Sinclair QL

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danielb
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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby danielb » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:52 am

Hello,

I seem to be unable to set the date and time using the sdate command in Minerva Superbasic.

Is this a limitation of the core?

Tks,

Daniel.

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby desin24 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:02 pm

the new QL-SD driver for the MiST is out

https://www.kilgus.net/ql/ql-sd/

rename the Minerva_1.98_io_fix_qlsd107_MiST.bin to ql.rom

a QXL.win file can be downloadet from here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/cz8zt5hc92o8 ... 322aa?dl=0

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby xc8 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:48 am

Is the driver working? I never managed to make it, I can see the SD initialised on boot screen, but "dir win1_" returns "not found"

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby desin24 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:21 pm

yes the driver is finally working thanks to
Marcel Kilgus who maintains it and Sorgelig for some hints

as i have noticed a fresh format of the sd-card helps
the first files to copy should be the QXl.win files
to prevent fragmentation

as i have mentioned in my post you need the xxxx_mist.bin files for the Mist
there is only 1 Byte difference but this is essential

hope it helps
Markus

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby seastalker » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:59 pm

I am trying out this core, but files are .bas but .mdv is the supported file format in this core. Is there a conversion utility available? Also, seems this computer was only out for barely over a year. How many games were released for this?

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby squid4 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:39 pm

Yes, they're the raw files. You need to create an MDV (microdrive) file using the qlayt utility http://www.jadiam.org/QL/QLAY2/. Sadly, due to crackpots, many original Sinclair QL images for games/programs are still closely guarded and not released.

Once you've got and MDV image run the following commands to load and run the files:
dir mdv1_
load mdv1_{filename}
lrun mdv1_{filename}

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby seastalker » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:57 pm

Wow, after reading the whole thread and others elsewhere, AND learning about how zip files need to be unzipped on the core from WITHIN the core by somehow getting QL's unzip program onto my SD card (which ironically is itself zipped), this seems way too complicated for me. Utility tools aren't compatible with my OS, I can't convert anything to the required .MDV format and even if I can, most of the commercial titles I'd like to mess with are locked away like a Disney vault. :) The QL computer may be THE most complicated scenario I've seen yet!

QL forums seem to agree that the core is great work so the platform is there to get better. I may revisit this later in hopes of a simple .MDV collection can be found or easily converted with a simple new utility. For now, I never had a QL so I may live the experience vicariously through other people's videos. I do admire the dedication of everyone to get things working.

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby desin24 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:10 pm

so what's your OS ?

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby seastalker » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:40 pm

Normally linux, but I tried the tools on a 64 bit Win7 machine

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby desin24 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:51 pm

Prepare a Microdrive file for the MIST/er
the MIST/er QL core reads only Microdrives in QLAY format
so you need to convert common MDV images

under windows use the q-emulator
http://www.terdina.net/ql/q-emulator.html

under linux
get the ql emulator
https://github.com/SinclairQL/sQLux

get the QL software
the tookit TK2
http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/pe/tk232_respr.zip
the MDV file device
http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/utils/MDIdriver107.zip
http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/utils/MDIConvert2.zip

unpack these files in the /mdv1 folder
the files that should be on the Microdrive are in the /mdv2_ folder

enable tk2
base=RESPR(18998):LBYTES "mdv1_TK232.bin",base:CALL base
load the MDI Driver
lrespr mdv1_MDIdriver_cde
lrun mdv1_MDIConvert2_bas
>5 format blank image file
>1 MDI image file
ram1_test.mdv
test
>enter
>enter
>esc

mount_mdi 1, "ram1_test.mdv"
wcopy mdv2_,mdi1_
dir md1_
unmount_mdi 1

run
1 convert MDI image file o QLAY imagefile
ram1_test.mdv
mdv1_test.mdv

close the sQLux
copy the test.mdv from /mdv1 to the SD card
Last edited by desin24 on Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby Tuna » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:22 pm

Really pleased to discover this core for MiSTer. I wrote some software a very long time ago for the QL, so wanted to get it running. It does! Though, it runs way too fast even on the 'Normal' setting - I don't think I wrote it with anything but the original slow CPU in mind. :)

