This is Black Phoenix, the first QL distribution entirely produced by Quantum Technology.
Black Phoenix is totally based on freeware produced over the years by several QL users and is offered free only.
But what’s exactly a distribution?
Distribution software (abbr. “distro”) defines a software collection related to one or more applicative areas, selected and distributed as a single package.
The main feature of a distribution software is its configuration designed to create a work environment variously consistent, according to one or more shared features. The main philosophy is: the operating system is the combination of all the required softwares to get the full hardware utilization.
During the 30 life years of the QL, despite its low spread and the total lack of interest of its creators, the users community released several softwares, sometimes on a professional level, contributing to improve and develop the original OS.
But this has always been the result of individual efforts and skills, projects designed by single persons and developed with extremely limited resources, frequently incomplete and totally disconnected each other.
Our work for this distribution was to collect the most noteworthy projects in order to try to offer an integrated and consistent system. With the softwares are given also the installation packages for each application (.zip format), plus some documents.
How does it work?
Black Phoenix is a ready-to-use hard disk in .win format, no installation needed. At the first start simply choose your language; however, the language can be changed anytime. An ad hoc graphic theme is preset also, as a means to make the various programs look as uniform as possible; in any case is possible to change the desktop aspect choosing from among over thirty included preset themes.
Since this is a miscellaneous softwares collection, some programs behave in different ways, e.g. when an application can’t offer multi-language support, English is chosen by default; when another application can’t match the color range of the chosen theme, it maintains its own default colors.
Releases and distributions
This is the first release of Black Phoenix, identified by number 1.0.0. Each release (or version) is named “rebirth”, therefore this is “rebirth 1.0.0”.
The numeration has the following meaning:
– the increase of the first parameter express the addition of new software;
– the increase of the second parameter express the addition of documentation;
– the increase of the third parameter express that some bugs have been fixed.
Black Phoenix contents
In addition to the BOOT system file, the distro contains the following directories:
- SYS_ contains all the extensions and configuration programs necessary to the distro operation.
- PRG_ contains several additional applications for the distribution.
- DOCS_ contains the system documentation.
- INSTALL_ contains the compressed packages of all applications.
- TEMP_ temporary support directory.
Meaning of the name
Why did we choose this name? The reference to the Phoenix intend to be favorable: as the Phoenix rises from its ashes, as Quantum Technology team hopes for a new rebirth for QL and its operating system. “Black” has been added referring to QL original color.
26/10/2018 – Rebirth 1.5 – codename “Adele Goldstine”
New system features
- Network Manager (OQTopus)
- Starting in Debug mode (F1)
- Starting in Setup mode (F2)
- Implemented Black Phoenix operation on Q68 and QXL
- Implemented operation with Super Hermes
- Added utility for the management of QUBide
- BP improvement on real QL
- Conditioning the DOS_USE command to the QPC2 emulators only
- Condition the WIN_REMV and WIN_WP commands only to QPC2
- Conditioning the mode of moving windows based on the host on which you are running Black Phoenix
- Resize the SBASIC windows so as not to cover the button frame
- Updated SMSQ \ E to version 3.33
- New hotkeys
- ALT J to recall the Job list (x Davide Santachiara)
- ALT F to call up the files menu
- ALT M to activate Qascade
- Changed the default to move windows from 0 (icon) to 1 (outline)
- OQTopus network manager
- Posted QD 2018
- Inserted Qliberator (SBASIC Compiler)
- Added Fifi 5.02 (Reclaim files and strings)
- Added WINED (Hard disk editor)
- Added Q68SETRTC for Q68 clock settings
- Updated Photon to version 0.32
- Update the Menu Extension to version 8.05
- Updated Datadesign to version 4.12
- Updated QUSTOMIZER to version 1.1
- Updated the management of the themes extended to version 1.1
- Updated QTImage to version 1.4
- Updated QBASE
- Updated DBAS to version 2.13mod2
- Updated QTButton to version 1.1
- Updated SuQcess to version 2.06
- Replaced Bogomips with DryStone
- Eliminate the old versions of the Menu Extension
- Removed the BALLED game to remove the OUTPTR extension
- Deleted ALT or from the Qustomizer
- Eliminated the BASREF program, obsolete.
