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Sunday, 12-Jul-2020 00:53:12 BST

Z88 Manuals



This introduction section has 2 aditional parts.

Read this First

Fitting & Using the ROM

or you can view them all by clicking here.

 Intro  Z88 Support  Copyright  Disclaimer

If you have read this introduction and want to go straight to the manual click here.

These Z88 manuals have been produced from:-

  • Cambridge Computer's logo
    Cambridge Computer
  • Computer Concepts' logo
    Computer Concepts Ltd
  • Wordmonger's logo
  • Ranger Logo
    Ranger Computers
  • Racing Car Computer's screenshot
    Front Line Computers

As each manufacturer described common items, e.g. Copyright Notices, Inserting the ROM into the Z88, they have all been consolidated and only been written once before the manuals start. Please see "Read this First"

to menuZ88 Support

Quite a lot of information about Wordmongers, Prestel, Telecom Gold and Ranger Computers that was in the original manuals is now completely out of date.

  • Wordmongers and Cambridge Computers are no longer around.
  • Ranger Computers and Computer Concepts are still very much around but all Z88 products are now handled here at Rakewell.

These manual have been altered to reflect these changes.

to menuCopyright & Trademark notices as given in the Original Manuals

PC-LINK USER GUIDE (International Version)
This manual was written, designed and laser-typeset by Colton Software Limited, Cambridge.
Copyright © Cambridge Computer Limited 1988
First published in 1988 by Cambridge Computer Limited
All rights reserved. Copyright © 1988,1989 Wordmongers Ltd
All rights reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced by any means without the prior consent of the copyright holder. The only exceptions are as provided for by the Copyright (photocopying) Act or for the purpose of review or in order for the software herein to be entered into a computer for the sole use of the owner of this book.
Cambridge Computer Limited will not in any event be liable for any loss, including consequential loss, caused by any error, defect, or failure of the computer however arising, including but not limited to loss of use, loss of stored data, loss of profit, or loss of contracts.

  • The PC-LINK system software was designed and developed by Trinity Concepts Limited, Cambridge.
  • Z-Term is protected by copyright laws. All rights reserved. Copyright © 1987 Wordmongers Ltd
  • The Z-Tape, zBASE & THINKz Wordmonger's manuals were written by Tony Kaye and Derek Fountain at Wordmongers Limited.
  • Wordmonger software is protected by copyright laws. No copies of the program may be made without obtaining written permission from Wordmongers Ltd, on behalf of the authors.
  • The Z-Tape, zBASE & THINKz software is protected by copyright laws. No copies of the program may be made without obtaining written permission from Wordmongers Ltd, on behalf of the authors.
  • IBM is a trademark of International Business Machines Inc.
  • DEC, VT100, VT102, VT220 are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation, Maynard, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Lotus and 1-2-3 are registered trademarks of Lotus Development Corporation
  • Hayes Smartmodem 1200 is a trademark of Hayes Micro-computer products Inc.
  • WordStar is a trademark of Micro-Pro Inc.
  • dBASE, dBASE II, dBASE III, dBASE IV and 'Multimate' are all trademarks of Ashton-Tate Inc. (now Borland)
  • WS3000 is a trademark of Miracle Technology Ltd.
  • Miracle Systems is a Trademark of Miracle Systems Ltd, Bristol.
  • Prestel and Telecom Gold are the Trademarks of British Telecom.
  • Z-Tape, THINKz software is licensed not sold.
  • 'PipeDream' is a trademark of Colton Software Ltd.
  • Z-Tape, zBASE & THINKz is the subject of a trademark application by Wordmongers Limited.

to menuDisclaimer

This pack is supplied on an "as is" basis with no warranty, specific or implied, attaching. No liability will be accepted for consequential loss, damage or error. Faulty media will be replaced free of charge.

Consumer rights under existing legislation are not affected by the above statement. However, the following statement should be noted by all users.

See full copy of Wordmongers Licence supplied with the system. (Which is not available any more).

Computer Concepts Ltd. shall not in any event be liable for any loss, whether consequential or direct, caused by any error in the Spell-Master product or manual, or as the result o misuse, including but not limited to loss of data, damage to the host machine - particular during cartridge installation or extraction, or loss of profit.

Statement by Wordmongers on fitness of its programs for its designed use.