It would be really nice if the core could be updated to handle .win image files directly, as I've not figured out the SD card stuff so far. One of my programs is too big to fit in an .mdv file :(

The one that does work is called RockFall - basically a BoulderDash clone - I'd be happy to contribute the .mdv file if anyone wants to play with it? I ended up using the uqlx emulator on Win10 with the Windows Subsytem for Linux to convert the files to an .mdv. It needed the MDI drivers running on the emulated QL and a certain amount of fiddling. If it helps anyone, here are the steps to get your files onto MiSTer in an .mdv file. Note you can get many pieces of software from Dilwyn Jones' website as zip files, which just need converting to run on MiSTer.

Code: Select all

1. Install Windows Subsystem for Linux (allows you to run a Unix shell on Windows):
    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wsl/install-win10
2. Install Xming server (provides GUI APIs for the Unix shell):
    https://sourceforge.net/projects/xming/files/latest/download

3. Start the Windows Unix prompt and type (omit the > prompt) :
     > export DISPLAY=:0
   This tells the uqxl emulator to use the Xming display 0.
4. Install uqlx (http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/emu/index.html#uQLx_for_Linux_etc.) and go to the install directory

5. Create a directory called 'win' under the uqlx directory - this is where you can put files
   directly to be visible in the emulator
6. Edit the uqlxrc-distro file to have at least the following device line.
     DEVICE = WIN2,win,qdos-like
   This means that the QL will see the 'win' directory as a device win2_
7. Start uqlx - it should have TK2 enabled, needed for the lrespr command
     > ./uqlx.sh
8. Get the MDI driver files from Dilwyn Jones' site: http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/utils/index.html
   The zip file is called MDI_Driver.zip and the direct link at type of writing is
         http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/utils/MDIdriver107.zip
   There is also a manual there as a separate download if you need it.
9. Unzip the MDI driver file into the 'win' directory on your PC.

10. Copy whatever files you want to put in your MDV image to the same 'win' directory.

11. Install the MDI Driver (Things to type on the QL emulator are prefixed with : - Don't type : itself!)
       : LRESPR win2_MDIdriver_cde       
    This should report the MDI Driver version (currently 1.07)
12. Create a disk image on your local drive and mount it. We'll copy our files into that image.
       : MAKE_MDI win2_myfiles_img,Files
       : MOUNT_MDI 1,win2_myfiles_img   

13. Now copy your files to the disk image (note you may have to convert '.' to '_' in file names)
       : COPY win2_<your_file_name> TO mdi1_<your_file_name>
    Repeat for all files

14. Unmount the disk image so we can convert it to a QLAY .mdv file
       : UNMOUNT_MDI 1
       : CONVERT2_QLAY win2_myfiles_img to "win2_myfiles.mdv"
    Note the quotes to allow you to have a '.' in the file name

15. Take the .mdv file from the 'win' directory on your PC and copy it to an SD card for use with MiSTer

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby desin24 » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:39 pm

the QL core for MiST and MiSTer can read Microdrive files .mdv
they must be in QLAY format
they must be in a subdirectory called QL
for autoload a mdv choose the file in the menu
on the Minerva bootscreen press CTRL (F1/F2 optional)

the QL core for MiST and MiSTer can can handle the .win files, all you need is the right ROM
get it here: https://www.kilgus.net/soft/qlsd107_bin.zip

get the demo QXL.win file here:
https://www.kilgus.net/soft/qlsd_win_demo.zip and unpack the QXL.win file
or my QXL.win here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/cz8zt5hc92o8 ... L.win?dl=0

MiST
the ql-SD driver does not work with fragmented .win files
so it is recommended to format the SD card first
copy the QXL.win file to the SD card
copy the latest QL_xxxxxx.rbf to the SD card
or for autostart
(rename the latest QL_xxxxxx.rbf to to core.rbf and copy it to the SD card)
rename the Minerva_1.98a1_qlsd107_MiST.bin to QL.rom and copy it to the SD card
make sure there is only one .win file that starts with QXLxx
create a folder on the SD card named QL
copy the your .mdv files into the QL folder on the SD card

