QL FAQ and Resources pointer

Richard Zidlicky

Last modified: Wed Jun 28 12:42:26 CEST 2000



Hello Netters,

here is my small list of information, links and addresses related to the sinclair QL and compatible computers. Email any comments, new sites and those I have forgotten to mention to rdzidlic@oocities.com.

If you obtained this list from some mirrored site or FTP/BBS archive or whatever, the newset version of it will be always available here:

Best Viewed by Lynx, Mosaic, w3 or some other free browser. Reason for this is that Geocities will add java(scripts) or -applets to this page that may seriously confuse or break some "advanced" browsers.

Get the QL FAQ

The QL FAQ is maintained by Robert Klein , it contains lots of information about history and current developments, available and historic hardware including many emulators, Thor and OPD, software, clubs, magazines and dealers. You can also browse html manuals of PROforma, ProWesS and syslib through Roberts page. The FAQ is available from :


If you are looking for a QL dealer, club or other contacts make sure to check out Robert's services list.

Older versions of the FAQ are ftpable from maya and garbo, see below. The author can be reached by email as roklein@goofy.zdv.Uni-Mainz.de

The newest version of the fantastic c68 compiler will be available from Dave Walker's homepage, you may also find it on Thierry's WWW, or ftp.nvg.unit.no.

Dave's homepage : http://www.itimpi.freeserve.co.uk
or (OLD location) http://www.chez.com/davewalker/

Thierry Godefroy's home page, list of BBSs, WWWs, FTPs, QLCF BBS c68 and some other software for download:
http://www.imaginet.fr/~godefroy/english/download.html lots of software to download

QL Dealers online

The classification was not easy, some dealers offer more services that are of general interest and perhaps should also be included below.

QL Developers

Other known QL related WWW addresses

QL Web Magazines

Some 68000 and Hardware pointers

Programming and other pointers

Internet Pointers

QDOS Manuals and Documentation

Good news, Timothy Swenson is working(scanning) on an QL Manual. The preliminary results can be seen here: http://www.oocities.org/SiliconValley/Pines/5865/qldoc.html You will find various other information there as well.

Meanwhile, for QL beginners there is the QDOS Manual which can be found on Jan Venema's QLAY page: http://www.inter.nl.net/hcc/A.Jaw.Venema
and here: http://www.madhippy.com/8-bit/sinclair/qdos.html
However this was written for AmigaQDOS so it also describes many commands not standardly available on a normal QL.

An in depth coverage of QDOS (not SuperBasic!) is "Programmieren in QDOS", on H.-Peter Recktenwald's page. As the title suggsets, it is actually written in German..: http://www.oocities.org/SiliconValley/Park/4410/
However, the author is workinng on an english version which is already useable in some sections. Get it here http://www.oocities.org/SiliconValley/Park/4410/e-q1.html

Further online QDOS documentation:

QL Disk Readers


QLtools is a program for reading/writing/formatting QDOS DD/HD disk on PCs, W95/NT, Linux and nearly any other Unix. One addition particularly useful for file downloads etc is the possibilty to set the dataspace of files.

The newest qltools will be available from demons FTP server and its mirror.

A pointer to the newest version can be also found on Thierry's and Jonathan's WWW pages.

A very old qltools version 2.02 is available as ftp://ftp.nvg.unit.no/pub/sinclair/mirrors/ql/maya/qltools/vers_2.02/qltools.c , this is worth a try if you have problems to compile some of the newer versions, it compiles on nearly any unix-like system (Minix, Next Workstation...) and I may be able to help if it doesn't.

A QL diskreader for the Macintosh is available from Thierry's download page, alternatively the Q-emulator light available on the same page can be used to do the job.

