transfer from pc to ql is it possible

Helpful tips and guides, also new users can ask for help here.
Traindriver69
ROM Dongle
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:42 pm

transfer from pc to ql is it possible

Postby Traindriver69 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:44 pm

hi all
I have made a serial lead up for the ql with the intent of some how transferring software from my pc to the ql microdrive to load up on the ql.
I am no computer wizard so if anyone can let me know if this is possible and how to do it I would be grateful.


User avatar
ppe
Bent Pin Expansion Port
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:48 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: transfer from pc to ql is it possible

Postby ppe » Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:03 pm

Hi,

is your situation like mine was at the beginning - you don't have a floppy disk drive? Or do you simply want to explore the "wonderful" world of serial communications on the QL?

Cheers,
Petri


User avatar
dilwyn
Mr QL
Posts: 1235
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:39 pm
Location: Wales
Contact:

Re: transfer from pc to ql is it possible

Postby dilwyn » Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:31 pm

Traindriver69 wrote:hi all
I have made a serial lead up for the ql with the intent of some how transferring software from my pc to the ql microdrive to load up on the ql.
I am no computer wizard so if anyone can let me know if this is possible and how to do it I would be grateful.

I'm not sure how much it'll help - there are two articles on my website which might be useful.

The first deals with transferring software from PC to QL via serial lead. This is at http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/gen/serial/serial.html. This includes cable wiring and suggestions of commands to use at both ends. Itdates back to Windows XP days and relies on having command prompt for the examples.

The second article deals with the file transfer itself and the use of Unzip on the QL. You may find that if you only have an original 128K QL that Zip and Unzip can't run on that size memory.

Which brings me to a very important point which always arises when discussing this (to save you the headache of figuring out what's going on) do not try to unzip QL executable programs (those you start with an EXEC or EXEC_W command) on a PC. The PC does not understand QL file headers and so those types of file won't work properly on a QL because of the loss of file headers, specifically the executable job type flag and dataspace in the header - these can be repaired but it is not a job for the inexperienced user. Ordinary data files (text files, databases, SuperBASIC programs etc) aren't affected by this limitation.

If you need to unzip programs on a PC, the most practical way is probably to use a QL emulator, some of which are free to download and use these days.


Dilwyn
All things QL: see www.dilwyn.me.uk
User avatar
dilwyn
Mr QL
Posts: 1235
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:39 pm
Location: Wales
Contact:

Re: transfer from pc to ql is it possible

Postby dilwyn » Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:44 pm

Oops, forgot the second link, for unzip and file transfer:

http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/gen/pcqlxfer/index.html


Dilwyn
All things QL: see www.dilwyn.me.uk
User avatar
ppe
Bent Pin Expansion Port
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:48 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: transfer from pc to ql is it possible

Postby ppe » Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:50 pm

The article on Dilwyn's site is very good but the software part of it is somewhat light on details. If you use straight "copy" commands on both ends you should be aware that there will be no error checking which means that if a bit accidentally flips in transfer (and they sometimes do, especially at higher speeds) you will have a corrupt file. This is where file transfer programs step in. I would suggest using the "copy" method to initially transfer a file transfer program over and then use the file transfer program to transfer everything else :) As Dilwyn pointed out, you'll need unzip on the ql to, well, unzip the file transfer program.

For the initial "raw copy" method I would suggest a *very* slow baud rate on the serial port to avoid transfer errors, probably BAUD 1200 might be a good choice. Error-free transfer rather than speed is the priority at this stage.

I think I'll give this process a go just to see how it works out but roughly you need to:
1) copy unzip over to ql using "copy" method
- on Windows: set com1 to 1200 bits per sec, 8 data bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, you can do this in a command prompt (on win7 in my case) with "mode com1 baud=1200 parity=n data=8 stop=1"
- prepare receive on QL: "copy ser1ir to mdv1_unzip"
- on PC: copy file.bas com1
2) Fix the received unzip program using the instructions on Dilwyn's site: http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/arch/index.html
3) Copy QTerm from http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/internet/index.html using the same steps
4) unzip qterm
5) Run TeraTerm on Windows and QTerm on QL and use Y-Modem for the rest of the transfers. (X-modem is not a good choice for binary programs because it will pad any file to a 128-byte block size inserting extra bytes at the end)
- at this point you can crack up the baud rate on the serial port

TeraTerm is a good alternative to HyperTerminal on Windows.

But, this is totally untested so I may have omitted something crucial here :) I might give this a try later to see if my instructions work. I'm not even sure if it is possible to run QTerm on microdrives (probably yes)!

Cheers,
Petri


User avatar
ppe
Bent Pin Expansion Port
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:48 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: transfer from pc to ql is it possible

Postby ppe » Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:33 pm

Well, so far I have not been able to do a successful copy of qterm_cde binary file using a plain old "copy" command. I get a corrupt file even at 1200 baud when copying directly to microdrive. Funnily, I was able to copy the related basic files in the distribution without problems. Did all tests on a black box ql with a 512k memory expansion but no other peripherals.


Traindriver69
ROM Dongle
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:42 pm

Re: transfer from pc to ql is it possible

Postby Traindriver69 » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:03 pm

I only have a basic ql and as no one has for sale a disk interface this seems to be my only option to get software on to the ql.


User avatar
ppe
Bent Pin Expansion Port
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:48 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: transfer from pc to ql is it possible

Postby ppe » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:26 pm

Might be a good idea to get in line for the hopefully upcoming next batch of qubide cards?

Do you have a memory expansion or is it a 128k machine?


User avatar
ppe
Bent Pin Expansion Port
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:48 am
Location: Espoo, Finland

Re: transfer from pc to ql is it possible

Postby ppe » Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:37 pm

Well, that certainly makes things more interesting :) I'll see if I have time tomorrow, I might create a quick hack of an Xmodem receiver implementation in SuperBasic just for giggles. That should get you started.



Return to “Help for New Users”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest