Sinclair QL

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

Moderators: mknott, NickThorpe, lcarlson, Darran@Retro Gamer, MMohammed

Post Reply
User avatar
Treguard
Posts: 2392
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:13 am

Sinclair QL

Post by Treguard » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:51 am

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: ?

User avatar
adippm82
Posts: 1285
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 4:59 pm

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by adippm82 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:07 am

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.

NorthWay
Posts: 1616
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:02 am
Location: Grimstad, Norway

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by NorthWay » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:28 am

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?

User avatar
adippm82
Posts: 1285
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 4:59 pm

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by adippm82 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:48 am

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.

English Invader
Posts: 537
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:13 pm

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by English Invader » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:14 pm

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.

AceGrace
Posts: 1366
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:51 pm
Location: West Sussex
Contact:

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by AceGrace » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:29 am

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.

User avatar
ianpmarks
Posts: 457
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:49 am

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by ianpmarks » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:28 pm

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.

User avatar
paranoid marvin
Posts: 14272
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:28 pm
Location: 21st Century Earth

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by paranoid marvin » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:35 pm

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.
Mr Flibble says...
"Game over , boys!"

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5459
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by Matt_B » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:51 pm

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.

NorthWay
Posts: 1616
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:02 am
Location: Grimstad, Norway

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by NorthWay » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:13 pm

The QL begat "The Pawn" - for this all is forgiven.

User avatar
Negative Creep
Posts: 3842
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:59 am
Location: Rochester, Kent

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by Negative Creep » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:30 am

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.
Image

User avatar
merman
Posts: 6494
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:14 pm
Location: Skegness, UK
Contact:

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by merman » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:48 pm

NorthWay wrote:The QL begat "The Pawn" - for this all is forgiven.
And Brataccas, one of Psygnosis's first games
merman1974 on Steam, Xbox Live, Twitter and YouTube

NorthWay
Posts: 1616
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:02 am
Location: Grimstad, Norway

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by NorthWay » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:47 pm

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???

User avatar
Matt_B
Posts: 5459
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:30 am
Location: 5 minutes from the beach, 30 seconds from the pub

Re: Sinclair QL

Post by Matt_B » Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:07 pm

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.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests