Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Quantum Lap , Sinclair QL

In 1984 sinclair launched the QL, Quantum Lap, as a computer aimed to a more professional sector, it has some revolutionary aspects (it was based in the 68008 Processor, a 32 bit processor with a 8 bit interface, ( 8 bit connectors and hardware was cheaper and price was always one of the basic features of Sinclair machines).

The system has a revolutionary "multi tasking BASIC interpreter", 128 Kb of RAM and instead of using the expensive floppy drives (remember 1984 , 5' 1/4 floppy were still common in 1990, or the slow and sequential tape system (like the spectrum ), uses their own technology , the "microdrive"

Microdrives were in fact small tapes that were inserted in the unit and must be formatted to be ready, to use, allowing to store about 85kb of data.

As the tape runs quite fast, the tape must be formatted in sectors , so it can be used as a random
device (instead of the typical sequential tapes).

Here is the a view o the unit, the QL came with two units

As this machine was targeted to the profesional market it come with a full "Office Software", in four
microdrives and other blank microdrives.

The package was "Quill" (the word processor), Abacus (spreadsheet ) , Archive (Data Base) and Easel (Graphs) that provides most of the usual needs for an normal user.

The machine provides two serial interfaces and was able to connect to other QL machines using their own network protocol (similar to token ring), and be connected to a normal TV or a computer monitor, also has serial interfaces ,

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