Sunday, December 14, 2014
30 years ago this year...
The Sinclair QL computer was based on a 68008 CPU. It came with a word processor program, a presentation manager, a database manager, and a spreadsheet program. In its 48K of ROM was a multitasking operating system, plus the SuperBASIC programming language. The only bad thing was, Sir Clive was trying so hard to keep the price down, he used tape-based Microdrives instead of floppy disks.
I believe if Clive had included a floppy drive, the QL would have carved out a large niche for itself in the personal computer world.
I bought mine by mail order in 1986. I learned spreadsheets and databases on it. I also designed and built a floppy drive interface for the QL. In about 1992, I got the brilliant idea to put the QL mainboard inside an old Kaypro box. The Kaypro was a Z80-based portable computer that ran the CP/M operating system. Anyway, I planned to use the built-in CRT monitor. I never completed the project, and the box wound up in a corner for many years, until I got the idea to fire up the QL recently.
First, I rescued the QL mainboard from the Kaypro box. The, I found I still had the QL case and power supply. I have the mainboard back in its original home - as you can see, above. Would you believe you can still order new keyboard membranes for the QL? I have 2 of them on the way. The QL's video is meant for TV use. I will use a regular VGA monitor, with a composite-video-to-VGA adapter. When I went online to see what could be seen of the QL, I learned that there was an actual observance of the 30 years since the QL came onto the market.
So - the QL is currently on my bench, as I get it back together. And try to figure out where that floppy interface board went to.
Presented to you by DellroyGM at 4:57 PM