Category Archives: Uncategorized

QATS

QATS, otherwise known as the QL Application Traffic Supervisor, is a formerly commercial program from Gordon Henson at Cope, which was made shareware. It’s a utility designed to reduce the number of keystrokes needed to perform housekeeping and task control on your QL.

QATS is menu driven, and the menus can be tailored to your QL setup and way of working to maximise your productivity. Includes facilities for controlling the Psion programs and other executables, swoppers and Basic programs, wildcard filename processing file and job management facilities.Works best with JS or Minerva QL ROMs, some facilities may not work on earlier ROM versions.

Several Quill _doc files included, and a scanned PDF original manual also available. Download from

http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/utils/index.html   (139K download)

Home Finance

You should be able to work out what this program is from the title! It’s a former commercial title from many years ago from Buzzz Software, now available free of charge. Both 128K RAM and expanded memory versions supplied, although it’s possible the expanded memory version may ironically not work too well on anything larger than Trump Card-sized memory (i.e. more than 1MB, e.g. Gold Card). Extensive Quill _doc file manuals.

Download it from

http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/business/index.html   (100K download)

Oops-Synchronise Program Correction

The Synchronising program in the Dec 13/Jan 14 issue of Quanta magazine needs a minor correction. While it works, it uses a DJToolkit extension called GET_LONG in line 480 so requires use of DJToolkit as it stands.

However, if you don’t have DJToolkit installed, this is easily changed to use a common Toolkit 2 extension instead. Simply change line 480 to use the GET command from Toolkit 2 instead:

OS X Floppy Disk Access

In recent versions of the OS X operating system, Apple changed the permissions and only root can now access floppy disks at the low level necessary to be able to read non-Mac and non-PC disks. This change may have closed a potential security hole, but it also means that emulators are no longer able to access floppy disks without the root user authorizing the access at some point.

Daniele Terdina, author of Q-emuLator, has posted a blog showing how to work around this limitation for users of a QL emulator on a Mac. Have a look at his blog posting at http://qemulator.blogspot.co.uk/ and look for the posting entitled ‘OS X Floppy Disk Access’, posted on Wednesday 26th February.

OS X article on Daniele Terdina's blog

OS X article on Daniele Terdina’s blog

Toolkit 2 Guide

Stephen Usher has been working on the Toolkit 2 manual. He says:

“I’ve been working on getting the original Toolkit II manual into a more modern format which is actually usable.

You should be able to download them from:

http://www.lingula.org.uk/~steve/share/ToolKit-II-Manual.pdf

and

http://www.lingula.org.uk/~steve/share/ToolKit-II-Manual.doc

There’s still a lot of formatting to correct but it’s a heck of a lot more readable than the original.

In fact, if anyone is willing to help him continue this work, please contact him at steve AT lingual DOT org DOT uk

French QL User Guide

Olivier Basely has embarked upon the task of scanning the French language versionof the QL User Guide and collecting the French versions of the QL’s Psion software – Quill, Abacus, Archive and Easel (at the time of writing, we did not yet have Abacus).

The packages are available from http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/psions/index.html

The manual currently consists of the Introduction, Guide Débutant (Beginners Guide), Mots Cles (Keywords guide) and the Archive Guide. All four are available as Word .docx and PDF files on the eBooks page at http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/docs/ebooks/index.html

French QL User Guide

French QL User Guide

QPC1 and Dos Box and Linux

This article has been reproduced from QL Forum, with the permission of the author, Timothy Swenson

 QPC1 and DosBox

Since I’ve migrated to Linux for my desktop system, my selection of QL emulators is not very big. The best and my favorite is SMSQmulator. It is fairly powerful, but it has limitations in that it is not a QL emulator but a platform for SMSQ/E. This means that very early programs that only run on a QL, will not run on it.

QPC1 has recently been released and that looks to be another option for me. I’ve heard that some programs that will not run on SMSQmulator, might run better under QPC1. QPC1 is only for DOS, which leaves a bit of a quandary for a Linux user. Luckily, there is DosBox, which creates a DOS environment, perfect for running QPC1. DosBox is primarily designed for running old DOS games from the early to mid 1990’s, but I’ve used it to run the DOS version of the PSION programs with no issues. DosBox runs on a number of platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac. It does a good job of providing a DOS environment for running a number of DOS utilities. DosBox is freely available from http://www.dosbox.com. Download the specific version for your operating system and install it using the directions from the DosBox website.

I will assume that you know where to find QPC1 and be able download it. (see the post about QPC1 – News Ed.)

Configuring DosBox for QPC1

To get QPC1 to run on DosBox, three settings have to change. Open the DosBox config (dosbox.conf) file using a text editor. See the DosBox documentation to find out where your version is located. For Linux, the config file is in the .dosbox directory. Find the EMX, XMS and UMB section of the file and set the following:

xms=false
ems=false
umb=false

Setting up DosBox

DosBox can read the underlying file system of the operation system, and can run DOS executables from that file system. It is recommended to create a DOS directory and then place all DOS files in sub directories under this directory. This will keep all of your DOS files in one location. One thing to remember, once DosBox is started, do not edit the DOS directory with the file system tools. DosBox will not notice any changes until it is restarted again.

