SDATE year,month,day,hours,minutes,seconds

SDATE year,month,day,hours,minutes (SMS v2.57+)

SDATE time (Minerva, SMS) or




The QL has an internal clock which contains the current date and time. Unfortunately, this clock is corrupted every time that the QL is switched on and off (and even in some cases when the QL is reset). This means that the clock has to be set manually every time that the system is re-booted. Because of this, various battery-backed clocks have appeared on the market which retain the time whilst the QL is turned off and then the QL clock is generally reset to the same time as the battery backed clock when it is switched back on.

This command allows you to set the internal QL clock to a specified date and time. Each parameter in the first syntax must be a numeric value.

The second syntax is similar to the first, but is only supported on later versions of SMS. This variant accepts just five parameters and assumes that the seconds is to be set to zero.

The third and fourth syntaxes allow you to set the time and date by the number of seconds since Midnight on 1st January 1961. This thus allows you to copy the date from one QL to another very simply over the Network:

100 temp_file$='n1_ram1_temp'
110 er=FOP_NEW(temp_file$)
120 IF er>0
130 CLOSE #er:SDATE TO FUPDT(\temp_file$)
140 DELETE temp_file$
150 END IF


SDATE 1993,1,1,0,0,0

sets the internal clock to the start of 1993.


This may also affect battery backed clocks - see their instructions. In particular on the THOR XVI the battery backed clock is automatically reset, whereas on earlier THORs the command SET_CLOCK was needed.


Unfortunately, current versions of Minerva and SMS will not accept the THOR’s syntax, nor vice versa.


On the QXL, before v2.57 of SMS the time would not be set correctly if seconds=0 or seconds=1. The clock could still be wrong by 1 second until v2.73 which fixed this problem on MOST PCs.


PROT_DATE allows you to prevent SDATE from altering a battery backed clock. ADATE allows you to alter the time by a specified number of seconds. DATE lets you read the current date and time as a single figure. DATE$ and DAY$ return various details about the current date and time. These functions can also be used to find out details concerning a given date without having to use SDATE beforehand to change the system date. A_SDATE and SET_CLOCK alter the battery backed clocks on the ST/QL Emulator and THOR respectively.