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Saturday, 15-Jun-2024 21:25:39 BST

Z88 Hardware

Welcome to Z88 Computers

Z88 & Cardboard Carrying Case   Z88 User Guide
Z88 User Guide Ed 3 Now available in printed format.

The standard, new unused Z88 comes in a cardboard carrying case together with the User Guide.
German versionUK version


The most portable full-function computer ever devised.

Less than an inch thick, measures 11½ in x 8¼ in. Weighs under 2 lb.

Comes complete with integrated set of powerful applications software: word-processing, spreadsheet, database, calculator, diary, calendar, clock, alarm, printer editor- all included in ROM.

Can export, import and manipulate data from IBM- compatible PCs; converts its own applications software into Wordstar or Lotus 1-2-3 files.

Extra memory comes in solid-state, interchangeable packs- only 2 1/5 in square x 3/8 in deep. No fragile disks, no bulky disk drives.

  32K of RAM built in, expandable to 3 megabytes - enough to hold the complete works of Shakespeare.

Permanent storage on EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) packs, available in 32K,128K and 256K.. 1 megabyte Flash EPROM packs are here NOW.

Latest (in 1988) supertwist liquid crystal display provides large working area of 8 lines x 80 characters.

RS232 port provides connection to virtually any standard printer.

QWERTY keyboard has silent, short-travel keys; use in meetings, lectures, anywhere.

Runs on four AA batteries. Built-in capacitor preserves data when batteries need to be changed.
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This Capable

Z88 Technical Specification

Design Four-chip design - CPU, ROM. RAM, gate array.


ROM 128K containing operating system and applications software together with BASIC/Assembler.

RAM 32K expandable via 32K, 128K 512K and 1 megabyte to a maximum 3 megabytes, battery-backed from the computer.

EPROM/FLASH EPROM Up to 3 megabytes removable storage capacity via 32K, 128K 256K and 1 megabyte packs.

Applications software Pipedream word-processing and spreadsheet applications. Database. Calculator, diary, calendar, clock, alarms, printer editor, come as pop-down' screens.

Operating system Oz operating software, (v2.2 or 3.0) allows task-switching between applications without loading or exiting.

Language/Assembler Powerful BASIC.

Display 8 x 106 characters superIwist' LCD. Includes 8 x 80 working area, page map (shows where you are on a complete page), battery strength, alarm status.

Power 4 AA batteries provide 20 hours active computing or one year on standby.

Ports Three for memory-pack expansion, RS232 for popular printers and data import/export.

Z88 Accessories

RAM Packs Require no external power, and are available with 32K and 128K 512K and 1 megabyte capacity.

EPROM Packs Solid-state permanent storage, available in 32K, 128K and 256K. 1 megabyte FLASH EPROM packs available NOW.

EPROM Eraser Z88 EPROM Eraser, completely deletes EPROM data - leaves you with a blank EPROM pack, ready for re-use.

PCLINK Consisting of software diskette and RS232 serial cable, allows transfer and receipt of ASCII files between the Z88, and an IBM or compatible PC. Also converts Z88 Pipedream files into either Wordstar or Lotus 1-2-3 files.

for other computers available.

Serial Printer Cable Connects the Z88 to any printer with a standard serial port.

Parallel Printer Cable connects the Z88 to any printer with a standard parallel port.

AC Adapter helps preserve battery life, and is useful when the Z88 is in constant use in a fixed position. Untitled Document

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RAM and Flash Cards?

  Scales for weighing up options  
   RAM and EPROM packs  

How to decide what to get

The Z88 comes with 32K RAM 'built-in' memory. This is just enough to try out the examples given in the manual before you run out.

If you want to use your Z88, you need more RAM because it uses RAM as working memory and for storing files.

RAM gets used for everything

You should use other devices to back your files up, but the first need to be stored in RAM otherwise you are unable to get them to the other devices.

Expanded machine

RAM should be added (in slot 1 (or slot 2 if using OZ 4.x)) initially. This makes the Z88 an 'expanded' machine, the preferred configuration.

Size of RAM Amount used by Z88 Amount left
32K 8K 24K
128K 40K 88K
512K 40K 472K
1024K 40K 984K

Cambridge Computer Memory Card booklet (500K)

The Z88 uses some of the extra RAM for itself internally for Applications and BBC BASIC. You will quickly discover that you need more RAM than you think.

The following example assumes using a 20K document in Pipedream with a 128K RAM Pack.

Size of RAM 128K
Amount used by Z88 (expanded machine) 40K
Amount left 88K
Additional amount used by Pipedream 20K
Amount required to store the file in :RAM.1 20K
Amount left 48K

Remember If you have not got enough space to save the file to RAM, you will not be able to save it to the EPROM Pack or transfer the file to another computer.

Note If you put your RAM in slot 2 then the Z88 will not be an expanded machine.

FLASH cards

If you have enough RAM, you need the 1M Flash card to save your life's work to before something goes wrong with the Z88. I.e. loses it due to the battery going flat or the Z88 just crashes. Unlike the RAM where you can delete individual files to gain extra space, all the files on the Flash card are deleted when the device is formatted on the Z88. So you need enough RAM to store these files whilst you do that or use a second Flash card to transfer the files across.

What do I do?

I now use the combined 512K/512K RAM/Flash card as I have never run out of memory with 512K RAM and the extra 512K space may be used for applications and file storage. I use an additional Flash Card so that it can be used to transfer files to another Z88.

Cambridge Computer The Z88 Card Exchange System (864K)

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Sick Z88 & Advice

Is your Z88 not working, or at least not working properly? Has it lost all your files again?

We hold limited stocks of Z88 parts and can get you running again. Give us a call. With the Z88 at a new low price it is often more cost-effective to buy a spare machine.

REMEMBER we are computer consultants who can HELP YOU to use Z88's (and other computers) in most applications. Untitled Document

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Description Price VAT Total
Cambridge Z88
Computer Only


Cambridge Z88
Computer Only
(2nd User - no warranty)
See 2nd hand Section or call for avaiability.




Cambridge Z88
Flash Starter Pack
with OZ4.7 upgrade
£182.50 £36.50 £219.00
French German Spanish Swedish
Cambridge Z88
Flash Starter Pack
with OZ4.7 upgrade
£202.50 £40.50 £243.00
French German Spanish Swedish
Cambridge Z88
Starter Pack
£157.50 £31.50 £189.00

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  Z88 Hardware section


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