SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long) - Sinclair

This is a discussion on SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long) - Sinclair ; I'm always interested in powerful-for-their-time game machines, be they computers or consoles, that were either released and became very obscure, or were scrapped remaining unreleased. examples: *Sharp X68000 (released) *Konix MultiSystem (unreleased) *NEC 16-bit PC-Engine 2 (unreleased) *Namco's 16-bit home ...

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Thread: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

  1. SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)


    I'm always interested in powerful-for-their-time game machines, be
    they computers or consoles, that were either released and became very
    obscure, or were scrapped remaining unreleased.

    examples:

    *Sharp X68000 (released)

    *Konix MultiSystem (unreleased)

    *NEC 16-bit PC-Engine 2 (unreleased)

    *Namco's 16-bit home console (unreleased)

    *NEC 8-bit SuperGrafx (released)

    * Fujitsu's FM-Towns Marty, world's first 32-bit game console
    (released)

    *Commodore's Amiga AAA chipset (unreleased)

    *3DO/Panasonic's M2 (unreleased as a console, but used in arcades)

    *Atari's Midsummer Project aka Jaguar II (unreleased)

    *SEGA's Saturn2, sometimes went by other names (Eclipse, 64X,
    Mercury,) used a
    Lockheed Martin Real3D chipset. could've been an upgrade cartridge for
    Saturn or a standalone console, proposed before Dreamcast was
    developed (unreleased)

    *3DO/CagEnt MX chipset (M2 on steroids) almost used by Nintendo to
    replace Nintendo64, before Gamecube was developed. CagEnt & MX was
    bought by Microsoft (unreleased)

    *SNK's Millenium 128, a NEO-GEO designed to compete in the PS2/
    Gamecube/Xbox generation (unreleased)

    I was too young to be into any of the Spectrum /Speccy computers in
    their day. I have an extremely limited, near;y non-existant knowledge
    of Sinclair's machines.

    In my digging for obscure or unreleased game machines, I came across
    an unreleased Sinclair machine known as Loki. from what I've read
    Loki was a very powerful 8-bit machine with 16-bit features, meant to
    rival & surpass the Amiga.

    I've read that the aborted Loki machine was (correct me if I'm wrong)
    used as the basis for the Flare One technology used in the unreleased
    Konix MultiSystem, the unreleased 32-bit Atari Panther. Also, some of
    the Loki tech was used in the Flare II designed Atari Jaguar. The
    Jaguar being the last machine to use the Sinclair Research Ltd.
    technologies developed for Loki.

    Many articles I come across say that Loki was the SuperSpectrum.
    However other articles say that SuperSpectrum and Loki were entirely
    seperate & different machines. the Wikipedia article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loki_%28computer%29


    "Loki is sometimes confused with two earlier aborted Sinclair Research
    projects; the LC3 games console (cancelled in 1983) and the
    SuperSpectrum, a 68008-based home computer very similar to the
    Sinclair QL (cancelled in 1982)."


    is that accurate?


  2. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    Sprite Scaler did eloquently scribble:
    > "Loki is sometimes confused with two earlier aborted Sinclair Research
    > projects; the LC3 games console (cancelled in 1983) and the
    > SuperSpectrum, a 68008-based home computer very similar to the
    > Sinclair QL (cancelled in 1982)."



    > is that accurate?


    Doesn't look very accurate to me.
    The spectrum was only released in 1982.
    The Loki WAS supposed to be a superspectrum, but it was canned when amstrad
    bought out sinclair and of course, it would've competed with their CPC
    range of computers. The only specs anyone has for what the Loki was going to
    be are speculative or rumour based.

    The sinclair QL came out in 1983, so to say sinclair planned and cancelled a
    68000 based computer in 1982 is incredibly silly... It's obvious the machine
    that came from that WAS the QL.

    As for the LC3, that's the first I've ever heard of it.
    --
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk | Windows95 (noun): 32 bit extensions and a |
    | | graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit |
    |Andrew Halliwell BSc(hons)| operating system originally coded for a 4 bit |
    | in |microprocessor, written by a 2 bit company, that|
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  3. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    On May 27, 8:23 pm, spi...@freenet.co.uk wrote:
    > Sprite Scaler did eloquently scribble:
    >
    > > "Loki is sometimes confused with two earlier aborted Sinclair Research
    > > projects; the LC3 games console (cancelled in 1983) and the
    > > SuperSpectrum, a 68008-based home computer very similar to the
    > > Sinclair QL (cancelled in 1982)."
    > > is that accurate?

