The Alarm popdown

The Alarm popdown can either be selected from the INDEX

Select Alarm

or (activated with A) 

It can be used to make your Cambridge Z88 remind you of important events or appointments, or simply to wake you up in the morning. Any number of alarms can be set up, and for each alarm you can specify the following information:

The Menu


is called up the the  key.

Important Meeting


The date on which the first alarm will occur. For a new alarm this is initially set to the current date, or if the alarm is called from the Calendar or Diary, the Calendar or Diary date.


The time at which the alarm will occur. For a new alarm this is set to the current time, but you will usually alter it to the required alarm time. All times in the Alarm are given in 24-hour format.


For each alarm you can specify a message of up to 23 characters, or a CLI command string which will be executed to cause something to happen; see below.

To set an alarm, press . The alarms you have set up will become active as soon as you exit from the popdown by pressing .

Note that the Cambridge Z88 will not switch off automatically while the alarm popdown is on the screen.

Alarm options

Each alarm can also have the following optional settings:

Bell: can be ON or OFF, determining whether the Cambridge Z88 bleeper sounds when the alarm is activated.

Alarm type: normally ALARM. This can be altered to EXECUTE to allow a command, in the REASON FOR ALARM field, to be executed when the alarm is activated. Thus you could, for example, cause the Diary to be entered and a line of text to be typed in automatically on an alarm:

#D|CT Urgent message

For more information on executing commands, see CLI files.

Repeat every: normally set to NEVER, so that an alarm will occur just once, at the specified time and date. The repeat rate can be altered to one of the following to obtain a repeating alarm:


You can move between these options with  and ; pressing or  then increases or decreases the number of the unit selected. You can thus specify every 3 HOURS, for example.

No. of times: specifies the number of times that the alarm will be repeated before being cancelled. It is initially set to NEVER, so that the alarm will occur just once. It can be set to FOREVER by pressing , or a number from one upwards by pressing. Holding the  key down while pressing or  will increase or decrease the number in tens, and  and  will change it in hundreds.

By setting these fields appropriately, you can obtain almost every possible alarm setting. For example, to cause an alarm to occur on the 3rd March, 3rd April, and 3rd May, at 12.00, set

DATE  3 Mar 1987                  REPEAT EVERY

Note: Do not set the alarm to repeat every second for ever. You will not be able to cancel it without doing a soft reset.

Clearing alarms

To clear an alarm, select it with the cursor keys or  on the list of alarms, select CLEAR ALARM with   and , and press . With a repeating alarm this just clears the present alarm; use CLEAR ALARM twice to remove a repeating alarm completely.

If an alarm occurs while the Cambridge Z88 is turned off, the alarm will sound and the Cambridge Z88 will be turned on in LOCK OUT state to prevent accidental key-presses. To clear this state turn the Cambridge Z88 off and then on again in the usual way, by pressing both  keys.

Saving and Loading

Alarms may now be saved and loaded using FL and FS commands. Alarms are not preserved if a SOFT RESET is performed with the PURGE command from Index. One great way to restore alarms is via the Boot.cli file (executed by Filer after a soft reset).

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