SEPT- OCT *93 VOL 1 1 #5


SEPT- OCT '93 VOL 1 1 #S
















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I Out-of-town members )


( AREA CODE 416) RENE BRUNEAU (531-9749) BILL LAWSON ( 444-8772 ) GEORGE CHAMBERS ( 751-7559 ) LOU LAFERRIERE ( 820-3725 )


JEFF TAYLOR ( 244-8583 )



( 416-751-7559 )





Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 - Page 10 -

Page 13 -

Page 14 -

Club Stuff IndeXy Editorial Kill the Newsletter ? Ql ips

Spectrum Emulator Review

QL Woes - Fixits for errant QLs

ZXSl Resources 1MB SRAM board

QL Library Report

Page 16 - Super BASIC Routines -QL

Page 19 - Beware of GST+

Page 20 - I Visited Dayton Hugh Howie

Page 22 - Important Notice Toronto Fest 1994

Page 23 - John Juergens writes Gold Card, PC Conqueror

Page 25 - LKDOS Disassembly Continued

Page 28 - Toronto Fest 1994 Questionnaire


Once again the newsletter is late. In part, the delay has been caused by the fact that we have received very few articles from the TSIOOO and 2068 membership and we felt that we could not put together an issue representative of the overall membership of the club. If you look at the composition of this issue, 17 pages were written by QL users C8 by Hugh Howie), 7 pages from 2068 users (two articles), and 1 page from TSIOOO users Cme). I think we can all agree that of the three computers used in the club, the QL continues to generate the most activity and interest among its owners. However, there are still a lot of TSIOOO and 2068 owners out there, and we would really like to hear from you. To be a bit melodramatic, the life of this newsletter depends on YOU.

With the exception of Hugh Howie and Bill Lawson, the executive members use 2068s or TslOOOs. We are finding it very difficult to maintain our enthusiasm when the majority of the members of the club are not participating in the continued well being of the club. Paying your dues is not enough. This club will NOT fold because of lack of funds, but it will not continue in its present form for very long if you do not respond. Active participation from all members in maintaining the standard of excellence that we have attained in the newsletter would be a welcome boost.

Our editor, Jeff Taylor, and the rest of the Executive thank those writers, both members and nonmembers, who have submitted articles, and look forward to seeing more of your efforts published in future issues of SINC-LINK.

Rene Bruneau, President 1993




by Hugh Howie .

On receiving the July/August issue of SINC-LINK, (on August 6th no less), I was astounded to read the comments of our secretary that our prestigious and most looked for newsletter was perhaps going to be discontinued.

I am very sorry to see this in print. I am sorry that the newsletter is so late in coming out those days . I am sorry there is such a lack of contributers that makes those statements possible. I am sorry to see the club in such straights that it is on the verge of folding, and that is what our secretary means; the club is on the verge of folding if we do not get more contributers! We must remember that it is SINC-LINK that links this club together. It is the newsletter that links any club together. I do not know any widespread organisation that does not rely on some sort of paper communication to keep its members happy and interested.

In a club as strong in members as we are, it is unbelievable that we can not get enough material to fill 30 pages once every two months.

The reason that the newsletter is a bit late at times is because our editor keeps hoping for more material to fill out the pages - he waits and waits - but nothing comes in. Now how is an editor to build a newsletter if he has nothing to work with? I have said in this publication, as also in others, that more material is required. We need more input, and on a regular basis also.

I am unhappy that our secretary is able to say that he is going to fold the newsletter. Kill one, kill all! George Chambers was the instigator in the birth of the club many years ago, and it would be a pity if he were to kill it.

Since becoming a member, I have seen many others clubs fall by the wayside, and in each and every case the folding was preceded by an urgent plea for more INPLT from the members. I guess the plea fell on deaf ears as it was soon announced that those clubs were folding. Do you want that to happen here?

I once was proud to say that I belonged to the biggest and best in North America. Can that still be said?