MiSTer :
format the I/O micro SD card
copy the QXL.win file to the I/O micro SD card
create a folder on the main micro SD card called QL
rename the Minerva_1.98a1_qlsd107.bin to QL.rom and copy it to the QL folder on the main micro SD card
copy the latest QL_xxxxxx.rbf to the main micro SD card
copy your .mdv files into the QL folder

start the core
F12
MiST set the memory to 640k (you will get 896k)
MiSTer
- set the memory to 896k
- set the CPU on normal IMPORTANT

save the configuration
reset

the driver looks for the QXL.win file and boots from it ,
this is win1_
you can add more .win files with
win_drive 2,1,"xxx.win" mounts a Win container to win2_
win_drive 3,1,"xxx.win" mounts a Win container to win3_
where xxx is the name of the .win file

have fun
Last edited by desin24 on Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:50 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby Tuna » Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:13 pm

I've installed the rom on a freshly formatted SD card, with a copy of your QXL.win file in the root directory.

On boot up I get:

QLSD WIN driver 1.07 WL + MK 2018
H/W v1: Card 1 not found

Is it looking on the same SD card as the MiSTer install? Not the one you can have on the I/O board?

When I do
dir win1_
it reports
bad or changed medium

And I get the same results if I try to manually mount a file using the win_drive command.

This is using the most recent QL core, renamed to core.rbf (though I'm not sure if that makes any difference to anything?)

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby seastalker » Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:36 pm

I thought to have a look at this core again and see if I can update my SD card for 2019. I re-read and revisited ALL links in this thread and looked for any new weblinks. If things work for you, I am happy, but I do wish to report my own findings and experiments. I have tried freshly formatted cards and stinky fragmented ones with other cores loaded and have yet to find a conflict, but why not try with a fresh SD format prior?

For me, to get this core working is as follows- Go here: https://github.com/mist-devel/mist-bina ... r/cores/ql

Download the following and put them in the root of your SD card: ql_150820.rbf and ql.rom, but get the extended memory version of ql.rom - how? Real the core description: "E.g. the Toolkit-2 ROM is available for download at http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/pe. The necessary combination of both ready-to-use is available here." Ignore the first download mention and grab the better link in the word HERE which links to the better one here:
https://github.com/mist-devel/mist-bina ... /ql/ql.rom. Those two files are ALL you need to get started. Ignore "minerva+qlsd_ql.rom" - you don't need it.

SOFTWARE: The info continues with "Files can be loaded from microdrive images stored in MDV files in QLAY format. Thee files must be exactly 174930 bytes in size. Examples can be found in http://web.inter.nl.net/hcc/A.Jaw.Venema/psion.zip as well as in the examples directory." The zip with give you FOUR .MDV (the only file format the core supports) software titles to play with, namely: ABACUS, ARCHIVE, EASEL, and QUILL. The EXAMPLES directory will give you two more .mdv files: "crazy" and "GamesCart".

Those are SIX titles you may load by starting the core, selecting the .mdv through the OSD, and then hitting reset. That's IT (for now).

Others may have had more success, but I have the same Mist as others, updated to the latest firmware. I am therefore fine saying All other files do nothing for me: Ram settings 128/640k is insignificant: No "Space pods" and no distribution packs out there. No "Minerva_1.98a1_qlsd107_MiST)" conversions needed. I tried all discussed updated .rbf files, both demo and forum versions of "QXL.WIN", etc. Nothing but the above run for me on a MIST.

So I am happy at least to mess around with LOOKING at the 4 productivity titles and maybe playing the 2 games (one being a multigame "The Games Cartridge", featuring [Pirate, ZFred, Gun, Breakout, and Hunt]. SIX total games is still slightly more than a Worlds Of Wonder Action Max console. ;)

I'm all ears if anyone gets any other titles running, but I spent quite a bit of testing time on this core.

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby squid4 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:07 pm

seastalker, attached is "Space Pods". Not much interest to anyone else but for me it's the first program I wrote as a young teenager I got paid for. Sadly this QL core runs too fast - about 3-4x. I'd tried in vain to figure out the timing to get it running at the original QL speed but couldn't figure it out. Also I noticed some graphical issues, perhaps due to the speed.