QXL.WIN readers

QXL.WIN explorer

reads and writes QXL.WIN format files that are used as 'WIN' drives for SMSQ/E and QPC. Other utilities for this format may be available from Jan Veneema's QLAY site. Get QXL.WIN from Daniel Baum's site: http://www.angelfire.com/il/dbaum/


does the same, widely portable but commandline driven. Get it from J. Hudson's site http://www.jrhudson.demon.co.uk/

FTP Servers

A very good page with links to many of the available programs and comments is here: http://wwwusers.imaginet.fr/~godefroy/english/download.html

                                     currently the best server, c68 and many other
 ftp.nvg.unit.no:pub/sinclair/ql/    proramming languages, utilities, demos and
                                     games, QL Hacker archive, also mirrors maya
 ftp.demon.co.uk/pub/qdos            emerging new site, currently Jonathan Hudsons's 
                                     software. The connection from outside UK is 
                                     terrible, however it is also mirrored here: 

 www.di-ren.co.uk/pub/di-ren/        currently for download only, mostly Di-Ren

 ftp.gui.uva.es                      mirrors ftp.nvg.unit.no sinclair area

                                     very good server that appears gone but its
 maya.dei.unipd.it:pub/sinclair_QL/  files are still held accessible here:
 garbo.uwasa.fi                      mostly basic and pascal programs, old QL
                                     Hacker issues

Getting started with FTP

As you seem to be using a WWW browser I don't have to tell you about different clients and stuff like this. However, if you have a very slow connection you may consider to use some FTP mail server.

Downloads of QL files are a bit complicated by the fact that QL files have some extra information stored in their headers. This does affect only executable files which need to have the type and dataspace fields set correctly. For this reason, most QL programs are uploaded in 'zip' archives which preserves the extra information. Since only QL zip/unzip programs can handle this information you will need a working 'unzip' running on the QL to unzip everything else.

The easiest is probably to get the files 'unzip' and 'unzip_dataspace' files from ftp://ftp.nvg.unit.no/pub/sinclair/mirrors/ql/maya/compressors/zip2/
and use 'sexec' or qltools to set the dataspace apropriately. Don't forget to get a newer unzip version once this works!


Uploads of general interest should go to ftp.nvg.unit.no:pub/sinclair/incoming/
If you upload more or binary files always ZIP or ZOO them on a QL thus preserving all header information. Remember to always use binary mode for ftp transfers. After the upload do a dir to see if the file arrived correctly and send email to ftp@ftp.nvg.unit.no

An example upload session:

  ftp ftp.nvg.unit.no
  Name (ftp.nvg.unit.no:*****): anonymous
  > binary
  > cd pub/sinclair/incoming
  > put file1.zip
  > dir
  > bye

Magazines, Clubs, Misc.

Anyone in the London area who wants to come to the Quanta London Group's monthly meetings can e-mail either Martin Wheatley or Basil Lee at basilee@mail.bogo.co.uk for details

Usenet News

pretty much lost its significance due to a shift of many users towards the mailing list. Still there is plenty of interesting material if you search in the news archives, and if you need help you will usually get an answer.

QL related Newsgroups

The German "maus" renamed all their groups once again, so there is a big change..:

comp.sys.sinclair all sinclair computers
maus.computer.ql.intl general discussion about the QL
maus.computer.ql.c news about the excellent c68 compiler
maus.computer.ql.de german only

And here the old names, doubt you can access them in any other way then by some archives.

comp.sys.sinclair all sinclair computers
maus.sys.ql.int general discussion about the QL
maus.sys.ql.c68-int news about the excellent c68 compiler
maus.sys.ql.ger german only

If your server doesn't provide these groups..

If you don't have access to the maus.* groups on your system don't despair - but they are worth to get them by any means. You can easilly access them from various remote servers:

Overseas users will probably enjoy the DejaNews or Reference.Com service, while for European users one of the GOPHER or NNTP servers might be promising.

Also most sys/newsadmins will be cooperative and activate these groups if you mention that they are less than 100 articles a week, typically less than 200 lines per article and no porn (g). Servers as far as in Thailand or Korea have them so it should not be a problem for your server.

Posting to the maus.* groups

Try to use the Hildesheim NNTP server or DejaNews(see below), if this fails just post to comp.sys.sinclair or something similar which is also carried in Germany AND crosspost to the wanted maus.* group. However you should give a clear hint in the subject or first text line saying that this message is also crossposted the the maus.sys.ql group to avoid unnecessary confusion and cross-follow-ups.