I have done my bit to keep this club and its newsletter in action. I have done all I can - and so have many others - officers and members have all done a good job, and are still willing to do a good job, but we need something to work with.

In all our membership it is hard to believe that no one anywhere, has nothing to write about. We can tell of our successes and our failures. What we do for this that or the next thing. Solutions - problems - questions - information - what is good equipment and what is bad. Good programs and bad.

Many years ago the QL was pronounced dead, today the QL is more active than it ever was. There is more action in the provision of good hardware, and more really good software available than at any time in the QL ' s history. A machine which had such a poor start has developed into a machine which is second to none in its ability. So why do we not take more interest in it?

Do you not like what you see in our newsletter? If so, why not write and tell us so that we can improve the content. If you don't like what you are getting then write something of what you would like and we will be only too glad to print it.

Finally, I have heard no mention other than the comment of our secretary, that the newsletter is going to fold. If anyone has the power to say that, it should be the Editor. I know that our editor has problems in filling space, but he has not as yet said anything like that, not to me at any rate. And although he may be a bit frustrated on occasion, I do not think he is going to say "lets fold".

You folks out there, if you want a newsletter then it is up to you and only you to provide your own newsletter.

Send something in.





hj Bosh Howie

Recently I had occasion to be writing to one of our members, sending him some library disks he had requested. Unfortunately he had been using a catalogue which was long out of date. I was still able to give him what he requested, but he was asking for individual programs, and this creates a bit of a headache to me.

Last year I decided that I could only (for the sake of ray own sanity) provide complete disks and not individual programs. And this I attempted to do for my friend, but as he had only sent a small number of disks, I had a problem; not insurmountable, but still there, so I added some prefixes to the titles and managed to get two disks onto one, and I told him how to remove them to make disks of his own which would still conform to the TorQLib Library disks without the prefixes. (Are you still with me?)

In my letter T explained how by using TK2 he would have no problems re-naming when copying the programs to their proper disks.

I was not sure as to the expertise of the person I was writing to, and I made the comment that "I was probably teaching my granny how to suck eggs"

My friend replied humorously, saying that I had the gender wrong, and that he was a grandfather, and that he was unaware he was related to me.

This gave me some thought, as I believed everyone knew what I was saying or trying to say; so I got out various books of learning (so-called) and was unable to find any reference to my statement. There was no reference to "teaching my granny how to suck eggs ! "

My interpretation of this statement is that it alludes to trying to instruct the expert in the basics. And what is more basic than sucking eggs? A wonderful source of food, and not only that, it is a country boys dream of yore, to build a collection of birds eggs, and to do that you had to have a knowledge of how to suck eggs to get the innards come out and leave the outards to be saved as part of

the collection. So you just had to know the gentle art of sucking (or blowing) eggs . Even my granny knew how !

But in my books of knowledge there were plenty other references to eggs and as I read I got interested in the subject.

I found that Shakespeare had written about the weasel and the ease with which a weasel sucks eggs. So perhaps

somewhere along the line 'granny' had been substituted for 'weasel ' .

Further on in my research I came across a probable answer to the question "What came first the hen or the egg?"

Well, Samuel Butler once stated "A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg So that takes care of the question as to which (what?) came first; it was the egg. No?

As one cartoonist put it in a caption under a picture of a dejected rooster bemoaning lifes caprices, "Yesterday an egg - tomorrow a feather duster

Christopher Isherwood had this to say:-

The common cormorant or shag

Lays eggs inside a paper bag

The reason you will see no doubt

It is to keep the lightning out.

But what those unobservant birds

Have never noticed is that herds

Of wandering bears may come with buns

And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.

Now that still does not really answer my original statement about my granny. I can only rationalise that it is some kind of colloquialism I picked up somewhere on my travels. As to whether it is well known I have no idea.

I still maintain that it is very apt in certain circiimstances especially when trying teach the expert how to do something.

If you have read this far you are probably wondering just what this is all about. I really don't know! I guess you could say something just egged me on.




