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Thursday, 23-May-2024 10:44:26 BST

Z88 Computer Links

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Eazylink2available NOW

Introduction & Hardware Needed
Being able to communicate between the Z88 and the Desktop has always been the main attraction of having the Z88. What is the point of not being able to share files between the PC or Mac computers?

The software for the Desktop (PC or Mac) is downloadable from the Wiki.

Users have different requiments.

These are:-
  • to get data off their old EPROM cards, a 'once off' exercise and then get rid of the Z88 altogether.
  • to use the Z88 as it was in the 80's, transferring files as a backup to their destop
  • to use the laterst version of OZ, get faster transfer speeds and enjoy the latest refinements of the Z88.
The following hardware and software is needed.
USB to Serial Adapter or Lead
Two typs of adapters
 USB Adapter
USB to Serial Adapter

adapter with cable

Z88 Serial Link with laptop
Z88 Serial Link with laptop

Whatever you decide you will need:

  1. PC AT 9/9 way Serial Cable
    If your computer has a standard 9D serial port - (or a and Standard Serial Cable extender and Rakewell's Z88 Serial Link)
  2.  USB/serial device, with Rakewell's Z88 Serial Link (with standard serial cable extender if needed) or PC AT 9/9 way Serial Cable If the computer only  has a USB connector.
Option 1 - Z88 9/9 way Serial Cable

At first sight this looks like a 9 way extension cable. It isn't. Although the plugs and sockets are the same, the 

connections are different to the now standard connections.
If you are handy with a soldering iron, you can modify existing cables to use. Again, details are on the Wiki.
The Z88 will not connect to the Desktop with a straight-through cable.
Option 2 - Using Z88 Serial Link
Serial Link Adapter
Z88 Serial Link is a lightweight alternative to using the Z88 PC Serial Cable. Often when using a laptop, the extra bulk that the cable gives is unwelcome.It can be used both with a Mac or PC.

The Z88 Serial Link fits in-between the Z88 and the USB Serial Adapter. This changes the connections allowing the Z88 to be used with Eazylink or any other Z88 communications software.
Serial Link with Laptop
Using Z88's Imp/Exp Popdown
Using both the software on the Desktop, the connecting cables and the Z88's own Imp/Exp popdown program, files may be transferred each way. It is painfully slow and not 100% reliable,
but it works on a good day.

Commands are made on both the Z88 and the Desktop, useful for four handed operators.
Using Eazylink with the Z88
Eazylink2 Desktop
Eazylink-1.0B1 top lh corner
Eazylink- bot rh corner
Eazylink2 is available free on the web for your desktop.It is downloaded from the Z88 wiki

Eazy Flash ROM

Using a 32K EPROM card to run the Eazylink popdown is faster and is controlled at the Desktop end.

If you have either a

or a

32K EPROM, these maybe erased and used as an Eazy / Flash Application card.

We can do that for you on the condition that if the EPROM doesn't erase for any reason, we will return it to you.

If you haven't got either, they may be purchased.
Upgrading to OZ 4.7.1
Eazylink here allows fast transfers at 38,400 baud and are crc checked.

Use either the 512K/512K Flash/RAM card, or
the 1M  Flash and 1M RAM cards configuration. See
OZ Upgrade

512K/512K Flash/RAM card

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

Note for All Users

Eazylink2 (on the PC end) has been written to run on
  • Windows xp 7/8/10 32/64 bit
  • Mac
  • & Linux machines
See Z88 Wiki Quick Internet Links for further information.

Key points

  • It works with a USB to Serial Converter – so even if your PC or MAC 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 7/8 32/64 bit, Mac & Linux Desktops
  • v5.2.3-06 can Save and Fetch files directly from the Flash file area. - NOTE this is available as a download
    or is available here at extra cost *.

How to use files with Eazylink

Diagram showing different ways of saving files to flash cards.
Note: The latest versions are now Eazylink 5.2.3 - 06 and OZ 4.7.

The following items are required to use Eazylink

  • a USB to Serial Converter – if your PC or MAC does not have a built-in serial port
  • either
    a Z88 - PC AT 9/9 or
    a Z88 - PC AT 9/25 way (with a 9/25 pin adapter) Serial Cable

    to link the Z88 to the Desktop computer. The PC Cable is also required if you are using a MAC. It plugs into the USB to Serial Converter.
  • the Eazylink or OZ 4.7.1 ROM to plug into the Z88
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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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 Computer Links & OZ 4.7 upgrade *
Description Price VAT Total
PC AT 9/25 way Serial Cable £7.50 £1.50 £9.00
PC AT 9/9 way Serial Cable £12.50 £2.50 £15.00
NewZ88 Serial Link
£12.50 £2.50 £15.00
PC-Link 2 (Cambridge) £29.17 £5.83 £35.00
* EazyLink or OZ 4.7 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

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[Click here to send e-mail for real-time pricing]

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Z88 Software INDEX
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  Z88 Archive Hardware section


EPROM Erasers

1M Flash Card

512K Flash Turbo/RAM Card

Go For It


Protect & Survive

RAM or EPROM Packs?


Z88 Flash Starter Pack

Z88 Starter Pack

Old Starter Pack

SwitZch Box


What is so good about the Z88?

Windows only Printers

XOB Tandy Disc Drive

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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 Gröning - Cambridge Z88 [ image: nothing]


Use Graphics on your Z88 with the BBC BASIC Patch

Run Acorn software on your PC[ image: nothing]

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