Hullo from Cheshire

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Hullo from Cheshire

Postby robsoft » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:47 pm

Hi, middle aged full-time software developer here, finally got round to picking up a real QL (never had one as a lad - I went from '81 to Spectrum, then Amiga, PC and finally Mac). I want to write a bit of C, Pascal or maybe asm or even SuperBASIC for fun, even better if I can do something that other people might also have a use for.

The machine I've just got seems to be a stock JM one (haven't opened it yet to determine issue number), no other hardware goodies just a few standard microdrives (some of which are more functional than others).

Not sure I'm likely to trust/persevere with the MDs for long, they're more diminutive and fragile than I expected, so I guess it's off to the internet to try and find some kind of filing system alternative - whether it be SD card, floppy disk or whatever else. I also imagine some kind of memory expansion will be in order.

The keyboard on this one is hit and miss - having just discovered that the CTRL key is dead following several minutes of trying to work out why I couldn't 'delete' mistyped characters. Got a replacement membrane ordered from Rich already, though.

I've had one crazy thought, I suspect I'm not the first to ask, but - has anyone tried to use something like a raspberry pi (or even an arduino) to provide SD card storage via the QL network interface? I wondered if you could write something to have the raspberry pi act as a file server to a QL, given how cheap and available the raspi is, how easy to get at the GPIO it is and how easy it is to develop software for it. I guess it depends how clunky the QL network system is, I haven't looked yet.

Anyway, here I am, very late to the party but keen. I write Windows, Mac and (a bit of) mobile software during the day, mostly Delphi/Pascal and C, and I'm looking forward to tinkering with the QL for a change. I recently got a Interface 1bis card for my Spectrum+, I'm about to try and get that 'networking' out into the greater world. We'll see. By the way - the Interface 1bis is an excellent bit of kit once you get the hang of it, but I guess that's off=topic here :-)

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Re: Hullo from Cheshire

Postby vanpeebles » Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:50 pm

A warm welcome to the forum! :)

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Re: Hullo from Cheshire

Postby RWAP » Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:38 pm

Welcome to the forums indeed.

No one has looked at anything like connecting a Raspberry PI via the ZX Network - it would be a good idea, but I am not sure how you would write the software to interpret the data on the ZX Network.. (unless I guess a QL emulator running under Linux on the Pi could handle it and act as the file server)

Whilst you can get the microdrive cartridge felt pads replaced, at the moment, the best options for storage are either a QL-SD Card, or a Trump Card clone (with floppy disks), both of which are normally available on

A QL-SD Card may seem the cheaper option to start with, but you also have to consider that you will need extra memory to go with it.

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