QL/E v3.16

Codenamed “White Swan”, version 3.16 of QL/E is now available to download from Urs König’s site at http://sinclairql.net/repository.html#QLE

For those who just need a modern and compact ready to run QL environment (applications, demos, desktops, games, tools, utilities), go ahead and download QL/E. QL/E comes loaded and pre-configured with a good selection of programs including a nicely setup desktop built using QPAC, QTop, Qascade and QDT. QL/E includes the the latest versions of the virtual QL machines (aka emulators) QPC2 and SMSQmulator and the operating system SMSQ/E.

The latest version also supports other SMSQ/E platforms such the MC68040 powered QXL PC ISA card (DOS) and QPC1 (DOS) plus QDOS/Minerva platforms such as the original Sinclair QL with QL-SD, the MIST FPGA based multi platform computer, Q-emuLator (Windows, Mac OS) and uQLx (Linux including the Raspberry Pi).

Screenshot of QL/E v3.16

ZX8301 Chip Investigated

Urs König writes:

“The ZX8301 is the ‘Master Chip’ of the Sinclair QL Professional Computer.

Its purpose is documented in the Sinclair QL Service Manual. See:

http://www.sinclairql.net/srv/qlsm1.html#s1-p6

The chip designed by David Karlin and manufactured by Plessey. See:

http://www.sinclairql.net/story/The_long_lost_interview_with_David_Karlin.htm

There are two known editions of the chip, the CLA2310 and the later CLA2345. Their mask differs.

Way back in May 2014 I explored the die of a Sinclair ZX8301 CLA2345 chip with my newly acquired BRESSER MicroSet microscope. Another QLer is currently exploring a CLA2310. This motivated me to review my work and publish the material (both video and stills) I’ve shot using the microscope.

Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx52phYHc9E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzN9zgPXcmo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o79SPPTkVMg

Stills:

https://onedrive.live.com/?id=c250d8748980ce5a%2134212

https://onedrive.live.com/?id=c250d8748980ce5a%2134212&cid=C250D8748980CE5A&cid=C250D8748980CE5A

More to come from either me or other QLers.”

BMP Graphics Viewer Updated

Bob Spelten Jr. has updated my BMP graphics viewer.

Bob has extended the range of BMP file types which can be converted (most types from 24-bit to 1-bit), while conversions from QL graphics to BMP can now be done as either 24-bit or 16-bit files.

Saving to a DOS or NFA named device will replace underscores with a dot. A scaling option has been introduced for viewing large files – the files are scaled to fit the window, but with aspect ratio maintained.

On the command line, there is a switch option to turn off scaling if you prefer not to use it, along with an option to turn off the BEEPs if they get on your nerves. BMP can be started with a filename on a command line now, allowing other programs to use BMP as a viewer, e.g. FileInfo 2.

We are grateful to François van Emelen for assistance with testing this update.

Download the latest version 1.03 from the Graphics Programs page on my website at

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

uQLx 2017

A newly revised version of the Linux QL emulator uQLx (uQLx 2017) is now available.

Graeme Gregory has “brutalised” (as he puts it on github) the sources to bring them up to date. New binaries are available for 32- and 64-bit x86 systems, as well as ARM (6/7/8). Includes binaries ready to run.

Includes documentation from Timothy Swenson to get you started along with a small QXL.win file.

The binaries are available to download from the emulators page on my website

http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/emu/index.html#uQLx_for_Linux_etc.

while the sources are available from the Sinclair QL Github at

https://github.com/SinclairQL/uqlx-fork

The sources are available from my website too in case of difficulty, but I recommend you get them from the github repository to make sure you get the latest sources.

XTC Compiler – Updated Sources

Updated sources for XTC68 cross-compiler for QDOS C68 for POSIX systems (e.g. Linux) is available from Jonathan Hudson on github (thanks to Graeme Gregory for the tip).

https://github.com/stronnag/xtc68

I’ve put a copy of the master zip file onto the C page of my website under XTC68 in case it ever gets removed from github.

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

Wander

After porting the Colossal Cave adventure game (http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/games/adventures/ccave.zip ) Graeme Gregory has now ported an earlier adventure game system called Wander.

Screen dump from opening screen of Wander

Wander is a tool for writing non-deterministic fantasy “stories”. The product is a story whose unfolding is affected by decisions made by the “reader”.

The author is Peter Langston (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Langston ), who when asked if this is really from 1974 says: “As I remember I came up with the idea for Wander and wrote an early version in HP Basic while I was still teaching at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Then I rewrote Wander in C on Harvard’s Unix V5 system shortly after our band moved to Boston in 1974. I got around to putting a copyright notice on it in 1978.”

Here you can find some more information on Wander: https://ahopeful.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/wander-1974-a-lost-mainframe-game-is-found/

Sources for Wander available here: https://github.com/SinclairQL/wander/tree/qdos-gcc

Please note that, at the time of writing, the program had an issue with the Signal Extension, which caused it to fail. The program should only be run without the Signal Extension being present.