Copied from the Sept 1993 issue of the LISTing Newsletter from the Long Island Sinclair/Timex Users Group.


By now tne supplies and sources tor Sinclair hardware are quite dwindling. It is tough to introduce newcomers to Sinclair for the general lack of apparatus to outfit them with. On top of this is the pervasion of the IBM type of computer among the vulgate which works fieicely against adopting Sinclair as a new platform.

What to do? In the UK, where Sinclair still rules m the B-bit computer world, there were efforts to work a software solution: Turn the IBM into a Sinclair. In principle this is easy because the ZBO CPU architecture has been emulated on the 8088 (and higher) chips thru software. Many readers will remember, and perhaps still have, the CP/M emulators on the early IBM rigs.

However, emulators for the Sinclair have been, well, ech! . Why? Mainly they are written by Sinclair folk who on the whole are unversed in IBM. In deed, some Sinclair emulators are nothing but the Z80 code of the Sinclair ROM shoved into a Z80 CPU emulator. This was for many years not cricket becasue the code was the propcty of Sinclair and uhcn Am trad.

There's a physical barrier, too. Except for the very first IBM PC, issuing simulataneoulsy with the Sinclair ZX-81, the IBM has no innate means of receiving input from a cassette. Some emulators simply gave up at this obstacle and work only with type-in programs.

Well, now in this merry year of 1993 comes the Killer Emulator from Hell, a Sinclair emulator for the IBM that does everything a Sinclair emulator should do and does it right. This new emulator, Z80, is a shareware creation from Europe.

Shareware, not lucreware.

This point is crucial. For in early 1993 Amstrad, who holds the rights for the Spectrum and QL, formally threw the code for the ROMs into public use. That is, anyone may now copy and distribute the original ROM code in their own products PROVIDED that these products are noncommercial. Commercial use of the ROM code is still prohibited. Ergo, altho Z80 does have woven into it native Sinclair code it is copasetic and quite kosher.

Z80 dissolves the above and many many other problems in bringing the Sinclair to the IBM. It comes on an IBM stiffy with 720K of files. They rehydrate to about 2M on your harddisc. Two megabytes! That's, um, more than thirty Spectrumsf ul ! What ARE all these crazy files 1? Relax, already. Most of the files are sourcecode and iitt^rature. You can shLv them, after printing or copying them o£t , leaving 'just' 330K of working files. That's STILL about five Spectrumsf ul of stuff. For emulating a Spectrum?

They toto in uno are a symphony of several Sinclair systems: the Spectr'om 48K model, 128K model (with pixel graphics and multichannel sound), Interface 1 (with serial ports), Sinclair and Kempston joysticks, Multiface 1 (with memory capture)-, tape loading indicator, Z80 dissembler and monitor, header-reader, screen editor, RAMdisc, swoppable ROMs, Microdrives, Disciple discs, and (of course!) tapedrive. All of these are provided via software in quite perfect replication of the original hardware gadgets. Thus, the complete inability to attach native Sinclair accessories to the IBM is much overcome by building the most crucial ones right into the emulator.

The emulator receives its original input from cassette only. This requires a cable connecting the IBM parallel port to the cassette deck, with some circuit bits along the way. The emulator has clear instructions for making this cable and it took me an afternoon to build it, including a stopoff on Canal Street to get the parts.

If you in giddy delirium shoved Z80's disc into your IBM without



between Sinclair's CR-only and IBM's CR/LF line tQrminar.ions . All these conversion use the IBM file as the working medium.

The Microdrives are mimick.ed on IBM file. There are eight ' microdrives ' in the emulator, the maximum capacity of the original Interface, and each 'cartridge' is an IBM file. You 'slot' a microdrive by allocating a file to a drive. Ah!, to use a new cartridge you must 'format' it ("FORMAT "m" ; 3 ; <name>" ; hey!, .those extra IBM keys ARE cooll). This creates a new IBM file 137K long with 126K of 'tape'. Two of these fit on a 360K floppy or five on a 720K stiffy. Once you format a emulated cartridge you can work with it exactly as you would a physical cartridge. You even pull a 'catalog' of the file and 'erase' stuff from it!

