7 posts • joined 4 Mar 2011
The moral is....
There are a few odd things here that just show the pitfalls of Kickstarter and why it is unlikely I would ever pledge anything....
a) The terms of a project can be fairly vague, so long as there is good press coverage and people want to believe in something they will. In this instance, what do pledgers get? A promise that Elite will use all their experience to develop the project - no guarantee that it will be developed or ever reach the market. Even if it does, do they really think that they get good value for the £100 handed over?
b) The money raised could be used to meet some of the company's creditors without any come back for those who have pledged money.
c) People need to do more research into companies before handing over money for anything - especially so in the case of items that don't even exist as yet, other than as artist impressions.
d) The biggest danger to the project should have been highlighted in the blurb by the company, but as Kickstarter is not regulated, then it can be missed out. The biggest danger is that the software authors who have not been paid, get in touch direct with Apple / Microsoft and ask for their intellectual property to be withdrawn. In that case, even if the bluetooth keyboard is developed, there will be no apps to run on it!
Re: 4MB ED
Yes sure - contact me via www.rwapsoftware.co.uk - I have a Super Gold Card and ED disk drives - so can convert the files and print out or email them back to you.
By the way - I am trying to collect as much QL commercial software as possible to preserve it - there are quite a few missing titles - see the QL Wiki on www.rwapadventures.com/ql_wiki
30 Years Old and Still Inspiring
Well, the QL may be 30 years old and have a somewhat chequered history.
I recently resurrected one of the earliest models and reverted it to using the Dongle version of the ROM. It's microdrive units were actually amongst the best I have seen - formatting cartridges at around 230 sectors (close to the physical limit of 255 sectors).
The QL is still strongly supported with new hardware, such as the QL-SD Interface - the first production model of which has been released to coincide with the 30th Anniversary and can be found on www.sellmyretro.com.
There were some classic games converted to the QL, and highly innovative hardware, such as the Super Gold Card, which provided the original QL with 4MB RAM, a 68020 processor and ability to use 4MB ED floppy disk drives (formatted 3.2MB capacity). That, coupled with Tony Tebby's last version of the QL operating system (SMSQ/e) has kept the QL as a fast multi-tasking enthusiasts machine capable of so much more than the original design and early reviewers would ever have dreamt about.
The ICL One Per Desk / Merlin Tonto / Computerphone were all great little machines - loved how they had a menu which stored the address book - find the person you were looking for and hit dial the phone would connect (or connect direct to their computer).
They are a cousin of the Sinclair QL Home computer, and share some of the same technology, although the microdrives on these were improved over the QL (so much so, that some QLers retro-fitted the ICL microdrives onto the QL).
You can still get a hold of Merlin Tontos - http://www.sellmyretro.com/search/naturalSearch?keyword=merlin+tonto
Emulator in Flash?
The ZX81 Lives On
It is great to see so many positive stories about the ZX81 and such enthusiasm for it in what were the very early days of home computing.
I had my first ZX81 at the age of 13 in 1982 - purchased from my brother, so he could buy a Spectrum. I too had everything screwed to a board, to stop the ram pack wobble - but then I needed something, as it had to be balanced (together with the TV) on top of my bed!
I eventually moved it into a case with a full sized keyboard, but then sold that and moved onto the Sinclair QL which was still my main machine until about 2002 when I bought my first PC!
I still support the old Sinclair computers and have daily contact with other users. Over the last few years, we have brought replacement keyboard membranes for the ZX81 to the market, and the 30th Anniversary will also see the launch of the ZXPander - a modern interface to provide both additional memory and the ability to LOAD / SAVE instantly from SD memory cards.
A lot of new software has been written over the past couple of years, much of it using hi-res graphics on the ZX81 (something that was not really achieved until about 1983/4) - see www.rwapsoftware.co.uk/zx81/zx81_software.html
The discussion forums at http://www.rwapservices.co.uk/ZX80_ZX81/forums/ are also very active, with plenty of ideas floating around and development occurring as a result.
I wonder how many people will be looking back at Windows based PCs and celebrating their 30th anniversary..... Bet no-one will be looking back in 2030 at the 30th anniversary of WIndows ME / 2000 - that's for certain!
If your keyboard ribbon tails are broken, it is quite easy to get and insert a replacement - we offer them for sale on sellmyretro.com