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Q1 Microlite

Q1 Europe Ltd. (United Kingdom)

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Name Q1 Microlite Q1 Europe Ltd. 
Manufacturer Q1 Europe Ltd. (United Kingdom) Type Desktop
Production start (mm-yyyy) 1972 Production end (mm-yyyy) - 1980
RAM 16-32K ROM 8K
CPU Z80-based Lite and Microlite - Mhz
Operating System System ROS
Text (Cols x Rows) 80 column gas glasma display
Graphics Memory mapped orange gas plasma display
Storage memory 5.25", 8" or a networked hard disc
Serial port 1 Parallel port 2
Others port coaxial cable to connect to a Q1 file server, 300 Khz network, up to 64 Q1 workstations can be connected on a coaxial network
Original price   Currency original price
Units sold
Note Microlite for UK OEMs The Q1 Microlite microcomputer, shown for the first time in the UK at the Computer market Exhibition at the end of March, is to be offered to systems houses etc. throughout the UK. The Z80-based Microlitc is designed for business data processing, word processing, integration of data processing and word processing, data entry, scientific computing and communications.

Using a multiplexer, up to 64 Microlites can be linked together in a network sharing a hard disc database or can be connected with a remote mainframe computer. The basic unit contains the Z80 CPU, 32k RAM, 8k ROM containing the operating system and twin 400k floppy disc drives as well as the keyboard, optional printer and plasma display.

Compilers for PL/1 and COBOL are available and peripheral options include hard disc drives, printers and magnetic tape drives. 
Configurations 1st generation: 8008 , single line 80 character display and printer
2nd generation : [Q1-LMC] used the 8080
3rd generation: Z80 [Q1-Lite], with an 80-character gas plasma screen
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Users' comments

User Date Text
DANZ80 17/11/2022 I had one of these interesting systems, which I believe came from the National Enterprise Board (NEB) in the UK.

Please also see these fascinating Q1 lite sites :

There are two know Github repositories, attempting to reverse engineering to Q1 microlite and the Q1 disc format :

The Q1 corporation was a pioneering computer company who developed 8085, Z80 and 68000 based systems.
Their client list included NASA.
They memorably formed a collaboration with the National Enterprise Board (NEB) in the UK, with clients in the US, Europe and the Middle East.
Q1 machines - first the Q1 lite and later the Q1 microlite IMS - were beautifully designed and solid machines, with a number of unique features :

a) compact gas plasma displays;
b) one of the only microcomputers to run PL/1 and COBOL compilers instead of an basic interpreter;
c) a variety of peripherals like line printers, 5.25 and 8 inch floppy drives and intelligent network servers.
d) a strange file server that contained a distinctive red and green neon light.
It took approximately 30 seconds for the hard disc to spin up to optimal speed to get online!

They had excellent keyboards and screens, and were an example of inspiring industrial design, with their distinctive black and orange colour scheme.
I believe that memory was limited (32K), but the Q1 lite was quite fast when connected on a 300 kilobaud network connected to a fast file server.

Up to 64 Q1 workstations could be connected on an early coax network (likely to be a variation of 10Base2), using daisy chaining and T-piece terminators.

The quality of documentation was excellent and they ran an number of business applications.

Are there some errors? Do you have other info? .

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