QL-Quality (Was: ZX-81 Question)

From: Hans Franke <Hans.Franke_at_mch20.sbs.de>
Date: Tue Mar 26 06:31:56 2002

> > Well, Sinclair sold it and called it QL.
> > A 68008, running at 8 (?) MHz, (almost) Real Keyboard (at least as
> > good as most PC keyboards in the $10 range), Reak Memory (128K, as

> That does not make it a 'real keyboard'. In fact the QL keyboard I used
> was pretty unpleasant. My QL was obtained surplus as the bottom half only
> (no keyboard), so I kludged on a matrix of switches from my junk box.
> It's one of the few QLs with useable keys IMHO...

maybe, still you could work quite well.

> > much as the first Mac, but expandable to 640 or 900) and two tape
> > drives with ~100K each.

> > Furthermore: Serial Interface, Joystick Ports and a full figured
> > Network. As cream ontop of the cake a complete application suite

> You forgot to mention that the tape drives were very unreliable if used
> continuousely (those endless loop tapes would stretch and/or jam).

Right, but you could manufacture your own - using regular music
cassette tape of acceptrable quality did work quite well.

> The
> serial ports were broken as designed (I've looked at the schematics. The
> RxD lines from the 2 ports are just ORed together -- the external devices
> _must_ observe the handshake lines!), and

Which every _real_ device should do. That's what the handshake
lines are for. Always going for the least common ground isn't
the way to do.

> that the network was similar to the kludge used on the Spectrum.

Jep, but it worked. it is always easy to say XYZ is crap, not
as good as something else at 100 times the price. Remember, in
1983 Networkcable, for a 'real' networ allone cost you more than
a QL

> The QL was, alas, as typical Sinclair design. Built to a price, and it
> shows. It may have been reasonable to do that for a home computer where
> people couldn't/wouldn't afford anything better, but not for something
> that claimed to be a business computer.

At this scale, a Mac of the same time would also not qualify as
a business system ... not even cursor keys nor a numpad nor any
kind of interfase ... etc. pp.

> > with Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Database and Business Graphics.
> > And all together at about 900 Mark (back than ~250 GBP). Lower

> It sold for \pounds 399 in the UK.

At the beginning ? I'm just asking, because I don't remember the
price on the island.

> My view is that had it sold for \pounds 600 or so and had a real disk
> drive, real serial ports, and a useable keyboard then it might have sold
> rather better in the UK.

Maybe they should have had a 'professional' version with an
external keyboard and disk drives, to satisfy both markets.
Anyway, history.


VCF Europa 3.0 am 27./28. April 2002 in Muenchen
Received on Tue Mar 26 2002 - 06:31:56 GMT

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