Wordmongers would advise users that all their software has not been tested to a degree that makes it fit for use in any situation likely to cause or contribute to the physical well-being of users. Such exhaustive testing would put the price of their programs prohibitively high and deprive users of its designed use as an outliner and of Z-Tape, as a computerised data backup system.

Equally, Wordmongers cannot accept any responsibility for programs written by users. Programmers using zBASE must accept responsibility for testing their programs to whatever level is required for the intended application.

In cases where data is regarded as particularly valuable, users are recommended to take multiple copies of files. In extreme circumstances, users should consider taking out insurance policies to cover the loss of data.

.Extract from Licence.

Wordmongers liability for any losses or damages to the Licensee (purchaser) arising out of the terms and conditions of the Licence shall in no event exceed the purchase price of the software in respect of which the losses or damages are claimed and in no event shall Wordmongers be liable for any consequential damages or special costs or expenses in respect thereof whether Wordmongers has been advised of the possibility of such damages or not.

RangerLink2, RangerDisk2 and Vision/L are protected by copyright laws. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1989 Ranger Computers Limited, Rakewell Limited.
Copyright © 1989 FRONT LINE COMPUTERS LIMITED 30 Blackthorn Grove Nuneaton Warwickshire CV11 6UX
Copyright © Computer Concepts Ltd. 1988. First Edition 1988.
Untitled Document



WORDMONGERS LTD 5th April 1989

Introduction Hardware Set Up Version Number Running Z-Term
Main Menu Connecting to Remote Computers Recording calls Sending stored messages from RAM
X-Modem (Checksum version) Break Escaping from terminal mode On-line VIEWDATA mode
Failed connections      

to menuIntroduction

The Wordmongers Z-Term pack is designed to provide general purpose Terminal capabilities for the Z88. Included within the facilities provided are 'record to memory', 'read from memory' and X-Modem protocol.

Two distinct modes are available, namely scrolling teletype mode, for accessing Email systems and Notice boards, plus a VIEWDATA mode for accessing PRESTEL and similar systems. The VIEWDATA mode translates all graphics characters into asterisks.

Please read this manual. Certain items have to be entered by the user before using Z-Term for the first time.

All the commands that are used are described in the program by pressing the -HELP- and -MENU- keys.

If the software MODEM and cabling were bought separately, please ensure that the correct cabling is used. See Appendix 3.

to menuHardware Set Up

The Z88 has a single serial port on the right hand side of the casing. This 9-way socket is the one to use for connecting the Z88 to the MODEM.

The MODEM in use should be a Hayes Smartmodem or compatible or a simple non-interfacing modem that uses external switches to do any necessary set-up commands or a Miracle systems autodial modem.

The cable needed to connect a modem can vary with the pin connections in use. In case of difficulty, users are requested to contact Rakewell for assistance. If the modem is not known it may need to be sent to Rakewell for the proper preparation of a cable.

Appendix 3 contains information about modem cabling.

Connect your phone and modem to the phone line. Depending on the type of modem in use, this connection is achievable in at least two different ways.

  • If the modem has two telephone connections, (TEL & LINE), connect the phone instrument to the TEL socket and the LINE socket to the phone socket on the wall.
  • Alternatively, simply use the LINE socket on the MODEM and a double adapter in the phone line socket and plug both the phone and the modem into the adapter. If an acoustic coupler is in use, it should be readily accessible.

Configure the modem (See your MODEM manual on how to set these configurations. They are usually set by using DIP switches in the MODEM).

  • Use the same baud rates initiated under the configuration option of Z-Term.
  • Choose CCITT V21, V22 mode (Europe and the UK) or Bell 103/212A mode (USA).
  • Auto Answer Disabled.
  • Follow DTR Signal (for automatic shutdown of MODEM when Z88 is turned off).
  • Follow Carrier Detected.


If using a Hayes modem, it may be necessary to communicate directly with the modem itself to initiate certain registers. To do this Z-Term should be put into terminal mode as follows.

Invoke Z-Term from the -INDEX- and select option 3 to Configure the software to the highest baud rate acceptable to the modem.

After returning to the Z-Term manual, select 2 for Manual dial and connect. Connect the modem to the Z88 and switch on the modem.

