QL (was: ZX-81 Question)

From: Adrian Vickers <avickers_at_solutionengineers.com>
Date: Wed Mar 27 15:09:26 2002

At 11:17 27/03/2002, 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.
> > Hmm...
> > It *was* revolutionary for 1984, this is true.
>And is still one of the best Basic around.

Not really. It's LOCal handling is (always was) pants, it doesn't have
enough variable types, it won't do objects, and it needs line numbers. All
of which, I believe, are fixable with add-ons, none of which I have.

It was also a shame it was impossible to run multiple interpreters,
although that shortcoming was (partially) fixed by the legendary Simon
Goodwin with MultiBASIC.

> > 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...).
>Well, true multitasking is as soon as one can have severale
>tasks running quasi parallel. Cooperative or not doesn't matter.
>In fact I'm a big fan of cooperative system - way less OS overhead
>in terms of CPU usage.

Point taken. I forget, did one have to do anything with the registers, or
was it a simple case of calling the appropriate TRAP?

> > 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 BASIC available at the time, and (IMNSHO) was not really superceded until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.
>With the 'Pointer Environment' (?) the QL was way ahead.

Good point. I never had PE (or ICE); still haven't. I must get around to
getting it one day, just to see what all the fuss was about...

> > >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.
>Which was a total rip of in both cases. Building a FDC for the
>QL bus was straight foreward aut of the design handbook.

Don't forget, the drives themselves were very expensive, especially the

Cheers, Ade.
Be where it's at, B-Racing!
Received on Wed Mar 27 2002 - 15:09:26 GMT

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