Sunday, 4 October 2009

Hard Disks, QLToday and Tony Tebbie

Some more on hard disks. I came across an article in an old copy of QL Today that I had forgotten about. Volume 10 Issue 2 August/September/October 2005, page 34. The author, Derek Stewart recommends partitioning QWA partitions to 512MB size. This is in contradiction to the standard advice of using no more than 256MB sized partitions. I think he may eventually have to revise his advice as while SMSQ/E will seem to read larger partition sizes the problem lies in the 16 bit limit of the number of files. I have used 512MB hard disk once. It was fine until the space occupied came to more than 256MB then files did not get written to the disk.
Sadly this article from one of the experts perpetuates the myth that you can only get 3 usable QWA partitions from a disk, in fact 4 is possible, just not with makepart_exe.

The latest QL Today is out - hurrah. Its a bit thinner now having shed its English distribution end as it needs to be postable from Austria without being too expensive. There is an extensive and interesting article from Tony Tebbie about the creation of the QL which make you wonder how it was ever functional and why some of us are still fans. Besides this there were 2 interesting listings. Not yet on the QL Toady web site. I am off to find some OCR software as life is too short to type all these things in.

Finally QL Heaven is still hearing about the financial angst between traders. Have the traders helped keep the interest in the QL alive for the rest of us or have they hindered the development of QL Nirvana. Its an interesting question. Some undoubted have been both a help and a major hinderance. For example in the opinion of some, the builders of the Q40, who launched this successor hardware but made continued development  dependent on open source for smsq/e. Yet the originators of the current crazy licence smsq/e licence did the scene no favours either. Almost despite the licence there has been substantial development of smsq/e and in fact it is possible to download the sources, modify if you wish and compile the latest version of smsq/e for any configuration of the QL except for QPC2 (commercial secrets there) for free! Madness!

Tony Tebbie's article has given me the idea of looking back at a few more what ifs. Another promise, if I get the OCR I will post more listings here to sane typing fingers.

1 comment:

  1. I only recommended 512Mb partitions, on the Q60, mainly to keep some sort of compatibility with other SMSQ/E systems. Whether this is correct is open to debate. I personally used 4Gb partitions created in Shoestring Linux atari-fdisk program. The makepart_exe programme supplied in QxO SMSQ/E was a rather nasty programme, that I only use once and deleted from my own list of programmes.

    The SMSQ/E Licence debate/argument killed the Q60 development. Only because we made a success of the Q60 / Q40 where the others before us did not.

    Sorry for that, still hurts, that I was labelled a pirate and out to cause problems, when all I wanted was a 68060 QL to programme. Alas now all I have is all the broken Q40 boards that Qbranch badly made and damaged.

    Derek Stewart