 Type  AT -ENTER- N.B. The AT must be upper case.
    The modem should respond with
 OK   The connection is made and the required setup commands can be sent to the modem.
    After connecting to the modem in this fashion, the
   tOFF exit key should be used to close down the modem.

to menuVersion Number

The last Version Number issued for this program was V2.5. This is displayed on the Main Menu. Should you have an earlier version, this can be upgraded by Rakewell at additional cost. Ring for details.

to menuRunning Z-Term

Command   Instruction
  nQ   On the Z88
    Place the cursor over the Z-Term Application on the INDEX page and press the -ENTER- key

When the program is entered for the first time, or if the Z88 has had a HARD RESET since the program was last used, the default message will appear as follows:

Cannot locate Z-Term's data file "ZT.DAT" so default values will be used:
300 baud DUMB modem
Scrolling terminal 8 bits no parity
press <ENTER>

After this message is acknowledged, the main menu will fill the screen.

to menuMain Menu

(1) -- Autodial & Connect (2) -- Manual dial & Connect
(3) -- Configure Z-Term (4) -- Quit Z-Term

Each of these options is explained below; starting with the configure option. The descriptions of each option occur in the manual in the order in which they are likely to be used by a first time user.

to menuQuit Z-Term

Panel Settings

To maintain the Panel's Baud Rate settings it is important to leave Z-Term with Option 4 of the menu above. If the program is exited by using the -INDEX- key followed by a tKILL, the Panel will be left with the settings made by Z-Term. This may result in a printer that used to work may no longer work after using this program.

If this happens, select the Panel nS and set the default values back with tFNEW (FILE New) command.

Alternately a chosen Panel setting may be saved to a file with the tFS (File Save) command beforehand and retrieved again with the tFL (File Load) command.

In some cases, it is not possible to recover the Serial Port on the Z88 after confusing it. If you still cannot get the printer to work, save all your files and give the Z88 a HARD RESET.

to menuConfigure Z-Term

Option 3 in the Z-Term Main Menu is the Configure option. On selecting 3, the following menu will appear.

(1) - Baud rate (2) - Modem (3) - Set AutoDial list
(4) - Set Function keys (5) - Set Terminal Mode (6) - Set Parity/Bits
  (7) - Main Menu  

Each of the available options are described below.

Before the software may be configured, the following items of information should be at hand.

  • Modem type (Hayes, Miracle Systems, other)
  • Baud rate required for MODEM and host
  • Phone numbers for autodial director
  • Log-on strings for function key definition
  • PRESTEL frame numbers for frequent access

Many of the terms found in this section are more fully explained in the Glossary.

to menuOption 1 - Select baud rate

Baud rate is more simply called speed. The baud rate chosen on this menu must match the baud rate obtainable from the attached modem. If a 'dumb' modem (see below for definition of dumb modem) is in use, it must be switched to a baud rate that matches the value chosen in this option.

  • 75
  • 300 full duplex (V21)
  • 600
  • 1200 full duplex (V22)
  • 1200/75 (V23)
  • 2400 full duplex (V22 bis)
  • 9600
  • 19200

Variations may occur in the above menu. If the screen representation is different from the above, follow the screen prompts.

Note re. Speed buffered modems. HAYES.

When using a Hayes MODEM at 1275, the required baud rate must be set here to 1200/1200 because the MODEM will provide the buffered input.

It should also be noted that some so-called Hayes compatible MODEMs demand different set up procedures for speed buffering mode. The only safe route is to consult the dealer.

to menuOption 2 - Select MODEM type

The three types available are

  1. DUMB modem
  2. HAYES modem
  3. MIRACLE modem
  4. No change

'DUMB' means a modem that sets it baud rate and other settings by switches rather than from software. It is called dumb as opposed to intelligent because it cannot dial a number or otherwise do anything that might interfere with the transmission of data. An acoustic coupler would certainly qualify as a dumb modem.

'HAYES' means a Hayes Smartmodem from Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. Such a modem sets up the baud rate, answer and dial variables; depending upon messages sent from the terminal to the MODEM. With such a modem connected, Z-Term software will send the correct character strings to the MODEM to set up and effect dialling. It is worth noting that with the use of 1200/75 (V23); the same commands may or may not work on different so-called Hayes compatible MODEMs.

On selecting HAYES, a prompt will appear displaying the characters which Z-Term assumes are required for getting the MODEM to dial. The ATD string will set the MODEM to its default dialling string. It should only be changed by those who are familiar with the use of HAYES MODEMs. This amending facility is included just in case an American MODEM is in use in the UK and the default values are incorrect.

