QL - Vintage Sinclair

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The Sinclair QL (Quantum Leap) was launched in 1984. Supposedly, Sinclair was unhappy with his computers being used almost exclusively for playing games on, something he thought of as frivolous. So, despite the enormous success of the ZX81 and then the Spectrum, he was determined to lauch a serious business machine.
On paper, the machines specifications were impressive - a 32-bit processor, 128K of RAM, built-in twin microdrives and a multi-tasking operating system, QDOS, all for under 400 pounds.
However, the machine was plaqued by serious technical and reliabilty problems from the start. Many customers had to wait months after ordering and then came with a circuit board add-on hanging out of the back.

By 1986 when it was discontinued, sales were only around 150,000 in total, compared with millions for his previous two models. The timing was unfortunate as when the first PC had been released by IBM and Microsoft, the cost of computer hardware started to fall and the QL soon lost it's price advantage.

Technical Specification:
CPU : Motorola 68008
Operating System : QDOS
Memory : 128K (expandable to 640k)
Video : Colour output to TV or monitor
Data storage : Twin microdrives

Rear ports


Startup screen showing user options

Inside we have...
Astec RF modulator (top of picture) for output to TV.

The Motorola microproccessor (resistor modification on top! )

Ribbon cables for connection to keyboard. (You can just about see they have broken on this one near SER1).

The red, black and white wires are for the 3 LEDs (Power, Drive 1 and Drive 2)

Twin microdrives (bottom right)

QL came with 4 buisness applications + a games cartridge
A spreadsheet (Abacas)
A word processor (Quill)
A graphics package (Easel)
A file handling application (Archive)

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