Taskmaster started life as a task switcher written by Andrew Pennell for Medic Datasystems Ltd.

Peter Jeffries then took over the responsibility for TaskMaster whilst working at Medic Datasystems, improving the code and adding new features to the program (using the HiSoft Devpac QL which was also written by Andrew Pennell).

Following the collapse of Medic Datasystems, a former Medic customer (John Norton) persuaded Peter Jeffries to finish the program and the file tools and it was eventually launched as a commercial program by Sector Software.

Taskmaster matured into a multitasking/task switching front end for the Sinclair QL, which allows you to run multiple programs in their own windows, with all of the programs multi-tasking, meaning that they all run at the same time - for example, you could set your database printing out labels and still use your word processor or any other programs at the same time.

Taskmaster also includes a file handling program similar to Windows File Manager, a pop up notepad and pop up calculator which once closed with a two key combination transferred the text out of the notepad or the result from the calculator to the underlying program. This allows, for example, the ability to be working in your accounts package and, with a simple keypress up popped up the calculator, you can perform your calculations and then by pressing two keys the calculator closes down and as it disappears it types the result to the input box on your accounts package.

The notepad tool also works in the same way.

Taskmaster also provides a macro recorder and player language which could operate ANY program running in your machine thus automating common tasks; a software based printer buffer which was configurable to use spare RAM.

Taskmaster also stores details of what programs you were using when you last closed down the QL, and then re-loads them ready for use when you switch the computer back on.

Peter states that he and John Norton became friends and worked together on both Spellbound and Flashback. Peter recalls one time John surprised him with a 6 foot rotating sign he'd made from scratch, for a ZX Microfair show to advertise Taskmaster. It was very impressive, especially for a Microfair.

Another time he recalls was when they arranged the hiring of an attractive model for a show. But the poor girl just kept getting pushed away as keen buyers crowded around their trestle table.

Title: TaskMaster
Language: 68000 Machine Code
Author: Peter Jeffries
Publisher: Sector Software
Year of Publication: 1985
Platforms Suitable for: All Sinclair QLs and Compatibles
Commercial Status: Commercial
Price as at September 1985: Unknown
Reviews: Unknown
Sources Available from: Unknown

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