'MIRACLE' means a Miracle Systems auto-dialling modem.

to menuOption 3 - Set AutoDial list

The autodial directory is used when using an auto dial modem (an intelligent Hayes modem as opposed to a dumb modem), setting up the number in this directory means that a number may be dialled automatically at the press of a single digit.

After selecting it the screen will then display the single digits, current phone numbers and options held in the directory. It will then prompt for the code of the entry to be amended. After entering a valid code, a prompt will request the name to be attached to that phone number. There are 3 fields that can be stored for the 5 numbers that can be stored.


A maximum of 19 characters is permitted.


The next prompt will ask for the new phone number. A limit of 19 digits applies.

The actual telephone number may include letters and symbols recognised by the Hayes command set. (Additional information about this may be found in your MODEM manual. It is not essential reading). This provides for operator control of MODEMs using MODEM command sequences.

This is then called the 'Dial' string (because it is the string of characters sent to the MODEM to dial a number).

If an internal phone is in use, requiring a time gap between successive parts of the whole number, i.e. when using a '9' to get an outside line, a comma may be used to delay progress on the dialling and T sets the MODEM to TONE dial. For example T9,01296437262 will dial a 9 to get an outside line followed by a call to Wordmongers auto answer electronic mail system.


Each number in the directory has space for an option list. This list can contain certain key letters that make Z-Term use pre-determined settings whenever that phone number is dialled.

The key letters (optional) are as follows

T Teletype
Bxxxx Baud rate where xxxx is a valid baud rate.
Dxx Delay (see PSS NOTES below) where xx is 0-99.
E, O, N, M, S Parity Even, Odd, None, Mark, Space.
Fxxxx Use file xxxx as function key assignments.

e.g. To log onto PRESTEL, the options list would be


To log onto Dialcom at 1200/1200, through PSS, it might be:


(The commas and dashes will be ignored. They are purely cosmetic in the interests of making the options in the fields more easily readable.)

NOTE re 'F' option (Function key assignment file).

The 'F' option must be at the end of the options list and the file selected must be a PipeDream 'Plain Text' file. This file can contain up to 5 lines of up to 32 characters each.

When used, it will overwrite the current function key assignment's line by line starting at line 1 and overwriting as many function keys as there are lines in the file.

NOTE re PSS and delay values

Certain MODEMs, for example Datatronics 1200P Pocket MODEM, the Worldport 1200 and the Dataflex Design pocket MODEM, require a delay to be incorporated into the dial string when logging on to a host system through the PSS network. This applies only within the UK at 1200/1200 baud.

The delay time (in seconds), is measured from the selection of the autodial number to be dialled; to hearing the SECOND tone transmitted by the HOST. Set the delay to 30 (D30) initially. If that does not work, change the D setting and use trial and error.

When the editing is complete, the code should be left blank and followed by an -ENTER-. The configure menu will then re-appear.

to menuOption 4 - Set Function Keys

This function key facility is designed to provide for easy log-on to notice boards and other remote locations. Each of the five function keys, tA, B, C, D, E, may be programmed to produce a chosen character string up to 32 characters long.

If a log-on sequence involves the sending of two sets of characters, t A and t B could each be programmed with the two log-on sequences for easy access.

To provide for lengthy log-on strings, an ampersand character (&) placed at the end of a function key definition will cause the & itself to be ignored and the next function sequence to be executed (Keys A to D only).

For example to log on to Telecom Gold through PSS the three types of strings to be entered are:



after which a prompt ADD appears. The response required is something like A219201000499

In this instance, function A could be programmed with NTL, etc. and function key B with the A2 series. When each of these items are prompted, all that needs be input is tA followed by a delay to await the next prompt followed by t B.

On selecting this option, each of the function keys will be displayed with the characters with which each key is currently set. The first prompt will ask for the letter of the key to be programmed, followed by the characters to be produced by that key. The maximum number of characters is 32.

Apart from alpha-numerics, only two special characters may be used when defining a function key.

~ (TILD) is a delay of about 1 second. | (VERTICAL LINE) is the equivalent of pressing -ENTER-.

The delay may be used as required to facilitate a log on sequence where an intermediate prompt is part off that sequence, e.g. for the above gold log on, the first two strings might be incorporated into one function key viz:


to menuOption 5 - Set Terminal mode

The two types are Scrolling teletype and VIEWDATA/PRESTEL.