The Disciple disc is, too, cloned in Z80, altho the United States never enjoyed this system. Again, the IBM file is the working medium. Being that on stateside we deal with many minor disc systems, can Z80 handle, say the Zebra system? Now comes the freako part. The coae for the Disciple system is excisible from the primum corpus of the emulator. YOU CAN REPLACE IT WITH THE OPERATIONS OF YOUR PECULIAR DISC SYSTEM. Yes!, you may ultimately junk the hardware of the Zebra system and run everything from the Zebra code you wrote into Z80.

The total supplantation of Sinclair ' s physical media with IBM files lets you jettison just about every disc and cartridge utility in sight. With your stuff in IBM files you can apply any and all of the IBM file utilities on it. Farewell, Cartridge Doctor! Vale, KopyKat!

Wait a minute!!! What happens to all those luscious Sinclair cartridges and discs in those milkcrates? Since you simply can not feed them to the IBM you must revert to the original tapes. Load the files into Z80 from the tapes and save them onto the emulated disc or cartridge. Without such prime tapes you may have one revolting job before you! You must transfer the disc or cartridge files back to cassettes and then procede as just described.

Communications thru the emulator use the cloned serial ports of the Interface 1. Remember my series a year back on PostScript on the Sinclair? (Yesyesyes, I know, LISTings missed out the fourth and final part.) Now you can actualize this by running Z80 on an IBM fitted with a PostScript printer. But there's a weirder prospect, attainable with Z80: Pass data from the Spectrum to an other IBM program. You in this case do not need a PostScript printer; use your existing printer! You run a PostScript software emulator like Emulaser or GhostScript on the IBM and send Spectrum generated PostScript files to it. Ugh! such disgustingly gorgeous output. From a Spectrum. FROM A SPECTRUM!

Eecuase the emulator is European the presumption is that you use the serial port for printing and the instructions detail conversing with a printer thru it. In the US printers are routinely hung from the parallel port and the serial port is the avenue to a modem. Hence, in making the cassette cable, include a 'Y' connector or A-B switch so the printer and cassette can coexist. To accommodate the possibility of a parallel printer, Z80 allows a redirection of output to LPTx.

However, there is a clumsiness in using the printer, one of the [very] few downpoints of Z80. The LPRINT, LLIST, and COPY commands do not f-ire characters directly to the attached printer. You have to first'open a channel to the printer ("OPEN t3,"t"") and then send output to that channel. I already wrote, via Internet, to tho author about this and suggested that he make LPRINT, LLIST, and COPY send output to a DOS printer driver of the sort included with word processors. If he can work this into a future edition of Z80 you'll be printing to whatever device you got attached to the IBM.

What the deal about other ROMs? You recall that the American flavor of spectrum, the Timex 2000, has a dockport into which an external ROM plugged to override the onboard ROM. Also, when the Zebra


making the connector, chill out! Z80 comes with seven ready-to-run Spectrum programs. Nothing fancy, some games and utilities.

I can' not here elaborate on the very many details of this emulator. That would amount to describing the entire Spectrxam world! I here highlight a few major features. This emulator, for starts,^ in fact does what every Sinclair fan sweats in sleep for: IT BODILY TRANSFERS TAPES TO DISC. Yes, it takes the files from tape and mirrors them on a regular IBM file. And this file to the emulated Spectrum quacks and flies and waddles exactly like the original tape. The major positive!!) difference is that you never 'spot' or 'rewind'. This feature alone virtually eliminates the 'tape loading error' from a tapefile that failed to catch. It'll pass around again in, oh, a millisecond for another go. Each 360K disc holds several, depending on length, cassettes of programs.