The Sinclair QL really was a wonderful quirky machine, just look how it inspired Linus Torvalds!

I really would like to get a library together for the few game titles for the QL. Don't forget "The Pawn" and "Psion Chess" were originally written for the QL.
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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby slingshot » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:02 am

Somebody on the MiSTer forum managed to change the CPU to FX68K, maybe someone who wants to develop on MiST (dream on), should ask for it, and port it.

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby desin24 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:11 am

the QL core works fine, if you know how
i have updated my post above
viewtopic.php?f=115&t=28354&start=25#p351069

Games on microdrive
http://www.inkland.org.uk/spectrum/josiah.zip
josiah.zip

Medic Metropolis from http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/games/index.html
Metropolis.zip

Rockfall from http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/games/index.html
Rockfall.zip

Psion Chess
Chess.zip


Utilities on microdrive
Basic pack (toolkit 2, History)
bbasic.zip


watch this space for more
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Last edited by desin24 on Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby slingshot » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:26 am

I was successful using a .vhd file for the QL-SD image, so no problem with the fragmentation of the QXL.WIN file. I wish the QL-SD driver could use the SD-Card without a filesystem (like MMFS on Beeb), then simply renaming QXL.WIN to QL.VHD would work.

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby mk79 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:52 pm

slingshot wrote:Somebody on the MiSTer forum managed to change the CPU to FX68K, maybe someone who wants to develop on MiST (dream on), should ask for it, and port it.
That was me. The MiSTer QL core will get a major upgrade from me, but as far as I can see the MiST's Cyclone III is too limited for any of the new features or at least makes developing them much more difficult. The Cyclone V used in MiSTer has plenty of inbuilt RAM which makes life a lot easier.
Regarding the MiST I don't see much advantage in using the fx68k core.

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby slingshot » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:30 pm

mk79 wrote:
slingshot wrote:Somebody on the MiSTer forum managed to change the CPU to FX68K, maybe someone who wants to develop on MiST (dream on), should ask for it, and port it.
That was me. The MiSTer QL core will get a major upgrade from me, but as far as I can see the MiST's Cyclone III is too limited for any of the new features or at least makes developing them much more difficult. The Cyclone V used in MiSTer has plenty of inbuilt RAM which makes life a lot easier.
Regarding the MiST I don't see much advantage in using the fx68k core.


What requires that much of BRAM?

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby mk79 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:02 pm

slingshot wrote:What requires that much of BRAM?
240kb for VRAM alone (Aurora graphic modes). 128kB for ROM images and various other stuff. Had to rewrite the MDV code to use DDRAM to make space.

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby slingshot » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:25 pm

mk79 wrote:
slingshot wrote:What requires that much of BRAM?
240kb for VRAM alone (Aurora graphic modes). 128kB for ROM images and various other stuff. Had to rewrite the MDV code to use DDRAM to make space.


Interesting. MDV was originally in SDRAM :)

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby desUBIKado » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:59 pm

Hi. I have a problem with mist.ini and rom option in section [ql]

I have got this in my mist.ini:

[ql]
rom=QLXSDWIN
;rom=QLMSDBIN

And I have these files in my SD card (and many more):

ql_20150820.rbf --> core of Sinclair QL
ql.vhd --> Inside are QXL.win and QL_BDI.bin files
QLMSDBIN.ROM --> to start up with QL_BDI.bin
QLXSDWIN.ROM --> to start up with QXL.win

With this configuration ql core don't boot, but if I copy QLMSDBIN.ROM to ql.rom or QLXSDWIN.ROM to ql.rom, then do it correctly.

I have ATH190303 firmware version

Doesn't work rom option with QL core in mist.ini file?

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby slingshot » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:07 pm

desUBIKado wrote:Hi. I have a problem with mist.ini and rom option in section [ql]

I
Doesn't work rom option with QL core in mist.ini file?


Put the ROMs into the QL directory.

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Re: Sinclair QL

Postby desUBIKado » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:55 pm

slingshot wrote:
desUBIKado wrote:Hi. I have a problem with mist.ini and rom option in section [ql]

I
Doesn't work rom option with QL core in mist.ini file?


Put the ROMs into the QL directory.


I do it, but don't work for me.


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