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Saturday, 15-Jun-2024 21:07:57 BST

Z88 Computer Links

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  A range of computer, links are available so that the Z88 can transfer data using its RS-232 Serial Port. Communication and file conversion software are needed as well as the cable.
The cable that the Z88 uses is electrically different to ordinary PC cables that look the same.  

The cable that the Z88 uses is electrically different to ordinary PC cables that look the same.

We can supply just the cable and an adapter for those users who want to use different programs!

The cable that links the Z88 to a PC is not standard.  
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Z88 to PC Links

Mac & PC Link Applications

Here are some Mac & PC - Z88 Link programs. This listed Eazylink has now been upgraded to Eazylink2 - it does everything, it is easy to use and it works. BUT people think that I am only saying that because we sell it. That's no longer true, its FREE.

So here is your chance to try other programs (Free Link) if you want. Please read details about the Z88 - PC Cable.

Click on the link to jump to the application details or the download site for the program.


We only support programs that you buy (not the Free ones). If you are having any problems, take a look at our FAQ Page.

This page only lists Free Links that I used to be able to run to run on my XP machine.

Dennis Grning has listed some more on his site. See Z88 Internet Links.

The PC-Z88 Cable used is the one we supply.

There is also a free program that runs on RISC-DOS.


PC Operating System Eazylink PC Link II Rastersoft's Z88 Transfer Kevin Millican's Z88Link (11KB) WinSrv88 - Written 22nd-25th April 1999 by Paul Robson (autismuk@aol.com) - Andrew Pepper Z88.exe is a program for importing and exporting pipedream files
3 = 3 wire
F = Full handshaking







Apple MAC

Unsupported Windows xp

Unsupported Windows 2000

Unsupported Windows me

Unsupported Windows 98

Unsupported Windows NT

Unsupported Windows for Workgroups

Unsupported Windows 95

Windows 3.1






Needs ROM in Z88 | Import/Export E P X P
USB Support | NO USB
Any COM Port | COM.1 only
12.3 | DOS 8.3 Filenames
Windows | MS-DOS Filenames X
Save files | In one directory
Translates files | Raw data only

OZ 4.3 and Eazylink 5.1
OZ 4.3 and above or Eazylink 5.1 Upgrade

These updates attract an extra cost. Users may return their Flash cards with their remittance and postage (currently 36 inc VAT).
NOTE: Files on an
INTEL Flash Card can only be written to when the card is in slot 3. OZ 4.2 or 3 only runs in Slot 1. If the card is used in slot 1 or 2, the files will be 'read-only.'
  • Save or Fetch files directly to the Flash card with this Eazylink upgrade.
  • Avoid using RAM space just as a bridge between the two.
  • The file areas look like RAM and are labeled :EPR.1, :EPR.2 and :EPR.3 depending which slot is used.
  • The software on the PC remains unaltered.

View in Eazylink
The PC display will just show the Flash File Area as :EPR.x
Left hand view of the Eazylink display

When using these updates the view in Eazylink will display any formatted file areas and their contents on the Flash card.

By marking the files, they can be transferred to the PC just as if they were in  RAM.

Right hand view of the Eazylink display

If Eazylink displays its version number in the left-hand bottom corner, it can read / write to the flash file area directly.
Upgraded Eazylink Version Number in lh bottom corner.

PipeDream Help added

Click here to see a small movie of the HELP added.
Main PipeDream HELP page

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USB - RS-232 Adapters for Computers with no serial port

We no longer stock these adapters as they are available on the web. Click here to search on Google. For example Amazon are advertising them for only 2.99 inc VAT and postage (25/08/2011).

Eazylink needs a USB to full handshake UART Device. If you get a USB to basic UART Device, it will not work.

Getting the right adapter and how do you find out?

Now that Windows 7 and 64 bit computers are around, please make sure that you purchase a quality product, one that supports a full handshake UART and has the correct drivers for your Operating System.

First, you need to find out which chip set the adapter is using. Let's say it uses an FTDI FT230X. Look this up on Google and then on their website - http://www.ftdichip.com/FT-X.htm we find that this is a USB to basic UART. This is not what you need. If on the other hand it was a FT231X - a USB to full handshake UART, this device would be suitable.

USB Serial AdapterHere is the correspondance with Bob Calvert (19/12/2004) about this issue.

The only potential problem is how to connect the Z88 to the laptop - there doesn't appear to be a serial connector in sight!, but there are lots of USB ports. I have checked with several shops here and it is possible to get a serial to USB adaptor. So...could I ask if you have come across this problem already? Will a serial to USB adaptor work? I'm inclined to try it and see but would appreciate your advice.

