Hello from Midlothian

Introduce yourself here!
Bent Pin Expansion Port
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:49 am

Hello from Midlothian

Postby georgeo » Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:48 am

Hi everyone,

I'm just getting up to speed with the QL, having acquired a good-condition, original unit plus some Microdrive cartridges at the beginning of the year. I started by getting my cartridges re-padded (thanks to Dave Marling), which allowed me to read most of them (C1 Assembler and FORTH, Psion office suite, and a couple of blank cartridges). However, my mdv2 drive is very hit and miss, plus some other cartridges I have look to be partly corrupted, including Psion Chess and Magic Scroll Pawn games.

My next step was to set up a serial link to my PC, following the excellent information on this Forum [http://www.qlforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1221&hilit=serial+program+transfer]. With the cable in place, I was able to transfer data back and forth between the QL and my PC using @ppe's XModem receiver, and loaded up some simple Freeware. However, with 128kB of memory and only a couple of working Microdrive cartridges, I was unable to get the Unzip utility working, so I 'bit the bullet' and purchased a Trump Card clone and floppy-disk unit from SellMyRetro.

I've now got my Trump Card and floppy-disk unit set up and am making good progress. I managed to reconstruct the Unzip program following instructions on http://www.dilwyn.me.uk, plus have purchased a couple of books (Jan Jones, 'QL SuperBasic' and Andrew Pennel 'Assemby Language Programming on the Sinclair QL'), so it's now time for me to get to grips with programming and using the QL.

My aim is to properly understand the workings and inspiration for the machine. I have come from a Spectrum background, for which I wrote various machine-code utilities and magazine articles. I want to find out if the QL is as innovative as the Spectrum. I also want to find out a bit more about the micro-computing scene at the time the QL launched and find out why it didn't really succeed (I was too busy playing games on the Spectrum at the time, so it all passed me by). Elements such as the advanced SuperBASIC and multitasking support suggest the Sinclair team were once again pushing the bounds of micro-computing, though there's still lots for me to learn.

I have encountered a few obstacles on the way, which I'll quiz the experts on this forum about separately. Hopefully, I'll also be able to contribute to the forum in due course, to help other newbies or provide some useful software--subject to time and competence.

Looking forward to it!

User avatar
Commissario Pebbli
Posts: 1912
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:13 pm
Location: North East UK

Re: Hello from Midlothian

Postby vanpeebles » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:40 am

A warm welcome to the forum :) It sounds like you have the makings of an excellent setup already :)

User avatar
Gold Card
Posts: 490
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:31 am
Location: Shotts, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK

Re: Hello from Midlothian

Postby XorA » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:49 am

\o/ Welcome, another member from around Edinburgh area :-D

User avatar
Gold Card
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:04 am
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

Re: Hello from Midlothian

Postby NormanDunbar » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:38 pm

Greetings Georgeo.

Welcome to the QL.

If you are interested in Assembly on the QL, you might find the following useful, or maybe not,

http://qdosmsq.dunbar-it.co.uk/download ... sembly.pdf



Why do they put lightning conductors on churches?
How come Tarzan never grew a beard?
If at first you don't succeed, don't take up skydiving!
ROM Dongle
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:14 pm

Re: Hello from Midlothian

Postby robsoft » Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:31 pm

Welcome! And in terms of where you're at with it, and what you have got and what you have done - we have an awful lot in common! I've recently got a modern Trump card clone (from the same Russian supplier no doubt), I've got it running with 2 external 3.5" drives, I've picked up a few books and started dabbling.
(My micro drive experience was more frustrating than yours, by the sounds of it!)

Best of luck, hopefully we will exchange ideas and assistance over time.

Bent Pin Expansion Port
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:49 am

Re: Hello from Midlothian

Postby georgeo » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:22 pm

Hi Robsoft,

Indeed, it seems we do have a lot in common just now. I actually posted a question to you on your thread about building a floppy-disk unit.

I'm coming to the conclusion that having working Microdrives is a good thing, even if you have a floppy-disk system. For example, Rich sent me a working copy of The Pawn, ported to floppy disk, to replace my corrupted Microdrive cartridge. However, it seems the developers of The Pawn bypassed QDOS for their save-/ load-state routines and hard-wired the program to read/ write to mdv2_!

I have a couple of reliable cartridges, though my mdv2_ is currently not working, so I need to sit down and give it a good clean in the hope it will recover -- otherwise, I'll never get very far in The Pawn!

Speak to you soon,

Return to “The Welcome Area”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests