Sunday, November 5, 2017

Q-emuLator 3.2 for Windows

An update of Q-emuLator for Windows is now available at

New features:

  • Support for “mdump version 2” microdrive images
  • Use the original Sinclair device driver to access microdrive images
  • mdump_task now included in the FileUtil directory; Use it on a QL to create images of your microdrive cartridges (also works with any copy-protected software you own) that can be used with the emulator
  • Accurate sound timbre
  • Save QL screen snapshots to the desktop by pressing CTRL+F11

This version also includes many small compatibility improvements.

The payment processing service for registration has changed to Paypal.

Using the Sinclair device driver for microdrive access

Here is the new option to use the QDOS driver to access microdrive images (only works when using Sinclair ROMs):


The option is enabled by default. The tradeoff is that access to microdrive images becomes much slower compared to the Q-emuLator device driver (used when the option is not checked). The simulated tape speed is about twice that of a real QL, so loading programs may take a few seconds.

Note that this option only applies to microdrive images; Other media attached to virtual microdrive slots still use the Q-emuLator device driver, as those types of media are not supported by the original QL ROM.

A few early software titles for the QL used copy protection schemes where they accessed the microdrives through QDOS calls, but then did some extra checks at fixed memory addresses where the Sinclair driver would store some of its internal data or cached sectors. There is even software that reads extra sectors from the tape after turning the motor off, relying on the inertia of the motor.

All of these more exotic protection schemes now work correctly in Q-emuLator when using a microdrive image containing a dump of the original copy-protected cartridge and using Sinclair ROMs with the “QDOS MDV image driver” option enabled.

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