Q-emuLator for Windows - Versions history
- Added basic keyboard emulation for Sinclair PM ROM.
- Debugger: new DA (dumps memory in ASCII format) and CHANNELS (lists open QDOS channels) commands.
- Simulate more differences of the SMSQ/E file system (compared to QDOS).
- Changed SMSQ/E variant of the mouse driver to avoid undesired side effects.
- Fixed accelerated graphics issue when there are more than 32767 channels.
- Added support for "mdump version 2" microdrive images.
- mdump_task (QL utility to create microdrive images) now included in the QL Software directory
- Option to use the ROM microdrive driver to access microdrive images (Sinclair ROMs only). Enabled by default. Increases compatibility, but access is slower compared to the Q-emuLator driver - the emulated tape speed is about twice that of a real cartridge.
- Take QL display screenshots by pressing Ctrl+F11. Screenshots are saved as a bitmap (.BMP file extension) at a fixed 512 x 256 resolution on the computer's desktop.
- Changed QL sound timbre to match the original.
- Improved QLay microdrive images handling to be compatible with images produced by the MDIDriver_cde driver.
- 1% faster CPU emulation.
- Don't stop emulation on Fxxx instructions. (Compatibility improvement for some buggy QL programs.)
- File system improvements and bug fixes:
- Added support for floppy images where both sides are formatted but QDOS only uses a single side.
- Escape * and ? filename characters when writing to Windows directories.
- Correct the drive allocation sizes returned by IOF.XINF.
- Allow some raw reads of partial floppy disk sectors.
- ZIP file driver when the "level 2" driver is enabled: Avoid opening an incorrect file when the requested file doesn't exist but the filename is the prefix of the name of an existing file and the first character after the prefix is '_'.
- Floppy image driver: Ensure unused parts of blocks are zeroed in all cases.
- Other bug fixes:
- Improved Caps Lock handling and Caps Lock state consistency.
- Fixed spurious error message after unregistering application.
- Fixed crash at shutdown on Windows 7/8 when running the executable directly from a DVD rather than running the installer.
- Fixed issue where entering the debugger after a QL program exception would always stop at the interrupt 2 service routine address.
- Exit and re-enter full screen mode on Alt-Tab.
- Return cartridge name in "get medium info" trap for microdrive images (*.mdv).
- Fixed crash when QCF file was passed on the command line.
- No error message for privilege exceptions (allows some buggy QL software to run).
- debug_68k: disassemble LINK and STOP instructions.
- Improved error message when directory attached to microdrive slot doesn't exist.
- Fixed BEEPING command (was broken in version 3.1).
- Mount compressed (zipped) floppy disk images as read-only disks.
- Major tweaks to precise QL speed emulation.
- Accept floppy disks and floppy disk images with non-standard number of tracks.
- Patch Minerva ROM to fix Minerva bug causing AUTO/EDIT to delete SuperBASIC lines after startup and when add-on ROMs like the Toolkit II are installed.
- API to allow third-party extension DLLs to emulate hardware devices.
- File system bug fixes:
- Show correct file length in Qram and QPAC2 for native host files.
- Fixed QXL.WIN main directory access with QMENU's file_select$ command.
- Fixed crash when built-in RAM disk is used in static mode (i.e. it has been formatted with a fixed preallocated size) and gets full.
- Disallow overwriting a directory when creating a new file (to avoid inadvertent data loss).
- Other bug fixes:
- Added KEYROW emulation for 10 more keys.
- Fixed jittery display refresh at QL speed (bug was introduced in version 3.0.3 and related to the low-CPU-usage feature).
- debug_68k debugger: fixed printing of word-length negative immediate values.
- Fixed tab order in QL Configuration window.
- Added "*.* All Files" option to the file types selector in the window to open floppy disk images.
- Small inaccuracy fixed in window aspect ratio (on Windows 7).
- Greatly reduce CPU and power usage when running at QL speed.
- Fixed form feed issue in printer emulation.
- Compatible again with Windows 95.
- UI and accessibility fixes.
- Fixed low level IPC emulation with Minerva ROM.
- Honor magnification filter setting on Windows XP.
- Fixed license expiration issue.
- Resizable main window.
- Precise QL speed emulation.
- Dot matrix printer emulation allows printing from QL programs to PC printers. 9-pin Epson-compatible commands. High quality and matrix emulation modes.
- Mount .ZIP files as disks.
- Use .QLPAK single-file QL software archives.
- Smart full screen upscaling for smoother graphics with no sharpness degradation.
- Access microdrive images (including a new .mdv format) and floppy disk images.
- QL Sampled Sound System.
- Improved display emulation when running on Windows 7:
- The windowed QL display has the correct aspect ratio, and resizing is smoother than on previous versions.