With Z80 you may choose between a replica of a cassette OR AN ORDINARY IBM FILE. That is, you may load from EITHER the emulated tape OR from an IBM file that contains the program in DOS form! Hand up? Yes? Sure, Z80 converts the one kind into the other!

You over there? Voce alta, de favore. OK, you have several short tapes or programs and you want to combine them on one cassette. What a magilla on the real Sinclair! Load from one tape; swop tapes; spot it; save to it. Swop for the next tape ... . With Z80 you merely knit together the separate 'tapes' in any order you want and get one consolidated new 'tape'. Yes, that right. Uh, let's continue, please?

These grand goodies so far are alone enough to justify the nuisance of reaching overseas for this emulator. In one weekend you can put your* entire Spectrum collection onto disc WITH ABSOLUTELY NO MODIFICATION OF THE ORIGINAL CODE. You 'bung the tape' by specifying the tape's IBM file, do a LOAD and the 'tape' goes ahead and loads.

Please do understand that this is utterly NOT a 'RAMdump' , 'memory capture' or 'snapshot'. Z80 does this, too, as an altogether separate function. In the tape mirror each file of the tape is actually in the IBM file and you even use the (included!) header-reader to see them. What's more, the header-reader browses the tape and loads ANY tape file you want. You don't have to let the tape run thru to load the program way off at the tail end. Hmmm, a random-access cassette tape.

The Spectrum keyboard is exactly mapped to the IBM keyboard. You use all the keywords and tokens. Being that the IBM has no Sinclair keytops, you popup a Sinclair keyboard diagram. It's really a rather faithful depiction of the chicklet Spectrum with the corner colorband and all that. There is no such mapping for the Spectrum 128K becuase this model does not use keywords and tokens. You type in everything litteratim with all the regular IBM keys.

Besides the replicated Spectrum keys, the extra IBM keys are energized. You, for instance, get the <=> symbol by <sym<L>> or by just punching the <=> key. Either the IBM <alt> or <ctl> keys stands for the Sinclair <sym> key. I do see a danger in this convenience! Play with the Spectrum-in-IBM for a while. Then go back to the real Spectrum. Where the eff is that <[> symbol!?

The numberpad is the cursorpad, the Sinclair joystick, or the Kempston joystick as you wish by selection. The cursor keys work, too, for editing the command line. <esc> is the EDIT key, as is <sft<l>>; <bsp> and <del> do DELETE along with <sft<0>>.

The IBM functiuakeys are the adit to the emulator's foiest of functions, with <F1> being the general 'help' feature and <alt<Fl>> pooping up the Spectrum keyboard layout.

When you do a screensave ("SAVE <name> SCREENS"), THE SCREENS FILE CAN BE SHARED WITH OTHER IBM PROGRAMS. What?! Uh, you see, this emulator converts a Spectrum SCREENS file into a GIF or PCX file! You share textfiles, too, with other IBM programs by a conversion



disc system is fitted to the Timex, its own ROM is paged m when a disc command is issued. Well, you can set up a battery of ROM files and let the emulator bank off of them (one at a time).

how? There are two methods. The first is to get the ROM code into an IBM file and then point Z80 at it when igniting the emulator. This bypasses the default ROM file. The other is to patch [a copy of] the default ROM file -with code for the new ROM and let Z80 go and. think it's drinking up the same old code.

By now your throat is dry, your glands are leaking, your hairs are dropping out. TELL ME, UNCLE!, UNCLE!, V7HERE IS THIS Z80 THINGIE! ! Send off 15 British pounds to B G Services, 64 Roebuck Road, Chessington, Surrey KT9-iJX, England and ask for the Z80 Spectrum emulator for IBM computers. I did this and got my emulator in 12 days flat. To pay from the US I just took my ordinary check and wrote it out for "fifteen British pounds" payable to "B G Services"; it went thru smoothly. Plastic is not [yet?] accepted. B G Services is a Spectrum outlet and it'll enclose a sheet for its other items, too.

