Thor ROM Disassembly

A user on QL Forum has provided a disassembly of the version 4.00 Argos operating system ROM for Thor machines, which are now quite rare.

Get the disassembly from http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/qlrom/index.html (scroll down the page to “Disassemblies & Sources”).

It’s probably worth noting that images of other versions of the Thor ROM are available to download from the same page.

A CST Thor computer

QL LED Wires and Sermouse

If you’ve ever had to take apart the QL and disconnected the LED wires, you may well find yourself cursing how on earth they go back together if you didn’t remember to make a note before removing them.

Well, Cristian on QL Forum has come up with a neat little diagram showing which order the LEDs are re-inserted. I’ll reproduce the diagram here, but the original is available from my site at http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/docs/hardware/index.html (scroll down the page to the LEDs section).

Cristian also provided a wiring diagram for making a SER2 (UK connector) to DB9 adaptor lead. The diagram is available from the same page. Scroll down the page to “Sermouse – SER2 Adaptor”

Sync 2

I’ve issued an update to my Sync program, which allows you to synchronise files across two drives. If you have been updating media on a laptop, for example, then on getting home you need to ensure that the latest versionsof each file are updated to be the same on both computers.

The original program was written in BASIC and published as a listing in Quanta magazine some time ago.

The new version is pointer driven and compiled with Qliberator. It requires Window Manager 2.

This new version can copy files both ways, or just one way if you prefer. Two way synchronisation takes longer but ensures that both drives contain the latest copies of each file. You can opt to process sub-directories if you wish to.

QL/E Version 3.19

Urs König has announced version 3.19 of his QL?E project. Edition 1904, codenamed “On the move”, is available to download from Urs’s website at http://sinclairql.net/repository.html#QLE

Urs writes:

“It took me over 7 months to complete work on this release of QL/E. This time quite a huge change and so I hope, a vast improvement.”

Highlights:

  • Colourways, JMON, QD, QMovie, QSpread!
  • Updated EE, FiFi, HyperHELP, IPNET,
  • QED, SMSQ/E, TK2, TURBO, THINGS!
  • Improved boot process: more FREE MEMORY,faster startup, more HOTKEYs, flavours.
  • Added and reworked DO scripts.

Cleanup and improvements here and there.

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 https://www.qlforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2764

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:https://www.qlforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2830

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 https://www.qlforum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2669&start=90

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 https://github.com/chernandezba/zesarux Compiled binaries are available for Linux, Mac, Windows and Paspberry Pi systems, from https://github.com/chernandezba/zesarux

QPC2

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

Easyptr

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: