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Switch off Pointer Toolkit

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:51 pm
by grafvonb
I just got completely new "Sinclair QL Tetroid disk interface with Compact flash card" and setup my QL. However it always starts with the Pointer Toolkit. How can I switch it off and go back to my plain vanilla command line?

Re: Switch off Pointer Toolkit

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:07 pm
by Derek_Stewart

Just edit the boot file.

Or if you do not how, maybe post the boot file and we can suggest the best solution for you.

Re: Switch off Pointer Toolkit

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:00 pm
by grafvonb
Derek_Stewart wrote:Hi,
Just edit the boot file.

I'm lamer in this topic. Could you give me just a short advice what a "boot file" is :).

Re: Switch off Pointer Toolkit

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:18 pm
by Derek_Stewart

The Tetroid Flash Card has benn formatted to load software stored there.

On thw Flash Card which is called WIN1_ there is a file called boot

In the boot file is a series of Superbasic commands to load applications and extensions.

You might want to save a backup copy of the orginal boot file, by entering:

COPY "win1_boot" TO "win1_boot_old"

If you can open the Superbasic and load in the boot file by using this command:

LOAD "win1_boot"

The boot file is a Superbasic programme, with line numbers. You can use edit the boot file with the ED command.

Since you are probably using Minvera, the Pointer Interface is loaded in 3 parts, PTR_GEN, WMAN, HOTKEY. QPAC2 is a set of programmes that use the Pointer Interface.

You could put a STOP command before the loading of the PTR_GEN file. This stop the boot at that point.

Re: Switch off Pointer Toolkit

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:24 pm
by grafvonb
@Derek, many thanks, that's really great explanation! I will try it tomorrow and give you my feedback.

Re: Switch off Pointer Toolkit

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:42 pm
by Derek_Stewart

I have a look at the boot file from the Tetroid Flash Card, if you pres CTRL-SPACE multiple times till the boot file stops.

You can edit tge boot file.

The start may look like this:

100 REMark General Boot file
110 :
120 LET dev$='win1_' : REMark change to suitable primary device
130 LET sys$=dev$&'SYS_' : REMark system directory
140 addr=RESPR(250) : LBYTES sys$&'exists_bin',addr : CALL addr
150 :
160 PRINT "Extending ToolKit II ..."
180 addr=RESPR(16876) : LBYTES sys$&'tk226_bin' : CALL addr
190 END IF
200 TK2_EXT : WTV
210 :
220 PRINT "Loaded system is : "; VER$

I would put this commang in the fil:

105 STOP


SAVE "win1_boot"

Type Y to overwrite, rebot boot will stop the boot file at line 105.

To load Toolkit 2 enter TK2_EXT

Now read all the manuals on Dilwyn's QL Hompage

Re: Switch off Pointer Toolkit

Posted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:31 pm
by polka
Even simpler : change the name of the BOOT file (rename it). On next startup or reset, the QL doesn't find it, so it starts by default with nothing ;

Question : how did you initialize and partition your (8Gb ?) CF card ?

If you used the Haoui starter kit floppy, it loaded a lot of files in partition 1 (that you may not want).

I did my own setup
which loads all things into another partition, then I may choose what I want to move or copy into my #1 partition and how I would like to boot.

For instance :
but skip the beginning of the post down to the end of the first CODE section (which is my first partition scheme, now obsolete).


Re: Switch off Pointer Toolkit

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:58 pm
by Derek_Stewart

I have had a look at the starterkit setup programme, which setups the CF Disk from disk drive.

There are 2 partitions setup by the starterkit setup programme:

Partition 1: 64Mb
Partition 2: 127Mb

The setup programme mounts partition 1 as WIN1, using the WIN_DRIVE command:


The setup programme then creates a directory structure for tge software, then the software is copied to WIN1, including a boot file to boot up the system.

The final action of the setup is to unload partition 1 and setup the drive with protection.

On restarting the system, Partition 1 is mapped to WIN1 and the WIN1_boot file is loaded and run.

As Polka says, rename the WIN1_boot file to WIN1_boot_old

A new boot file to load Toolkit 2 and mount the 2 partitions would be:

Code: Select all

100 TK2_EXT
110 DATA_USE "WIN1_"
120 PROG_USE "WIN1_"
130 REMark Mount CF Disk partitions
140 REMark WIN_DRIVE win_no, device_no, part_no
150 REMark WIN1_ mounted automatically.
160 REMark WIN_DRIVE 1,1,1
170 REMark Mount WIN2
180 WIN_DRIVE 2,1,2
190 REMark Show Disk Details

This is simple boot file, for more details please see the attached manuals:
QubATA TDI Manual
(1.16 MiB) Downloaded 38 times

TDI manual correct 2.pdf
Tetroid Trump Card Manual
(619.33 KiB) Downloaded 43 times

Miracle Systems Trump Card.pdf
Miracle Systems Trump |Card Manual
(406.96 KiB) Downloaded 33 times

More partitions can be added as detailed in the QubATA manual.

The key to all this is reading and understanding software manuals, which are all freely available.

Personally, I write my own boot files and do really like the automatic setup systems. Maybe a series of boot files should of been written for the user to select or even learn by example.

Let me know if any mor help is required.

Re: Switch off Pointer Toolkit

Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:41 pm
by polka
To be noted : the boot loaded by the starter kit works only with JS (and after) ROMs. With my JM ROM, it does not. (but I don't care, I use my own boot - and setup).

Re: Switch off Pointer Toolkit

Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:34 pm
by Derek_Stewart

It is always better to write your own boot file. Personally I would not use a boot file written by someone else.

Why are you not using Minerva, which would allow multi tasking Superbasic?

JM Rom according to Tony Tebby in QL Today, in his 25 year summary, was the launch rom for the QL, but superceded by JS.

Minerva fixed all the problems with JS and gave many excellent features.