Reply - USB Serial Adapter should work, but I have not received any first-hand reports. As long as Windows thinks it is a serial port you should be OK. You will have to try it and see. Let me know the result.

Just a quick email to let you know the Z88 to PC transfer works via the serial to USB adaptor. The trick is to ensure you know which coms port the PC decides to allocate! We are very pleased we can continue to use our Z88! Thanks for your help. 

Prolific logo
PL-2303 Software and Drivers Click here
Drivers supplied on the disk (zipped) 2M! Click here
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Eazylinkavailable NOW

I have got to say it's really easy to use and very fast. It's the full file transfer and backup solution I have been looking for but never found. Everything else is really inferior. A few clicks and your files are transferred between the PC and Z88 in a whiz. Best tool I ever brought for the Z88. I really do wonder how I lived without!

Best Regards,
Steven Pannell - 04 June 2004
Technical Project Manager
zooplus AG

Windows 7 logo

Note for Window 7/8 Users

Eazylink (on the PC end) is currently being rewritten so that it runs on
  • Windows 7/8 32/64 bit
  • Mac
  • & Linux machines
Catch up with its progress here.

In the meantime, this version needs two requirements:-

  • It is running on Windows 7 Professional under its Windows xp mode.

    I have not received any user with the Home version getting this to work yet, perhaps it doesn’t do the job well enough.

  • USB to Serial converter

    Most PCs now do not have a hardware serial port. On Windows xp a converter that supports hardware handshaking on the serial port works well. If this converter is moved to a Windows 7 computer the drivers must be Windows 7 compatible and be able to control the hardware handshaking.
Windows XP logo
Eazylink Logo upgrade from PC Link II
Run EazyLink on Linux with
Linux logo
Run EazyLink on Mac with
Z88 Transfer
Apple MAC

Eazylink is a file transfer program that can send files to and from the Z88 and a PC that is running Windows NT, 2000, 98, ME, XP or Windows 7 Pro with real serial ports (although there may have been an issue with the USB Adapter being used beforehand). It is fast, easy to use and copes with multiple files.

Key points

  • It works with a USB to Serial Converter – so even if your PC does not have a serial port, you just need one of those.
  • It retains the 12 character filenames that the Z88 uses
  • It is faster than PC Link II
  • It runs on Windows xp and Windows 7 in an xp environment
  • v5.1 can Save and Fetch files directly from the Flash file area. - NOTE this is available at extra cost *.

How to use files with Eazylink

Diagram showing different ways of saving files to flash cards.

The package comes with

  • a serial cable to link the Z88 to the PC computer (9/25 pin adapter supplied),
  • the Eazylink ROM to plug into the Z88
  • and PC program CD disk.







Eazylink copies files to    
You can - Delete, Rename, Send and Receive files, Create and Remove directories in those devices.

Send and Receive Files (Z88 to PC)


Backup Device
(Z88 to BD to PC)

You can select the following to backup your Z88 (using Wild cards if required):

  • Select RAM Device (Multiple RAM devices are selected one at a time).
  • Select Directories at a defined path
  • Select Files at a defined path
  • Select a File (or several Files)

Eazylink stores all the Z88 files on the PC in a simple database

Two windows are displayed. One is the Source and the other is the Destination Device.

A mirror image of your Z88's file and directory structure is created allowing files to fetched from the database when required.

Translating Files


Additional mirror images may be copied, by using different database filenames, allowing different backup versions or backups from different Z88s to be retained.

Restoring of files from the Backup Device re-installs original Z88 Date stamps on up-loaded files. Directories are automatically created by the EazyLink ROM on the Z88 in the RAM filing system. 12 character file names are now supported (unlike PC Link II which only supported the DOS format of 8.3).

Reorganising Files in the Backup Device

Using the Commands with the Source and Destination windows, files may be reorganised into different directories within the Backup Device itself. This powerful facility allows the Z88 user to organise files without using the Z88 for the first time. Combined with the Viewer, old files may be deleted or moved to different directories, clearing more space for new files to be created.

There are a number of ways that Eazylink can translate files whilst the file is being transferred from the Z88. These are:-

  • Auto CR to CR/LF for DOS and Windows
  • ISO LATIN 1 and IBM codepage 865 (Scandinavian)
  • with a User defined Translation Table



A text file viewer is included to enable a quick look at files from the Backup Device.

Also included is the ability to view PipeDream files in "PipeView," a shareware Windows program from Dennis Grning and a utility which loads or view files straight into the PC PipeDream DOS program.