  1. Scrolling/Teletype
  3. No change

Scrolling teletype mode.

This mode is used for accessing notice boards, email systems such as Telecom Gold, and other host computer systems that simply scroll messages to terminals line by line.

On the Z88 the maximum line width is 80 characters.

When accessing host systems, data are 'framed' into pre-determined lumps. These lumps are defined as consisting of 7 or 8 bits with a check on every byte called a parity bit. This parity check can be defined as odd, even or none (which means that it is not used). The Set parity/bits option is used to configure Z-Term to match the framing required by the host. (See section below).

The Viewdata option automatically sets the bits or parity to 7bits even parity. When using SCROLLING mode after VIEWDATA, the configure option may have to be used to reset the word length to the required setting.

N.B. The -MENU- key may be used to highlight the TELETYPE topic on the left hand window of the Z88 screen. The available command keystrokes will then be displayed.

The word length and parity setting will automatically be set to 7 bits Even parity required for PRESTEL.


VIEWDATA is a particular form of terminal operation that was designed for use with domestic television sets. It uses a 40 character wide, 24 line page size and transmits a page at a time, called a frame. The most widely used VIEWDATA system in the UK is PRESTEL.

When in this mode, Z-Term will receive frames and display one third at a time. The next third can be displayed by pressing the t key while hitting the ñ key. Similarly, for seeing the lower section, the t key is used with the ò.

If an input frame is used, the screen will display that part of the frame where input occurs.

N.B. The -MENU- key may be used to highlight the VIEWDATA topic on the left hand window of the Z88 screen. The available command keystrokes will then be displayed.

The word length and parity setting will automatically be set to 7 bits Even parity required for PRESTEL.

to menuOption 6 - Set Parity/Bits

There are five settings available on the Z88. These options are:

  1. 8 bits no parity
  2. 7 bits even parity
  3. 7 bits odd parity
  4. 7 bits mark parity
  5. 7 bits space parity
  6. No change

If the host system specifies a different setting, the parity value is the most significant and should therefore be matched first. For example if a system specifies 7 bits no parity, Z-Term should first be set to 8 bit no parity.

to menuOption 7 - Return to main menuto menu

This option exits the CONFIGURATION menu and returns to the main menu. If this is the first time the system has been configured, the ZT.DAT file will be created to hold these set up values. Any previous copy of ZT.DAT is over written with the new values.

If there is not enough free memory the Z88 may respond with an error message

ERROR ERROR - cannot save new values - Press -ENTER-

This problem can be overcome using the Filer and deleting some files to free some memory. Alternativly more memory can be added to the Z88 with another RAM card.

to menuConnecting to Remote Computers

On invoking Z-Term, the Main Menu shown above will be displayed.

  1. Autodial & Connect
  2. Manual dial & Connect
  3. Configure Z-Term
  4. Quit Z-Term

This section deals with options 1 & 2.

to menuMain menu option 1 - Autodial & Connect HAYES MIRACLE

On choosing option 1, the autodial numbers menu will appear (with your numbers) as shown below.

1> Wordmongers PPS 0296437262
2>TG1275- SloughPSS 012221234
0> Dial a special number

A prompt will ask for the autodial code (1 to 5 or 0) of the phone number to be dialled. If a value between 1 and 5 is chosen, the autodial will start immediately. The screen will clear and the number being dialled will be displayed.

If '0' is chosen, the screen will clear and a prompt will request the number to be dialled. On completing the number, an -ENTER- will initiate the dialling.

To escape from the '0' option, leave the number blank and press -ENTER-.

The connection will be made assuming all is well. Depending on the actual MODEM in use, the dialling clicks, or tones, may be audible and/or some visible lights will flash. Suffice it to say that if a message does not appear within about 30 seconds the terminal mode should be cut off. See section "Escaping from Terminal mode" below.

to menuMain menu option 2 - Manual dial and connect DUMB

Before choosing this option, the connection to the remote computer must be established. The MODEM should be checked to ensure that it is set up correctly.

With the Z-Term Main Menu on screen, the modem switch settings should be checked to ensure that they are correct. They should match the baud rate set up on the Control Panel, as follows.

300/300 baud 1200/75 baud 1200/1200 baud


  or HIGH ORIG(inate)
When the MODEM is correctly set up, press 2 for 'Manual dial and connect' then dial.

