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Friday, 12-Apr-2024 22:44:09 BST

Z88 Manuals

Read this first

to menuRead this First
Read this First  Manual conventions The Z88's Filing System Device & Directory scrolling
Directories Selection Marking Files MENU Selecting an option HELP
Filenames Save and Load as Plain text  Z88 International Versions  

There are a number of common statements that have been repeated in each of the manuals. To save space they have been put here.

You should make yourself familiar with this section before reading any other manuals.

to menuManual conventions

Command   Instruction
    In this manual, commands are as follows.
This column is what you type. This column is used when you need to press the enter key. This column is used for comments.
    So when you see
 C: -ENTER- Move onto the hard disk
 cd \ -ENTER- Move to the root directory
PCLINK -ENTER- Start the program.
    This means that you type these three commands to the computer.

Specific keys will be shown within dashes, (-ESC- -TAB- -SHIFT- -INDEX- -MENU- -HELP- and -DEL-) viz when -ENTER- appears, it means that the key marked ENTER should be pressed.

The DIAMOND and SQUARE keys will be symbolised as

t= DIAMOND and

The cursor / arrow keys are marked by arrows.
ñ ò ð ï

When files are sent from the Z88 to the external accessory (like a PC, Disk Drive or tape recorder,) they are said to be SAVED. When files are retrieved from it and restored to the Z88 they are said to be LOADED or FETCHED. These two words are used interchangeably in this manual.

The LOAD verb is a historic use from the SPECTRUM days when software was LOADED from tape. FETCH originates in the Z88 FILER in which that verb is used for getting files from EPROM.

to menuThe Z88's Filing System

The filing system on the Z88, Disk Drive and PC can be thought of in much the same way as a filing cabinet. Typically, a filing cabinet would consist of a number of drawers, each one containing a number of folders.

Each folder may contain several different letters. To extract a particular letter from the filing cabinet, the user has to specify which folder in which drawer contains the letter. On a Z88, the drawers are equivalent to the individual RAM cartridges, called devices. The folders are equivalent to directories and the letters are equivalent to files. Thus, to extract a particular file, the user must specify the device (drawer), the directory (folder) and the filename (letter).

The devices are named as follows:

  • :RAM.0 The internal memory of the Z88
  • :RAM.1 The RAM cartridge in slot 1 of the Z88
  • :RAM.2 The RAM cartridge in slot 2 of the Z88
  • :RAM.3 The RAM cartridge in slot 3 of the Z88

The PC's equivalents to devices are 'drives', where A: and B: are usually floppy disk drives and C: the hard disk drive. The RangerDisk2, for example only one device, so you do not need to change devices when using it.

The directory names are chosen by the user and are made of up to 12 characters on the Z88, but only 8 on the PC or the Disk drive.

Thus the full specification of the file "PART1.DOC" in the directory "MANUAL" held on the RAM cartridge in slot 1 would be


It would be inconvenient and time consuming if every time the user wished to specify a file, it was also necessary to specify the directory and the device. To overcome this requirement, the Z88 Filer, Diskfiler2 and RangerLink2 allow the user to select the device and the directory that he wishes to use in both Z88 and PC. These are called the Default Device and the Default Directory respectively.

If the user just specifies the filename, in an Application, it will add the Default Device and the Default Directory automatically, thus giving a complete specification. If the user specifies the filename and the directory, the Application will just add the Default Device, again giving a complete specification.

The Default Device and the Default Directory for an application can be set from the Filer. It is important to note that the defaults are set for each application and from each application. Thus to set the Default Device for an Application to :RAM.1, the user must follow this sequence.

  1. From the Application, enter the Filer by pressing -INDEX-, and then n F
  2. Change the device to :RAM.1 using the SELECT DEVICE command
  3. Return to the Application by pressing the -ESC- key

For example, suppose that the Default Device for PipeDream had been set to :RAM. 1 and a file had been saved from PipeDream to the Default Device, i.e. just the filename had been entered.. If the Default Device for a different Application had been set to :RAM.0, typing just the filename when specifying the file to that Application would cause a file not found- error. To specify the file correctly for the Application, it would be necessary to either type in the device as well as the filename (:RAM.1 /filename) or to change the Application's Default Device to RAM.1.

Each application in the Z88 may have it's own, different, Default Device and Default Directory currently in force. It is therefore important to recognise where a file will be saved by one application if it going to be used by another application.

The list of files contained in the Z88 on the Default Device in the Default Directory are always displayed by RangerLink2 or Diskfiler2 in the middle of the three windows whenever RangerLink2 or Diskfiler2 is running. Files in the PC default drive and directory are displayed in the right-hand window.

to menuDevice & Directory scrolling (Wordmonger software only)

When the COMMANDS MENU is on screen, the files displayed will be those contained in the currently selected device and directory. The diamond commands to change these settings are described below. However, there is a shorthand method of moving between devices and directories.

