Monthly Archives: December 2013

PROGS QL Software

Rich Mellor has managed to get confirmation from Joachim van der Auwera of PROGS in Belgium that the PROGS range of QL software (all of it!) is now open source and freely available.

Most of it is available to download from  the PROGS website at http://www.progs.be/ – to get to the QL software, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the link where it says “PROGS used to be known for Sinclair QL work. This information is now (very) outdated, it is still available here.”

The programs are mostly also available from the Prowess section of the Dilwyn Jones QL website at

http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/prowess/index.html

We are still missing the following ProWeSs bits:

Fsearch
PWFile
PWList
PWSBasic

Although there are more programs to download on the PROGS website – these seem to be the sources, so need re-compiling.

ProWesS is the PROGS Windowing System, which in its time was a new window manager, which used a system called PROforma for all its drawing, resulting in a resolution and colour independent windowing system. One of the major applications for PROforma at the time was Line Design, a vector drawing and DTP system for the QL.

Domesdos, not Domestos

This is a contribution from Urs König to the ql-users mailing list, back in late October this year, as the 30th anniversary of QDOS approached.

Domesdos was the working title of the operation system for the Sinclair ZX83, which eventually became QDOS for the Sinclair QL.

In a CONFIDENTIONAL (at that time) document dated 26 October 1983 (hey, that’s today 30 years ago), Tony Tebby wrote: “The changes from Version 0.05 are mostly in the internal organisation. These reflect the change in emphasis from a small machine to a 128Kbyte minimum configuration, a high probability that a 512Kbyte expansion will be available at launch, a hard disk will be available soon after, and the machine is a flagship of a new line.”

Decades later, back in 2009, TT wrote in a series of articles called “25 years” in the QL Today magazine: “ln a fit of hubris over this “design for reliability” approach, the new operating system was called Domesdos (a home {domestic}) DOS, even though it was designed for business use and it was a ROM operating system and not a disk operating system) after the slogan for a brand of bleach “Domestos” which “kills 99% of all known germs (bugs).”

Even 30 years later no single operating system has proved to be bug free.

Time to dig out Domes*os… 😉

Access the PDF of the 1983 Domesdos documentation:

http://tinyurl.com/prsaafh

Note: this is a scanned document of about 5MB in size, and of slightly poor quality in places although still quite readable. It is a scanned version of one of the very first documents issued to QL software and hardware developers. Much has changed since then, but it’s still interesting to see where the operating system was at in those early days! [News Editor]

Rights To QDOS in USA

In a message to QL Forum members on October 26th 2013, Rich Mellor wrote:

“Paul Holmgren and Frank Davis who own the US rights to QDOS have now confirmed that they are willing for QDOS to be distributed freely with emulators in the USA and Canada.

There is a minor proviso on that, in that Paul / Frank would like to be kept advised of any projects which are developed using QDOS and sent a copy.”

Although this was already widely taken to be the case, this has now confirmed and settled any doubts on this issue.

How To Repair Microdrive Cartridges

A user on QL Forum (Saltor66 – Salvatore Lasorella) has produced a video showing how to use liquid glue to consolidate the little felt pad on detriorating microdrive cartridges, to help stop it falling off its mounting and contaminating the insides of the cartridge with little bits of debris. This helps to extend the life of a cartridge long enough for you to have a chance to recover the contents. The method applies equally to Spectrum and QL microdrive cartridges. The page is in Italian and English:

http://apuliaretrocomputing.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/come-ripararare-le-cartucce-per-zx-microdrive/

SMSQmulator Latest

SMSQmulator 1.22 is out – it contains several bugfixes (and comes with smsqe 3.17). There’s a list of changes and bug fixes on the download site. SMSQmulator is, of course, the QL emulator for Java systems. You need Java version 6 or 7 on your system to run SMSQmulator, although this can be on various operating system platforms such as Windows or Linux.

Download SMSQmulator from:

www.wlenerz.com/SMSQmulator

SMSQ/E v3.17

Wolgang Lenerz writes:

“SMSQE 3.17 is out – it only corrects the bug when moving a pulled down window with transparency.”

To update your SMSQ/E just visit Wolfgang’s SMSQ/E page at:

www.wlenerz.com/smsqe

From this page, you can download a 1.2MB zipped file containing binaries of the various versons of SMSQ/E for Atari, Aurora, Gold Card, Q40, QXLand SMSQmulator. The zip file also contains various text files describing changes in the various versions of SMSQ/E, and some help regarding recompiling SMSQ/E if you wish to tinker with the sources.