QL (was: ZX-81 Question)

From: Adrian Vickers <avickers_at_solutionengineers.com>
Date: Tue Mar 26 20:22:09 2002

At 19:08 25/03/2002, you wrote:

> > This and that is still was a BASIC machine with no real disks.
>Come on, first of all, a basic like the QL Super Sasic is quite
>different from everything else you know ... QDOS is a multitasking
>OS, and the Basic incooperates all features to use the windowing
>and taskingsystem from within. it is jut not comperable to all the
>MS-Basic crap found on 90% of all old homecomputers.


It *was* revolutionary for 1984, this is true. However, QDos is not a
/true/ multitasking OS; it relied on co-operative time-slicing. So, one
badly written task could hog the whole machine (not uncommon...).

SuperBASIC was - still is - fantastic. It far outstripped ALL versions of
BASIC available at the time, and (IMNSHO) was not really superceded until
Visual Basic 2 or 3 - and even then, VB's main improvement was the forms
designer. OTOH, the "window" facility was vastly over-rated. Unfortunately,
however, it wasn't possible to harness the tasking system from within
SuperBASIC - that required machine code.

>And second, yes, no disks, but for what ? the microdrives where (in
>the 1983 timeframe) quite comperable to any SOHO System - 100k per
>media and an access time comperable to most small systems, including
>the Apple (of course quite faster than unmodigfied C64s :).

Agreed. Oddly enough, I had nearly no problems with microdrives; the
biggest trouble is when one of the padded backing springs goes awol
(meaning nothing to hold the tape against the read/write heads, meaning no
read/write). I have 1984 vintage microdrive carts here which still
read/write like they were brand new. OK, I've not used them hard in 8
years, but they got plenty bashed in the 10 years before that. I used my QL
almost continuously from June '84 (when I got it) to sometime in '94, when
I left University (and got a job using PCs).

>And adding a disc controler wasn't that expansive (720K 3.5"), if
>your need did ourtgrow the microdrives.

Erm, it did back then... A basic single-disc system (3.5", 720K) +
interface cost circa GBP400. The first Winchester disc systems (5MB) cost
over GBP1000 when first available.

> > I found out that it cost APPLE $100 ??? to make the $500 ??? floppy
> > system for their computer reading the history of the apple from a web
> > site.
>That's called best bussines practice :))

Capitalism: Charge what the market will stand - no more, no less.

Cheers, Ade.
Be where it's at, B-Racing!
Received on Tue Mar 26 2002 - 20:22:09 GMT

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