On January 12th 1984 Sir Clive Sinclair presented the Sinclair QL
Professional Computer in a Hollywood-style launch event at the
Intercontinental Hotel, Hyde Park Corner, London. This was exactly
12 days earlier than Steve Jobs presented the Apple Macintosh.
Today, 25 years later we congratulate and celebrate the 25th birthday
of the Sinclair QL!
The QL still is a very good example of an innovative, stylish, powerful
and underestimated product. On one hand it failed in the market in the
long run but on the other it influenced many developments which ended in
today’s products. At least in seven aspects the QL was a real Quantum Leap:
1. First 32bit micro for both home and office use (Motorola MC68K CPU).
2. First PC with preemptive multitasking operating system with linear
   addressing, Windows and Mac OS offered those important features only
   years to decades later. The QL could run hundreds of jobs in parallel.
3. First PC with bundled Office suite (PSION XCHANGE offering word
   processing, spreadsheet, business graphics and database).
4. First PC with a highly integrated two chip North-/Southbridge, IBM
   and Apple still used dozens of standard chips.
5. Innovative and timeless industrial design (case, motherboard and
   keyboard), Sony’s Playstation 2 or some later Apple designs look
   very similar.
6. Innovative SuperBASIC Programming Language for Rapid Application
   Development (RAD), years later Microsoft’s Visual Basic closed the gap.
7. Even only around 150’000 QL’s were sold, one user became very
   important to the industry. Linus Torvralds used and programmed a
   QL before he created what became Linux.
Check out this 25th anniversary presentation.
Try QPC, a virtual QL:
Happy 25th anniversary and QL forever!
Urs König (aka cowo)

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