Sinclair QL Sideways by Talent

Sideways is a printer utility which works with any program written with an Epson FX-80 compatible driver (ie. ESC/P). It states that the printer must support user-defined graphics.

It allows you to turn the output 90 degrees to provide landscape printing of text, diagrams and spreadsheets.

QL Sideways also has the facility to shrink or expand the characters to be printed (text sizes range from 17 lines per inch by 27 characters per inch to 5 lines per inch by 8 characters per inch), allowing data tables or spreadsheets of up to 297 characters wide by 127 lines high to be shrunk for printing out on single sheets of A4 paper.

The program also supports the option to print documents in booklet form, printing on both sides of the sheet, either in single bound (stapled or bound at the left hand edge), or centre bound, where a document printed on A4 will be stapled and bounds in the centre and folded to A5.

Comments from the Author:

"I wrote "Sideways" when I was working in the copper mines in Zambia, because I wanted to be able to do layouts & as a bit of fun to "get under the hood" of the computer. It was published by Talent just at the time I was leaving Zambia, and the manual was written on a farm called Pontrydfendigaid in Wales, when we had left Zambia and were waiting for immigration clearance to take up a job in the Australian Outback. I wrote several other pieces of software for the QL, but for personal use (and for our children). Sideways is the only piece of software I have ever sold commercially & even then just for the experience & to see my name in print for something outside my professional field. The hassle of tidying up software for others to use was simply not worth the relatively modest financial return."
"I no longer have even the source code, but it was effectively platform independent, and relied the capability of the Epson FX-80 and similar printers to be able to redefine the character set. The memory (and processing power!) of the QL was not sufficient to bit-map the whole printable image, so it was a matter of redefining the character sets sideways & then doing some relatively simple work to scale the fonts to fit & sort out the eventual layouts."
"By the way, the program would also allow the use of fan-fold paper to make posters and banners."

Screenshot of Sinclair QL Sideways by Talent Computer Systems
Title: Sideways
Language: Written in BCPL (from Metacomco)
Author: Nic Clift
Publisher: Talent Computer Systems and RWAP Software
Year of Publication: 1987
Price January 1987: £19.95
Reviews: Unknown
Platforms Suitable for: Sinclair QL and emulators with Epson Compatible printer
Commercial Status: Commercial

Sources Available from: n/a
Latest Version available from: RWAP Software website

  • qlwiki/sideways.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/05/12 15:12
  • by normandunbar