Monday, 20 June 2011

Been Busy Copying files

The Ser-USB device loaned to QL Heaven has looked like this most of the last week. The activity LED and incandescent blue as it transferred around 128MB of files in several loads form the hard drive of the QL on to a file of the laptop.

Ok its not exactly lightning speed even at baud 115200 but it is practicable and works. Are there any other uses for this amazing bit of QL hardware?

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Sinclair QL Shock

Do you fancy this QL? It is an early model and rare.

It is for sale on ebay for £999 buy it now as a collectors item. There has been one offer so far. QL Heaven which is a fan of the QL in its many forms is shocked that QL collecting has become a pastime of investment bankers.

Read all about it here

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

QPC2 on Windows 7

QPC2 is the commercial QL emulator for the PC. There are also a number of other emulators that are shareware and are also very capable. Recently at QL Heaven the local PC was "upgraded" to Windows 7 and new things happened with QPC2. Basically files save to the hard disk container were not retained after QPC2 was shut down. This it seems is down to permissions in the latest version of windows. This did not seem to be an issue with XP before. The solution after struggling around a bit was to run QPC2 always as the administrator to allow it to write to the PC's hard drive through the filing system.

Incidentally as part of the investigation QPC2 3.34 (vista) was installed but this neither helped or showed any compatibility problems as did the previous version of QPC2 that had been in use of XP.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Ser-USB update and Super Forth now PD thanks to QL-Users

Still working with Ser-USB here at QL heaven. Testing has resulted in 50+MB of programs and data transferred from a QL to QPC2 on a laptop which itself has no serial ports. It is amazing what this bit of technology can do. As the transfer rate is slow, think an old style USB1 slow stick and then a bit slower but given time its now possible to port masses of programs and data across the disparate QL systems which all use different hard drive filing systems. How mad is that!. Black box QLs and Aurora use the Rebel Qubide driver, the Qx0 hardware emulators use a variant of an atari hard disk scheme, while the QPC2 uses a container file called a file.

Over on the QL-users list because Rich had a client who was seeking a manual for SuperForth someone wondered where the author of that program was now. Low and behold someone else knew of his blog. He was contacted and gave his consent to the release of the SuperForth program to the public domain. Next while arranging for someone's paper copy of the manual another QLer reported that it had already been scanned in and was on the World of Spectrum site. Finally Dilwyn place SuperForth and a link to the pdf manual on his website. This all happened while most of us were at work. Speedy work for an obsolete computer systems supporters

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Ser-USB Part 4

QL Heaven has again been allowed to play with a SerUSB device. This time copying files from the SD card inserted into the device to QPC2's Win2_ on a PC. The laptop QL Heaven uses does not have a serial port so a USB to serial converter was installed. One was bought from Amazon for 8.40 euro, an ABC electronics product. It came with a mini CD with drivers which included Windows 7 drivers. Installed straightforwardly. Only point to note is that even although the laptop did not have any serial ports, it was installed as com3. Not really a problem. The assignment can be changed on the PC in Device Manager or more swiftly QPC2 was configured to attach ser1_ to com3. End of story. Anyway here is the device attached to the SerUSB device.

It works! And here is the device copying files from the SD card to the Win2_ file on the Laptop's hard drive.

The process is not entirely seamless as some errors do occur. Copying directories with large numbers of files or extremely large QL files can lock up the SerUSB device necessitating a restart of the device and QPC2.
Large files that caused a lockup had to be be copied on their own. Sometimes they had to be copied to the ram disk as occasionally copying to the file caused the laptop to crash. Exciting stuff but still a better way of transferring large quantities of files from one QL system to another.