The Z88 will display a message about the parameters set into Z-Term software.

As soon as the dialling is complete, the MODEM should be switched on line, or the hand-set inserted into the acoustic cups.

Once the required number is dialled and a connection made, subsequent messages will all come from the host computer.

On line - Teletype mode

to menuRecording calls

Whenever connected to the remote host, a recording can be made of all that appears on screen. This facility means that data and messages received may be stored for later scrutiny or printing.

Z-Term works very much like a tape recorder. At the press of a button, or rather in this case two buttons, all that is seen on the screen is recorded and saved in memory.

To start saving data into memory, enter

t FT

A prompt will appear asking for the name of the file into which the data are to be stored.

If a file with that name has been created previously, a message will appear requesting another file name. Z-Term will not over-write an existing file.

Depending on the position of the cursor, the prompt asking for the name of the 'save file' may be split over two lines.

To stop saving, enter

t FT again. (It operates as a toggle switch.)

To close the file, enter

t FS

If a RAM error occurs, it means that the destination device is full or has run out of directory space. No further data may be saved while the error persists. When this happens a message may appear on the screen

Alarm - Cannot save data. Data lost

to menuSending stored messages from RAM

This facility has many uses. It allows the production of mailbox messages, telexes, VIEWDATA files, command files and directories to be made off-line, without incurring any connect or phone charges. It provides for efficient use of a mailbox.

When preparing a frame for sending through PRESTEL, it should be noted that PRESTEL will wrap anything sent to the 40 character width. The wrap takes a definite amount of time, therefore, it is wise either to produce the data in a PRESTEL size frame, or insert the '~' character at the beginning of each line to introduce a brief delay.

Characters like a * and # can be included, so for example, a complete message frame may be generated off line and sent using the t FL function, e.g.

~This is a message to be sent.
~ It is less than 40 characters wide.

The *77# sends the mail box frame number, followed by a delay. The next line sends the addressee's number, followed by a #. Then the message with the last line containing the # to signify the end of message. i.e. the whole message sending process may be automated.

Additionally, this facility can be used when, having recorded a message from others, it is amended then sent on to someone else. The editing can be carried out off-line

CAUTION PipeDream inserts a number of invisible characters into the files it creates. When PipeDream is used to generate a text file for uploading as a message, the file should be saved as PLAIN TEXT. This will remove such control characters.

If a Z88 Basic source file is to be transmitted as a message, it must be saved as a text file. See Appendix D of the Z88 User Guide.

Equally, when a recording is made of a call, the file created should be loaded as Plain Text under PipeDream.

To call a document from the RAM pack while connected press t FL.

The following message will appear:
Enter name of file to transmit >

A device name is allowed as is any extension in the usual format, i.e.
where X is the device letter, nnnnnnnn is the file name and ext is the three letter extension.

The ASCII contents of that file are then transmitted from disk. It will appear on the Z88 as it is being sent.

When using some Email systems, a blank line will switch the host system into EDIT mode. This is avoided by Z-Term which always inserts a single space character at the beginning of any blank line.

to menuX-Modem (Checksum version)

The use of X-Modem will rely heavily on the host system. Essentially, the host will be put into X-Modem mode by the sending of a particular command sequence determined by that host. It will then prompt for the name of the file to be sent.

The host will advise when the X-Modem transmission may begin. When that it indicated, the t XS should be pressed. Z-Term will respond with a prompt requesting the name of the file to be sent. Once this name is entered, the file will be sent using the X-Modem protocol (checksum version).

Equally, t XR may be used to receive a file under this protocol.

PRESTEL CET Telesoftware downloader

Software may be downloaded from a VIEWDATA system. When the start-frame of the telesoftware is displayed, enter a tFC. The start frame will usually be identified with the words

Press tFC to start download

The file collected will be stored on the device and sub-directory as defined in the Panel.

Z-Term will check that there is enough space to store the file and a warning will be given if space is tight. However, the calculation is conservative and an option to ignore the warning is given.

Logging off (or disconnecting)

There is usually a log-of sequence to be sent to the host machine if a clean departure is wanted. After sending the required string of characters, e.g. LOGOFF or LO or BIBI or some similar message, the Z-Term quit command should be entered viz:tOFF.

to menuBreak - tLBK

Some host systems need a break sequence. This is a break in transmission of 100 milliseconds. To send a break character enter tLBK.

