Page 1 of 1

Sinclair QL

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:51 am
by Treguard
Was watching one of these on ebay (no cables or power supply) but just missed out as someone outbid me with 1 second to go. Has anyone here ever owned one? And which one of you gits was it :lol: ?

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:07 am
by adippm82
I own three of them, one loads a Microdrive every time, but has a bad picture, and yellowed keys, one does not load anything but has a nice picture, the case is also rough, and the third looks pristine, but has a non functioning keyboard or drives, my aim one day is to make one decent one.

Games wise they are not brilliant, the titles tend to look very basic despite the power of the machine, although Ant Attack and QL Flight Sim are quite good.

They are pretty hard to find in a decent boxed condition, and fully functional, nice looking computer, but unreliable, also the power supply has a non standard 2 pin plug on it, that does not match any other Sinclair machine, so it is best to find one with a PSU, it can use the same Scart lead as a Spectrum 128k / Grey +2.

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:28 am
by NorthWay
The QL is nearly as bad an idea as the Electron - both are hampered by the bus width. Some of the more modern machines could be interesting - I hope to find a core for the Replay whenever that gets available.
There has never been much info available about it; can you double-buffer the display or is it like the Spectrum?

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:48 am
by adippm82
NorthWay wrote:The QL is nearly as bad an idea as the Electron
Very much so, the excellent drama 'Micro Men' really tells the Acorn & Sinclair story well, Chris Curry wanted a machine to take a much larger slice of the games market than the BBC Micro had, while Sinclair hated the fact the Spectrum was primarily a games machine, and wanted a cheap machine for business and education, they both tried to tread on each others toes and ended up compromising both their companies, both the QL and Electron were badly flawed, not only technically, but in how they were marketed, the Electron touted as a cut down BBC, but could only run a fraction of the BBC library without problems, if the software ran at all, the QL with it's many manufacturing problems, huge delivery delays and wildly unreliable Microdrives.

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:14 pm
by English Invader
adippm82 wrote: Very much so, the excellent drama 'Micro Men' really tells the Acorn & Sinclair story well.
Agreed. Great film. Alexander Armstrong (who most people know as the host of Pointless) is brilliant as Sir Clive.

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:29 am
by AceGrace
I had 2 QL's and an absolute ton of games, software, and books.

Turned them on once or twice. The games were mostly awful. It is a nice curio but that is about it.

Sold it all about 5 years ago. I don't regret it.

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:28 pm
by ianpmarks
AceGrace wrote:I had 2 QL's and an absolute ton of games, software, and books.

Turned them on once or twice. The games were mostly awful. It is a nice curio but that is about it.

Sold it all about 5 years ago. I don't regret it.
This is uncannily like my experience of QL's.
I wanted one for ages, then acquired two (one non working) with hundreds of microdrive cartridges. Loved the look and general feel of it, but the games were all dreadful, or rehashed Spectrum games. There is nothing on the QL that isn't done better elsewhere. I sold the working one last year for lots more than I paid for it, but have kept the non working one, because I like the look of it on my shelf.

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:35 pm
by paranoid marvin
English Invader wrote:
adippm82 wrote: Very much so, the excellent drama 'Micro Men' really tells the Acorn & Sinclair story well.
Agreed. Great film. Alexander Armstrong (who most people know as the host of Pointless) is brilliant as Sir Clive.
Definitely, its a brilliant (and brilliantly funny) dtama-documentary.

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:51 pm
by Matt_B
NorthWay wrote:The QL is nearly as bad an idea as the Electron - both are hampered by the bus width. Some of the more modern machines could be interesting - I hope to find a core for the Replay whenever that gets available.
There has never been much info available about it; can you double-buffer the display or is it like the Spectrum?
Bodging a 16/32 bit CPU onto an 8-bit bus gets most of the blame for the QL's poor performance, but it's really the memory contention that's crippling it. Nearly half the CPU's cycles are lost because the display needs to access the memory at the same time.

I wouldn't say that it's got no good games at all, but most of the best ones are things like adventures and strategy games, where it can make good use of the machine's display without having to devote too much processing power to updating it on a constant basis. Other than that, there's the 3D racer Vroom, the tennis game Match Point, and the nicely animated QL Karate. After that, I'm struggling though.

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:13 pm
by NorthWay
The QL begat "The Pawn" - for this all is forgiven.

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:30 am
by Negative Creep
English Invader wrote:
adippm82 wrote: Very much so, the excellent drama 'Micro Men' really tells the Acorn & Sinclair story well.
Agreed. Great film. Alexander Armstrong (who most people know as the host of Pointless) is brilliant as Sir Clive.
Watched that yesterday and whilst I don't know much about micros in general I really enjoyed it. How on earth he though the C5 would be a success still baffles me.

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:48 pm
by merman
NorthWay wrote:The QL begat "The Pawn" - for this all is forgiven.
And Brataccas, one of Psygnosis's first games

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:47 pm
by NorthWay
merman wrote: And Brataccas, one of Psygnosis's first games
Wait, what? I didn't know that, I though Psygnosis rose from the ashes of Imagine and went straight to ST/Amiga stuff?
We need to get the story on Brataccas, why it was so incredibly shitty, why it was 4-colour, and how it came to be they stumbled into the QL???

Re: Sinclair QL

Posted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:07 pm
by Matt_B
NorthWay wrote:
merman wrote: And Brataccas, one of Psygnosis's first games
Wait, what? I didn't know that, I though Psygnosis rose from the ashes of Imagine and went straight to ST/Amiga stuff?
We need to get the story on Brataccas, why it was so incredibly shitty, why it was 4-colour, and how it came to be they stumbled into the QL???
The 4-colour thing is easy to answer; they're the same 4 colours that you get in the fixed palette of the QL's high resolution mode.

The rest, well, I'm sure you can piece it together from the various interviews and articles.