After all these posts about the flash memory adaptor, I got asked what exactly is a Minis-QL?
It’s based on an Aurora card, which is a QL-compatible motherboard. It is built into an old Epson case, a bit like a small desktop PC case, the type which used to sit underneath monitors. Included inside is a Super Gold Card, Qubide and an MPlane backplane. The Super Gold Card provides 4MB RAM and a 68020 processor. The Aurora provides a few little extras over and above a QL such as a QIMI mouse interface and VGA monitor driver, plus enhanced video resolution up to 1024×768 pixels and (with the right version of the SMSQ/E operating system) a 256 colour 8-bit graphics mode. It can also accept an external PS/2 keyboard, and has two serial and one parallel port plus a simple beeper speaker and QL network sockets, all powered by a rather clunky brick of an external power supply.
I’ve added an internal 8MB ROMdisq internally to hold the operating system. Originally it had a 2.5 inch hard disk drive, which has now been replaced with the Compact Flash cards.
All in all, if you like native QL hardware it’s ideal as it’s essentially the same as a QL with Gold Card but with improved video and more connections. They were made by TF Services and Q-Branch – I’m not sure how many were made, mine is serial number 005.