THE MICROCOMPUTER of the Year is the QL, according to the judges of the British Microcomputer Awards.
Sir Clive, lit up with delight
The award was accepted by Sir Clive Sinclair who received a standing ovation at a ceremony in London, arranged by Thames Television, the Sunday Times and VNU Publications. He also picked up the VNU Educational Award for the Spectrum version of Logo, programmed for Sinclair Research by LCSI.
Psion chairman David Potter also received a trophy when the Psion bundled exchange packages for the QL won the Thames Home Software Award. Matthew Gaved of Psion commented ecstatically: "Fantastic, marvellous. We are very, very pleased. It is good news for Sinclair and it shows that the QL is still alive and well."
The company has recently shown its continued support for the QL with the launch of Match Point. The game is a conversion of the bestselling Spectrum tennis simulation.
Also, a new version of Archive is to be made available. Called the Archive Runtime Module it is a stripped down version of the original which will compile data manipulation programs written in its own SuperBasic derived language.
Psion believes that the new version of Archive will mainly be used by software houses who want to compile routines for the program. It will, however, also be available on the consumer market.
THE OS-9 operating system, capable of turning the QL into the equivalent of a high speed mini computer, is on the way courtesy of disc drive manufacturer Cumana.
OS-9 will be available as a hardware add-on in September, with QL compatible disc drives and interface.
Clive Martin of Cumana says. "We see OS-9 as being the operating system of the future for both the QL and the BBC microcomputer."
Planned software for OS9 includes word processors, databases, a fast version of Basic and a C compiler. Cumana also plans to add hard disc on the hardware front. Martin comments, "The whole system will be very Unix-like".
A data sheet on the disc drives and operating system is available from Cumana, Surrey.
HYPERDRIVE is the first QL motor racing game.
The package is to be launched by the English Software Company. It features 3D perspective graphics, five levels of play, sound effects and a joystick control option.
A PROUD Metacomco has just received its ISO validation certificate for the Pascal development kit.
The ISO standard is closely adhered to by manufacturers of major business software publishers. It is something of a coup for the Metacomco package to be included amongst those which are acknowledged as meeting the standard.
A spokesman for the company says, "We have sold 500 packages so far, which is good considering the state of the market. We are also thinking about special productions for universities. We may give educational establishments 30 or 40 per cent reductions."
Sinclair User was the first magazine to point out the outstanding quality of the Metacomco package in its Classic review in July.
A COMPLAINT regarding SuperBasic has earned a rebuke for Sinclair Research from the Advertising Standards Authority.
It said Sinclair could not claim its QL language to be "the most powerful Basic ever devised".
A HARDWARE system which makes the QL compatible with any type of printer has been launched by A Line Dataspeed Services.
The company offers a Protocol converter which connects virtually any type of computer to any printer. It does not matter whether the printer uses serial, paraHel or IEEE-488 standards.
More information can be obtained from A Line Dataspeed Services Ltd, Leicester.
A FULL SuperBasic compiler, priced at around £80.00 is the latest in a range of products announced by Digital Precision.
The two-pass optimising compiler, which will work on all versions of the QL starting with AH, provides facilities found on few other such products. Most interesting is its ability to optimise execution times of the object code when it has been compiled from SuperBasic.
Tony Tebby's Toolkit commands are also supported. The compiler will go one better than SuperBasic by supporting a nine digit numeric format instead of the usual seven.
Freddy Vaccha of Digital Precision says, "We believe that the compiler is a market beater. At the moment we regard Psion Chess as being number one in the QL charts but the compiler will replace it in that slot."
Other Digital Precision products due for release are an astrology program and two arcade games. Vaccha is pleased with the astrology software: "It uses astronomy calculations and produces a detailed character analysis".
All products from Digital Precision should be available at the end of August.