Disk Interfaces

I’ve been following a discussion between ‘skagon’ and ‘rwap’ on QL Forum about QL disk interfaces and the sometimes very high prices they go for. Certainly, any such interfaces which come up for sale on sites like eBay and SellMyRetro.com seem to sell pretty quickly and often at quite high prices.

Does this imply there’s a shortage of QL floppy disk interfaces and add-ons like Gold Cards and Super Gold Cards? Well, it does indeed seem to suggest so. The demand may be largely from new users of Retro computers and those who decide to return to using a QL after many years. Whether the numbers are enough for someone to consider making new disk interfaces or not is debatable, plus of course many components from the original QL interfaces are obsolete and hard to source.

There is positive news, however. A number of SD card interfaces have been built, mostly as personal hobby projects. Just today, Peter Graf in Germany said on the ql-users mailing list that there is now a very good chance that his QL-SD interface will come to market, as someone is looking seriously at building them and Peter has had one working quite comfortably on both a Gold Card and older disk interface QL. The interesting thing about QL-SD is that it can be simply installed in a QL in place of MDV2_, with the MDV2 cartridge slot becoming the SD card slot, so that the QL could potentially have the mass storage in place of the original 100KB Microdrive!

Just think, a QL with endless cabling to external floppy drives or stacked disk interface and Qubide and external floppy disk and external hard disk could be a thing of the past. For day to day use you just have a QL, monitor and the SD card as your mass storage. You’d only need to connect a floppy disk drive on the odd occasion you specifically needed it, e.g. to transfer files, although if SD card interface software could be written, the SD card could become portable between the QL and any other computer on which you use a QL emulator, for example!

QL-SD installed in MDV2 slot

QL-SD installed in MDV2 slot

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3 thoughts on “Disk Interfaces

  1. Storage is the one universal failing of the QL, and anything that addresses it in a robust manner for the future has to be welcomed.

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