Friday, 30 September 2011

Right back to where you started from

When programming stuff early on the QL, sometimes it is useful to display the character set. Here is another straight forward procedure to display the QL character set, I have deliberately made it simplistic, so newbies or re-newbies will have to adjust 10070 to suit other character sets.

10010 DEFine PROCedure char
10020  OPEN#5, scr_
10030   WINDOW#5, 512,256,0,0
10040   PAPER#5, 7:INK#5, 0
10050   CLS#5: CSIZE#5, 3,0
10060   PRINT#5, VER$
10070    FOR f=32 TO 287
10080     PRINT#5, " ";CHR$(f);
10090    NEXT f
10100  CLOSE#5
10110 END DEFine

A screen shot from Qemulator on the MAC on which it was run is available here vvvvvvvvvv

Monday, 26 September 2011

The only way is up

Well I am up to reading QL TODAY, Volume 3, Issue 3 from the excellent DVD that came with the current issue. I am about to read about yet another QL hardware attempt at revitalising the QL. Haven't read it yet though but just about to when I saw the cartoon showing the following.

It was the prices that got me especially for the time, so I thought an update was needed, here is my attempt using the cheapest computers I could find and added approximately £50 for the cost of the pay-for emulators.

PC + QXL No longer available
PC + QPC2 £240
Laptop + Qemulator £340
Netbook + QLAY £170

Thursday, 22 September 2011

More More More, how do you like it

The drive to encourage and attract younger people to QUANTA and the QL programming experience frustratingly gathering the pace of treacle. 

Raspberry Pi being a hardware device that could work with the QL emulation software is starting to have a presence, again with the same intent to attract the next generation in to programming. 

Another area with the same goal makes an impact, although it has been around awhile, it is the first time I have come across it via the RP website.

KidsRuby is software available for the three main OS's, there is a video on the site somewhere that is worth a look. 

The editor is fairly straight forward and the commands look strikingly similar to SuperBASIC including turtle graphics, with a few odd box commands from Visual Basic thrown in (such as Alert). Check it out.

Monday, 19 September 2011

I Don't Mind

I am not sure if I have raised this before but a post on the forum has cropped up, in that someone asked a question as to whether the originator were going to reply to a post. 

It was months ago, much earlier in the year and it got me thinking about responses in general. This situation has occurred on my return to the 'QL's communication method of info exchange' on more than one occasion, and as I have already replied on the forum, I think most people would like to have a final response, positive or negative. 

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed I have taken an interest in hardware alternatives as a way to continuing the QL in other forms, and with the advent of Raspberry Pi there is a distinct possibility of running an emulated QL quite cheaply. 

Even if it is inside a QL BB case of other such container, there still seems to be a target audience for such exploration. I suppose it's just a case (npi) of how many, which then makes it viable or not for someone to put the time and effort in.

Either way if you are one of those people who do not follow-up on questions that you pose on forums, or do not respond to emails on user lists or otherwise, keeping people hanging is frustrating. A simple, "I am really busy at the moment and do not have enough time to give this further thought" would be helpful.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Again again again again, deeper and down

I note with interest that a recent number of old QUANTA magazines have made their appearence on eBay.


Just goes to show that a price increase in the subscription has the effect of older magazines are now a sellable commodity :)

These are just the yellow ones

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Yesterday is gone

Well, pleasingly I have achieved what I didn't think I could and that is to have both Qemulator and QPC2 both running side by side on a MAC system with LION OS.

Qemulator is the MAC version, whereas QPC2 was running on my PC laptop and gave me a problem with key mapping (see older posts) that I couldn't resolve. QPC2 has been installed and running under PlayOnMac.

PlayOnMac can be found here and is a WINE based package so no second emulation stage.

Finally goodbye to PC based on Windows for most things now, yippee.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

In the year, twenty eleven

Originally published in 1985 and reprinted by QUANTA in 1989, the book "QL SuperBASIC, The Definitive Handbook" has had much mention in the QL-User list in the past 6 months. As it was referred to with reverence  by more than a couple of people I thought if a copy surfaces, then I would get try to obtain it.

Well one did, and I did purchase it and for the first time (with regards to technical books) I actually read this from cover to cover over the space of about 5 hours (on a plane) and there were a few things that struck me about it.

Chapter 1, "SuperBASIC is a language designed by programmers for programmers", what fantastic statement, it should be the signature or tagline for everyone promoting the QL.

The writing style of the whole book to me is personal with every now and then a comment from Jan talking directly at you, great! (e.g. Introduction - or why we did it)

The order in which it is written is also for programmers , totally different to the QL User guide, starting with 'Procedures', starting as you should go on in your own programs.

Its a really nice book to get to grips with the QL and should be first on everyones shopping list coming back to the QL.

I could go on but suffice to say it is that attention to detail in the book that gives it its edge over most others (and this is despite the fact it was written by the the designer of SuperBASIC). If you get the chance of a copy or if Malcolm Lears scanned version sees the light of day, grab it. If you already have a copy then you should already know what I am talking about.

Jan makes reference to another Machine Code book about the QL by Colin Opie as being the one to buy, so if anyone knows a copy please let me know.

Saturday, 10 September 2011


Holiday season over and the QL and QL Users get a mention right near the end of this video 

Just goes to show if you don't do anything nothing will happen, if you do something then something may happen.

This time it did :)