Sinclair QL Home Computer


A Sinclair QL Home Computer The Sinclair QL Home Computer was released in 1984 - the successor to the earlier Sinclair computers, the ZX80, ZX81 and ZX Spectrum.

The QL was launched as a business machine, complete with two built in Sinclair ZX Microdrives, 128K, full sized keyboard and 4 business programs by Psion (Quill - Word-processor, Archive - Database program, Easel - Business Graphics and Charts, Abacus - Spreadsheet) and a powerful SuperBASIC. The display memory is 32K in size and supports two standard modes - 4 colours in 512x256 pixels, or 8 colours in 256x256 pixels (each individual pixel in the 8 colour mode can also have a flash attribute).

Alas the early QLs suffered from unreliable v1 Psion software, unreliable microdrives and a third of the ROM being present in a "dongle" (also known as a "Kludge" in the back of the QL. This led to quite a lot of bad press unfortunately. However, an updated version of the QL and Psion software was soon released, and the QL has remained popular amongst a hardcore of users, with 2 replacement operating systems (Minerva and SMSQ/E), numerous emulators for other computers, and even 16 bit colour drivers.

A wide range of business and games software has been released over the years (over 1200 titles have been identified), and the QL is still supported by some traders, a user group (Quanta), which organises QL workshops and publishes a bi-monthly magazine. Up until 2013, there was even an independent quarterly magazine (QL Today).

Other sources of help and information are via the popular emailing forum and web based forum for discussion of all things QL related.

Whilst there have been two large private preservation projects over the past 10 years, a large amount of QL software remains missing in action, and of the titles which have been preserved, the majority is still subject to copyright and therefore not readily accessible. However, a large proportion of the most popular QL titles over the years have either been released as freeware and are available from the Sinclair QL Homepage, or remain available commercially.

Hardware continues to be developed for the Sinclair QL with recent projects revolving around SD card and Compact Flash adaptors, and memory expansions.

If you are interested in finding out about the internal workings of the Sinclair QL's operating systems (QDOS, SMSQ/E and Minerva), then please check out the QDOSSMSQ Wiki.|Watch this video on You Tube

Links to QL Topics

History …. How the Sinclair QL has changed over the years
Platforms … The various computers and emulators which can run QL Software
Hardware … The expansion cards which have been created over the years to provide additonal facilities
Operating Systems … The operating system is the heart of the Sinclair QL - this is a guide to the different versions produced
Software … The numerous software titles which have been written to exploit the QL's hardware, including where you can obtain a copy
DVDs … DVDs and downloadable distributions, comprehensive repositories full of QL information and software
Books … The books which were published for the Sinclair QL
Magazines … Magazines published about the Sinclair QL
Traders and Personalities … Who's who within the QL community and where to find support
CDROMs … A wealth of information and programs.
Links … Links to other websites related to the Sinclair QL