The Sinclair QL was the first attempt for Clive Sinclair to produce a computer for business. But after the success of the ZX-81 and ZX Spectrum, the QL can also be regarded as the first failure of Sinclair. In January 1984, Clive Sinclair presents the QL to the press, unveiling a very promising and inventive machine, based on the 68008 processor from Motorola. Indeed it was the first home computer based on a 32 bits CPU, just a few days before the Apple Macintosh. It was important for Clive Sinclair to unveil the QL before the Macintosh, but that was also one of the main reasons for the QL's failure...
The British ICL company conceived a desktop information system based on the QL mainboard. It was sold in the U.K. under the names One Per Desk and Merlin Tonto. The same model was also sold in Australia, with the name Telecom Computerphone.
My first computer, before I went PC mad. QL had the big breakthrough - after using BBC micros - in its bundled advanced suite of Psion programs called Xchange, plus an advanced BASIC. Tony Tebby was the software engineer - I met him at QL meets, a very enthusiastic man with long hair and glasses who thought in assembly language. The excellent Xchange word processor, database, spreadsheet and business graphics, were let down by the printers of the day, but programming the printer driver taught me loads about ASCII and serial/parallel comms. No USB then! Until the Amstrad WPs came a long, the Xchange Quill WP was many people''s first choice. We somehow got used to the clunky keyboard. I still have my QL, plus its Microvitec monitor. Somehow, I feel affectionate to the old thing.
Sunday 21st April 2013
Trevor Harvey (UK)
This computer was my upgrade from the 2068. I had the extended memory card, a pair of external quad density 5.25" drives. I did a lot of programming on this machine with a QL version of Pascal (ISO, not Borland). I may still have it in the closet... I have to admit, even after all this time, the microdrive was one of the coolest media ever.
Thursday 18th April 2013
Clay Bowen (USA)
I used a QL all the way through university - the 2 built in microdrives were surprisingly reliable. I also remember playing quite a good adventure game on it called "The legend of Zkul"
Wednesday 6th April 2011
Gordon McIntosh (UK)
QL (Quantum Leap)
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Sinclair Super Basic
QWERTY / AZERTY pseudo full-stroke keyboard 5 function keys