What does...make QL...the QL?

A place to discuss general QL issues.
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Peter
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Re: What does...make QL...the QL?

Postby Peter » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:24 pm

For me, in addition to the already mentioned points:
- A 32 Bit internal structure, allowing hardware upgrades competitive to PC until the Pentium era. (And potentially beyond that, if not for questionable Motorola decisions.)
- The beauty of the 68K architecture and assembly language

Non-Sinclair for me was the hardware design. Especially that costs, board space, complexity, and development time were wasted by the introduction of the coprocessor. With a benefit over the ZX Spectrum that was close to zero. Another example is the crippled dual SER design instead of leaving it at one that works. Just not clever hardware design as before. It would be interesting how the QL hardware had looked, if e.g. Richard Altwasser stayed at Sinclair.


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Pr0f
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Re: What does...make QL...the QL?

Postby Pr0f » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:54 pm

Peter wrote:...

Non-Sinclair for me was the hardware design. Especially that costs, board space, complexity, and development time were wasted by the introduction of the coprocessor. With a benefit over the ZX Spectrum that was close to zero. Another example is the crippled dual SER design instead of leaving it at one that works. Just not clever hardware design as before. It would be interesting how the QL hardware had looked, if e.g. Richard Altwasser stayed at Sinclair.


I agree about the serial ports - a very bad limitation on the QL. Regarding the co processor - good idea in principal - have an I/O subsystem to handle all the mundane tasks, just badly implemented when compared to other designs - such as the Amiga and Atari offerings, and indeed some of the multi cpu commercial Z80 offerings running CP/M. Imagine if the 68008 had been the co processor and a 68000 had been the main cpu - both share the same code, so it could have meant offering I/O expansion and changes to the I/O system very easy.


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Outsoft
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Re: What does...make QL...the QL?

Postby Outsoft » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:32 am

For me was absolutely the concept of the SuperBasic and the Qdos, really one of the best ever system made competiting with MSDOS that was really terrible at that time.

Second one the DESIGN that definetively make the history of the SINCLAIR: If really weren't used the Microdrives Ql will never see the light with his incredible form factor and structure.

All insides was studied well: for me the serial ports (I mean BT) weren't really an obstacle, were must the bugs but fortunally the system was stable very soon.

It was really ahead of all and 16 bits never got the success of the 8bit era because were dead at the same time of the Speccy or C-64 (1993).

So for me the QL is not only "the story" but is "the 68k machine" of the 80's.

Just now have his followers and there are interesting project around him.

Long life to the QL!!!


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Re: What does...make QL...the QL?

Postby swensont » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:22 pm

As a user of the ZX81 and T/S 2068, I was a Sinclair fan and someone that liked a lot of bang for the buck. When I bought my QL in April 1986, I was able to get a 128K system with two drives for $300. The Commodore 128 (which a friend had) was the same price, but only had one disk drive and it was still a 8 bit system. The Mac was also 128K, single disk drive and very expensive (over $2K). The graphics on the Mac was B&W only and 512x342 (taller than the QL's 512x256).

When I got the QL, I really liked that it was multi-tasking. That it had a real file system. SuperBasic is probably one of the best versions of Basic there is. I was able to get Pascal for the QL so I could work on programming for college (Pascal was the primary language at the time). The QL was expandable over time and really did all that I needed. I wrote a number of college papers in Quill. I also used Abacus when I was teaching spreadsheets just after college.

I also found the QL Vision monitor to be one of the best monitors that I've ever used. Black was truly black. The composite monitors the C64 used, the black was more like dark grey and would get lighter when the brightness was turned up.

Tim



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