- Full screen mode now compatible with Windows 7.
- Hardware flashing is always emulated in 8-colour mode. (Windows 7 or later. On previous Windows versions, it is only emulated in full screen, and only if the smart upscaling feature is disabled).
- Compatibility improvements:
- The memory layout is now almost identical to a QL, improving compatibility with early QL software that expects system data structures to be at fixed memory addresses.
- Many small incompatibilities have been fixed in the file system.
- More non-standard ROMs are supported. Sound is now enabled for non-standard ROMs and interrupt emulation has been improved.
- 15% faster CPU emulation.
- Migrated to a more Vista-friendly installer.
- Now includes Sinclair "JS" ROM image (with permission).
- Allow creation of new directory when attaching MDV slots to Windows directories.
- Fixed incompatibilty in QDOS file seeking.
- Improved SMSQ/E compatibility when using Aurora video card.
- 'insert' (paste) key now working with SMSQ/E.
- JOBS debugger command.
- Option to break into the debugger on QL crashes.
- Always show mouse pointer in debugger.
- Fixed disassembly of CMPA.W #imm,An instruction.
- Bug fixes:
- Fixed major bug introduced in recent versions that could occasionally corrupt QDOS floppy disks when writing to them.
Extensively tested QDOS floppy driver and increased frequency of data flushing.
- DIR was reporting negative total/free sectors for large hard drives.
- Fixed parsing of video options from configuration files.
- Fixed occasional bug when invoking debugger from full screen mode.
- Some full screen improvements to limit cases of screen corruption.
- Disallow using Aurora with more than 4 MB of RAM (address ranges would overlap).
- Fixed major code translation bug. Greatly improved compatibility.
- Support for breakpoints.
- Changes related to Q60 video emulation.
- Fixed hang.
- Use less CPU when not running as the active application.
- Debug_68k debugger: SBK command to find the address of a SuperBASIC function or procedure.
Note: High resolution modes need to be enabled in the QL Configuration window (Graphics tab) and are only available full screen. They are available in all versions of Windows except Windows 95 and Windows 2000.
- Emulation of Q40/Q60 high color video modes:
- Extended 1024x768x65536 video mode, with the same video memory format and base address as the Q40/Q60 1024x512x65536 mode.
- Partial emulation of Aurora video modes:
- QemuFast can now run recent versions of SMSQ/E. (Q-emuLator was already compatible with SMSQ/E, but not QemuFast).
Also fixed a QemuFast code translation bug.
- SER driver: 'v' option to transmit/receive 7 bits instead of 8.
- SER driver: Keep RTS line enabled when not using handshaking.
- Increased maximum amount of RAM from 128KB to 384KB when not registered, to allow running unzip_exe.
- Debug_68k disassembler: Fixed disassembly of MULU/MULS/DIVU/DIVS and BTST/BCHG/BSET/BCLR instructions.
To use the high resolution modes you need to use QL software capable of directly accessing the exteneded video memory, or the version of SMSQ/E for Aurora. QL ROM images like the Sinclair and Minerva ROMs are not able to draw on the extended screen because they lack high-color/high-resolution video drivers (unless a version of SMSQ/E with the GD2 driver is loaded).
- Basic version of Q-emuLator (roughly equivalent to a real QL in speed and features) now available for free for personal, non-commercial use. Registration is still required to unlock extra features and much faster CPU emulation.
- Fixed disassembly of suba.w instruction in debug_68k debugger.
- Keyboard emulation is now compatible with Windows dead keys when using Sinclair or Minerva ROMs.
- Completed keyboard emulation for non-standard QL ROMs.
- Q-emuLator now accepts non-standard ROMs up to 80KB long, and expansion ROMs up to 32KB long.
- Fixed microdrive copy protection emulation (it was failing on fast PCs).
- Improved user manual in PDF format (courtesy of Phoebus Dokos).
- Added setup program to install/uninstall Q-emuLator.
- New trap to allow QL programs to close the emulator.
- Relative paths can now be used to specify the location of ROMs, PC directories and QXL.WIN files. The emulator is now also partially resistant to files being moved around. For example, if you change the PC drive letter for the hard disk containing the emulator executable and your QL software, in many cases Q-emuLator will still be able to find your QL software, even if the .qcf configuration file still specifies the old disk drive letter.
- Fixed bug that caused the QL mouse to occasionally become unresponsive when running the Pointer Environment (PE).
- Fixed another issue with the PAR device on Windows XP.
- More TCP/IP functionality. Lynx, FTP and email are all working now.
- Fixed problem opening the PAR device on Windows XP.
- Now compatible with recent versions of SMSQ/E for the Gold Card.
- Write access to QXL.WIN disk images.
- A QL machine code debugger (debug_68k.dll) is always available by pressing F11.