Thanks for the memories.


QL Woes by

N.A. Pasbtoon

In Vol. 10-6 (Nov. -Dec. '92), and Vol. 11-3 (Mar. -Apr.

'93) issues of SINC-LINK mention is made of problems some of the QL users are experiencing. In the paragraphs to follow I

will relate my experience in solving similar problems.

I) In the Nov. -Dec. '92 issue Bill Lawson has mentioned a myriad of sjmiptoms of his malf uctioning QL system. Let me hope that he has resolved and sorted out the problems he was facing. The symptoms he has mentioned, and a few more, applies to approximately a dozen QLs in my user group (CATUG) and my own. These problems invariably surfaced when a daughter board with Minerva or an alternative QDOS EPROM was installed on the QL. To solve these problems, proceed as follows:

a) All the important integrated ciruits. on the QL are socketed. Computers from LISA to first shipments of ATARI ST and other computers were plagued by unreliable operation because of this. The same is true of QL. Many times the microdrive problems and blanking unreliable video is directly traceable to the ZX8302 and ZX8301 chips. Note that these two ICs are CMOS, and static-sensitive. At least touch a metal object with your fingers before you touch the ICs. When you open your QL, it is advisable to spray the pins and sockets of these ICs, as well as the other socketed ICs with a "tuner cleaner", such as Radio Shack #64-3320, or equivalent. After spraying, use a flat-bit screw driver, or a butter knife to displace slightly upwards, from both ends, the ICs in their sockets. Spray again, and press the integrated circuits back in place. This cleaning should be good for at least a year.

b) As mentioned earlier, many users who had fully functional machines, started having problems when they installed a small EPROM daughter-board inside the QL. So what happens under these circumstances? After carefully studying the problem in about a dozen cases, I concluded that the problem is caused by hairline cracks in the copper traces of the daughter board. How are these hairline cracks caused?

After watching my user group members, and my own practice of how do I normally install the daughter-board on the QL mother-board, it became obvious that we were responsible for causing the problem. To explain, normally we would first install the daughter-board by pressing on the corner of the board, and then press-in the EPROM. Here both the procedure as well as the order in which the task is performed is wrong. Why?

The daughter-boards we were using, (to keep costs down, this is true of all peripheral boards, and the QL mother board), are of a very flimsy construction, with very thin copper traces. As the figure shows, two sockets are installed side-by-side, with approximately 0.2" spacing, one socket used for the EPROM is an ordinary dual-leaf socket, and the other one a machined socket. The pins of the machined socket


protrude, and is fitted in the ROM socket on the QL mother-board. In order to install two sockets side-by-side one has to saw-off the stabilizing plastic bridges (two or three) which every socket has. The consequence of this is that when you want to install an EPROM in the normal socket, it flexes the socket rows sideways, so much so, that some times it is not possible to install the EPROM. This flexing causes the hairline cracks in the copper traces on the back of the daughter-board. Belatedly one discovers that in order to install the EPROM, one has to hold the two rows of the socket pins of the normal socket vertically by one hand, and then fit the EPROM in the socket. We discover this after we have already caused damage to probably more than one trace.

The second mechanism causing the cracks, is the way we normally install the flimsily made daughter-board, by pushing on the corners of the board. This method of installation causes too much pressure on the corner pins of the machined socket, and possible hairline cracks.

As such, the suggested procedure for installation is to first install the EPROM on the daughter-board, while holding the normal socket in a vertical positiion in one hand, thus avoiding the flexing of the pins of the normal socket. Second, install the daughter-board on the mother-board by pressing on the top of EPROM, thus causing the pressure to be equally distributed on all the pins of the machined socket.