In any of these devices, all devices and directories are displayed and managed using the familiar File Explorer Interface of Windows.

EazyLink has been provided with comprehensive on-line help (both as functional reference and context-sensitive help topics).

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PC Link II to Eazylink upgrade

If you already have PC Link II consisting of the following items you can purchase the Eazylink upgrade to save duplicating the hardware required.

  • Serial cable from the PC to the Z88 (make sure you have correct connector on the cable for your computer. It is either a 9 or 25 way male on the computer.)
  • PC Link ROM/EPROM (Please retun for upgrade)
  • and PC Link II software. (Supplied in PC Link II but not really needed for Eazylink)

Other Features

COM Ports




Battery LOW


File Transfer Log

Use any free serial COM port that Windows can see, unlike PC Link which can only use COM.1.   Eazylink sets the time and date on the Z88 to the same as the PC.   Eazylink will stop sending files to and from the Z88 when the battery on the Z88 is low.   EazyLink also contains a file transfer log facility which remembers every file transfered.

Report of Files

A report can be requested that lists all the files in the Backup Device. The report may be sorted in ascending/descending order choosing one of the sorting criteria;

file size,
date transferred
and the Z88 file date stamp.

This report can then be printed and used as a hardcopy record of what files have been backed up for future reference.

An added bonus is that you also get the:-

PC Link II Software

with its own file translation programs.

These are

  • WordStar to PipeDream and
  • Lotus 1-2-3 to PipeDream,

so you can keep your page layouts. Even if you want to use Desk-Top Publishing programs, layouts can still be retained by importing a WordStar file into the program you use.

EazyLink ROM

The EazyLink ROM emulates 100% and performs 25% faster than the original PC Link ROM. Further, with the PC-LINK II emulation, you get transparent linefeed conversion and ISO LATIN I/DOS codepage translation during transfer!

In other words, you're still able to run the old PC-LINK II DOS program and PC PipeDream when using the EazyLink ROM in the Z88.

Existing users of PC Link II can upgrade to EazyLink cost effectively.

MAC Users and EazyLink

Picture of Z88 and Mac

Although the Eazylink program does not run on the MAC, MAC users can enjoy the

  • faster transfer speed and the
  • automatic creation of directories

when files are transferred to the Z88. All you need is to upgrade your MAC Link ROM to EazyLink V5.0.4.



Recently I had to reinstall Windows (and of course everything else) ... and now EazyLink will install but won't run, complaining that it has an "incorrect" version of MSJet35.dll.

I have however now solved my problem, by downloading Microsoft's Jet Service Pack 3 from their website, which upgraded my copy of MSJet35 to version 3.51.3328.0 - and for some reason EazyLink is now happy.

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Z88 to PC Lead

Making a Z88 to PC Lead
[image of mismatching plugs]

When Cambridge advertised their Z88 - PC Link we all thought it was a lot of money to pay for the cable. I made up a cable and discovered it was not as easy as I first thought.

Even now, people are still making the same mistake as I did back then.

I invite you to

  • not to buy a standard 9 way to 9 way cable. It may physically fit, but the wire connections are different. It will not work, or
  • not burn your fingers with a soldering iron or
  • can't fit the plug into the Z88 after fitting the cover or
  • use the wrong circuit diagram to wire up the lead. There are several of them shown on different web sites.

PLEASE save yourself all this hassle -
buy the cable

The following conversation was taken off a Z88 site.

I have transferred various files types on my z88 to a PC. The other day, I
wanted to do the inverse process for the first time.


I wasn't able. I tried the Z88XPort program and the MS DOS command, without good results. The z88 complains about "Poor data received".

Have you checked serial settings? Reset turns Xon/Xoff back on, make sure it's turned off.

Yes the problem is that I am able to send a file from the z88 to the PC, but not in the inverse direction.

As Vic points out it is likely a cable problem.

So, is it possible to have a cable allowing transferring to the PC but
failing when transferring to the z88 ?

I'm using a Compaq PC Laptop with Windows98.

Z88-Xport needs a working hardware flow control. Z88 RTS needs to be connected to PC CTS. See Help, Cable for the full pin out. Xon/Xoff is ignored so doesn't matter.

