Friday 4 March 2011

Day One - what else would you put in a title?

Well, as a re-noobie or re-newbie depending on your preference of spelling, I have come back to the Sinclair QL, and have been 'in it' for a fair few months now. It was suggested to me by a veteran of the QL scene that a blog of my experiences may be beneficial to others and I thought why not!

So here we are, my very first entry 'Back to the QL' a label I have attached to myself obviously influence by three of my favourite films starring M J Fox who recently appeared on an TV episode of the Good Wife as a lawyer who lost but won his case against the main protagonist of the series.  Back to the QL describes where I currently am in the form of what we/I/people in generally describe as a hobby, and I ended here mainly due to the use of  Apples' iPad whose tied in software (APPS) have a few emulations and it was looking at those on the  worl wide web that I stumbled across QUANTA (for those of you who don't know, an acronym for the QL Users ANd Tinkerers Association).

Now reaching that certain age were things that have used to have 'no effect when you're young' but now 'overwhelm' you when your more mature, nostalgia took hold, and my own personal hard drive started up, the memory releasing bytes to the CPU in my head of just how much fun messing about with 'the QL'? or more likely 'Superbasic' really was. Nostalgia it may be but the fact that Quanta had a website and was still going, wow, the internet didn't exist when I left the scene around '87.

So I rejoined Quanta, got a few back issues and read, looked up as many websites as possible about the QL, joined the Mailing List' and read, or more appropriately lurked for awhile. In the meantime I decide to get a QL again and my first port of call was eBay. I had to sell my original QL as money was bit tight in those days, I expanded the memory internally myself to 640K soldering DIL sockets on top of the existing memory chips, that was fiddly, couldn't afford expansion and drooled over Medics adverts in the magazines with their built in floppy system. I could just about afford two or three microdrive cartridges a year! and had one game bought for me as a Christmas present.

Today its a little easier financially, and I was surprised by the amount of QLs being advertised in eBay, anyway I got one, then I got another and waited patiently for them to arrive. I say patiently, I did a lot of reading both online & PDFs and paper based trying to catch-up with what has been going in the QL World since the late 80s. Acronyms are a plenty and for a novice (which was now how I felt), I had no idea what people were talking about, SGC? why are they talking about Star Gate Control are they all SG1 fans hurrah! oh! nope, they must be talking about some such piece of hardware. Oh look they've even shortened it now to 'GC, oh there's a SGC and a GC and so it goes on. Ah ha 'Super Gold Card' and therefore it must be 'Gold Card', great so now we know, its a card, I wonder what type of card it is? A new language for some, perfectly normal for those in the know, the trouble being, you cannot interject every five minutes asking someone for an explanation of each turn of phrase or abbreviation thats used, there is flow in the conversation that must continue. Sometimes it took weeks and embarrassingly on one occasion nearly two weeks to find out one particular acronym. someone did suggest a list, which was countermanded by "started that, but never finished", any way can't agree on a format, so lets do two lists then, oh well move on to the next topic.

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