Hi Wolfgang,

thank you for the explanations. Regarding the voluntary work: I am
astonished as well as grateful to people like you, Marcel, Giorgio in Italy
and others who still find some time for QL related activities for the
benefit of very few remaining active users. This is even more true
considering that we are not talking anymore of young students with high
energy, free time and almost no hassles. 

Kind regards


-----Messaggio originale-----
Da: Ql-Users [mailto:ql-users-boun...@lists.q-v-d.com] Per conto di Wolfgang
Lenerz via Ql-Users
Inviato: mercoledì 21 giugno 2017 09.26
A: ql-us...@q-v-d.com
Oggetto: [Ql-Users] QxlwinReader

Hi Davide,

> ... The DD Unix utility might
> be of course an interesting option but maybe it could be more useful 
> for SD cards written with the QL-SD interface rather than a Qubide 
> hard disk (especially if it has more than one partition)

Whilst it's true that this was written with these cards in mind, I'm not
sure about this statement. If you have a PC that still has the connections
for your hard disk (I presume it's IDE ?), using DD (or
equivalent) might be the fastest way to get your data off that disk.

I think I can confidently state that if I had an image file with several
partitions, I could probably figure them out pretty quickly and amend
QxlwinReader so that it can handle them.

Tracks/cylinders/heads would be more difficult.

> Talking more in general I think it is a pity that some possibile 
> implementations or bug fixes are becoming very difficult if not 
> impossible just because lack of the native hardware to test to the few 
> people which have the knowledge to solve these issues. I wonder how 
> this could be improved.

Yes, not being able to reproduce and trace a bug is a problem. For example,
some time back, a problem with SMSQ/E for the Atari was reported to me. I
used to have some Ataris (and still had/have them but not in working
condition). So there wasn't much I could do, until I stumbled upon an Atari
emulator for the PC, which at least allowed me to see and even test the
problem, and eventually figure out what went wrong. That was pure dumb luck!

As you rightly point out, without the actual hardware this is going to
become practically impossible - not only to fix, but even just to check
whether the problem exists (a case in point : some recent QXL screen
problem, one user (Andrea) reported a problem, I had a look at the code to
try to find out why but couldn't, and then another user (Bob) said that it
worked OK...).

I'm not sure what can be done about this situation. Perhaps your solution,
to supply actual hardware to people still fixing things might work. Without
false modesty, I think I can safely say that most recent development for
SMSQ/E has been done by Marcel, and to a much lesser degree, by me. I won't
presume to speak for Marcel, so this only goes for myself : I'm just not
sure that I'd want more hardware here!

Also, don't forget that working on SMSQ/E is purely a voluntary work.
For me, there is a big difference between writing something new like the
recent Thing, and then fixing the problems I inevitably introduce on the one
hand, and fixing other bugs, on the other hand.

Since I've become the "regsistrar", which was supposed to be a purely
administrative job, I'm often being asked to fix problems in some old code
which I didn't write nor know about. It then takes me a lot of time to look
at the code to try to understand it. In most cases I then just chicken out
and refer this to Marcel :-), on some rare occasions, I manage to find the
problem myself and fix it. For me, this is less fun than writing something
for myself. I still do it just because I like SMSQ/E... But the point is
that I do it because I want to, not because there is any obligation to.

Finally just a not-so-related question: There is a bug reported here that
precludes formatting disks on a SuperGoldgard - does anybody know whether
that is also true for a simple Goldcard? I ask because I know that I can get
my hands on one of those.


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