Tx, - File Transfer System used a propriety protocol and was developed for over 100 different micros which included the Z88 and the PC. It included a PipeDream to WordStar conversion utility.
Cambridge Computer initially used the Z88.s Imp-Exp protocol for their BBC and PC Link. This meant giving commands from both the Z88 and the other computer before the file transfer could take place.
PC Link II was supplied as two programs, one ran as an application supplied on a 32K EPROM card (written by Colton Software) and the other on a disk as a DOS program on the PC. This introduced a new protocol with new commands that enabled all the commands to be controlled from the PC and later with the Mac.
Ranger came up with a different approach. Rather than controlling the software from the PC, they used the Z88 itself. They had already written software using a subset of the Christie tape protocol to run on the Z88 using the serial port for their Ranger Disk Drive. A few tweaks were needed on the Z88 and a small DOS program developed for the PC to use either COM.1 or 2 that looked like the drive from the Z88 and they were off. Their program on the Z88 ran outside of OZ controlling the serial port directly, enabling faster transfer speeds to be realised. The DOS program written, used the processor clock to set the speed of the serial port and was designed to run on a 486 computer without the turbo switch on. As processor speeds increased, this program began to fail. Dennis Gröning rewrote this software using a different method of timing and offered all the COM ports to be selected so the program could be continued to be used with faster machines.
There was no reason why this small program was not developed to run on other computers i.e. Apple Mac, but this was not to be.
Gunther Strube wrote Eazylink, improved the PC Link II protocol, speeded up the serial port and added new commands.
Rastersoft Z88Transfer can use IMP/EXP, PCLINK or EAZYLINK protocols. When the author tried this last, it would not transfer binary files. This has been documented as fixed. It needs to be tested again.
Eazylink 2 supports three O/S. For further information Click Here.
PipeDream to WordStar and PipeDream to Lotus 1-2-3 for the PC
PipeDream for the MAC.
The BBC Computer had View Professional which used the same file structure as PipeDream.
How do they all stack up?