Binary Dinosaurs Computer Museum
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Tony Cheal Story
THE COMPUTER ONE - TONY CHEAL STORY AUG 1993 - AUG 1994
In the summer of 1993 I was sent an OPD Rompack with curious
circuitry and programming. It turned out to be an early
version of the mythical One Per Desk Basic Compiler, thought
to have never been produced. The program was unstable but did
work. No documentation was included.

On examinging the ROM contents, the legend 'Tony Cheal
Computer One' was detected. Computer One was located in
Cambridge and ceased trading probably in 1988. I checked in
the Cambs telephone book and found an A.Cheal. As the phone
was constantly connected to a computer or Fax I had to visit.

Tony was at first not too pleased to be found. After he
realised I was harmless and non-official he was very helpful.
Computer One worked extensively on software products for the
Sinclair QL and were asked by ICL to produce the Compiler.
Curiously the compiler was not exclusively based on ICL
Basic. The chosen BASIC was MC BASIC produced by MetaComCo
who did the Cross-compiler system. Tony and his team took
nearly 2 yrs to finalise the product. Although it started as
a Computer One project, after the company ceased ICL funded
the development with Tony as a private contract.
It appears that the main reason for completing the project
was for a company in the U.S.A. who had a Telesales program
written in MicroSoft BASIC that they wanted to run on the
OPD. Presumably ICL thought the software would improve sales
there. Running under BASIC the program was too slow, hence
the need to compile.
The compiler was completed with, in the later stages, copies
being sent using the OPD and the Interfile facility on the
OPD to the states for test. Tony says he never had a comms
failure during this process.
On completion the Compiler consisted of Compiler, Assembler,
Monitor and Editor.
Tony very kindly gave me all his stock of equipment and
software and allowed me to copy his entire workbook and
Correspondence.

All images and text © Adrian Graham 1999-2017 unless otherwise noted using words. Also on