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.