Monthly Archives: May 2019

Issue 8 QL Motherboard

Dave Park has been discussing his replacement QL motherboard project on QL Forum recently.

The aim was to create a new motherboard which is largely compatible with the original QL motherboard, but with a few improvements built in. Dave has been working with Aurora designer Nasta on this project.

Details are fairly scant at the moment, with much general discussion as to what people would like to see in this project. At the beginning of May, Dave committed himself to producing an initial batch of 100 motherboards when the tiem comes to launch.

vFollow the discussion on QL Forum’s “Issue 8 discussions…” thread, at

Long File Name Device Driver

Martin Head has been tinkering with a new directory device driver that supports longer filenames (up to 72 characters), by adding a path to the start of any file name provided by the operating system, on a per job basis.

So each job could have a LFN1_ device pointing at a different directory on the same storage medium.

This is just a proof of concept at the time of writing (Martin announced it  on 3rd May 2019 on QL Forum)

This is a screen shot from QPC2 showing DIR with and without the added path:

Martin says that he has got QPAC2 to recognise the LFN device.

Anyone wishing to try it out can download the LFN driver and some notes in a PDF file:

QL Commander v2.0

Andrei Tenu has released QL Commander v2.0. This is a new version of the same program originally released last year via QL Forum.

The author describes it as “an orthodox file manager (OFM), inspired by the Norton Commander that was widely used in late ‘80s and during the 1990’s on PCs. QLC provides a text-based user interface for managing files on top of QDOS, on expanded QLs.”

QL Commander has a dual window display, letting you see the list of files from two devices at once and is text-based and keyboard controlled, although the author states that “mouse functionality is panned to be integrated” at some point.

An 18 page PDF manual is supplied.

QLCommander can run both in QDOS and SMSQE. In QDOS it will run in mode 4. In SMSQ/E it can be configured to run in all modes, including high res and 8 bit colour and high colour modes.

Fonts and uncompressed mode 4/8 512×256 pixel graphics and text files can be viewed from within the program.

The program can copy multiple files and/or directories, including subdirectories (tree copy and delete). It can also use a copy of QDOS Unzip to unzip a zip file.

Download QL Commander and its source files from QL Forum, at

ZEsarUX 7.2

Cesar Hernandez has uploaded the latest version of the ZEsarUX multi-emulation system for Unix system. It emulates various Sinclair systems, including MK14, ZX80/81, Spectrum, QL and Z88, plus various other compatibles and related systems. ZEsarUX source code and binaries are distributed under GNU GPL license.

Read about this sytem on Github at Compiled binaries are available for Linux, Mac, Windows and Paspberry Pi systems, from


A new version of QPC2 will shortly be available – some of us have been fortunate enough to Beta-test an early release. Here’s some notes from the text file which came with it:

  • 5.00  Converted most parts from assembler to C, except the emulation core
  • First version that is not compatible with Windows 95 anymore :- XP or later is needed now
  • Finally a new DirectX11 based screen driver! Much more compatible and faster.
  • Old screen driver still included for WINE or other situations.
  • QPC_QLSCREMU emulation now goes both ways, making it compatible with basically all old software
  • Improved FLP driver including a new write cache for very fast disc writes
  • DOS driver can now save QL header information like QemuLator
  • DOS driver translates file extension separator “_” vs. “.” (configurable)
  • DOS driver transparently translates illegal Windows filenames like “con” into “con_”
  • DOS driver moves files when creating directories like the SMSQ/E drivers
  • DOS driver returns the correct size of sub-directory entries within directories
  • DOS driver returns all filenames in correct upper/lowercase spelling
  • DOS driver RENAME now also works on XP
  • WIN/DOS/FLP configuration now has auto-complete edit fields
  • Some improvement to power management
  • Improved BEEP emulation (especially for short beeps)
  • Implemented STOP 68000 instruction
  • Scan all monitors for biggest resolution, not just primary
  • Added some missing CTRL+key keyboard combinations


During the German ZX meeting a few months ago, too, a new EasyMenu was created by Marcel Kilgus, fixing a small bug that resulted in long startup time on the Q68. Marcel doesn’t think that the bug has other ill effects, but updating certainly will not do any harm:

Download the full Easyptr package, including the new Easymenu 4.11, from Marcel Kilgus’s website at:

Minerva For Q68

Q68 users can now opt to try out a version of Minerva for their system. This was ported by Jan Bredenbeek who has made it available via Github.

The Minerva operating system was originally designed as a replacement ROM operating system for the Sinclair QL computer, currently licenced under GPLv3. This port is aimed at the Q68, an FPGA-based replacement board for the QL. It is not intended as a serious alternative for the SMSQ/E OS supplied with the Q68, as SMSQ/E is far more extensive and better suited to support the Q68 hardware than the 48K ROM-based Minerva.

We just provide this port to demonstrate the Q68’s ability to run ‘oldskool’ ROM images, give Q68 users the Minerva look and feel, and maybe provide an opportunity to run badly written software that doesn’t run on SMSQ/E (but chances are big that this software won’t run on Minerva either).

The current Minerva build is based on v1.98, with a few modifications to run successfully on the Q68.

While the original Minerva for QL was 48K in length, this version is a 96K ROM image. In addition to the operating system, there is a keyboard driver specific for USA, UK and German keyboard layouts, together with a SDHC card driver. MDV driver is disabled as there is no MDV hardware on the Q68.

By default, the devices win1_ and win2_ will be mapped to container files QLWA.WIN on SDHC drives 1 and 2 respectively. If present, the devices qub1_ and qub2_ will be mapped to Qubide container files QL_BDI.BIN on SDHC drives 1 and 2 respectively. This can be changed by configuring the Q68_ROM.SYS file.

Maximum RAM is limited to 16MB because of the slave block structure, while the Q68 serial and network ports are not supported.

QL Magazine Scans

Thanks to Klaus Frank and Brian Kemmett, we believe we now have the complete set of QL User and QL World magazines from 1984 to the last known issue May 1994 scanned and available to download as PDF files.

Note that many of the scans are very large, up to about 80MB in size, so be aware of this before downloading!

Brian Kemmett has also scanned the four issues of the short-lived SUB (Super User Bureau) magazine and they are also available as PDF files.

Klaus Frank also scanned the QL New User Guide supplements which appeared in QL World magazine over the years. Thanks also to Cristian from QL Forum who was able to process the file to improve the scan quality and reduce the file size somewhat.

These latest scans join the existing scans of QLUB, QL Adventurers Forum and QL Leisure review magazines.

Download them all from

Scanned copies of QL Today magazine are also available to download from (English editions) and (German editions).

The last issue of QL World magazine

An issue of QL SUB magazine