I’ve been an avid Sinclair QL user since 1984, when the QL computer became available from Sinclair Research. Following on from the ZX Spectrum, it was a hard act to follow and unfortunately the QL never achieved the sales of the Spectrum computer.
The QL’s operating system in particular was ahead of its time. A single user multi-tasking system called QDOS, written by Tony Tebby was supplied in an on-board ROM together with a structured BASIC interpreter called SuperBASIC, written by Jan Jones.
The combination of easy multi-tasking and an on-board structured programming language made it so easy to write your own programs back then and even now.
The operating system was later re-written and became what we now know as SMSQ (Single-user Multi-tasking System for QL). SuperBASIC was enhanced and became SBASIC – SuperBASIC on steroids if you like.
Various compatible computer systems were developed over the years, such as the CST Thor, Sandy QXT, Miracle Systems QXL cards for PCs, the Aurora motherboard and more recently the Q40 and Q60 computer systems. QL emulators became available for all sorts of platforms, including Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Amiga and Atari.
The QL still has an active user group called Quanta – www.quanta.org.uk which produces a regular magazine for its members and has a large software library, free to members.
The QL has been a hobby of mine for three decades now and I still learn more about it all the time, hence why I’ve decided to share my experiences here.
Oh, and about me. I started off as a broadcasting technician and done all sorts of jobs since I was made redundant back in 1999. Somewhere along the line I became editor of QL magazine QL Today for many years, started up a QL website at www.dilwyn.me.uk , was a QL trader for a while back in the 1990s, been on the committee of Quanta for a while. All unpaid apart from the trader years. But that’s enough – I’m sure you want to read more about the QL than about me!