HAYES If a HAYES MODEM is in use, a brief pause will elapse while the software plays with the MODEM and vice versa. A message will appear viz:

Drop line

Assuming the MODEM has shut down properly; the Z-Term Main Menu will re-appear.

DUMB When using a dumb MODEM, a message will simply prompt for the MODEM to be switched off, followed by -ENTER-. The main menu will then re-appear.

Always ensure that the phone line has actually cleared. Simply make sure that a dialling tone is audible.

to menuEscaping from terminal mode

  • Dumb modems. DUMB

In the event that the terminal mode has been started, but a connection has not been achieved, press


That will return control to the Z-Term Main menu.

  • Hayes modems HAYES -

Normally, the tOFF will take the Hayes MODEM off-line properly. However, if there is a mishap such as the MODEM becoming disconnected from the Z88, the software will reset but the MODEM will need a hard reset. MODEMs usually have such a reset button for just such occasions. It should be noted that when a MODEM is reset in this fashion, the MODEMs set up parameters may be lost. Consult the guide supplied with the MODEM.

  • Miracle systems MODEM MIRACLE

In this case, t OFF will clear down properly and return to the Main Menu. The light on the MODEM should go out to signify that the line has been dropped.

to menuOn-line VIEWDATA mode

Connecting to PRESTEL Viewing a whole frame Keeping a frame Function keys
* and #       

to menuConnecting to PRESTEL

When the connection is first achieved, a sign on screen will appear prompting for a customer ID number. This is the 10 digit code advised by PRESTEL. This will be followed by a second prompt requesting a password. Initially, this will be the password as advised by PRESTEL. One of the earliest items to be carried out is the changing of that password.

See the PRESTEL Directory for details of the frame to be used for that purpose.

The right hand section of the Z88 screen will be displaying some PRESTEL Terminal status messages. All prompts provided by the local software will appear on the right hand side of the screen.

to menuViewing a whole frame

The Z88 screen can only display one third of a VIEWDATA frame. The software stores a frame as it is received and initially displays that part of the frame displaying the cursor. To display the other sections of the frame a combination of keys is used, namely

tñ and tò

The tñ displays the section above the current section unless the current section is the highest, in which case the display does not change.

Similarly, the tò displays the next lowest section.

to menuKeeping a frame

To save costs and connect time charges, it is often useful to save a frame for inspection and or printing off line. At any time when connected to a VIEWDATA host, a frame may be saved by entering

t K

To use this command, press the t key while, or before pressing K. A very brief message will be displayed on the right hand side of the screen saying

'Saving page'

If a RAM error occurs, it means that the destination device is full or has run out of directory space. No further data may be saved while the error persists. The error message will appear on the right hand half of the screen.

Frames that are saved in this manner are added to the end of a file called PRESDATA.DAT. If this file has not been created previously it will be created when first used.

To read the file, it should be loaded under PipeDream as PLAIN TEXT. If, after examination, it is to be kept, it should be saved as PLAIN TEXT. If it is required for incorporation into other documents as a PipeDream file, it should be saved as such but under a different name. The PRESDATA.DAT file should always be accessed and saved as PLAIN TEXT.

to menuFunction keys

Many users of Viewdata systems have regular frames that they access whenever connecting to their host system. To make such regular access as easy as possible, the function keys may be programmed with the frame numbers involved.

In the PRESTEL system, any frame that is to be accessed directly, that is not through a list of options on a previous frame, require that the frame number be proceeded by an asterisk [*] and followed by a hash [#] symbol. These symbols may be incorporated into the function key definition strings as entered under the configuration routine described above in the previous section "Configure function keys."

to menu* and #

These two characters are particularly important to the PRESTEL system (and other VIEWDATA systems). In order to offer an alternative to using the -SHIFT- key to access these symbols, two keys are re-assigned to produce them, namely

-TAB- as ASTERISK and -DEL- as HASH.

N.B. When programming the function keys, use the proper ASTERISK and HASH keys, not the -TAB- and -DEL- keys.

to menuFailed connections

If the complete pack of software, MODEM and cabling has been provided by Rakewell, all enquiries should be addressed to them as above. If the MODEMs and cabling were not supplied by Rakewell, the first port of call for problem solving should be the supplier of these items.