    >
    > Doesn't look very accurate to me.
    > The spectrum was only released in 1982.
    > The Loki WAS supposed to be a superspectrum, but it was canned when amstrad
    > bought out sinclair and of course, it would've competed with their CPC
    > range of computers. The only specs anyone has for what the Loki was going to
    > be are speculative or rumour based.
    >
    > The sinclair QL came out in 1983, so to say sinclair planned and cancelled a
    > 68000 based computer in 1982 is incredibly silly... It's obvious the machine
    > that came from that WAS the QL.
    >
    > As for the LC3, that's the first I've ever heard of it.
    > --
    > -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > | spi...@freenet.co.uk | Windows95 (noun): 32 bit extensions and a |
    > | | graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit |
    > |Andrew Halliwell BSc(hons)| operating system originally coded for a 4 bit |
    > | in |microprocessor, written by a 2 bit company, that|
    > | Computer Science | can't stand 1 bit of competition. |
    > -----------------------------------------------------------------------------


    it seems that "a superspectrum" has meant several different products.
    from what I've been reading there was an official Super Spectrum, but
    also several other machines have been called Super Spectrums including
    Loki.

    found a website that might be of interest

    http://www.nvg.ntnu.no/sinclair/computers/loki/loki.htm

    it covers the Sinclair Loki, Janus, Pandora

    as for LC3 / LC-3 it was to be a low cost (LC) colour computer:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_Research_Ltd

    "LC3: standing for "Low Cost Colour Computer", the LC3, developed
    during 1983 by Martin Brennan, was intended to be a cheap Z80-based
    games console implemented in two chips, using ROM and (non-volatile)
    RAM cartridges for storage. A multi-tasking OS for the LC3 with a full
    windowing GUI was designed by Steve Berry. It was cancelled in
    November 1983 in favour of the QL."

    other sources:

    http://zxgoldenyears.net/1983.html
    http://www.nvg.ntnu.no/sinclair/computers/ql/ql_sst.htm
    http://www.crashonline.org.uk/18/news.htm


  4. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    spike1@freenet.co.uk wrote:

    ....
    > The sinclair QL came out in 1983, so to say sinclair planned and cancelled a
    > 68000 based computer in 1982 is incredibly silly... It's obvious the machine
    > that came from that WAS the QL.


    Possibly comes about by the change of features/design of the QL?

    eg The QL was designed to originally have a very limited ROM in terms of
    commands (enough to load and execute programs I think) and stuff like BASIC
    was to be loaded. However, by the launch[1] it was decided to included
    pseudo^WsuperBASIC in ROM and ready to run - possibly causing the problems
    with the original idea to have to ROM fit totally into 32K and the early
    machines to come out with an extra 16K ROM dongle (until the circuit board
    was modified to take the 32+16 ROMs)? But, AFAIK, BASIC is actually
    "Loaded" from ROM on boot, so the original philosophy still stood of a
    minimal command system.

    IMO, Sinclair missed a great opportunity of "borrowing" the BBC's sideways
    ROMS: Sinclair wanted the code to fit into 32K (AFAIAA) to make use of the
    short addressing mode of the 68k (whereby a 16 bit address is sign extended
    to 32 bits of actual address) - they should have done something similar to
    the BBC and put QDOS in the bottom 32K of memory (addresses
    0x00000000-0x00007fff) and used the /top/ 32K of memory (addresses
    0xffff8000-0xffffffff) for application ROMs, including the BASIC - if not
    wanting to fall foul of any [possible] "patent" Acorn may have had (on
    sideways ROMs), they could have split that into 2 16K chunks, one for BASIC,
    the other for the plug in ROM port (allocated to 0x0000c000-0x0000ffff on
    the original machine). (Not sure how this would have affected the address
    decoding though.)

    [1] Sources I can find note the QL as launched 12 Jan 1984 (hence the (C)
    1983 on the ROMs), but very unfinished. I've often considered the QL to be
    the Sinclair ZX84. ^_^


  5. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    There was a lot of hype around at that time. I mean you have not even
    mentioned the Memotech which would have had a Sinclair like basic if the
    lawyers had not got involved, and ended up with a naff Microsoft one and
    noddy.

    The Enterprise which I know had a Speccy emulator, and of course the good
    old Sam Coupe.

    On the Loki front, is there any evidence that this was ever more than a
    concept?

