Article about collecting in Antique Trader.

From: Peter Pachla <>
Date: Tue Jul 6 10:53:35 1999

Hi Tony,

>Well, it has a text formatter. It has a C compiler. That's all I really
>need :-)

<grin> Unfortunately I need to use DVE and a 6809 assembler at the moment, I'm
sure the latter is around for Linux but I'm pretty sure DVE isn't (I tought I
once saw a Linux port of DVE somewhere, but I'm darned if I can find any trace
of it now).

>....And I share your views on Sinclair machines. They were cheap to the
>point of stupidity.....

Thanks, glad to know I'm not the only one....

The thing about Sinclair machines is that they are masterpieces of design, but
I always found that cleverness "crippled" them rather too much.

The '80 wasn't too bad since it was built up using straight TTL, however the
'81 and subsequent machines used ASICS to reduce the chip count which meant you
couldn't get in there and hack things around. Then from a software point of
view I found I was constantly fighting against the built in OS/BIOS whenever I
tried to do pretty much anything outside of BASIC programming.

Also in those days, particularly when the '80 was in fashion, coming by
detailed technical details on the hardware and software wasn't easy - even
though there was a thriving home micro/Sinclair community around.

I can't honestly say that I have many fond memories of my ZX80/81 days.

>....The QL is a major case in point.....
>....disk drives, and a real keyboard, it might have done
>rather better...

I didn't know about the serial port problems.

ISTR that when the QL came out it caused more than a few eyebrows to be raised.
While it was a very nice machine for it's day the decisions to use the awful
Speccy style keyboard and microdrives for storage (3.5" floppy drives had
reached reasonable prices by then, witness the Opus disc drives for the Speccy)
were widely criticised.

Chances are I may have gotten one sooner or later, but in the end other
considerations won out.

>....I started on an MK14. It took me many years to figure out that darn

I always wanted one of those, but never did get my hands on one. I almost
certainly have my old issues of "ETI" and "Practical Electronics" somewhere
containing the MK.14 adverts (and Acorn System 1 ads).

Did any/all of the advertised add-ons ever appear, PROM programmer, VDU etc

>If you need any help on the HP150, I have the full tech manual for it...

That's good to know, it works OK but I'm sure I'll have a few questions when it
gets to the top of the current projects file.... ;-)

  TTFN - Pete.

Hardware & Software Engineer. Sound Engineer.
Collector of Arcade Machines, Games Consoles & Obsolete Computers (esp DEC)                   |      | |
Received on Tue Jul 06 1999 - 10:53:35 BST

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