, save win3_gossamer_bas creates two files inside that folder, GOSSAMER (just eight characters, it cuts off the _BAS, so I now keep it to three or four characters unless the program calls for anything different) and QLAY.DIR that, I assume, contains the headers. If I've got my QL lore correct, GOSSAMER should be nothing more than the SuperBASIC program contained in a text file, with line-feed only at the end of each line.

So here's what I'd need as a further test - see if the .MDV file and/or the raw text file GOSSAMER will work in a registered version of QemuLator - or QPC2, or any other QL emulator that you can get working. If it's all kosher, I'll probably continue doing my type-ins on QLAY for now. If not... the investigation continues.


Spectribution: Dr. Jim's Sinclair computing pages.
Features my own programs, modified type-ins, RZXs, character sets & UDGs, and QL type-ins... so far!

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