    Brian

    --
    Brian Gaff....Note, this account does not accept Bcc: email.
    graphics are great, but the blind can't hear them
    Email: briang1@blueyonder.co.uk
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________


    "Sprite Scaler" wrote in message
    news:1180314714.166118.247930@q66g2000hsg.googlegr oups.com...
    >
    > I'm always interested in powerful-for-their-time game machines, be
    > they computers or consoles, that were either released and became very
    > obscure, or were scrapped remaining unreleased.
    >
    > examples:
    >
    > *Sharp X68000 (released)
    >
    > *Konix MultiSystem (unreleased)
    >
    > *NEC 16-bit PC-Engine 2 (unreleased)
    >
    > *Namco's 16-bit home console (unreleased)
    >
    > *NEC 8-bit SuperGrafx (released)
    >
    > * Fujitsu's FM-Towns Marty, world's first 32-bit game console
    > (released)
    >
    > *Commodore's Amiga AAA chipset (unreleased)
    >
    > *3DO/Panasonic's M2 (unreleased as a console, but used in arcades)
    >
    > *Atari's Midsummer Project aka Jaguar II (unreleased)
    >
    > *SEGA's Saturn2, sometimes went by other names (Eclipse, 64X,
    > Mercury,) used a
    > Lockheed Martin Real3D chipset. could've been an upgrade cartridge for
    > Saturn or a standalone console, proposed before Dreamcast was
    > developed (unreleased)
    >
    > *3DO/CagEnt MX chipset (M2 on steroids) almost used by Nintendo to
    > replace Nintendo64, before Gamecube was developed. CagEnt & MX was
    > bought by Microsoft (unreleased)
    >
    > *SNK's Millenium 128, a NEO-GEO designed to compete in the PS2/
    > Gamecube/Xbox generation (unreleased)
    >
    > I was too young to be into any of the Spectrum /Speccy computers in
    > their day. I have an extremely limited, near;y non-existant knowledge
    > of Sinclair's machines.
    >
    > In my digging for obscure or unreleased game machines, I came across
    > an unreleased Sinclair machine known as Loki. from what I've read
    > Loki was a very powerful 8-bit machine with 16-bit features, meant to
    > rival & surpass the Amiga.
    >
    > I've read that the aborted Loki machine was (correct me if I'm wrong)
    > used as the basis for the Flare One technology used in the unreleased
    > Konix MultiSystem, the unreleased 32-bit Atari Panther. Also, some of
    > the Loki tech was used in the Flare II designed Atari Jaguar. The
    > Jaguar being the last machine to use the Sinclair Research Ltd.
    > technologies developed for Loki.
    >
    > Many articles I come across say that Loki was the SuperSpectrum.
    > However other articles say that SuperSpectrum and Loki were entirely
    > seperate & different machines. the Wikipedia article:
    >
    > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loki_%28computer%29
    >
    >
    > "Loki is sometimes confused with two earlier aborted Sinclair Research
    > projects; the LC3 games console (cancelled in 1983) and the
    > SuperSpectrum, a 68008-based home computer very similar to the
    > Sinclair QL (cancelled in 1982)."
    >
    >
    > is that accurate?
    >




  6. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    On 2007-05-28, Brian Gaff wrote:

    > There was a lot of hype around at that time. I mean you have not
    > even mentioned the Memotech which would have had a Sinclair like
    > basic if the lawyers had not got involved, and ended up with a naff
    > Microsoft one and noddy.


    Well I suppose they got noddy because the elephants got big ears.

    Sorry, it's early on a bank holiday morning!

    --
    Blast off and strike the evil Bydo empire!

  7. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    Sprite Scaler did eloquently scribble:
    > it seems that "a superspectrum" has meant several different products.
    > from what I've been reading there was an official Super Spectrum, but
    > also several other machines have been called Super Spectrums including
    > Loki.


    No, unofficlial "super spectrums" would've been things like the Enterprise
    64/128 and the Sam coupé.

    --
    | |What to do if you find yourself stuck in a crack|
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk |in the ground beneath a giant boulder, which you|
    | |can't move, with no hope of rescue. |
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    | in |good to you so far... |
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  8. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    Robert Newson did eloquently scribble:
    > [1] Sources I can find note the QL as launched 12 Jan 1984 (hence the (C)
    > 1983 on the ROMs), but very unfinished. I've often considered the QL to be
    > the Sinclair ZX84. ^_^


    My memory isn't what it used to be, young un.

    All those sideways rom ideas would've added to the cost, and y'know what
    sinclair's like.

    But yeah, the thing was released far too early. The first ROMs used by the
    reviewers were so incomplete they didn't even have an edit command for
    basic, iirc. (probably the FD roms).

