Hello from the Netherlands!

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janbredenbeek
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Hello from the Netherlands!

Postby janbredenbeek » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:43 pm

Hello,

For some of you, my name may sound familiar (I saw some familiar names on this board too). I've been involved in the Dutch QL scene for a long time and I am still the chairman of the now pretty dormant Dutch Sin_QL_air user group. We used to organise meetings in Eindhoven with many international attendants from the UK and Germany like Tony Firshman, Jochen Merz, Nasta and even Tony Tebby.
I've run one of the first QL-based Bulletin Boards which went online in June 1987 using the QBOX BBS software which I wrote myself. Back in those days I had little money but lots of spare time ;) . This changed about 20 years ago - well, you know, you get a job, move to a new place and then my QLs ended up in boxes in the attic for a long time :( .
Last week however I got curious about what's still in those boxes, and if it's still working. I found 3 QL's, more or less modified, disk drives, some hundred diskettes and two dozens of MDV cartridges (which still appear to work after nearly 30 years!). In case your curious, here is the link to my photo album...
Well that's it for now, hope to meet some old and new friends here...

Bye, Jan.


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ql_freak
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Re: Hello from the Netherlands!

Postby ql_freak » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:00 am

Hello Jan,

nice to see you here. I think we met once in Eindhoven (I think 1989 or so). I was a heavy user of your editor (delivered with C68), cause it was the one I used together with QLFED (the Maustausch program for the German Mausnet).

Peter


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vanpeebles
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Re: Hello from the Netherlands!

Postby vanpeebles » Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:58 am

A warm welcome to the forum. It's nice to see some Dutch users returning to the QL. I read once that the Dutch QL scene was even bigger than the UK at some point, where have they all gone? :)

Just to add, do you have any rare games among all those disks? :geek:


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Re: Hello from the Netherlands!

Postby RWAP » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:25 pm

Welcome Jan - yes I remember your name quite well :D

It might be worth checking whether all of your software is available on Dilwyn's Sinclair QL Homepage - certainly that shot of Basicode 3 does not seem familiar.

I am sure you probably have other public domain (or even commercial software) which needs adding to Dilwyn's site and the preservation project, so I too would be interested in a list of what you have


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Re: Hello from the Netherlands!

Postby Mr_Navigator » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:39 pm

Hi and welcome to the QL forum, you will find us a friendly lot here, please do frequent the site and recommend to all those who you think might be interested in QL'ing again or even for the first time.


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Re: Hello from the Netherlands!

Postby tofro » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:09 pm

Welcome, Jan!

Seeing that Basicode screenshot reminded me of the days when home computer programs were so popular they were actually broadcasted on the radio. Younger members might not know that, but (starting in the Netherlands and then spreading all over the continent) radio programs were actually broadcasting "tapes" for home computers (If I remember right, this was particularly adopted by GDR radio stations and only ended in the early nineties.) You recorded the program with your tape recorder and then re-played it into the computer.

I had nearly forgotten that bit of computing history, thanks!

Tobias


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janbredenbeek
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Re: Hello from the Netherlands!

Postby janbredenbeek » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:56 pm

ql_freak wrote:Hello Jan,

nice to see you here. I think we met once in Eindhoven (I think 1989 or so). I was a heavy user of your editor (delivered with C68), cause it was the one I used together with QLFED (the Maustausch program for the German Mausnet).

Hello Peter,

I remember the Eindhoven meetings ran from 1990/91 to about 2006; Sjef van de Molengraaf should get the credits for organising them. Before that there were international meetings in Belgium in 1988 (Hasselt) and 1989 (Vilvoorde) as far as I can remember. Eindhoven was a perfect location as it was in between the UK and Germany and we could rent the venue (almost) for free as it was in the school building where Sjef worked ;).

As for the editor, that will probably be QED (name shamelessly stolen from another QL text editor) which I believe was a clone of the editor supplied with the MetaComCo assembler (or was it the GST one? I'm not sure). I wrote all of my programs in assembler as it was in the pre-C68 era and RAM and disk space were tight. And I remember Mausnet too; it was my FidoNet link to Germany for the QL mail and file areas. I've had a FidoNet node from 1989 to March last year and FidoNet still exists as of today although traffic has considerably dried up over the last 15 years...

Bye, Jan.


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janbredenbeek
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Re: Hello from the Netherlands!

Postby janbredenbeek » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:11 pm

vanpeebles wrote:A warm welcome to the forum. It's nice to see some Dutch users returning to the QL. I read once that the Dutch QL scene was even bigger than the UK at some point, where have they all gone? :)

Just to add, do you have any rare games among all those disks? :geek:

Well, I'm not really a gamer, more a hacker ;) . But I'll take a look.
As for the Dutch QL scene, I remember the Sin_QL_air user group had about 700 members in its haydays (back in 1987) and there were a few dozens of hardcore enthusiasts, but I doubt we were as big as Quanta. We just had the luck to have a cheap meeting venue just in between the UK and Germany and suppliers like Jochen Merz and Tony Firshman were willing to visit us twice a year. I even remember the guys from Miracle Systems who came over with backpacks full of Gold Cards :) .

Bye for now,
Jan


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janbredenbeek
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Re: Hello from the Netherlands!

Postby janbredenbeek » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:02 pm

tofro wrote:Welcome, Jan!

Seeing that Basicode screenshot reminded me of the days when home computer programs were so popular they were actually broadcasted on the radio. Younger members might not know that, but (starting in the Netherlands and then spreading all over the continent) radio programs were actually broadcasting "tapes" for home computers (If I remember right, this was particularly adopted by GDR radio stations and only ended in the early nineties.) You recorded the program with your tape recorder and then re-played it into the computer.

Hi Tobias,

Well, for me Basicode is a story of its own :) . I started to work on it on the Spectrum where I ended up rewriting half of its Basic interpreter in order to make it compatible with Basicode ;) . I found my program back on worldofspectrum.org and even managed to run it successfully on Spectaculator, including loading of old Basicode programs via the PC's sound card! Indeed, Basicode was very popular in the Netherlands (it was invented by Philips engineer Klaas Robers) and later also in Germany. I remember the WDR Computer Club had an item on it and in early 1989 we had a visit from a delegation of Radio DDR. Needless to say it took a lot of hassle for them to go outside of the GDR with the Berlin Wall still in place! A year and a half later they were in Holland again with their edition of Basicode, 'mit Programmen auf Schallplatte'!. I still have that book and record by the way...

I managed to retrieve the source code of my Basicode translation program for both the Spectrum and the QL and am willing to contribute them to Dilwyn's preservation project - just give me some time. The QL version was indeed not widely spread. Because the QL has no cassette interface you had to load the Basicode programs via the Network ports using a simple electronic circuit, and because software timing was critical the load/save routines could only work in an external ROM or expansion RAM. There are also quite a few dirty programming tricks used (like a Spectrum-like SCREEN$ function) so I doubt if you can make it to work on emulated hardware. Perhaps if you can manage to load Basicode into the (emulated) Spectrum and find some way to transfer them to the emulated QL, but then you still have to do some manual adjustments to the Basicode programs as SuperBasic (and probably SBASIC as well) are still not 100% compatible with Basicode...

Bye for now,
Jan.


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Re: Hello from the Netherlands!

Postby 1024MAK » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:27 pm

Welcome to our Forum Jan!

:D :D :D

Mark


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