Hammer Of Retribution Productions' Sinclair computing pages




We all know the story: good old Sir Clive wanted a computer more suitable to take on the business market than the Spectrum had ever been, which performed well, looked smart, undercut its rivals on price and would be on the market before Spectrum users could say "R Tape loading error". He even appeared in the TV advert, taking a "Quantum Leap" over the more expensive rival machines. But, of course, the QL didn't quite work as planned - there was the unfinished ROM that needed the "dongle" inserted in the back of the early models, the business software wasn't quite complete when the computer was launched - and packaging it with internal Sinclair microdrives instead of a 3½" floppy disc drive really signed its death warrant before it had ever had the chance to live.

But there were a group of users who took to it in the early days - dongle or no dongle - and from the later months of 1984 onwards, some of them even sent their SuperBASIC listings to the magazines of the day for publication, thus adding to the small range of software that was available. And, whereas any microdrive cartridges from those days have long since perished, the listings themselves have survived due to the efforts of Martijn van der Heide and the World of Spectrum preservation team's fanatical dedication to archiving as much original Sinclair material as they could - which, of course, meant magazines were scanned and preserved for the future.

World of Spectrum and ZXDB are both Spectrum-focused databases, though now ZXDB is making a noticeable effort to expand to the ZX81, ZX80, QL, SAM Coupé, Next... and even more Sinclair-related computers on top of that. The list of titles for these machines is far from complete at this point, but they'll get there. And I intend to help with that. In April 2020, during the dark days of Coronatarian house arrest, a project was launched to fill in the blanks at Jim Grimwood's Type Fantastic archive of type-in programs. I took on the job of typing in every listing from Sinclair User that had escaped the net - and soon found I would have to get to grips with the QL to do so. With a few pointers from Jim who'd typed in a few listings himself, I was able to get those first few QL listings typed in and working.

Now, I am taking on the job of typing in every QL listing that is indexed on the Type Fantastic, and hosting them here. The QL was never known as a games machine (and Sir Clive presumably preferred it that way), but anyone who could program SuperBASIC could soon make a game that would stand up and be counted among the wider variety of Spectrum type-in games. I'm keeping them on a separate page from the utilities and demos, which the QL was more amenable to - so you can choose to look at either, or both.