    They machines weren't really usable until the AH roms and then the better JM
    roms. Ooo, if I could travel back in time with a minerva and sell it to
    clive in 1983, I'd make a packet.


    --
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk | |
    |Andrew Halliwell BSc(hons)| "ARSE! GERLS!! DRINK! DRINK! DRINK!!!" |
    | in | "THAT WOULD BE AN ECUMENICAL MATTER!...FECK!!!! |
    | Computer Science | - Father Jack in "Father Ted" |
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  9. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    spike1@freenet.co.uk wrote:

    > Robert Newson did eloquently scribble:
    >
    >>[1] Sources I can find note the QL as launched 12 Jan 1984 (hence the (C)
    >>1983 on the ROMs), but very unfinished. I've often considered the QL to be
    >>the Sinclair ZX84. ^_^

    >
    > My memory isn't what it used to be, young un.


    >
    > All those sideways rom ideas would've added to the cost, and y'know what
    > sinclair's like.


    Forget the sideways bit - a nice extra...but the top/bottom split would have
    been good...then thinking about the split between top & bottom 32K - as it
    was originally planned to /all/ fit into the botom 32K, it would have ben an
    additional cost, but if the 16K plug-in ROM had been planned to sit at the
    top of memory, putting the extra 16K ROM required there as well wouldn't
    have cost that much extra? They could have planned /2/ plug-in ROMs (but
    that would require /2/ external connectors) and then just nicked one
    internally for the spilled over code? I suppose redesigning the code to
    separate out the BASIC from QDOS would have been too expensive (timewise) then?

    ....

    > They machines weren't really usable until the AH roms and then the better JM
    > roms. Ooo, if I could travel back in time with a minerva and sell it to
    > clive in 1983, I'd make a packet.


    AH was the first real usable machine...wasn't that also the first dongle
    free, with the extra 16K ROM piggy backed inside the machine - JM being the
    first with 32+16K ROMs?


  10. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    >From my email conversations (several years ago now) with former
    employees of Sinclair Research I seem to remember the following:

    Once the Spectrum was released in 1982 Sir Clive pretty much lost
    interest in it. Having created an affordable home computer his next
    aim was an affordable business computer -- the QL. After that he
    wanted to create an affordable portable computer -- the Z88. The LCD
    TV project was created with this portable computer in mind. The
    Spectrum would probably have been killed off, except it was the
    company's cash cow. The introduction of the Spectrum + probably had a
    lot to do with the fact that he company had already tooled up to
    produce more QLs than there were demand for and an updated Spectrum
    was an effective way to offset some of the cost. The Spectrum 128 was
    created at the behest of Investronica, and originally only intended
    for the Spanish market, although the design and coding were done in-
    house at Sinclair. As the Spectrum began to show signs of age there
    was a project at Sinclair to come up with a replacement machine. The
    code name was 'Loki' and magazines at the time dubbed it the 'Super
    Spectrum'. However, it really wasn't a Spectrum and may not even have
    had a compatibility mode. When Amstrad bought the company it was still
    in the early design stage and there was no commercial reason for
    Amstrad to continue developing it. Its designers went on to design the
    Konix games system (Flare I) and the Jaguar (Flare II), but how much
    of the Loki actually made it into those machines is unknown.

    Since the Loki never materialized the press began referring to the SAM
    Coupe as a 'Super Spectrum'. This was something of a disservice to the
    machine, which was much more than that.

    With the advent of this newsgroup many posters started mulling the
    idea of creating a new homebrew 'Super Spectrum'. Nothing ever came of
    it until I created the Spectrum SE. To date it has been a spectacular
    flop, with hardly anyone knowing it exists, writing software for it or
    using it. I've put a heap of my Speccy kit up as prizes for a Spectrum
    SE programming competition in issue 11 of ZXF magazine and I'm not
    even sure that will be enough to spark any interest in it. It is my
    fond hope that once I sort out the display code to allow Mode 2 to be
    used from BASIC that a few CSSCGC entries may be written for it.



  11. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    Mike Tomlinson did eloquently scribble:
    > In article , spike1@freenet.co.uk
    > writes


    >>(probably the FD roms).


    > My memory says FB: PM, FB, AH, JM, JS, JSU.


    > JSU was the US version of JS.


    Ahhhh yes, FB, not FD.
    There's one more to add to that list...
    MG (with another letter for nationality) iirc.

