QL (was: ZX-81 Question)

From: Hans Franke <Hans.Franke_at_mch20.sbs.de>
Date: Thu Mar 28 03:44:02 2002

> > > > > 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.

Now, as a remaining of the time when you had to punch a card
number in the first 8 columns of your source, I realy can't
see why line numbers are bad :) (ok, point taken). And things
like local storage and object and combined data types are maybe
a nice thing in visual bastic ... just, if you take away line
numbers and add all the other stuff, is it still basic ? Or
a new language wich inherits some features ? Back in the 70s
new Languages where created with way less differences.

> 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.

Jep. here the integration of QDOS and SuperBasic was just weak.
I'd have whished way more handles to use all the nice stuff.

> > > 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?

Wasnit it both ? You always need machine code to do it.

> > > 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 BASIC available at the time, and (IMNSHO) was not really superceded until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...

>From todays point it may look only like a cheap, never finished
graphic shell, but in the mid 80s it was just great. Especialy
for a machine which still followed the ready made computer scheme
(read OS and Basic in ROM, in contrast to bare bone systems where
one has to load OS, Shell and interpreters).

The QL comes, of all production machines, closest to my whishes
and ideas of a computer in the early/mid 80s

> > > >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
> Winchesters.

Shure, I was only talking about the FDs - and still, 400 GBP is
a rip off (ok, I'm not in a position to tell you - I bought my
first Apple disks at 2000 Mark (~600GBP) in 1979 - _used_!


VCF Europa 3.0 am 27./28. April 2002 in Muenchen
Received on Thu Mar 28 2002 - 03:44:02 GMT

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