Why the QL ?

A place to discuss general QL issues.
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SinclairSociety
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Why the QL ?

Postby SinclairSociety » Thu Mar 21, 2019 5:21 am

We all have reasons we love various computer platforms. But... why the QL for you?

For some it may be we think the hardware is the best in performance for that time.

Maybe it is the awesome sexy looks of the computers and we feel they are works of art.

Maybe it can be the OS they run seems so much more advanced, easier to use, powerful...

So what about the QL do you feel attracted you to buy one and is there anything unique about them you feel make it better than other systems out there from the same time period.

Just curious.

TJ


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NormanDunbar
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Re: Why the QL ?

Postby NormanDunbar » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:49 am

Basically, I'm (still) a bit of an addict for Sinclair stuff. (ZX-81, Spectrum, Interface 1, Two microdrives, 3 QLs ....)
And QPC.

Cheers,
Norm.


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vanpeebles
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Re: Why the QL ?

Postby vanpeebles » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:52 am

Looks great, very quirky, and a fantastic community. I love the red/white/green hi res mode too. There is nothing that looks like it, those are our colours :D

I also think the most interesting thing about Sinclair stuff is often the things they can't do, which brings out the creative spirit in everyone.


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Re: Why the QL ?

Postby Andrew » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:15 am

In 1985 I asked my father to buy me a computer. I was in my second year at Computers and Automation University, so this was a legitimate desire. But, nevertheless, it was a very high demanding - in communist Romania there were no imports from the decadent capitalist countries, so computers were very, and I mean very, scarce and cost an arm and a leg, as the only computers were to be found on the black market (brought to Romania by foreign students or smuggled by pilots or seaman)
Well, I was lucky. My father was invited to be the president of the International Atomic Energy Congress that year, and because he was the first person from the eastern block to have this honor the communist authorities allowed him to travel to West Germany for the congress, even if he did not had "a good origin" and was not politically involved.

So I asked my father for a Commodore 128C with a disk drive, as it could also run CP/M and we were using the same operating system at the university and some software was available.
Second on my list was Sinclair Spectrum 128 k - or at least a Spectrum +, as I had a couple of friends who owned one.
Well, my father didn't had the money for a C128 or a Spectrum (Romanians were not allowed to have any foreign money back then, and the daily allowance for travel was only 25$/day for transport, food and others costs). But some of his friends from the scientific community helped him to buy me a Sinclair QL at a very low price (less than half the price of a spectrum).
So I became the proud owner of Sinclair QL + Psion suite + Pascal Compiler + Chess + 4 empty microdrives.
There was no QL software available in Romania In fact there were only 2 other QLSs in the whole country - one was not used at all and the other was owned by a math professor who became my friend - and we are still friends 34 years later.
So I had to start writing my own programs for the QL … and this is how it started.

Last year I bought a QL just for old time sake and started to play a bit with it and write some software.
Last edited by Andrew on Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.


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vanpeebles
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Re: Why the QL ?

Postby vanpeebles » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:31 am

Andrew wrote:In 1985 I asked my father to buy me a computer. I was in my second year at Computers and Automation University, so this was a legitimate desire. But, nevertheless, it was a very high demanding - in communist Romania there were no imports from the decadent capitalist countries, so computers were very, and I mean very, scarce and cost an arm and a leg, as the only computers were to be found on the black market (brought to Romania by foreign students or smuggled by pilots or seaman)
Well, I was lucky. My father was invited to be the president of the International Atomic Energy Congress that year, and because he was the first person from the eastern block to have this honor the communist authorities allowed him to travel to West Germany for the congress, even if he did not had "a good origin" and was not politically involved.

So I asked my father for a Commodore 128C with a disk drive, as it could also run CP/M and we were using the same operating system at the university and some software was available.
Second on my list was Sinclair Spectrum 128 k - or at least a Spectrum +, as I had a couple of friends who owned one.
Well, my father didn't had the money for a C128 or a Spectrum (Romanians were not allowed to have any foreign money back then, and the daily allowance for travel was only 25$/day for transport, food and others costs). But some of his friends from the scientific community helped him to buy me a Sinclair QL at a very low price (less than half the price of a spectrum).
So I became the proud owner of Sinclair QL + Psion suite + Pascal Compiler + Chess + 4 empty microdrives.
There was no QL software available in Romania In fact there were only 2 other QLSs in the whole country - one was not used at all and the other was owned by a math professor who became ny friend - and we are still friends 34 years later.
So I had to start writing my own programs for the QL … and this is how it started.

Last year I bought a QL just for old time sake and started to play a bit with it and write some software.


Great story! :)


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NormanDunbar
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Re: Why the QL ?

Postby NormanDunbar » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:32 am

Hi Andrew,

my friend, and colleague, "Nick" also from Romania, tells a similar story. His computer was one of the many Sinclair Spectrum clones that apparently were available back then. He's well into Linux and Raspberry Pis (pi's? pies? What's the plural of pi?)

Cheers,
Norm


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If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving!
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Re: Why the QL ?

Postby Andrew » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:22 am

NormanDunbar wrote:Hi Andrew,

my friend, and colleague, "Nick" also from Romania, tells a similar story. His computer was one of the many Sinclair Spectrum clones that apparently were available back then. He's well into Linux and Raspberry Pis (pi's? pies? What's the plural of pi?)

Cheers,
Norm

Spectrum clones became available for home owners towards the end of 1989 (very few). After the revolution, between 1990 and 1993, several romanian Spectrum clones become officially available for home users (HC80, HC81, HC85. HC90, HC2000, CIP 1,2 3, Cobra, TimS and many more). Also during that time probably 10 times more clones were unofficially produced by the electronics students than by the official factories. :)

Some of the clones were really great - like Cobra (that could also run CP/M, had GensMons in rom and had floppy drive interface) or HC2000 (with integrated 3.5" disk drive and CP/M)


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NormanDunbar
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Re: Why the QL ?

Postby NormanDunbar » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:33 am

Hi Andrew,

I have a funny feeling that it was a Cobra that Nick had as a youngster. He did show me a photo of it some time back, but I'm too old these days to remember what things look like! :(

Cheers,
Norm.


Why do they put lightning conductors on churches?
If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving!
If you think your job is pointless, remember, there's someone in Germany who fits indicators to BMWs.
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Cristian
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Re: Why the QL ?

Postby Cristian » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:53 pm

- uniqueness
- aesthetical style
- SuperBasic/QDOS
- two integrated "mass-storage" drives
- high resolution
- no color clash :-)


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Re: Why the QL ?

Postby tofro » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:43 pm

The Ql was probably the first home computer to feature a "real" operating system in the basic configuration. All other computers I had before were like the Spectrum or C64, implementing basic functionality to run the BASIC interpreter, and then collected commonly usable subroutines that could be sold as "operating system", or were delivering a very basic system with disk drives (like the Apple II or BBC Micro). The QL was the first to supply a true multitasking system - I was a freshman in Computer Science when the QL was released and simply could not afford to not have one. Not much of that fascination has vanished over the last 35 years...

Tobias


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