To scroll round the devices, use tñ and tò. All 4 devices from RAM.0 to RAM.3 can be displayed, WHETHER OR NOT THEY EXIST. Obviously, if RAM.3 is selected its directory will show as blank. If any attempt is made to fetch files from tape onto a non-existent RAM, an error message will appear and no harm will be done.

to menuDirectories Selection

Directories can also be selected with the cursor. Move the cursor onto the desired directory name in either Z88 or PC window and press -SHIFT- and ò. The window will 'move down' into the directory. To move back into a parent directory, position the cursor anywhere in either the Z88 or PC window and press -SHIFT- and ñ. The window will move 'back up' to the parent directory. If no files are present in the child directory, the name "PARENT DIRECTORY" will appear in the window so that this function can be performed.

to menuMarking Files

Many applications in this booklet can use marked files, either individually or in batches. Files may be marked in both Z88 and PC windows. Note: Directory names cannot be marked.

If the required filenames are not displayed in the appropriate window, it will be necessary to alter the Default Device and Default Directory used by the application. This can be achieved with two of the operations detailed below. Once the required filenames are displayed, the four cursor control keys on the Z88 keyboard can be used to move the cursor on to a particular filename.

The following commands can be used to mark files:

ENTER. Place the cursor bar on the desired file name using the cursor keys. Press -ENTER-. A chevron symbol appears, denoting that the file is marked.

Only one file at a time can be marked with -ENTER-. If the key is pressed again, the file is unmarked. Further files can be marked by pressing -SHIFT- and -ENTER- together. See -TAB-.

Note: If -ENTER- is pressed while marked files appear in a window, all files in that window will be unmarked.

TAB. Place the cursor bar on the desired file name and press '-TAB-'. A chevron symbol appears, denoting that the file is marked.

Any number of files can be marked with '-TAB-'. However, if the cursor bar is placed on a marked file and '-TAB-' is then pressed, the file is unmarked.

t-ENTER-. (Ranger and Rakewell software only) Place the cursor bar anywhere in the relevant window and press t, followed by -ENTER-. All files in the window will be marked.

to menuMENU Selecting an option

The two keys on the Z88 keyboard marked -MENU- and -HELP- allow the operator to access a comprehensive set of commands to perform all the necessary functions within an Application. When the -MENU- key is pressed a screen offering a range of menu commands is presented. If the command required is present on the screen, the cursor keys can be used to move the cursor to the command. If the -ENTER- key is pressed, the Application will perform the command currently highlighted by the cursor. If the required command is not present on the screen, pressing the -MENU- key will present a further page of commands. The -MENU- key can be pressed repeatedly until the required command is shown on the screen.

To summarise any option in an application may be selected by any of the usual Z88 methods, namely

  1. its diamond (t) sequence,
  2. by highlighting the command on the commands list or
  3. by highlighting the selected option in the menu, obtained by pressing the -MENU- key.

to menuHELP

Each menu command has a page of "help" text associated with it. To display the help text for any given command, it is necessary to press the -MENU- key and use the cursor keys to move the cursor onto the command required. Then, by pressing the -HELP- key instead of the -ENTER- key, the Application will display the help text for that command.

-ESC- returns to the Application or to the INDEX (in the case of a pop-up) front screen. The cursor keys will display other help screens.

to menuFilenames

Because the Z88 allows filenames containing up to 12 characters (excluding the extension), a potential incompatibility exists when files are copied to DOS format disks. If the source filename is longer than the DOS format standard of 8 characters, it will be truncated to 8 characters when created on the disk.

For example,


On the PC and Disk, filenames can contain the characters # ' ~ $ & % (,) _ @ ^ { } !. These characters are not permitted on the Z88 and are changed to '-' when files are copied from the PC or Disk to the Z88 using Ranger software. In addition, disk or PC filenames can only contain UPPER case alpha characters, unlike the Z88 which allows both upper and lower case. This difference can provide a useful indication as to the source of the files in the Z88: If a file with lower case characters in the name is copied to the disk and then back to the Z88, the lower case characters will be converted to upper case.

to menuSave and Load as Plain text

Some applications can share files with Pipedream require loading and saving files in as plain text files. The Save and Load commands (tFL and tFS) in PipeDream displays a series of options, including one which allows the file to be saved in plain text format (without the embedded % codes), as shown below:

Save and Load as Plain text menu

Press tFS, or tFS followed by the file name. Move the cursor down 4 lines using the ò, to the question, 'Save plain text'. Enter a Y for Yes and hit -ENTER-.

If you intend to return the file to PipeDream then this option should remain set to 'No', so that PipeDream saves its embedded formatting codes. However, if the file does not need to be returned, or if the formatting is not required, the option can be set to 'Yes'.

to menuZ88 International Versions

Top bit Characters

The OZ will not accept top bit characters in filenames, etc. The characters are generated while writing the name, but the top bit character will disappear from any system generated listings (suspended activities, directories). Names beginning with a top bit character aren't accepted at all and are rejected with regards like "Bad filename."

Some applications suffer from the usage of top bit characters. A new line in THINKz cannot start with a top bit character unless you fool the application by beginning the line with any character below Dec (128) and afterwards replacing that character with the desired top bit character.


The Stopwatch application used in a Finnish or Swedish Z88 won't allow the 14th stopwatch to be used. The expected input is distorted when it is entered.

The characters ÅÄÖåäö will not appear in files when viewed in

  • SqueeZ~88
  • RangerDisk2
  • RangerLink2

They appear as EDVedv

T-Touch is only designed for use with British keyboards. Untitled Document

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