The cable I am using is a self-made one. I have followed the wirings given in the z88 book:

Thank you everybody. I've re-wired my link cable, so everything works now. It's a shame I saw that wiring scheme before yours. :-D


Z88 to PC Lead

Z88 to PC Lead & 9/25 adapter
Z88 to PC lead9 way connection

The Z88 to PC Lead consists of the moulded 9 way plug that fits into the Z88 correctly and has a 25 way female connector for the PC's COM port (which was the standard connector when the Z88 came out). Most computers now have a 9 way plug for the COM.1 serial port. An adapter lead (9-25 way) is also suplied. This is used on the PC end.
25 - 9 way adapter cable

If the cable you have has a 25 way male connector - it is the serial printer cable, you cannot use it for the PC,


STOP! WARNING!Some users have been tempted to 'build their own' only to find that the cover that fits over the plug stops the plug from fitting into the Z88 correctly.
This type of cover does not work

If you really want to do it yourself make sure

  • you use a moulded plug with the locking screws removed to fit into the Z88 and
  • have the correct connections (it is not a standard cable)

- or better still just buy this correct cable.

Moulded plug you can use

No Serial Port on PC?
USB to Serial Adapter

USB Serial Adapter should work, as long as Windows sees it as a serial port you should be OK.

The trick is to look up which com port the PC has allocated it to and let the program you are using know which com port it has used!

Available on the web. Click here to search on Google.


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Z88 Computer Links & OZ 4.3 upgrade *
Description Price VAT Total
Amiga Link (Sector Software) �25.00 �5.00 �30.00
Archimedes Link (Lindis) �25.00 �5.00 �30.00
Arc Link inc. Z88, WP2/3 & NC100 (S & S) �40.83 �8.17 �49.00
Archimedes Link PipeDream (Colton) �34.00 �6.80 �40.80
Atari ST Link -Use Z-TERM, PC AT Cable and Terminal software on Atari
BBC-Link (Cambridge) �8.95 �1.79 �10.74
Mac-Link (Cambridge) �25.00 �5.00 �30.00
USB Serial Adapter for MAC with Mac-Link (Cambridge) FREE �69.00 �13.80 �82.80
Mac Link inc.. Z88, WP2/3 & NC100 (S&S) �39.00 �7.80 �46.80
PC AT 9/25 way Serial Cable �12.50 �2.50 �15.00
PC AT 9 way extension Serial Cable �9.00 �1.80 �10.80
PC-Link 2 (Cambridge) �29.17 �5.83 �35.00
RangerLink 2 (Ranger) �29.17 �5.83 �35.00
PC L 2 /EazyLink �50.00 �10.00 �60.00
PC Link 2 to EazyLink upgrade �29.17 �5.83 �35.00
* EazyLink or OZ 4.3 upgrade �25.00 �5.00 �30.00
PC Link 2 to EazyLink upgrade (ROM only for MAC users) �8.33 �1.67 �10.00
MAC Link or PC-Link 2 ROM only (Cambridge) �20.00 �4.00 �24.00
QL Link (Sector Software) �25.00 �5.00 �30.00
Z88 to Z88 Link Cable �12.50 �2.50 �15.00
zTape Cassette Tape Backup & lead �50.00 �10.00 �60.00
z-TERM Software (Wordmongers) �41.67 �8.33 �50.00

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Z88 Software INDEX
Application header


Internet Compilation


Diskfiler 2




EP-Fetch 2


Application Compilation






Jet Set Willy



PC Link


Quick Edit

Ranger (Disk1)
Compilation Manual



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Unzip Lite

Vision /L manual

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Vision2 manual

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Key A=Application C=Compilation I=Internet M=Manual
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  Z88 Archive Com Links section


BBC Link


Making a Z88 to PC Lead


Nimbus link

PC Link Applications

PC Link II

Ranger Link 2


Z88 - Mobile

Z88 - PC Lead



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Z88 Internet Links

z88 logo

Z88 Wiki

Z88 Forever

Z88 RAM Applications

Z88 Development Group


Z88 3D Printer Card Details

Z88-development 2003

Project: Z88 Development: Summary

Z88 Developers' Notes V4.3


Keith Korner

Colin Parsons (RIP)
Z88 Page (Archived)

Computer Classic Games Server including Z88 files (Archived) [GONE]

Matthew Soar Home Page

FWDcomputing on the Z88 and QL [GONE]

Dominic Morris Z88 Projects

Dennis Grning - Cambridge Z88 [ image: nothing]


Use Graphics on your Z88 with the BBC BASIC Patch

Run Acorn software on your PC[ image: nothing]

Rakewell Limited is not responsible for the content of these internet sites.

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Company Details
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  We ship to other countries - USA - Hong Kong - Europe
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See Price list page for details.
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Company Details
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Vic Gerhardi

Rakewell Limited
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Name Rakewell Ltd
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