QL Is 25 and Quanta AGM 2009

QL Is 25 logo


Quanta's 2009 Workshop and Annual General Meeting were held at the Allesley Hotel, near Coventry, on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th April 2009. The event was held in the English midlands, so was conveniently central for most British visitors, and this was borne out by a better turnout than some recent workshops, including visitors who came from France and The Netherlands. In addition to the AGM, this was organised as a weekend of celebration of 25 years of both the QL and the user group Quanta under the name of QL Is 25.

Those who arrived on the Friday night came together for a meal at the Allesley Hotel restaurant, where we had the opportunity for a chat and reunion prior to the workshop itself on the Saturday.

The workshop started at 10AM on Saturday. QL traders were represented by Rich Mellor of RWAP Software, who had a huge stand with loads of second user books, software and hardware, including some of the stock Rich had acquired from TF Services now that Tony Firshman is not actively advertising his goods and services for the QL. Dilwyn Jones had a range of QL CDs on display, including a new QL Games CD.

John Southern and Chris Grogan had set up a QL A&E stand where they sought to repair broken QLs and other hardware, not always successfully!

Geoff Wicks was there for QL Today, along with his camera!

Steve and Annick Poole had travelled up from France and Bob Spelten and Leo Moll had come from the Netherlands. We were also graced with the presence of some old faces such as Stuart Honeyball of Miracle Systems and past Quanta Chairmen Phil Borman and Roy Brereton.

A substantial QL history exhibition had been prepared, and various people had brought along interesting bits of old hardware to display. George Gwilt had brought a rare Thor 21 (which is based on the original Thor 1 but includes such luxuries as a floating point unit). Simon Goodwin brought a Thor XVI and a few rare bits of old hardware such as an MCS Multi-ROM. John Gilpin had supplied several older disk interfaces, including two versions of the original Sinclair/Micro Peripherals disk interface, one of which had a Tony Tebby QFLP upgrade ROM on board. He also brought an old CST Q+4, a very rare 4-slot expansion cage for the QL which has a small circuit board to both extend the QL expansion slot and to patch a software issue with some QL ROM versions which prevents the use of more than one peripheral card with on-board RM (e.g. a disk interface and sound card, although memory cards are not affected by this).

The Workshop talks were started by George Gwilt at about 11AM, with a talk about his software. John Mason had brought a projector along which could plug into a computer, making it easier for the speakers to show software to the audience. Steve Poole gave the second talk about computing past and future after lunch, and Simon Goodwin rounded things off with a talk about Lear PCB Cad design software and uQLx/Linux. For Steve, this was his first talk at a Quanta workshop, although we are all familiar with his prolific writings in QL Today and Quanta magazines.

Saturday night saw a large number of those present at the workshop all come together for the traditional evening meal in the hotel restaurant. Outgoing Quanta Chairman John Mason was presented with an engraved tankard for his many years of loyal service to Quanta, and the Secretary announced that honorary life membership would be offered to traders Tony Firshman and Jochen Merz, and to Gil Lamb in Thailand who, at 94, is believed to be the oldest member.

Sunday morning saw another talk by Steve Poole, this time on the subject of 3D graphics. Steve has been working with 3D graphics on the QL in one way or another since the early days of the QL and has recently completed a 3D mapping of several kilometres around his house in France.

The AGM started at 2PM and the nominees for committee were returned unopposed. John Mason stepped down this year after his years of service, as required by the constitution. Sarah Gilpin now becomes the first female Chairman of Quanta, and Alison Southern was elected as Secretary. Keith Dunbar was later co-opted onto committee to assist Dan Abbott with the workload involved with the development of the Quanta website. All business to be discussed was accepted, including the resolution to change the way in which overseas subscription costs are calculated - due to changes in postage costs and the availability of the email newsletter, which would actually make it cheaper for overseas members to join if they choose to receive an email newsletter rather than a paper one.

There was some discussion about Quanta's achievements and aspirations. The introduction of the email newsletters has been a success, along with the new website. Webmaster Dan Abbott explained how he is still evaluating three Content Management Systems which would allow individual officers of the group to amend pages for which they have responsibility and these pages would be updated once approved by the webmaster, who would be then largely freed from any responsibility for editorial content. It would also allow sub-groups access to areas of their own on the site, for example to publicise their individual local activities and to make other QL users in their area aware of the existence of these sub-groups. International QL groups can also apply for space as well. Committee are to try to contact QL groups abroad and encourage them to feed information to Quanta so that Quanta can include them in the sub-groups list and so on.

The Librarian explained that he had caught up with all outstanding librray submissions, that a copy of the Library Guide on disk had been circulated to all members recently to encourage use of the library software and that version 1.91 of the Quanta Library CD holding all software on one CD was available to members. Future plans for the library include looking at placing it online for members to download via a password protection system. The Library Guide will also be placed online, downloadable by all, in the hope that it will act as an advert for non-members to join once they see how much free software we have available. Hopefully, the Helpline columns of Quanta magazine can also be placed online as useful FAQ listings.

The weekend finished at 4PM with all saying they had enjoyed the weekend immensely.

Here are some pictures of the event:

The Allesley Hotel
The Allesley Hotel
The Allesley Hotel
Another View Of The Allesley Hotel
View Entering QL Is 25
Entering QL Is 25
General view inside QL Is 25
A general view inside QL Is 25
Steve Poole's talk
Steve Poole's talk
George Gwilt's talk
George Gwilt's talk
Bob Spelten and Leo Moll
Bob Spelten and Leo Moll
Geoff Wicks
QL Today Editor, Geoff Wicks
(with camera at the ready!)
Nigel Herring
Nigel Herring
QL A&E Stand
John Southern, repairing QLs
Phil Sproston
Phil Sproston
Rich Mellor
Rich Mellor of RWAP Software
Sarah Gilpin, Phil Borman and John Gilpin
Past chairman meets new chairman!
Sarah Gilpin, Phil Borman and John Gilpin
Stuart Honeyball and John Hall
Stuart Honeyball and John Hall,
with Rich Mellor in the background.
QL History Exhibition
Part of the QL History Exhibition
A CST Q Plus 4 add-on
MCS Multirom
MCS MultiROM interface
Sinclair MP Disk Interface
Sinclair/Micro Peripherals Disk Interface
George Gwilt's Thor 21
George Gwilt's Thor 21 computer
Simon Goodwin's Thor 16
Simon Goodwin's Thor XVI computer
Steve Poole
Photo of new committee
The new Quanta committee (left to right)
Dan Abbott, John Gilpin, Sarah Gilpin,
Alison Southern and Dilwyn Jones
Audience at AGM
Newand previous chairmen
The new Chairman (Sarah Gilpin)
shares a joke with the outgoing
Chairman (John Mason)

Some pictures taken at the Quanta Workshop and AGM in Coventry, April 2009

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