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
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.
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).
Minerva build is based on v1.98, with a few modifications to run successfully
on the Q68.
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.
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
has also scanned the four issues of the short-lived SUB (Super User Bureau)
magazine and they are also available as PDF files.
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.
scans join the existing scans of QLUB, QL Adventurers Forum and QL Leisure
has kindly given permission for the ArtIce (v1.1) and MiceArt (v1.2) programs
to be released as freeware now.
published by Eidersoft, these programs are intended for use with the ICE (Icon
Controlled Environment) system. Artice v1.1 is for the original ICE system,
while MiceArt v1.2 is for use with the mouse version of ICE.
come with PDF manuals.
I don’t have a
copy of ICE to ensure these actually work! If anyone is able to check them, we
could do with a screen shot if possible to add to the QL Wiki.
Both Artice and
MiceArt can be downloaded from the Graphics page on my website:
Qombi is a new
game from Per Witte. It runs on modes 16 to 33 GD2 colour systems only and
needs just under 1MB of fast disk space and 1MB RAM with a minimum screen
resolution of 512 x 384 pixels.
rules are pretty easy to pick up, but here they are:
are 81 cards. Each card has four attributes: Shape, Number, Colour, and Fill.
Each attribute has three different “states”: The shapes are Ovals, Diamonds,
and Rectangles. Numbers are One, Two and Three. Colours are Red, Green, and
Blue. The fills are Full, Shaded, and Empty.
12 cards are laid out on the table. If you can make up one or
tricks, you can remove those cards. After one or more tricks have
removed, You can replenish the table repeatedly, until the deck is
trick is any three cards that have from zero to three attributes in common,
with all the remaining attributes being different.
are given for each trick removed: one for each difference, two for each
similarity. The points double for each extra trick removed without replenishing.
Replenishing costs three points, unless you remove all the cards from the table
in one turn.
you get stuck and cannot remove any tricks from a full table, you can
one or more cards and have them replaced. Each card replaced costs three
can choose to play a timed game, it which case you start off with 20 extra
points. However, each minute used, costs one point.
news yet on a release date at the time of writing, sadly.
Not many new
features but lots of internal improvements. The Sort Key can be set from the
DATA menu. A bug in locating the edited and sorted record from View is fixed. Better
detection of Read-Only media. Updated ReadMe and Help files.
QCoCo is now
new binary _thb files next to the ascii _thm theme files. APPLY needs a Confirm
or Undo action. RESET can reset the current theme or to the startup theme. A
new Theme Viewer (by PJW) is included showing the colours and hex numbers. Incomplete themes should not crash
the program and are automatically
completed through the SYNCHRO option. Invalid, referenced and 3D items
are marked when Viewing the colours. Can be started with a theme as CMD$ which
overrides the config item. Updated ReadMe file.
of SMSQ/E from about version 3.00 feature high colour and high resolution
screens along with the new Window Manager. This makes them very suitable for
displaying colourful and attractive background images behind your program
are called wallpaper. SBASIC provides a convenient to use command called
BGIMAGE which lets you display saved screens as background wallpaper. With the
wealth and variety of free images available on the internet as JPEG, GIF and
PNG files, for example, I decided to write a program which converts these
images to the type of QL screens which the BGIMAGE command can use.
program uses David Westbury’s PHGTK toolkit which shoulders the burden of the
work in converting these files and resizing images to fit your system or
emulator’s screen. It can convert the graphics to mode 16 (Aurora and QPC2),
mode 32 (QPC2, SMSQmulator and QXL), or mode 33 (Q40, Q60, Q68 and possibly
even a registered QemuLator with its own customised mode 33 version of SMSQ/E).
Simply select a
JPEG, PNG or GIF file using the pointer driven file selection menu, then select
whether it needs to be rotated, and how to resize the image (e.g. preserve
aspect ratio, stretch, crop) and wait a few seconds for the conversion to take
place. Small previews help you view the screens. Once the conversion is done,
you can see a preview in full-screen mode, apply it as a BGIMAGE wallpaper,
save as a screen in the current screen mode for future use and even get help
editing your boot program to add or amend a BGIMAGE command so that the
wallpaper is loaded at startup.
The program can
even select a background colour to use in place of wallpaper if you wish (e.g.
apply a dark background colour late at night to save your eyes from a bright
The downside of
using wallpaper on a high-colour system is the amount of memory it takes. On a
16-bit colour system such as QPC2 each pixel needs two bytes of memory, so a
1024×768 pixel display in mode 32 or 33 could need up to 1,572,864 bytes just
to hold the uncompressed wallpaper – at the time of writing SMSQ/E does not
support compressed wallpaper screen images. Couple this with the copious
amounts of memory needed during conversion, and you can see that you will need
to set your emulator to have quite a generous amount of memory! So, the
Wallpaper program lets you choose whether the graphics are converted more
quickly in RAM, or as files on your hard disk if you keep running out of memory.
program uses the system palette so will follow whatever colour theme you’ve
applied to your system (colour themes can be designed using the Q-CoCo program
from Wolfgang Uhlig and Bob Spelten Jr.)
A Quill _doc
file is included which explains a lot about wallpaper on SMSQ/E systems,the
file formats used, the BGIMAGE command, use of programs such as Photon and so
Wallpaper software and a few example graphic files from
Russia reports that havinbg secured a supply of some EP1810 chips, he is now
able to offer a limited number of Super Gold Card clones via his
The unit has a
switch-mode power supply which imposes less power drain on the system. The
battery backed clock now uses a small standard battery which is easier to find
and replace. A single floppy drive connector allows up to three disk drives to
be connected, which may be DD (720KB), HD (1.4MB), or ED (3.2MB) types.
It has 4MB RAM
and a 24MHz 68020 processor on board.
The Super Gold
Card clone costs $199.99 (US dollar) plus shipping costs.