What is APL rom cartridge ?

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jkatsikis
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What is APL rom cartridge ?

Postby jkatsikis » Tue May 15, 2018 11:07 pm

Hello,
I have a rom cartridge by CARE.As you see, the message on booting is about APL .
What is the 'APL' and how can I use it ?
Thanks.
rom1.jpg
rom2.jpg


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Sparrowhawk
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Re: What is APL rom cartridge ?

Postby Sparrowhawk » Tue May 15, 2018 11:28 pm

If it's what I'm thinking of, then APL is a high level programming language geared towards mathematics and statistics. Depending on the variant, it can comprise of keywords, or, more commonly, a large number of symbols to represents things like sets, unions, etc etc.

I once was asked to decipher an APL program for a bank. I thought at first the printer had just spat out random garbage!

My guess is that you have a very rare QL item there.


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Re: What is APL rom cartridge ?

Postby RWAP » Wed May 16, 2018 8:25 am

It is by MicroAPL Limited:

https://qlwiki.qlforum.co.uk/doku.php?id=qlwiki:ql_apl

The ROM needs dumping please :)


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Dave
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Re: What is APL rom cartridge ?

Postby Dave » Wed May 16, 2018 9:11 am

One thing I had to do at Sandy, which I have just been reminded of.

I had to open up about 250 cartridges, remove the sticker and UV erase the EPROMs inside, send off the CARE top halves and get back blank top halves (it was a straight swap with CARE or someone close to them?) and program them with CPM and put the labels on.

That was a less sucky task. The EPROM burner QL was next to the espresso machine. :)


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Re: What is APL rom cartridge ?

Postby Sparrowhawk » Wed May 16, 2018 3:00 pm

RWAP wrote:It is by MicroAPL Limited:

https://qlwiki.qlforum.co.uk/doku.php?id=qlwiki:ql_apl



Out of interest I went to the Micro APL website, and they no longer sell APL. However, the last available version for Win/Mac/Linux can be downloaded here: http://www.dyalog.com/aplx.htm

No mention of the QL version, as far as I could see.


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Re: What is APL rom cartridge ?

Postby RWAP » Wed May 16, 2018 3:50 pm

Sparrowhawk wrote:
Out of interest I went to the Micro APL website, and they no longer sell APL. However, the last available version for Win/Mac/Linux can be downloaded here: http://www.dyalog.com/aplx.htm

No mention of the QL version, as far as I could see.


No - I sent them an email to ask about the QL versions - we shall see,....


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NormanDunbar
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Re: What is APL rom cartridge ?

Postby NormanDunbar » Wed May 16, 2018 8:02 pm

If I remember correctly, from my college days back in the early 1980s, APL stood for A Programming Language.

Does anyone know if this is the case, or was the late Roy Dearman taking the mickey? As he did on occasions.


Cheers,
Norm.


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Re: What is APL rom cartridge ?

Postby RWAP » Wed May 16, 2018 8:08 pm

I have had a response from MicroApl:

Thank you for your email. It's good to hear that the QL version of APL.68000 still exists.

Unfortunately I don't think any QL-specific APL manuals or source code have survived, although I still have a QL at home somewhere. I will check with one of the original authors of the code, when he gets back into the office after his vacation.

We do still have the source code of the APL interpreter itself, which continued to be maintained and enhanced for the next 30 years and was the basis of our PC, Macintosh and Linux 'APLX' products. (We only recently discontinued selling APLX). But the source code for the QL front end went missing a long time ago.

Although we no longer have the QL documentation, the old APL.68000 language reference manual forms the core of the following online tutorial:

https://aplwiki.com/LearnApl/LearningApl

Some of the later stages of the tutorial cover the second-generation features known as APL2, which I don't think the QL version supported, but much of the material is still relevant.

We'd be very happy for you to release the ROM cartridge contents as freeware. It's nice to think that the code continues to have a life.



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Re: What is APL rom cartridge ?

Postby tofro » Wed May 16, 2018 8:22 pm

Nice find, and nice achievement, Rich!

(Although most of the language is more than Greek to me, I think APL is the only programming language that is as hard to read as it is to write).

I once worked in a Uni institute for fluid dynamics, where most of the numerical problems were solved (? - not really sure about that, could also be made up ;) ) in APL. Two guys had specific APL keyboards that had more engravings per key than a ZX Spectrum, the other guys fiddled with paper overlays and could never hit the proper keys. I was happy I could work in Z80 Assembly, which read like plain text in comparison)

Tobias



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