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          comp.sys.sinclair FAQ list for the Sinclair QL computer
            This FAQ list has last been modified at 1996-Jul-14

0 Introduction to the FAQ *** Warning *** The data within this FAQ is outdated (except the "news" section) The rest of the FAQ resembles the QL scene in 1994. 0.0 Preface and forward Dear reader, this is the second edition of the FAQ for the Sinclair QL computer. Great parts are incomplete or I haven't any idea about the topic. Perhaps you want to have additional material in the FAQ. Many thinks may be unclear or simply wrong; please don't blame me to much for this. This second version is not that much different from the first one. The main changes are that I updated the SMSQ/E entry and extracted the Service list from the FAQ. The Service list will be posted from time to time while the FAQ will be posted much less frequently if ever. Both documents (as well as other QL related stuff) will be available via WWW at http://www.uni-mainz.de/~roklein/ql/ . The use of the words QL or QDOS sometimes includes unwritten that the actual topic also includes compatibles.

If you have any ideas, suggestions, criticism please mail me . (But please be patient and rational, and keep short if possible: I've only a limited diskspace.)

Well, now relax and enjoy. Robert 0.1 NEWS *** NEWS *** NEWS

The SuperGoldCard is now reproduced by QUANTA. The QXL is no longer available, but Miracle now offers the QXL2 instead. There will be no QXL Gold, but you have the option to trade in your SGC or GC for a QXL2.

Miracle has stopped the development of the masterpiece enhanced graphics card. Another graphics card, from Nastasic/Qubbesoft is currently in development. Estimated release date is about August 1996. This card is not only a graphics card, but a replacement for the QL motherboard.

0.2 Contents * means, that I have not enough information to write anything about the marked FAQ part or that I'll try to do it in future. 0 Introduction to the FAQ 0.0 Preface and forward 0.1 NEWS *** NEWS *** NEWS 0.2 Contents 0.3 Warranty information 0.4 How to submit new material to tha FAQ 0.5 Miscellaneous information 0.6 What's the Sinclair QL 0.7 Facts about the Sinclair QL 1 QL, QL Clones Hardware 1.1 QL 1.1.1 The Motorola MC 68008 CPU 1.1.2 The Intel 8049 IPC (or 8749) 1.1.3 ZX8301 (Peripheral Control) 1.1.4 ZX8302 (Peripheral Chip) 1.1.5 HAL/GAL 16L8 1.1.6 Microdrives 1.1.7 Power supply 1.1.8 Build Standards, Differences 1.2 Sandy Q-XT 640 1.3 CST Thor PC (later Thor 1) 1.4 Sandy 68000 PC (Futura, formerly QLT; never apperared) 1.5 CST Thor 20, 21 1.6 CST Thor XVI 1.7 Futura Data Centre QL emulator board for the Atari ST 1.8 Miracle Systems Gold Card 1.9 ICL One Per Desk (also Merlin Tonto or Computerphone) 1.10 Merz QVME Card 1.11 Miracle Systems QXL Card 1.12 Miracle Systems Super Gold Card 2 QL Device Operating System (QDOS) and Compatibles 2.1 QDOS 2.2 Minerva 2.3 Argos 2.4 SMSQ/E 2.5 QDOS enhancements 2.5.1 SuperToolkit II 2.5 2 Pointers, Menus, Hotkeys and Things 2.6 SMS2 3 Programs for the QL / Compatibles 3.1 Emulators of other systems on the QL 3.1.1 PC Conqueror 3.1.2 The Solution 3.1.3 CP Mulator 3.1.4 Success *3.1.5 Spectrum emulators ZM/HT etc 3.2 Psion Quartet 3.2.1 Quill Import/Export 0.3 Warranty information

In no circumstances will the maintainers of this FAQ be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damage or loss including but not limited to loss of use. stored data, profit or contracts which may arise from any error, defect or failure of the FAQ or the information supplied with it.

The FAQ maintainers have a policy of constant development and improvement of their FAQ. Therefore, the right is reserved to change the FAQ contents at any time and without notice.

Each part of this FAQ may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the written permission of the FAQ maintainers.

0.4 How to submit new material to the FAQ

In general, if you think the answer to a question needs to be clarified or corrected, or wish to propose a new question AND answer (please provide BOTH at the same time), send it to me. For new questions/answers, you should also provide an indication of what section of the FAQ the Q&A belong in. I am the maintainer of the FAQ, but not the overall author. If a change is in the category of a small correction, I go ahead and make it. If it is something significant, I'll try coordinate with the original submitter to obtain an appropriately worded answer.

0.5 Miscellaneous information

This FAQ list has been made by Jennifer Louise Yockney and Robert Klein.

Many thanks to all the people who helped us to put this list together, especially to (alphabetically): Richard J. Kettlewell Scott Telford Jennifer Louise Yockney Richard Zidlicky

The abbreviation SQLW means Sinclair QL World.

Any suggestions, criticism please email to spm111@yandex.ru 0.6 What's the Sinclair QL

The Quantum Leap computer was launched by Sir Clive Sinclair in 1984 aimed mainly at the business market rather than the games market which dominated Spectrum sales. From a current point of view it has at least reached the latter goal. It seems like if most current QL users are like the first `home computer' users -- hardware and software tinkerers. Other prefer the strict simplicity against the complexity of most computer systems currently in use (e.g. MS Windows).

The QL was supplied complete with a suite put together by PSION comprising of a fully functional wordprocessor, spreadsheet, database and a business graphics programs (bar charts, pie charts etc).

The concept of the QL is to plug in and go. The only extra required to get started is a standard TV and 10-15 minutes time (i.e. to start typing a letter).

There is a host of additional peripherals available for the QL including printers, disk drives, monitors, interfaces and specialist hardware and software. The QL has its own magazine - "QL Today" which carries interesting articles and advertisements.

0.7 Facts about the Sinclair QL [From a leaflet from WN Richardson.]

Following his successes with the 'ZX' and 'SPECTRUM' computers Sir Clive Sinclair produced the 'QL' -- 'Quantum Leap' -- computer.

Although out if production now for some years it was ahead of its time, and is still up-to-date in most respects, and in use in the USA and many other countries. It is very versatile and the basis for even more sophisticated versions which are still being produced by independent designers. It was intended for use by small businesses, students, and hobbyists, and was remarkable value for money from the outset. Today there are many businesses still buying QL's rather than spend thousands on more elaborate systems.

It is extremely well supported with inexpensive programs, some library ones only GBP 2, or free. They cover all kinds of subjects from games to business, as well as graphics, and the really complex. As supplied the QL includes four standard programs. An excellent and quick to learn word-processor 'QUILL'; a very useful spreadsheet: 'ABACUS'; a database filing system: 'Archive'; and 'EASEL' for designing graphs. Help and advice is always available from the active support group 'QUANTA'.

Since the 'QL' is now such outstanding value for money a great number of owners have two: one in use and the other as back-up, networked, or doing other jobs such as scientific work or operating a modem. Many users are students of the applications of computers, and the art of programming. The 'QL' improved BASIC 'SuperBASIC' encourages the design of well structured programs, and is easy to write and read.

The small size and lightness of the 'QL' and the facility to display on 'TV' or 'Monitor' aided by the built-in microdrives makes it portable, for example between office and home.

Emulator programs (such as 'PC Conquerer', 'The Solution', 'CP/M' enable files and programs to be used to and from the 'QL', 'PCs' and most other computers. There are also many specialist programs for accounting, desk top publishing, graphic art, computer aided design, and other subjects.

The QL can operate all devices such as printers and modems via RS232 ports and where necessary interfaces. Disk and hard-disk systems are available.

The QL is based on the famous Motorola 68008 microprocessor, and the basic machine has 128K of RAM expandable by 768K using expansion cards without another CPU on it, a ROM expansion port is provided. Two microdrive units are built in for input and files. An expansion connector allows up to six further microdrive units to be added if desired. Other facilities are: two RS232 ports, a network port, two joystick ports, and a built-in speaker. The 'QL' is capable of multi-tasking and can utilise disc systems. It provides 255 possible colour effects. Sound, though of fixed volume, is controlable for duration, pitch, oscillation between pitches, variable 'bounce' rates, and distortion.

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