All these hassles could have been avoided if the boards were properly manufactured. For example, metalization both on top and bottom of the daughter-board would have helped. Most importantly, instead of using a low cost machined socket, the use of DIP socket carrier (say Digt-Key #ED6028, $3.26) would have totally solved the problem. In this case you will have the benefit of machined pins, with the pins flush on top, thus allowing the normal socket straddle the socket carrier pins on top, without the stabilizing plastic bridges being sawed-off. But- as you can see, this will almost double the price of the daughter board.

o T- cv -sf

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Normal socket for EPROM

FIGURE:Partial back view of the daughter-board. The decoder IC, which on my board is a 74.HCT00, is not shown.



The hairline cracks that I mentioned, are hard to see, even under a magnifying glass. Static testing by continuity measurements (using a VOM) could also be misleading. One can dynamically test by say, using a logic probe. One may even be tempted to cure the problem by putting solder globs on the affected traces. I recommend against it. The only sure method of solving the problem is, to do point-by-point wiring between the pins of the two sockets. This is much easier than it sounds. As shown in the figure, the two sockets are separated by a distance of 0.2", with all the respective pins connected by copper traces, excepts pins 1, 20, and 22. I use bare wire-wrapping (28 gauge) wire. Make a tiny hook on one end of the wire, solder it to the pin, wrap the wire on the corresponding pin of the other socket for half a loop, solder and cut the wire with a razor blade or Xacto knife at the base of the pin. Do all the 25 pins shown in the diagram. This will, with high probability, solve your problem. In the worst case you may have to duplicate all the traces on the back of the daughter-board using wire-wrap wire. Do not use a soldering iron rated higher than 15 watts.

c) A third source of the cracks, is the protrusion of the daughter-board on top of the QL mother-borad, and being pressed by the back of the keyborad. On the Samsung QLs, there is a screw on the back of the keyboard, which interferes with the top of the new EPROM that you install. One must remove this screw. Even the removal of this screw does not solve the problem, always. It is suggested that of the eight screws holding the keyboard and the base of the QL together, two screws, one in back and one in front, not be installed. These are the screws which are left of center, roughly in alignment with the ROM sockets. It is worth mentioning, that depending on the height of the daughter-board , even the mother-board can be flexed by the pressure exerted through the daughter-board from the keyboard.

II) In The Mar. -Apr. '93 issue of Sink-Link in an article by Hugh Howie, "NOTES ON QL LOCK-UPS", Hugh says, and I quote: "I know of one person who has four QL's and is only now starting to have some success with one of them. Power Surges?"

Some QLs have exhibited this problem since its introduction into the market place. I have analysed the problem, and I believe I have a low cost solution. I suggest that Hugh inform his friend to contact me, and send me a self-addressed Jiffy bag with an IRC, and I will mail his friend my solution in return mail. My address follows:


940 BEAU DR. , #204





Rene Bruneau 17 September 1992

One of our iseiufaers, Leo Moll, who lives in Holland, has sent U5 several copies of projects published in newsletters on his Side of the Atlantic. One that fiiay interest the ZX82/T31000 group, is a I Megabyte bank-switched nonvolatile ifteoiory board. A rough translation of the text an german) indicates that it occupies the 48k to 64k block in 8xl6k segments that can be accessed by poking the ban, i into address 9. For exarapie: POKE 9, 1. Just think... After all these v^ars, a Raw-Disk for the ZXBl'r who thought he had everything

Mr. holl indicated that printed circuit boards were available and we are currently following up on this. We hope to obtain isore stuff fro» Mr. Moil and will present it as it becoies available.

Planned for our Nov/Dec issue is a construction article for a si»ple robot control interface in response to a request froB one of our aeabers. I located it in an iiagazine written for the SpectruB.



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By Hugh Howie


I have spent too much time on too many other things, I have neglected my library, my library - your library, so I will now try to bring you up to date on what has been developing this last few months .

It is just about a year since I last reported on the library, so I think it timely to say something about it.

As a result of our QL membership drive last year, we were fortunate in that we had quite a few new members join our ranks. This might result in some more contributions to the library, and more use made of it also.

