Sunday 5 June 2011

Thunderbolt and Lightning - very very frightening me

I thought I would just chance my arm following a quick read of "An introduction to the QL" Babini books by the Penfold crew. No point in doing a review now as a. it's a bit late, b. the book is out of print, anyway what was interesting is that when I looked up, or tried to look up this book on their website although I couldn't find it, well it was a long shot anyway. I used to buy quite a few Babani books in my electronics days and looked at the time to getting some of my own electronic ideas published.

Then, I very soon caught on to the methodologies used by some electronic authors at the time and so I tried that very same process myself, I ended up publishing a few projects in Everyday Electronics Magazine and it's sister publication Practical Electronics, all pre-QL I might add.

Suffice to say manufacturers technical data sheets for ICs seem to do all the work for you. 

Anyhoo back to the QL book and Babini, so I emailed them enquiring about purchasing the said book as the one I have is a bit moth-eaten. The response I have to say was a bit short, pointing to their website saying I should look there.

Well knowing that they no longer sold said book I emailed again about copyright as it was not possible to purchase a new one and again the short reply was that they maintain the copyright. Well I also knew that one anyway, the point being is that if moth-eaten paperbacks is all that you have, then all that you have is moth-eaten paperbacks. 

So new books on the QL are not going to make a sudden comeback, yet I feel there are plenty of individual documented work on the web that could be presented in a much better format.

The QL Users list has raised a few points in the past about QL being able to display e-pub format. With the advance of technology in tablets such as the cheaper end Kindle, the dearer end iPad and more recently the PadPhone!, e-pub, PDF and other mainstream electronic formatted documentation will become the norm, perhaps replacing the printed book once and for all?

I may be rambling a bit here but the point I suppose I am trying to make is that documentation in electronic form is now becoming the norm, long gone are the thick books that accompany the software for your computer, no a CD with PDfs for you to printout, which three years ago I did, and there they sat on the shelf, unread.

Back to the QL meant a lot of reading, all in mainly web-pages, Word documents, QUANTA magazines in PDF format, and I was lucky(?) as having an iPAD to read this documentation was a breeze and now my preferred method, not the laptop, not the PC, and until you have a screen with a higher resolution than the standard 72dpi (sorry metric-ologists), you probably wont be swayed by my arguments and stick to the paper format.  

The iPad 3 supposedly next year (or even later this year) is reputedly to have a 'retina' display, if true this would be of significant impact to e-reading in my opinion. But what of the QL? well read my next post.

Why the title then?, well recently I smiled at the lyric popping into my head as  current met past. Lightning (Simon Goodwin's) go faster stripes for the QL made an appearance recently in my struggle with constructing a (what I perceived to be a quick simple) game as I needed some graphic routines to overcome QL's slow limitations. Thunderbolt is the name given to a new faster transfer port adopted by Apple and trademarked by Intel, nuff said. 


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