Monday, 25 July 2011

Bye Bye its the RaspberryPi

Just a short notification for those interested, the website for RaspberryPi has been updated here  and looks pretty, no further information yet though.


Well just had an email from Bryan H who had a reply from somebody at the company called Eben Upton. and he stated

"Hi there, thanks for your mail, and apologies for the delay in replying; as you can imagine, we're swamped. The devices should be available to the general public later in the year; I'll add you to our mailing list, and will keep you posted as we get closer to launch."

Well you heard it here first folks

Update No2
Recent post (today)states amongst other things 

"The ICs used in the design are a Broadcom BCM2835 application processor (center) and an SMSC LAN9512 USB 2.0 hub and 10/100 Ethernet controller (right and down from center). The SDRAM is mounted on top of the BCM2835 in a PoP configuration."

Friday, 22 July 2011

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

With the arrival of  OS X LION from Apple it had many new features (250 in all), the one that made a difference to my QL computing was full screen mode, when running QemuLator it was always in a window, now it can occupy the whole screen in blindingly high quality vibrant colours. Pictures to follow...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Just in Time

Memory Lane Computing recently announced two new projects in the pipeline that may or may not see the eventual light of day.

The code-named Q-BUS and Ser-USB++

below is a picture of the prototype Q-Bus

More info to be provided in an article in the next issue of Quanta :)

It's just the way it is

I was reminded yesterday when writing on the QL forum of the inadequacies of Windows operating system and it's incessant behaviour over updates, do you want to? No! Delay for an hour, do you want to? No! delay for ten minutes. This goes on and on repeatedly, until you forget or give up asking it to delay, as it did yesterday when just at the end of finishing off the forum text and up loading the graphic the page disappears, the application shuts down and one by one all my open documents close. 

Panic, I have lost all my text, flash back to 1985, I internally upgraded my QL memory to 640K from a magazine article, piggy backing the memory chips with DIL sockets to add the additional memory and addressing etc. Switching it on for the first time and waiting for what seemed forever for the memory check to finish I was presented with my expanded memory QL. It wasn't until later when writing a Quill document for QL User or QL World (I cannot remember now) over a weekend because they needed it to meet their publishing deadline that I realised it had a fault. 

It locked up after about 25 minutes of use and after resetting it locked up again after twenty minutes of use, now I lost all the work I had typed in, forgetting the golden rule of save your work regularly. I had a deadline however, that I had to meet, this was annoying and concerning although not a major serious problem I thought, I had 20 minutes to write at a time and save as I go along, so this I did resetting each time.

After what seemed hours I had nearly completed the article saving as I went, secure in the knowledge that is was on micro-drive if the worst happened. I didn't anticipate what the worst happening would be however, as I said close to finishing and only a sentence or two to complete, I was thinking I better save or I will lose it, so I saved and that's when it locked up.

The micro-drive whirring aware constantly while nothing else was happening, I had no option but to press reset. The result was that no files existed on the micro-drive that I could use, so I had to start yet again and utilised the 'save file under a different name each time' ploy, with the result of a disheartened author not writing an article of a suitable standard he could be pleased with. 

I never wrote for a magazine QL or otherwise again until recently.

Back to the present (or yesterday to be precise), the laptop running Windows 7 was doing all its installs and updates and I waited until it rebooted and so I could see what I had to redo (thinking all the time back to that fateful weekend). I loaded up the internet browser and hey presto its all there, such is today's technology it saves as it goes along, at-least in Google Chrome it does. When writing blogs after a few seconds (around 30) a tiny message at the bottom of the screen says "saving" then "saved". Forums do something similar I suspect so I am thankful for those small features now.


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

That's not the way it is

Scrolling through the timeline depicted by SinclairZX website from the late 60s to the 80s I finally get to the picture of the QL. Hmm I thought nice picture but something not quite correct, the cheeky people.

What's that sticking out of the port, is it a monster, is it a monster?

It's a heartache

But in a nice way, scanning that I do of the Macrumor website for impending changes, and the fact that my current PC based laptop is giving me nothing but grief in trying to run two out of the three emulators, I wait patiently for anything new on the horizon, such as operating system (Lion), upgrades to Macbook (Laptop) and the iPad (issue three out soon apparently).

The point of this post however was an item late last night which gave me a double take and then a chuckle as I though for a split second QUANTA had got into bed with Apple (so to speak). However is was just for a second :)

You can read it yourself here:

Friday, 8 July 2011

Come on let's crawl, gotta crawl, gotta crawl, to the ugly bug ball

Well it's starting to peeve me off a bit now, for a first, second or multiple time user to the QL scene, what will their experience be on the web? Lots of dead links, I have to say that all the websites I have visited, all (YES ALL) the so called QL sites are incomplete, out of date, refer to things that no longer exist, no longer happen or link to moved websites. All of them have, they contain incomplete sections or have issues to some extent, even QUANTA is down for repairs!.

Now some sites you can forgive, the're either so big you forgive the upkeep, especially if free, some sites tell you they are no longer supported so the expectations of dead links are realised, also acceptable. Sites that sell you stuff however I expect to be current, anything else is unacceptable in my book, so get your act together (my opinion).

It is really no good bleating on about attracting new people to support the QL and it's later derivatives if their first bit of experience sends them down a route to nowhere. Young people today have a very short attention span, but don't take my word for it. You only have to look at the way adverts on TV and how current films are shot to experience the fast paced editing never lingering on anything long enough and all targeting young people.

So how do you expect to engage these youngsters in the excitement of the retro computer, in particular the QL? How do you get them to part with their hard given cash to an organisation that can't even keep their website in reasonable order and up to date? Why would you expect to buy quite expensive products online from a website (especially non-uk) that has dead links? does not suffer from this particular issue to quote one example, and is doing quite well thank you. Its all based on a number of 680?? processor based systems that have been defunct for slightly less years than the QL. So it can be done and yes maybe not the best example to prove an argument but hey I am not trying to prove anything, I'm just airing my views.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


I had a doh! moment, I don't know why, it never struck me at the time back in the 80's, and it never struck me when revisiting the QL scene, but hey hindsite is everything, perhaps TT really knows the answer to this one.

QJump, the software/hardware company known famously for the Toolkit II plugin-ROM/EPROM that no reputable QL owner should ever be without, even today using the QL without it for the most simplest tasks is fraught with frustration.

Thinking then and now (until recently) about the name was just a passing thought, as with all other QL related stuff, the title had a Q in it, this is to catch the marketing, nod or some other similar aspect of QL related link. Quantum Leap = QL, therefore QJump = Quantum Jump, hey funny, respectful and not as far as a leap but maybe faster as a jump is normally shorter and so gets to the point quicker.

And that would be it, no further thought to QJump save the annoying wavy line extending the Q squiggle a little further. Until recently when watching a video on Youtube it suddenly struck me, a little strike to say the least but a strike none the less. Q can be pronounced and spelt another way, putting a different meaning on the name.

Q = queue, therefore Queue Jump, get in front of the competition, jump past all of those others waiting for something to happen. Now that is far more interesting a concept and also clever, but wait I hear you cry, we all knew that in the first instance, yes well hence my doh! moment, embarrassingly.

The Q wavy line in the logo also makes more sense now :)