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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

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  • 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).

The following are archived news:

October 2013

The Service Manual has been uploaded and the Test Equipment described there is being built. Follow its progress here.

February 2013

24th Feb: We have released OZvm V1.1.2 for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows - a minor bug-fix release. Click here to read the release notes and download a copy for your preferred desktop.

14th Feb: We have released OZvm V1.1.1 for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows - a minor bug-fix release. Click here to read the release notes and download a copy for your preferred desktop.

12th Feb: The Cambridge Z88 Assembler Workbench utilities have finally been released as ready-made executable tools for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows platforms, providing easy access to compile the latest releases of the Z88 ROM and 3rd party applications. Click here to download for your operating system.

2nd Feb: We have released OZvm V1.1 for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Our best release yet of the Cambridge Z88 emulator. Click here to read the release notes and download a copy for your preferred desktop.

November 2012

14th Nov: We have achieved the impossible: We proudly present the complete Z88 User Guide, 4th edition here on our wiki. Based on the huge effort by Per Svensson, we have been able to migrate & improve all text and various graphics to be read online - a testament of how to use the Cambridge Z88.

October 2012

20th Oct: EazyLink Application installer for Linux 64bit is now available for download. CLICK HERE FOR RELEASE NOTES.

September 2012

28th Sept: Great news, we have just completed work of the second beta release for V1.0. Application installers for Windows, Linux and Mac is now available for download. CLICK HERE FOR RELEASE NOTES.

3rd Sept: We have received a professional license from magicermine.com for our project to use this technology to distribute our Z88 desktop software on 32 bit and 64 bit Linux systems. Ermine is a tool that allows Linux software to be deployed in a single executable file that contains everything needed to run the program.

 
August 2012

We have released OZ V4.3.1 - a maintenance / bug fix release. Check out the release notes here.

July 2012

Z88 EazyLink popdown V5.2 has been released. It contains two new protocol commands that handles CRC-32 checksum and device space statistics.

EazyLink Desktop Client V1.0 Beta 1 has been released for Windows and Linux. We are doing the installer for Mac OS X at the moment. It has all major features, but we like feedback and more testing by the public, so we can improve it well for final V1.0 release.

June 2012

The Z88 emulator is being heavily revisited at the moment, optimized, fixing bugs and improving the hardware emulation & user documentation. Check out the source code or watch the issues. We hope to finish this work in July.

Developer's Notes Wiki are almost done; all pages imported except for some text about the screen files - will be done soon. It has been a huge work - but now it's there, 250+ pages (PDF export counter). Up-to-date with OZ V4.3 API and cross-linked.

EazyLink popdown is being developed for V5.2 having two new commands; Device Info & File CRC32, both being used by the new EazyLink client.

EazyLink client - has come far now; has all major features now - we're working on smart volume backup for people with multiple Z88's and multiple memory cards... Later this month, we will be able to release first public beta. Have a look at the issues to see what's coming..

May 2012

EazyLink Reference documentation - Added & improved (from original HTML in source code repository). It is being edited to comply with latest V5.1 (released Aug 2011).

EazyLink client - Work continues; we expect to release a public beta in June/July.

All system API's, DC_xxx, OS_xxx and GN_xxx API calls, - have now been imported, edited and cross-linked in the Developer's Notes Wiki.

April 2012

OZ Version screen - Garry Lancaster has allowed the OZ compile scripts to include Git tag revision string to be displayed. This identifies which version is running from our control repository.

RomCombiner - Fixed a bug that was reported by Rakewell; blowing data to a UV EPROM didn’t work from V2.08. This is now fixed in V2.10. You can get it from here

EazyLink client - Work is progressing on all three platforms; Mac, Windows & Linux. We hope to release it sometime in May. We are able to build & test-run the client on all platforms now. Stay tuned for more information soon.

Intuition/OZ - An improved keyboard routine has been implemented. The Intuition command line can now be used without disturbing OZ interrupts while debugging code in OZ!

Rich Mellor recommends the Z88 forum: http://www.rwapservices.co.uk/Z88/forums/

February 2012

Busy month, but now a few updates:

RomUpdate V0.9 has been released which now can handle generic card images and blow them to a user-selected slot.

OZ V4.3 latest release has been uploaded to Sourceforge which now uses RomUpdate V0.9 to blow OZ V4.3 for slot 1. This ZIP file contains updated instructions as well.

Z88 emulator has been improved. It has better breakpoint management and it can now execute debugger commands at breakpoints (requested by Garry Lancaster).

December 2011

RomCombiner V2.08 released - fixing a minor syntax error in a single program line. No functional changes. Get it from Z88 Applications File Area on Sourceforge

Z88 User Guide Wiki (approx 20% done) and the Z88 Developers Notes Wiki (approx 50% done) is progressing.

OZvm, the Z88 Emulator, is undergoing improvements. These are some minor fixes to the display so that it is shown correctly on Mac OS X, code cleanup and improvements of breakpoint system (when used as a developer tool).

November 2011

Open Source licenses -  We have received these to generate cross-platform installer builds for our projects by BitRock. We will soon be able to make installers for:

"Z88 Assembler Workbench" (install complete developer tools on Mac, Linux or Windows, with source code and Git access)

"EazyLink", the new Gui Client (currently under development, implemented in Qt)

"OZvm", so that end-users will be able to install the Z88 emulator individually.

Z88 User Guide - We have received the OCR-scanned material (section 7 onwards, and the appendixes) from Per Svensson. We will complete this in the coming months. Just select "Z88 User Guide" from the Projects drop-down to see more. Ultimately, the User Guide will be integrated completely inside the wiki here, so it will be easier to maintain and improve with more information.

Installer & Bootstrap - Garry Lancaster announced: "As you might have noticed, I have now added these and all the associated paraphernalia. They are currently disabled for OZ v4.1+, but I am working on fixing them up in another branch." So work is ongoing to get these essential tools working on the new OZ ROM that we now provide. 

October 2011

We moved project infrastructure from Sourceforge to Atlassian OnDemand (Jira / Confluence / Fisheye) & BitBucket (Git repository). Thank you, Atlassian! We will be adding wiki pages and work projects, little-by-little, to let you know more about what is available here.

OZ V4.3 - Released final binaries, ready to be uploaded & installed in slot 1.

Z88 Emulator V1.0.2 - Released now supporting emulation of latest Rakewell hybrid 512K RAM / 512K FLASH memory cards.

EazyLink - Work has started on a new Client for Linux, Mac & Windows (sponsored by Rakewell). It will be released here for download, once the software has been completed (mid November 2011).

Zip Utilities & ZipUp - Garry Lancaster has fixed an important bug in these suites for Z88, ZipUp release V1.02 / UnZip V1.13. Download here.

 

  • 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 (Z88 Application)
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: Z88 Application Card Manager, "MakeApp"
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
This section is for new users who have acquired a Z88 and want to know what they need to get to make it usable.
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 V4.0
The complete Z88 User Guide 4th edition edited with updated screenshots and graphics. Initially started by Per Svensson,…
Space: Z88 User Guide V4.5
Z88 User Guide 5th edition. The user guide reflects the V4.5 OZ ROM version release, developed by the Z88 Community.
Space: ZipUp (Z88 Application)

  • What we're working on:

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11 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.

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