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A private QL Snapshot of 1986-88

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:14 pm
by Chr$
I recently received yet another lot of Sinclair stuff. Again, most of the hardware was Spectrum related, but included were a lot of Microdrive cartridges that from their titles etc looked very much like QL stuff. There were a few original things like Taskmaster, xmodem from Tony Firshman and a couple of others.

Most interesting though are about 50 carts containing personal docs, programs and files belonging to the original owners (husband and wife). So far I have found both their CV's (I know that he was a lecturer of Computer science and both of them were born in 1948), various letters to Quanta, to Talent (software), to BT, solicitors and to Norman Tebbit! There are also some thoughts about what the future of computers may hold, notes on particular students and from the lady there are job applications and details of a course she gave (I assume) on the new fangled art of microwave cooking, including a number of recipes. There are also lecturing notes on programming and a huge amount of other stuff that I haven't had a nose at yet.

I had to re-felt the carts of course and so far the success rate has been quite staggering. I have about 50 left to go through! Legally I suppose I'm not allowed to look at this info, or am I? I won't mention any personal details of course, as both of them are 71 and probably (hopefully) very much alive and well.

Re: A private QL Snapshot of 1986-88

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:59 pm
by SinclairSociety
Like a QL Timecapsule....

TJ

Chr$ wrote:I recently received yet another lot of Sinclair stuff. Again, most of the hardware was Spectrum related, but included were a lot of Microdrive cartridges that from their titles etc looked very much like QL stuff. There were a few original things like Taskmaster, xmodem from Tony Firshman and a couple of others.

Most interesting though are about 50 carts containing personal docs, programs and files belonging to the original owners (husband and wife). So far I have found both their CV's (I know that he was a lecturer of Computer science and both of them were born in 1948), various letters to Quanta, to Talent (software), to BT, solicitors and to Norman Tebbit! There are also some thoughts about what the future of computers may hold, notes on particular students and from the lady there are job applications and details of a course she gave (I assume) on the new fangled art of microwave cooking, including a number of recipes. There are also lecturing notes on programming and a huge amount of other stuff that I haven't had a nose at yet.

I had to re-felt the carts of course and so far the success rate has been quite staggering. I have about 50 left to go through! Legally I suppose I'm not allowed to look at this info, or am I? I won't mention any personal details of course, as both of them are 71 and probably (hopefully) very much alive and well.

Re: A private QL Snapshot of 1986-88

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:59 am
by vanpeebles
I think I had some carts like this too. I quite like them as it shows the history of how the QL was actually used :)

Re: A private QL Snapshot of 1986-88

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:54 am
by NormanDunbar
Perhaps you could/should contact the couple and let them know that you have thier data? Maybe offer to convert it to some other format they might be able to use? QStripper, for example, can convert Quill to PDF etc.

Maybe they still use computers/smart phones/tablets and might be happy to receive the old stuff.

Just a thought.


Cheers,
Norm.

Re: A private QL Snapshot of 1986-88

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:05 am
by Pr0f
I remember sending a Seagate Barracuda 4GB drive off to Seagate as it was under warranty (3 years), and got back a replacement disk. On mounting the disk on the Netware server, about to format it, and then reaslised that it had a volume on it, and in fact had belonged to another company (not a competitor). I found contact detals on it, and called their switchboard, she put me through to their IT guy who was very greatful for a copy of the data on it, as they were missing a few files from their outage - he was suprised Seagate hadn't wiped it, and so was I.

You might offer them a copy of their old data, if you were so inclined...

Re: A private QL Snapshot of 1986-88

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:26 am
by Chr$
NormanDunbar wrote:Perhaps you could/should contact the couple and let them know that you have thier data? Maybe offer to convert it to some other format they might be able to use? QStripper, for example, can convert Quill to PDF etc.

Maybe they still use computers/smart phones/tablets and might be happy to receive the old stuff.

Just a thought.


Cheers,
Norm.

Yes, that's a good idea. I still have a lot to re-felt and need to get an overview first. There is a lot of stuff that is junk, like draft docs for which there is a final version. As he was obviously also a programmer and very technical (he wrote a letter to Quanta suggesting some improvements for certain procedures in assemblers and asking if he could submit articles) so there is also a lot of stuff that I don't understand, mainly, so far, in the form of files with extensions that I've not seen before and haven't even googled yet (some may even be of his own invention), e.g.:

_fount
_pas (something to do with Pascal I assume)
.p (also Pascal?)
_lis
_cpas
.c
.pak (just dots, not underscores)
_qlp

Re: A private QL Snapshot of 1986-88

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:11 pm
by tofro
Chr$ wrote:_fount
_pas (something to do with Pascal I assume)
.p (also Pascal?)
_lis
_cpas
.c
.pak (just dots, not underscores)
_qlp


_fount is very probably loadable fonts (you would use with some pokes or machine code, or with TK2's CHAR_USE)

_pas Yes, these should be Pascal source code files, either Metacomco, ComputerOne or Prospero Pascal. Would be interesting to see those

.p Could as well be Pascal files. Was normally used by UCSD Pascal which I think existed for the QL, but can't remember who sold it

_lis Listing files, either a programmer's invention or exports from the Psion suite

_cpas Maybe Computer One Pascal?

.c Source code for the C programming language

.pak Drawings made with TechniQL, I think.

_qlp Sounds somewhat familiar, but can't remember.

Re: A private QL Snapshot of 1986-88

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:16 pm
by Chr$
I found an original Computer One Pascal cart, so that's very likely.

Perhaps I'll sort everything and separate the obvious docs and personal data and let someone else take a look at the code stuff or other files that I cannot work out how to use!

Re: A private QL Snapshot of 1986-88

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:24 pm
by RalfR
_qlp

In the beginning of using TTs QPLQ text setting program, I have used "_qlp" as extension for the text files, later swapped to _tex. But surely it was used here otherwise.

Re: A private QL Snapshot of 1986-88

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:07 pm
by Andrew
_lis - might be a Metacomco Lisp source code file
_pas - pascal source code file
_qlp - Computer One Pascal compiled file (comes from QLPascal)