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This web space has been created by and for the 'die-hard' users of the Cambridge Z88, the iPad of the 80's, launched in September 1987 at the PCW computer show in London. The company behind it was Cambridge Computer, a spring-off company of Sinclair Research, founded by Clive Sinclair.


The object of this project is to streamline the operating system, OZ and to build new applications by replacing the built-in ROM with a larger device. All the software and documents here, is provided for free, ready to be downloaded in source code, or as ready-made binaries - all GPL V2 licensed.

  

This project started in 1989, when the Z88 was still commercially supported by Cambridge Computer - the manufacturer of the Z88. The idea behind this was to identify low cost tools (ideally for free) to develop applications, in the hope that a broader software base would prolong the life of the portable; tools that could be used by both professionals and enthusiasts. Cambridge Computer supported the software with very expensive compiler tools. This, and the cost of the incomplete 'Z88 Developer Notes,' took software development beyond the reach of the hobbyist. The Z88 project was formed on Sourceforge in 2002, where a group of people uploaded source code and tools, that had been produced since 1989. After the launch of the public project on Sourceforge, a lot of more work has been achieved from valued contributions made during those years by the community, for the community. In 2006 Richard Russell (author of BBC BASIC) released a new version for Z88 which incorporated "the patch" (*EDIT, MODE, CLG, DRAW, MOVE, PLOT and POINT commands), now integrated as part of the Z88 ROM.

 

Doing software development on a real Z88 is possible, but it is very cumbersome and inefficient. A Z88 emulator was built (OZvm) and is still being improved, so that tools could be used to develop, compile, execute and test the software seamlessly on one computer. A small, dedicated team got together, disassembled the original code and provided a full source listing of the "OZ" v4 ROM. This version was then worked on, improving its operation and fixing bugs. Whilst understanding what the software was doing, the 'Z88 Developer Notes' were expanded and updated with this knowledge. You can now upload the completed version of OZ and use it on your own Z88.

Many ideas and suggestions were expressed by individual users at that time in the only public forum available, "Z88 EPROM," a bi-monthly magazine published by Roy Woodward. Many of these ideas from that publication have been implemented into this project.

Years later, long after Cambridge Computer had closed, a small company remained to support the Z88 commercially, Rakewell Ltd - and still does today. The internet has now become a useful way to get support for the Z88.


Here's a great presentation, celebrating the 25 year anniversary (1987 - 2012):

 

 

 

Latest news


  • Use the Projects drop-down by selecting the Confluence tab at the top of this page and select Cambridge Z88 - Project and issue tracking, to browse at all our work and wiki's.
  • There's an overview of our wiki's and what we're working on at the bottom of this page.
  • Links to various Z88 resources are available in the left panel.

Latest news are written in the BLOG (see left panel).

 

  • Available documentation:

Space: CPU Assembler - Mpm
This crossassembler command line tool currently supports compilation of Cambridge Z88 ROM (Zilog Z80) source code and Ca…
Space: EazyLink Client
Documentation about the EazyLink Client that runs on a desktop operating system like Linux, Mac OSX or Windows and conne…
Space: EazyLink Client User Guide V1.0
The online User Guide that is accessed through the browser from the EazyLink II Desktop Client
Space: EazyLink Popdown
The EazyLink popdown is run on the Z88, and is the server part which listens to commands sent to it through the serial p…
Space: FlashStore (Z88 popdown)
Flashstore is a dedicated file manager for Rakewell flash cards and is also able to fetch & store files on EPROM cards. …
Space: Installer
Space: Intuition
Designed for applicationlevel debugging (tracing code) but has also been implemented as a standalone application to load…
Space: OZvm User Guide V1.1
The online user guide that is referred, when clicking the "User Guide" menu.
Space: PC PipeDream
Space: RomCombiner (Z88 BBC BASIC)
RomCombiner is a BASIC program which allows you to combine several ROM images onto a single card, thus enabling you to u…
Space: Shell (Z88 Application)
Space: UnZip (Z88 Application)
Space: Welcome
This is the Home Page
Space: Z88card - Z88 Application Card Builder Tool
Z88card is a desktop command line tool used to combine a selection of Z80 exectutable binaries and data files to generat…
Space: Z88 Developers' Notes
These notes provides a comprehensive description of the hardware and software of the Z88 portable. The machine has a pow…
Space: Z88 Emulator - "OZvm"
The "OZ" virtual machine is the hardware emulation of the Cambridge Z88 portable computer and periphial cards, whose mai…
Space: Z88 Leaflets, Applications & Projects
Z88 Applications need to be written. Projects need to be built. This section is a central resource for them both, to ac…
Space: Z88 Packages System
Space: Z88 Quick Guide & Help
This section is for users who have acquired a Z88 and want to know either how to get it working, or what they need to ge…
Space: Z88 ROM
All documentation and information about the Z88 ROM development
Space: Z88 Service Manual
The service manual includes a description of the circuit together with test routines. It also describes details of Z88 T…
Space: Z88 User Guide
Z88 User Guide 5th edition. The user guide reflects the V4.5 and later OZ ROM version releases, developed by the Z88 Com…
Space: Z88 User Guide V4.0
The complete Z88 User Guide 4th edition edited with updated screenshots and graphics. Initially started by Per Svensson,…
Space: ZipUp

  • What we're working on:

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14 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Hello, I have come across 3 Z88 user manuals, 2nd, 3rd and 4th edition and also Z88 computing book by Ian Sinclair 1988 paperback. Would these be of any interest or value?

