CASE OF THE MISSING QDOS
ONE OF THE most sparse sources of information about the QL has just been provided by Sigma Press and it is called, more in desperation than hope you might think, The Sinclair QL User Guide.
The User Guide is just a rewrite of that other QL User Guide and looks as if the writer has dashed it off on a word processor and not bothered to add anything of his own, such personal opinions about how best to use the massive power of the new machine, or even a touch of humour. Most other books succeed in adding something new to the Sinclair Guide but Fleetwood's book does not.
Much of the book discusses the Psion software packages, twenty pages being left for a quick cut and thrust at SuperBasic which barely covers the points made in the beginner's section of the Sinclair Guide. You might think that the rest of the text would contain a wealth of information, culled from the corridors of Psion or Sinclair, about the software packages but you would be sadly wrong. There is one example for each of the packages and each of those covers barely one page.
The author and publisher do not seem to have measured their limitations in getting such a book out onto the market. Copies have been going out to WH Smith with bits of paper stuck over part of the blurb on the back of the book. For those interested in the offending passage, it reads "Bits and bytes don't come into it until you get to the technical section on the 68010 processor, the Motorola instruction set and the QDOS operating system. Even here, the language is clear and jargon-free, providing a painless introduction for those who want it." Yes, the introduction to QDOS is painless as it does not exist.
It is a pity to witness the birth of a book such as The Sinclair QL User Guide. it could have been so much better. Authors can make mistakes but the criticisms of this book are that nothing new, not even in terms of style, is brought to the reader.
The Sinclair QL Users Guide
Publisher: Sigma Press