- TCP/IP: partial implementation of QDOS sck_ and tcp_ device drivers.
- CTL1 joystick emulation.
- Better error handling for full screen display modes.
- Better compatibility with buggy QL software accessing wrong memory addresses.
- First part of work to support exotic (i.e. non-Sinclair and non-Minerva) QL ROMs.
- A number of minor bug fixes.
- Two levels of registration.
- Splash screen changed.
- Can open files on read-only media.
- 68008 emulation about 5% faster.
- Emulation of a SMSQ incompatibility with the original QL file system, to allow execution of recent QL programs.
- Fixed a few bugs.
- Format QL floppy disks (Windows XP/2000/NT only).
- Use the insert key to paste up to 1KB of text from the Windows clipboard.
- Freeze the QL screen with either Ctrl+F5 and Scroll Lock. The Scroll Lock led is on when the QL display is frozen.
- Use the Home, End, Page Up and Page Down keys in QL programs.
- Fixed a bug in the code that implements the full screen QL display.
- 1024x768 full screen mode. No compromise graphics. The QL continues to only support the normal 512x256 and 256x256 resolutions, but display takes the whole screen. Slowest mode, due to the large amount of video memory used. It's the only mode that emulates flashing in the QL 8 colors mode.
To enter this full screen mode, press F12 when emulation is running. Then press F12 again when you want to return to windowed mode.
- 640x480 full screen mode. Very fast graphics. The QL display occupies most of the screen.
To enter this full screen mode, press Shift+F12 when emulation is running. Press F12 to return to windowed mode.
- Faster accelerated text output and block graphics.
- It is possible to specify a key to be automatically pressed at the initial QL F1/F2 prompt.
New features and improvements (since version 1.1):
Q-emuLator now patches on the fly the Minerva 1.89 ROM to support more than 1 MB of QL RAM.
Q-emuLator automatically detects when a QL floppy disk was changed in the drive or removed from a drive. However, my advice is to continue to use the Empty command from the microdrive slot menu before removing QL disks from a drive, to avoid file corruption in case there are open files on the disk.
It is possible to use high serial port speeds (more than 19200 baud) even from SuperBASIC (BAUD command patch).
New serial port speed of 31250 allowed for MIDI applications.
New QL Configuration option to enable or disable level 2 file system support, that is, to enable subdirectory support or disable it and revert to the original QL file system.
Improved logic to flush modified sectors to QL disks.
Renaming files is now possible also between different directories on the same drive (file move).
Fixed file system incompatibilities:
No more extra garbage characters in file names of files in Windows subdirectories.
Sometimes names of inexistent directories should be accepted, and a real directory associated through a partial name match.
It wasn't possible to have more than 50 files open at the same time on a QL disk or a QXL.WIN file.
Deleting a non-existent Windows file used to return 'File not found', while QDOS systems return no error.
It is now possible to create more than 256 files per emulation session.
Less memory used by the emulator when QL software creates lots of temporary files with a short lifetime.
A negative number of total sectors was reported for large QXL.WIN files.
It was not possible to read some of the directories in large QXL.WIN files.
Get File Header now returns -1 in the data type field for Windows directories.
It is now possible to open subdirectories as if they were normal files.
Other bug fixes:
Q-emuLator had problems when it was started from a .qcf file.
Now fixed: you can start Q-emuLator also by double-clicking on a .qcf file,
or by dragging it onto the Q-emuLator icon;
in this way, Q-emuLator automatically loads that configuration on start-up.
Check to avoid writing outside QL RAM if bad parameters passed to accelerated character output routines.
Minor occasional problems when opening Windows files.
In Windows 98, sometimes the last line of the QL display was not refreshed.
Errors while configuring serial ports now reported to the user.
It wasn't possible to use a second 16K QL external ROM.
- Up to 16 MB of QL RAM.
- Read-only access to QXL.WIN files.
- Level II file device drivers, with support for sub-directories.
- Faster graphics.
- Acceleration of some QDOS graphics commands (CLS, SCROLL, PAN, MODE, BLOCK).
- Better control of sharing permissions when accessing files.
- F parameter for serial and parallel ports. (Form Feed at end of file.)
- Choosing 'Cancel' in the 'Attach directory' dialog leaves previous slot settings unchanged.
- New window icon.
- Main window's height is checked and saved in .QCF files. You can no longer move the bar that divides the two parts of the window.
- Microdrive slots have been numbered.
- Some bugs fixed. (loading of .QCF files at start-up, window width after resize, etc.)
First Windows version of Q-emuLator, emulating all of the QL hardware except for the QL LAN, and extending it with more RAM and with RAM_ and PAR_ device drivers. Can access both QL floppy disks and the Windows file system.
© 2018 Daniele Terdina. All rights reserved.