    Regards

    Paul

    paulhaith@hotmail.co.uk

  2. Hi Paul,

    We intend to complete the Z88 User Guide V4 here on the project as wiki pages, and we have all the raw text for it (OCR scanned by Per Svensson), and are in the (slow) process of converting it to wiki (click this link). If you are interested to help out, feel free to write to cambridgez88@gmail.com, or write a comment here.

    I would suggest that you try and ask the same question on the Z88 Forum - someone might be interested on these books.

     

    Warm regards
    Gunther.

  3. Anonymous

    Hi,

    I got the new desktop client working easily with the ver 5.0 version of the eazylink pop down in windows 7. However, I can't get the old dos version of pipe dream to work in that environment, so I can't use the transferred files if they are in pipe dream format, are there any file viewers that will work in windows 7.0?

    1. Great to hear that it works for you!

      Dennis made a nice PipeDream for Windows in 1999, implemented in Visual Basic 3. Here's the link: http://www.algonet.se/~dennisgr/pipeview.htm. There you can find the source code as well. You need to bundle the VB runtime DLL's. All details can be found on the bottom of that page.

      For everybody reading this: Please write questions or comments about the EazyLink Client in its project pages. more relevant..

      If someone is interested in doing a Better PipeDream Viewer, write to us: cambridgez88@gmail.com.

    2. I haven't tried, but I think you might have great success trying http://www.dosbox.com/, which is an excellent DOS emulating environment, to load PC PipeDream in there. Its quite easy to "mount" files into it from outside.

       

      Best regards
      Gunther

  4. The Dosbox solution is described on our website. See http://www.rakewell.com/pc/pc_z.shtml#pipedream near the bottom of the page.

     

    Kind regards, Vic.

  5. Anonymous

    you guys are fast and informative :)

  6. Anonymous

    Final response in this thread, I will post in appropriate locations from here on in. Well, I got dosbox up and running, managed to get pipedream going easily enough. Couldn't get pipedream to recognize the USB-serial port (com3 on my system), so no direct comms between PC and Z88 using Pipedream, but eazyLink works well, and now i can work on files in Pipedream across platforms, so that is useful and fun. Thanks for the continued enthusiasm and help.

  7. The PipeDream User guide states that you prefix the filename with Z: or  Z88: 

    "you can speciy which port the Z88 is connected to:

    Z:1: means serial port 1.

    Z:2: means serial port 2."

    It doesn't specifically give the example for COM.3, but give it a try. It should work with the Eazylink ROM using the PClink II codes.

    I have just tried this using :COM.7 with the USB Cable and it doesn't work. So I suspect only COM.1 and COM.2 hardware ports are supported.

    Also Eazylink client v 5.2 - 06 doesn't work immediately with PC Link II codes at present, just keep trying to connect, it gets there in the end. I have raised this as an issue.

    STOP PRESS

    =========

    I have got this working with PipeDream by doing the following.

    I am running Windows xp with COM.1 and COM.2 being hardware ports and COM.7 being the USB port.

    In the Device Manager, I selected the Hardware COM.1 right clicked for Properties, In properties, I selected Port Settings. In Port settings I selected Advanced. In Adavanced Settings I changed the COM Port Number to an unused number - in my case COM.11, then selected OK.

    I repeated this proceedure with COM.7, my USB com port, changing this to use COM.1.

    In PC Pipedream, when doing 'File Load' (Alt FL), Change the File to Load  to :Z88*.* If it comes back with bad z88 link, try again several times. This is also true if using the PC Link II program.

  8. Anonymous

    I have two z88 computers, one has Cambridge Z88 on the top which seems to be uncommon, the other has just Z88. Is the type with the Cambridge label an older type?

    1. Yes. There is no difference technically between these two models, it is only cosmetic.

  9. Anonymous

    Hi. I'm happy to announce that my ZX80/81/Spectrum emulator now also supports Z88 emulation. You can download it here:

     

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/zesarux/

     

    Cheers

    Cesar

    1. Hi Cesar!

      Thanks for the great effort! We've added a link to your project here on the front wiki page ("z88 emulator") and announced your work in our blog.

      Let's keep in touch!

      Regards, Gunther

  10. Anonymous

    Great Gunther. Thanks!

    Cheers,
    Cesar

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