When DosBox is started, it will give a Z: drive as the local directory. You can mount the DOS directory from the local file system like this:

mount c c:\dos- Windows
mount c /home/user/dos- Linux
c:- Move to C:\

Instead of doing this every time you fire up DosBox, you can add it to the autoexec part of the DosBox config file. Look for [autoexec] in the config file and add the above statements just after it. These commands will be run each time DosBox is started.

Starting QPC1

Once DosBox is started, just CD to the directory where QPC1 is located. For the first time running QPC1, you will need to run the program “config” and set things like the keyboard and what QXL.WIN files to use. Once that is done, execute ‘qpce’ for English or ‘qpcd’ for German.

Hints with DosBox

Mouse

By default the mouse is trapped by DosBox, not allowing it to leave the DosBox window. The mouse can be untrapped by hitting CTRL-F10. To turn this feature off, set “autolock=false” in the DosBox config file.

Larger Resolution

DosBox allows for higher resolution than VGA. QPC1 also allows for higher resolution. DosBox and QPC1 has been successfully tested with a resolution of 1024×512. See the DosBox and QPC1 documentation on how to change the resolution on each.

Full Screen

DosBox can be set to full screen by using hitting ALT-ENTER. Hitting this again, will turn off full screen. If using QPC1 in 512×256 mode, going full screen will enlarge all of the text making it easier to see and provide for a more “normal” QL experience.

Exit from QPC1

For those that don’t remember, exiting from QPC1 back to DosBox can be done by the QPC_EXIT command. DosBox can be exited by clicking on the (X) close box while QPC1 is running, but quitting from QPC1 is probably more graceful. Once back at the DOS prompt, ‘exit’ will exit DosBox.

Floppy Access

DosBox does not support low level access to floppy disks, even if they are attached, so don’t expect to use floppy drives, even though QPC1 can directly access floppies.

Printer Access

DosBox does not support printers or the printer (LPT) port, which means that even if you used software that captures data to the LPT port and sends it to a file, it will still fail. There is a special build, call Hal9000, of DoxBos that is reported to support the printer port.

DOS Access

QPC1 does not have the DOS1_ device that QPC2 has. There is no way for QPC1 to access files stored under the underlying file system. This also means that there is no built-in way to transfer files from DOS to a QXL.win file and back. Jonathan Hudson’s qxltools is the best option. There is a front-end called wqxt2, but it is only pre-compiled binary for Windows.

Jean-Yves Rouffiac added, for Mac OS X users:

And for Mac OS X users, the location of the config file is

~/Library/Preferences/DOSBox\ 0.74\ Preferences

(Change the version number to the one matching your version of DOSBox)

QPC1 Now Freeware

Following the free release of version 4 of QPC2, its author Marcel Kilgus has also decided to make available the full version of its DOS counterpart, QPC1. While QPC1 doesn’t have modern facilities like GD2 high colour modes, it is nonetheless a perfectly good SMSQ/E based QL emulator for DOS and very early Windows systems. It might be possible to breathe new life into an old and otherwise redundant PC by, for example, putting FreeDOS on it (www.freedos.org) just to run QPC1.

Writing on 25th February to confirm the release, Marcel said:

“Due to popular demand, the full version of QPC1 has now been released, too. It’s available from my web site and works amazingly well under the DosBox emulator. Fun fact: the QPC1 boot screen was modeled after my favorite game at the time: Doom.”

Download QPC1 and a plain text English manual from Marcel’s website at http://www.kilgus.net/qpc/downloads.html – it’s under ‘Obsolete stuff’ near the bottom of the page!

SuperBASIC Syntax Rules For Textpad

If anyone has the Textpad editor for Windows and would like to use it to edit QL SuperBASIC programs (with user definable sytax colouring etc) I’ve added a copy of SuperBasic.syn from Laurence Reeves (author of Minerva) to my website. There is a link to it from Laurence’s website at http://www.bergbland.info but it’s a broken link, however, luckily I had saved a copy of it some time ago which happens to still be on my PC.

To use it, unzip the superbasic_syn.zip and place the file called superbasic.syn in your “Program Files” for TextPad, inside the “Samples” folder. Textpad can be downloaded from http://www.textpad.com

Download it from http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/basic/index.html (near the bottom of the page with the other syntax rules systems).

There’s also a set of ‘syntax’ files for use with BBEdit, TextWrangler and VIM editors for those who may prefer or may be more used to editing programs in editors on other operating systems which make use of configurable syntax highlighting. Of course, here on the QL, you could do worse than using the Thierry Godefroy port of microEmacs which also has syntax highlighting, available to download from http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/editview/index.html or from Thierry’s site at http://morloch.hd.free.fr/smsq/#DESK