Some newsreaders may not have a special "crosspost" comand(in fact I do not know any that would have), just "post" and enter the newsgroups that shall carry the article as a comma separated list(no blanks) instead of a single newsgroup name. If this doesn't work either your last chance is that the message header will be passed together with the message body to an external editor where you can fix the "Newsgroups:" line to hold the list of newsgroups.

Deja News

This fine service allows you to read all newsgroups including the maus.* and post to them, as well as browse archives and seacrh for keywords. Marvelous. It could be especially interesting for American QL users, for them it is probably much faster than playing around with European NNTP servers.

If you have always image loading switched of as I do, yo will have a hard time telling the "Followup" and "Post" buttons appart but a look at the link address will tell you..

To use DejaNews as your newsreader just follow this customized link: Read News

Once you click on an article you will be offered all the usual options like posting or replying.

To get the full archived contents of the Newsgroups use a filter search, or you may also try some of the following links

Here an attempt to filter all QL related posts from comp.sys.sinclair

Here an attempt to filter all QL related posts from ALL groups:


is another fine service offering full search of Usenet, newsgroup browsing and posting news. You will need to register to be able to post, the registration is FREE.

Read news from reference.com:

Some NNTP servers

You should use a newsreader which is configurable not to read the active list at startup, this is usually about 400KB and will take a looong time to load over slow lines. AFAIK Netscape, ForteFree and newer Xemacs GNUS versions offer this possibility. For (X)Emacs GNUS add a line "(setq gnus-read-active-file nil)" to your ~/.emacs file and make sure you have not subscribed 1/2M of groups.

If you use Netcsape or Xemacs W3 to read this, just follow one of the links below:

Hildesheim NEW NAMES offers posting,


Some read only sites, Stuttgart and Erlangen are likely a bit faster than Hildesheim and also offer much nicer threading


Hildesheim OLD NAMES offers posting,


Some read only sites, Stuttgart and Erlangen are likely a bit faster than Hildesheim and also offer much nicer threading. OLD NAMES


for conventional newsreaders the addresses read as follows:

news.rz.uni-hildesheim.de posting allowed !!!, but AFAIK works only with emacs GNUS, telnet or rpent
news.ex.ac.uk posting allowed, like Hildesheim doesn't work with all newsreaders

Public newsservers are rare so don't abuse them to get large binary files!!

To use one of the above servers try 'setenv NNTPSERVER news.uni-stuttgart.de ' and see whether your favorite newsreader supports this (tin may need -r option) telneting works always, and also gives detailed error reports, but it is more than a little bit obscure. Try 'telnet news.uni-stuttgart.de 119' and type 'help' after login message (but don't expect a prompt)

Emacs/Lemacs/Xemacs GNUS works with every server I have seen up to date, type c-u meta-x gnus (enter). Now type the newsserver name and if it asks Subscribe all, if it doesn't show the maus.* group select "show all groups" from the popup menu. Also don't forget to have separate .newsrc for each server; for emacs-gnus just type touch .newsrc-SERVERNAME from your shell, for other news readers see the startup options or just do 'mv .newsrc-SERVERNAME .newsrc'

GOPHER news reading

Gopher has quick startup times and is really easy to use if used through some WWW browser(netscape,mosaic...) or xgopher; unfortunately it appears that this fine service will be completely displaced by WWW in the near future.

This part of the list is getting shorter and shorter..the only left gopher server has not yet caught up with the new groupnames.


{{ gopher://gopher.uni-kl.de:70/1exec%3A-g%20maus%3A/News/.bin/gonntp}}
{{ gopher://gopher.rrz.uni-koeln.de:2003/1nntp%20ls%20maus.sys.ql%20 }}
{{ gopher://hp2.rz.uni-rostock.de:4320/1nntp%20ls%20maus.sys.ql%20 }}

In some cases the gopher server still offers some QL groups as they existed years ago, these are of course empty, just ignore them.

QL Mailing List

Lot of traffic, no spam :-)

To subscribe the QL Mailing List, email majordomo@nvg.ntnu.no with

subscribe ql-users
within the message body.

Unsubscribing is much the same: email majordomo@nvg.ntnu.no with

unsubscribe ql-users
within the message body

The QL Fraternity
Di-Ren Internet

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