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Reviving Quanta

Posted: Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:36 am
Quanta - the QL user group has now been in existence since 1983 and is now hitting hard times.

It is not finance - they have a fair amount of money in the bank and are in fact looking for projects to help fund to keep the Sinclair QL alive (if anyone has ideas / designs etc)

So what do people see as the main issues with the only QL user group?

I think the main issue has to be the number of members is now appalling low, especially compared with my own QL mailing list. However, it is not easy to get the existing committee to feel enthused enough to promote Quanta (let alone the QL).

I have offered on several occasions to send an advert on their behalf to the 1500 or so QL customers on my own database (OK, not all of them are going to be users), yet they have not provided me with any wording.

Another case in point has to be the Vintage Computer Festival which was held earlier this year - it took prompting from me to get a banner from them and sample magazines to hand out, and it was left to me to print out subscription forms at my own expense. They really need someone more pro-active on their committee.

Their new website is a vast improvement, but is quickly falling behind with no updates - the last "forthcoming event" is a show in June 2010.

I am also happy to email users in a specific country / region if someone wants to look to set up a show or subgroup themselves (or even attract new blood to an existing sub-group). Quanta has their own list of members and former members with some emails, so should also be willing to co-operate in this.

Ideas welcome - more importantly, if you want to be on the Quanta committee and help make a difference - contact them directly - the nomination forms are already in circulation. As a trader and also someone that approaches Quanta with business proposals, I feel that this would be a conflict of interest, otherwise I would put myself forward happily.

In short Quanta needs you and your input - without more members, and more committee members, they are going to fold and the funds collected over the years will end up being distributed to charity in accordance with their constitution, rather than being used for the good of the QL.

Re: Reviving Quanta

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:22 pm
by vanpeebles
I got a nominations form with quanta a while back but as a new face I had no idea what to do with it.

Also if you have the time and commitment(something that we are all desperate for) then I see no problems with yourself or any other trader being on the committee. RWAP is probably the first point of call for all new users in terms of hardware, software and help.

Compared to other computer scenes that I won't name I've found the QL people and traders extremely helpful and friendly.

Re: Reviving Quanta

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:24 pm
My conflict of interest is that, although I do sell items on behalf of Quanta to help raise funds, I do also look to them for approval for finance for new ideas and initiatives every now and then.

Re: Reviving Quanta

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:45 pm
by vanpeebles
But would the other members of the committee then not balance that out when funding issues are decided? Or withdraw your vote on matters where there could be a conflict? (Do they vote on things?) :)

Re: Reviving Quanta

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 4:03 pm
vanpeebles wrote:But would the other members of the committee then not balance that out when funding issues are decided? Or withdraw your vote on matters where there could be a conflict? (Do they vote on things?) :)

They do vote on things, yes, but they are so short of committee members that I just think I would create too much of an imbalance. Plus there would always be the suggestion that I had only joined to gain funding - what Quanta needs is some more active members, who can contribute to the magazine, the discussion about the QL in general and maybe agree to sit on the committee.

Quanta did set up a questionnaire for people to complete to see what interest remained in the QL and its deriviatives, but then I don't know if it was sent out by post to their members, or whether it was just available online - there was not much publicity about it and we have not seen any results from the survey.

Re: Reviving Quanta

Posted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:44 pm
by Sparrowhawk
I agree - I see no real reason why you should not put yourself forward. Where funding is concerned, simply have somebody else who has a proxy vote on funding matters instead of you. Maybe an ex-committee member. Nothing is insurmountable, and surely the fact that you are both willing and eager to be on the board should be something that Quanta should seize with both hands.

Re: Reviving Quanta

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:40 pm
by vanpeebles
I wonder if part of the overall problem is the factor that not many people know about the QL. There are a wide range of sites now devoted to retro gaming, retro computing and just retro hardware in general. Not to mention magazines like retrogamer which has had a QL feature before but only a light skim of it.

Maybe a campaign is needed where a group of people send reviews(even old reviews previously seen within the QL community) and features in to raise awareness of the machine? Some lovely screen shots can go a long way.

I also have a youtube plan on the back burner, but how to capture sound from the QL is a problem.

Re: Reviving Quanta

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:46 pm
by robheaton
Vanpeebles, you could be onto something here, at R3Play last year there were all kinds of systems, but not a QL in sight!
To be honest until you mentioned the QL to me, I'd never heard of one!
I'll post some info here later about capturing the sound, I've been planning to mod mine to connect to some desktop speakers.

Re: Reviving Quanta

Posted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:42 pm
by Oliver
Compared to Commodore and Atari, the QL is certainly hidden in a niche. Gaming really has never been one of the QL's strengths. It's more the self-programming and tinkering.

Precisely because of that the QL is an interesting machine - also, from historical perspective, as an archaeopteryx-kind-of "missing link" between home computers of the early 80s (Basic in ROM, 8 bit memory bus, tape storage) and the upcoming PCs (32 bit CPU, multitasking operating system, windowing). I am sure many people would be interested - I am curious about vanpeebles' youtube contributions, and hope to see (and hear) them soon ;) .

Re: Reviving Quanta

Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:00 am
by vanpeebles
While it was never a gaming machine I believe it has more than enough good games to attract people. For some youtube examples, search for acorn games to see some of my other work :)