There are so many new things happening in the QL world, it is hard to believe that so few have anything to say, or have so few questions to ask. I also realise that many who ask questions do not wish to have their letters published because of one reason or another.

When you write to us, would you mind if we published your comments? In many cases the comments and questions asked are of very valid import to the newsletter. The question you ask may be of interest to others. I for one have had many interesting and learning hours trying to track down someone elses problem. Think about it.

Anyway, I have got away from the main topic - The Library - so back to it.

One of our new members submitted a disk with some very interesting stuff, and it was some time before I got around to looking in close detail at the disk he sent me. John Impellizzeri sent me this disk with a lot of ZIP/L^'ZIP stuff on it, and I had no idea what it was all about, which just goes to show how little I know about computing. Anyway I eventually got around to doing some serious work with this disk, and a whole new vista was opened up for me!

It would appear that ZIP is a method of compressing long files into short files for the purposes of transmitting them them from you to me or me to you in the

shortest period of time and taking up the smallest amount of space on a disk. iJNZIP puts them back into normal format .

When working the various BBS's etc., it is essential to get the info across as quickly as possible, costs rise with length of time on the phone.

This disk also has QED, QEX, Qterm (in German) also a Spectrum and ZX81 emulator so that you can run those programs on the QL . Nice with the Gold Card, but slow otherwise. Once again I have not done much with this, but as soon as I can get some programs I will see what can be done. I will be breaking this up into the Comms and Utilities sections .

I found that with ZIPPED files they took up less than half the original space on a disk. The zipping/unzipping takes only a very short time to accomplish - amazing in what it does. Thanks John for the disk, I am only too pleased to place it in the library, and hope that many more can take advantage of it. If you have anything more we would be glad to accept it. Perhaps you will get someone calling you on the BBS sometime.

I should mention that ZIP.L"N'ZIP is a shareware program.

Another interesting thing was that Ron Blizzard sent me a disk with stuff on it for converting (for sake of a better word) a yAC pic file to the QL . He enclosed a few XAC files and it really was astounding what it does. I would suggest that anyone with access to Xac- Print files should have a look at this.

Ron Blizzard has also contributed a number of articles on his QL experiences and promises many more.

Before I forget, Ron is now the Happy Pappy of Adriana, born on the 4th of July. As also was her mother, (chat was another year of course!) Some folks take independance too far. Congratulations to all concerned.

Away back long ago when I first started




By Hugh Howie


the QL library, I was sent a program called XCHANGE, and as it was a commercial program at that time, I could not do anything with it. As time passed I was given other versions of the same program and still had to abide with my original decision. Now I am pleased to say that XCHANGE has been released to the Public Domain, although Psion still retain the copyright to it, but I have not yet placed it in the library. I do not know which version to use but Ron Blizzard has come to my rescue. Ron has in the past shown considerable interest in Xchange, so I sent him all the versions I had, and he has promised to let me have a really good working copy, incorporating all the various features in the various submissions. He says he will have time to do this. Even with a new daughter?

I was under the impression XCHANGE was a multitasking program, and as I used Taskmaster, I never did investigate XCHANGE too much. It must be remembered that I had not bought it, I just fell heir to it, and such being the case I did not try to do very much with it. But now someone tells me it is not a true multitasking program; yet it does look like one to me. Perhaps someone could tell me the difference.

I went to Newport. Rhode Island, and came back with three disks that looked like a complete set-up to start off a BBS for anyone so inclined. I am not interested in running a BBS, that is not for me. This is the BBS Tony Firshman uses I unders tand .

I do know Tony was running a pseudo BBS demo in his motel room, and that it was well attended. But I was not in at the beginning, and by the time I got there, there was no room at the inn, I just could not get in. He was running his BBS on two QL's connected by the serial ports. T will be placing this in the library for anyone interested. I imagine therre are going to a lot of Comms_ disks before I am finshed with this lot.

I would like to get into the BBS somewhere, but the phone bill for me

would be prohibitive, much to my