- Liberate 70kb into ram by removing the caretaker of QHELP as a resident extension
- Deleted TOPIC_obj, useless.
- Divided the entries by subject
- Added management for specific hardware
- Added the ability to configure extensions through Menuconfig
- Fixed hotkey assignment for printscreen
02/09/2017 – Rebirth 1.4.3 – codename “Grace Hopper”
- Insert animation at system startup
- Eliminated initial installations
- Qustomizer: Black Phoenix configurator
- Network Management via IP (IPNET, IPLOCALNET, IPROUTER)
- Qwirc (File Manager .win)
- Qustomizer 1.0
- QTImage 1.2
- Updated version of WiQget at 1.1
- Updated BMP program to version 1.03
- Upgrade Extension Menus to Version 7.68
- Updated SUQCESS to version 2.05
- Changed the display name: From Start to Menu:
- Changed the name from Accessories to Tools
- Separate system management from system configuration
- Enter 4 new icons for direct access to PSION programs
- Inserted manual Buttons in the English and French menu
- Enter zip active button and wiqget
- Delete BPCONfIG, BOOT, WALLPAPER, STARTUP, obsolete directories
20/11/2016 – Rebirth 1.3.2 – codename “Adelchi”
Special software for Black Phoenix
- Extended theme manager
- Active buttons
- Telnet (QLTERM 2.35)
- HTML Printer driver for QUILL
- Italian manual for BACKUP (thanks to Mentore Siesto)
- Recent file list added.
- BEEPER software added
- PROWESS fontutil utility added
- BALLED game
- OUTPTR extension added
- Prowess zip improved(FontUtil added)
- XCHANGE management improved
- WIN files are now removable (WIN_REMV command)
- Full window move with trasparency (WM_MOVEMODE command)
- SQRVIEW updated to 1.02 version.
- DBPTR call to helpfile fixed
- QCOCO description in the Stat menu fixed
- Dminer config file fixed (thanks to Per J. Witte)
- Some old environment variables removedPTRVIEW link to the Start menu Added
03/08/2016 – Rebirth 1.2.1 – codename “Summertime”
- Added browser Lynx
- Added FTP client
- Added mail client
- Added random wallpaper autoscalable
- QDT icons moved for best view at 640×480 resolution
- Added “ALT TAB” (ALT “a”)
- BOOT process redesigned
- Removed forcing the video resolution
- Removed the loading of keyboard layout from the BOOT
- Removed the language loading from BOOT
- “Accessories” menu modified
- Logical reset added
- Exit from emulator added
- Added new launch BASIC interpreter from Qascade
- Added FONTED program
- Added QPASS program
- Added CHAR PICKER program
- Added Qpass program
- Added CONVERT: BIN – DEC – HEX – ASCII converter
- Added suites EasyPTR4 programs
- Added advanced calculator Launchpad
- Added Classic suite PSION
- Correct pointing to “TYPER” in the START menu
- Program TYPER reconfigured
- Qcoco config fixed
25/03/2016 – Rebirth 1.1.1 – codename “Revenge”
- QCP 1.61 added
- Turbo compiler added
- EuroConverter 1.71 added
- SuqCess 1.2 added
- SuperBASIC windows moved
- TURBO documentation added to START menu
- C68 documentation added to START menu
- SSB documentation added to START menu
- C68 re-configured
- UNZIP updated (v. 0.54)
- SSB updated (v. 2.7.1)
- BACKUP updated (v. 1.7)
- QCoCo updated (v. 1.6.2)
- Meu Config updated
- Black Phoenix theme updated
- Games review
- EMACS package added
- Paragraph package added
- Program MVIEW deleted
- Program CDPLAYER deleted
- Program SLSPV deleted
- Extension ALOAD CODE deleted
- Extension History deleted
- Clock bug fixed
- BOOT file buig fixed
- Desktop icons colour changed
- Altkey “.” changed
- “Files” button added to the Button Frame
- PROWESS system font changed
15/10/2015 – Rebirth 1.0.0 – codename “First burn”
- First release