    --
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk | |
    |Andrew Halliwell BSc(hons)| "ARSE! GERLS!! DRINK! DRINK! DRINK!!!" |
    | in | "THAT WOULD BE AN ECUMENICAL MATTER!...FECK!!!! |
    | Computer Science | - Father Jack in "Father Ted" |
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  12. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    Mike Tomlinson wrote:

    > In article , spike1@freenet.co.uk
    > writes
    >
    >>(probably the FD roms).

    >
    > My memory says FB: PM, FB, AH, JM, JS, JSU.


    With the short lived [internal] versions such as EL and TB


  13. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ?(long)

    spike1@freenet.co.uk wrote:

    > All those sideways rom ideas would've added to the cost, and y'know what
    > sinclair's like.
    >
    > But yeah, the thing was released far too early. The first ROMs used by the
    > reviewers were so incomplete they didn't even have an edit command for
    > basic, iirc. (probably the FD roms).
    >
    > They machines weren't really usable until the AH roms and then the better JM
    > roms. Ooo, if I could travel back in time with a minerva and sell it to
    > clive in 1983, I'd make a packet.
    >
    >


    I'm certain there'd be some yelling along the lines of, "Look, you
    brainy tit, I've seen the future. If you cripple it with a 68008,
    microdrives, a crappy keyboard, and no graphical interface, then release
    it before it's finished, IT! WILL! FAIL! Am I getting through to you,
    baldy?" going on before long.

    --
    Duncan Snowden.

  14. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    Duncan Snowden did eloquently scribble:
    > spike1@freenet.co.uk wrote:


    >> All those sideways rom ideas would've added to the cost, and y'know what
    >> sinclair's like.
    >>
    >> But yeah, the thing was released far too early. The first ROMs used by the
    >> reviewers were so incomplete they didn't even have an edit command for
    >> basic, iirc. (probably the FD roms).
    >>
    >> They machines weren't really usable until the AH roms and then the better JM
    >> roms. Ooo, if I could travel back in time with a minerva and sell it to
    >> clive in 1983, I'd make a packet.
    >>
    >>


    > I'm certain there'd be some yelling along the lines of, "Look, you
    > brainy tit, I've seen the future. If you cripple it with a 68008,
    > microdrives, a crappy keyboard, and no graphical interface, then release
    > it before it's finished, IT! WILL! FAIL! Am I getting through to you,
    > baldy?" going on before long.


    I'm sure a smidgen of diplomacy might've got a more positive response
    though.

    Besides, the QL was released before a GUI was standard in any machine but
    the apple lisa (which was an abject failure itself).
    --
    __________________________________________________ ____________________________
    | spike1@freenet.co.uk | "Are you pondering what I'm pondering Pinky?" |
    |Andrew Halliwell BSc(hons)| |
    | in | "I think so brain, but this time, you control |
    | Computer Science | the Encounter suit, and I'll do the voice..." |
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  15. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    Sprite Scaler wrote:

    > *Commodore's Amiga AAA chipset (unreleased)


    'Amiga TWO', IMHO.

    > I was too young to be into any of the Spectrum /Speccy computers in
    > their day. I have an extremely limited, near;y non-existant knowledge
    > of Sinclair's machines.


    I even remember the ZX80/81 times... It's undescribeable... everything
    prickled. Any Magazine was an adventure..... I thought this will never
    be the same.

    > In my digging for obscure or unreleased game machines, I came across
    > an unreleased Sinclair machine known as Loki. from what I've read
    > Loki was a very powerful 8-bit machine with 16-bit features, meant to
    > rival & surpass the Amiga.


    Nothing surpasses an AMIGA, hugh.

    (story: Even ODIN cannot win a fight against LOKI, LOKI can suck all
    the energy thrown to him, but on the other side he cannot strike down
    ODIN, apart Odin would use the most ultimate weapon he have. Then the
    sides change... Odin would loose. Thor knows it.)


    Best regards,

    Daniel Mandic

  16. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    On May 28, 6:41 pm, Mike Tomlinson wrote:
    > My memory says FB: PM, FB, AH, JM, JS, JSU.
    >
    > JSU was the US version of JS.


    Was there planned a Welsh version called JSW? :-)


  17. Re: SuperSpectrum and 'Loki' - two different machines, correct ? (long)

    On May 28, 2:23 am, spi...@freenet.co.uk wrote:
    > Doesn't look very accurate to me.


    Based on my reading of the Rupert Goodwin post linked from the
    article, I've changed "1982" to "1986".

    I've also added a tag calling for further reference sources to be
    added to this article.


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