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I > ICL  > Quattro


This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the ICL  Quattro computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Friday 21st March 2014
Andy C

George, the Disc A Hung wasn''t a hardware fault - it was a race condition in the hard disc controller code. I''ll never forget that bug, it took me 18 months on-and-off to fix the b****y thing. No matter how hard we worked the system it wouldn''t fail. It turned out you had to work the CPU hard, and the disc hardly at all to make it happen.
And the fix was to swap to adjacent sections of code, one 3 lines and one four.

Friday 4th January 2013
Chris Quinn (Liverpool, UK)

I worked for the IT department of the UK Home Office. We had quite a few systems running on these machines. The ones I was involved with were for the centres that maintained and repaired radio equipment for the Police and Fire Brigades.
I wrote a system using the Dataflex 4GL system to track repairs through the workshops - up to 4 terminals, some in the stores, others in the workshops.
I do remember having to write a small assembler program to allow the users to enter the system date in UK format on startup (the clock was not battery backed), as these were really rebadged Rair machines, which expected data entry in US format.

Friday 11th June 2010
George Morrison (UK)

I worked for a computer dealer which sold these to run our proprietary accounting software. There was a problem whereby, seemingly at random, the machine would freeze with a "Disk A hung" message (Disk A being the hard disk). ICL eventually acknowledged this as a hardware problem although, by then, our small number of ICL customers had been moved to other systems due to their unreliability.

Our software was written in MS Basic and I spend two weeks converting it it to CBasic - only for an MS-DOS emulator to appear which ran the MS-DOS versions of our programs substantially faster than the native CBasic ones.

The OS, Concurrent CP/M, didn''t have tree-structured directories, it had numbered areas on the disk, 0 - 15.

Monday 29th March 2010
Kevin Townsend (UK)
Kevin Townsend

In 1986 I was employed by ICL''s agency to produce a series of booklets to demonstrate the multi-user, multi-tasking capabilities of the Quattro. These were deliverd to the ICL stand at a major computer show at the NEC.

Graphics from these booklets can be seen at You might say that a subsequent software suite logo is remarkably - possibly too remarkably - similar to the Quattro design: I couldn''t possibly comment.

Wednesday 30th April 2008
Andy mackay

I remember, around 1992-3, our firm filling a skip full of these and ICL's modular server styley thing, which ran PC-DOS. Anyway I fished a few out of the skip and went to 'The Computer Junk Shop' up in Widness to see if I could get a few bob for them. Now if anyone has ever been to this shop you will know they seem to never be open and when they are they seem to specialise in selling really obsolete worn out stuff. So to cut a long story short I went there on a Friday, cuz that was the day that the chap who bought stuff was there. I got there and this guy wasn't around, and I couldn't convince the guy who was as to what a bargain they were, well I waited about 20 mins for the buyer to arrive, but got fed up and left. As I got outside, some other chap (he was just a customer) accosted me saying that he had over heard my conversation with the shop assistant and had been trying to get my attention for ages. He asked me how many I had which was 2 and gave me £20 each for them, all in all a nice little earner I which I fished out more especially when you see how much they were new. My company @ the time was a big ICL client and used all ICL hardware IE Mainframe, UNIX stuff, and these modular server things out in the branches, which ran the work stations and sent the ordres up to the Mainframe, and had a limited order capturing capabilties when the Mainframe was down, I think they were called DRS10, DRS20 Etc depending on what modules they had.

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