Sinclair QL - QL-SD with vDRIVE QL

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genetika
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Re: Sinclair QL - QL-SD with vDRIVE QL

Postby genetika » Tue May 07, 2019 11:04 am

I'm working with :

QL - Minerva ROM - SCG - VDRIVE QL - SuperHERMES
The Vdrive QL (update 03) works well with this configuration without using SMSQ/E.
It doesn't work after loading SMSQ/E 3.34 .. "VDRIVE not ready".

MAX

Andrew wrote:2 weeks ago Charles Ingley published an update for vDrive, to make it compatible with the SGC. The previous version seemed to have a problem in vtkql itself. The file could be read but vDrive initialization sequence failed
It happened also on my QL with SGC, so I applied the update.
Problem is that after the update I still get "vDrive is not responding" :(

I tested on 3 QLs and with various configurations:

1. QL+ Minerva ROM + SD-QL (installed but with no SD cards in drive) = it works
2. Same QL +Minerva ROM + Tetroid GC (with or without SD card in QL-SD) = it works, but after loading vtkql_bin toolkit PRINT command is no longer available :(
3. Same QL +Minerva ROM + original SGC (with or without SD card in QL-SD) = 'vDrive not responding"
4. Second QL - stardard, AH ROM = 'vdrive not responding"
5. Second QL - stardard, AH ROM + Tetroid GC = 'vdrive not responding"
6. Third QL + vmap+Tetroid ROM Switcher + QUIBIDE + 512 k ="vDrive not responding" (tested with JM, JS, MG and Minerva ROMs,with and without Tk2)
7. Third QL + vmap+Tetroid ROM Switcher ="vDrive not responding" (tested with JM, JS, MG and Minerva ROMs, with and without Tk2)

Update was a quest because before the update I had exactly the same problem in running the vtkql_bin - so I had to disassemble all 3 QLs and swap parts, and change ROMs util I stumbled on the only configuration that worked ...


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Re: Sinclair QL - QL-SD with vDRIVE QL

Postby retro_collector » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:12 pm

Hi,

Can I ask a newbie question?

I ordered Tetroids SGC and I will be attaching dual 1.44mb HD floppy drives and the VdriveQL. Why would I need QL-SD?

Thanks in advance


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tofro
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Re: Sinclair QL - QL-SD with vDRIVE QL

Postby tofro » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:54 pm

retro_collector wrote:I ordered Tetroids SGC and I will be attaching dual 1.44mb HD floppy drives and the VdriveQL. Why would I need QL-SD?


Depends how much you want to turn back time...

VDrive QL will supply you with emulated microdrives on SD card, so a 1985 QL. The vDrive cannot do much more than what additional 6 microdrives did (which is quite a bit, after all)

SGC will boost you into 1994, that was the year the SuperGold Card arrived (The 68000 GoldCard showed up in 1991). That was long after the first hard disks were available for the QL.

QL-SD will give you the "1994 dream system", supplied with a hard disk, sub-directories, and the ability to comfortably run SMSQ/E. That is, a "modern" computer.

Tobias


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Re: Sinclair QL - QL-SD with vDRIVE QL

Postby retro_collector » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:28 pm

Thanks Tobias!

Next question, if Get QL-SD and run SMSQ/E will it run all the old QL software or will I have to go back and forth between OS's?

Cheers

Bill


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Re: Sinclair QL - QL-SD with vDRIVE QL

Postby Derek_Stewart » Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:06 pm

Hi,

Most software, games might run on a Super Gold Card QL, but the main issue is that the programmers assumed the the screen memory and the System Variables stay static.

Loading SMSQ/E will move the screen base to another memory location.

Use Minerva with the second screen enabled, the System Variables have moved up the memory map.

The most compatiable SMSQ/E system is the Q68, which will run most old QL software.


Regards,

Derek
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Re: Sinclair QL - QL-SD with vDRIVE QL

Postby FrancoisLanciault » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:19 am

Derek_Stewart wrote:Hi,

Most software, games might run on a Super Gold Card QL, but the main issue is that the programmers assumed the the screen memory and the System Variables stay static.

Loading SMSQ/E will move the screen base to another memory location.


On a SGC, SMSQ/E keeps the screen and System Variables at the normal position.

Derek_Stewart wrote:Use Minerva with the second screen enabled, the System Variables have moved up the memory map.


Again, with Minerva, if you don't enable the second screen, screen and sys vars are at the normal position.

Derek_Stewart wrote:The most compatiable SMSQ/E system is the Q68, which will run most old QL software.


Please explain. To my knowledge, the Q68 is not more compatible than a SGC. But maybe you know stuff I don't.

The main issue with a SCG and a Q68 with old software is the speed and the fact that the boot file will load the software at the wrong location because of the additional memory. Both can be dealt with most of the time.

F.


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Re: Sinclair QL - QL-SD with vDRIVE QL

Postby Derek_Stewart » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:52 am

Hi F.,

Oh yes I remember now, with an SGC, the Aurora moves the screen address. Please forgive me error, but this is old knowledge, which is somewhat distance in the mists of QL history.

With regards to the Q68 speed, being too fast, there is a SLUG command that slows the hardware down more efficiently than the other implementation o SLUG.

Most old software that is well written, using the correct syhe recent demo on You Tube: In Our DNA, work very smoothly with minor screen corruption at the top of the screen at the end of the Fractal sequence.

Maybe, a list of software for the Q68 that works against non-working should be compiled. I will start another thread for this.

But really, I think new software/games should be written to take into account the new GD2 colour driver system.


Regards,

Derek
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Re: Sinclair QL - QL-SD with vDRIVE QL

Postby tofro » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:55 am

Coming back to the original topic (even if the Q68 is a nice QL-alike and I'm the happy owner of two, I don't think Bill will want to invest into it just now that he has his first "real" QL.)

retro_collector wrote:Next question, if Get QL-SD and run SMSQ/E will it run all the old QL software or will I have to go back and forth between OS's?
Cheers
Bill


Just like on any other platform, there's well-written software and not-so. Most of the not-so-well-written software will not even run on the SGC with original QDOS. Mainly, because of the added memory, CPU speed, and other slightly different hardware. While this might affect like 2-3% of the available software (mainly earlier titles, mainly games), changing the OS itself to SMSQ/E adds maybe another 0.5% to this. So, chances are high that if some piece of software will not run on an SMSQ/E-equipped QL, it will also not run un-modified when you change back to QDOS.

The only real downside that QL-SD adds to a setup is that its driver software occupies the ROM slot - you will not be able to use plug-in ROMS, for example for ICE and Metacomco software. On the other hand, SMSQ/E provides a way around this, as it allows to load ROMs in other address spaces, something missing from QDOS.

If I remember right (happy to be corrected in case someone knows better), it should be easy to add a switch to temporarily disable QL-SD and make the QL ROM slot available to such applications if needed. I think the later QL-SD versions even were changed to make adding such a switch pretty easy.

Tobias


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Re: Sinclair QL - QL-SD with vDRIVE QL

Postby retro_collector » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:30 pm

When I purchased my SGC from tetroid I also purchased the ROM switcher. I am guessing I would have to remove the ROM switcher to use the QL-SD

Cheers

Bill


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Re: Sinclair QL - QL-SD with vDRIVE QL

Postby Pr0f » Tue Jul 30, 2019 3:10 pm

You should be able to use both - there are 2 ROM sockets in the QL - both are wired exactly the same, so you could put the QL-SD in the right hand one as you look at the front, and the rom switcher in the left socket.



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