If there is a problem with establishing a connection there are two steps to be taken. Firstly the log-on should be attempted at least three times at varying baud rates if possible. If they all fail, carry out the following checks.

Check 1 - Cabling Ensure all cables are properly secured in the Z88 and MODEM. Care should be taken to ensure that the cable is the correct way round. If the cable is not polarised and not labelled, try exchanging the ends and attempt to log-on again.
Check 2  - Serial port check Try using a serial printer from that port or try using a different Z88.
Check 3  If the host to which a connection is being attempted is a PSS node, the DELAY value should be ammended. 
Check 4  - Telephone line check. Ensure that the MODEM is connected to the correct phone line. With the number of phone sockets that seem to be available it is an easy error to connect the modem to one line, then pick up the instrument from another. 
Check 5  If the exit from Z-Term was not from the Main Menu, but by going into a Z88 Pop-Down followed by a KILL command, the MODEM may have to be reset using the ATZ command. See section "Talk to the MODEM". 


Z-Term Appendix

Appendix 1 - Z88 Quick start guide* Appendix 2 - MODEMs & Cables  Appendix 3 - Miracle Systems Autodial MODEM
Appendix 4 - The CONTROL key Appendix 5 - PRESTEL Passwords & Customer ID's Appendix 6 - Use of -TAB- & -DEL- keys
Appendix 7 - PRESTEL Demonstration Database Appendix 8 - Using the Function keys to log-on to CompuServe example  Appendix 9 - Using Z-Term with the Amstrad PDA600 Pen Pad to Download files to the Z88 

to menuAppendix 1 - Z88 Quick start guide*

  • Ensure the INDEX is on screen. Save any suspended applications and KILL them. Open the clear perspex cover labelled 1,2,3 and insert the Wordmongers ROM into any empty slot. Close the perspex cover.
  • If a RAM cartridge has to be removed to free a slot, ALL RAM WILL BE LOST. - To avoid this problem, save its contents to an EPROM.
  • Connect the phone and MODEM to the phone line. Depending on the type of MODEM in use, this connection is achievable in at least two different ways. If the MODEM has a phone socket, then connect the phone instrument to that socket on the MODEM and then connect the MODEM to the phone socket on the wall. Alternatively, simply use a double adapter in the phone line socket and plug both the phone and the MODEM into the adapter. If an acoustic coupler is in use, it should be readily accessible.
  • Set the MODEM switches, if any, as follows
  • Choose CCITT V21, V22 mode (Europe and the UK) or Bell 103/212A mode (USA).
  • Auto Answer Disabled.
  • Follow DTR Signal (for automatic shutdown of MODEM when Z88 is turned off).
  • Follow Carrier Detected.
  • If power is indicated on a separate switch - POWER ON
  • On the Z88, go to the -INDEX- and select Z-Term by positioning the menu bar on that item. Press -ENTER- to run the program. Alternatively, press nQ at the INDEX.
  • When asked for your command, choose '3', to configure your software to match your MODEM. Install any auto dial numbers and install required function keys. Select the appropriate terminal mode, i.e. Teletype or Viewdata.
  • After completing the configuration, return to Main Menu.
  • If the MODEM is a 'Hayes' Smartmodem or a Miracle Autodial MODEM, Choose 1, for Autodial and Connect. Follow the prompts for choice of number to dial. Otherwise Choose 2 for manual dial and connect. Dial the selected host system and when it responds with a carrier signal, (a whistle), switch the MODEM on line and put the phone down.
  • Follow the host instructions for logging off, then press tOFF to close down the Z-Term software.

to menuAppendix 2 - MODEMs & Cables

Z-Term software is designed to work with simple non-interferring MODEMs, or Hayes Smartmodems operating at 300/300 (V21), 1200/75 (V23), 1200/1200 (V22) or 2400/2400 (V22 bis) or the Miracle Systems Autodialling MODEM.

MODEM cabling is supposedly covered by a standard set of rules known as RS232. However, many MODEMs and micros have adapted the standard for their own purposes. In these circumstances no single standard cable arrangement can be published here. If the cable and MODEM have not been bought from Rakewell, please note the following.

The connector at the computer end, CTS and RTS pins should be connected.

Pins 2, 3 and 7 go straight through from the Z88 to the MODEM. That is the normal numbering system. In case of doubt, connect Chassis ground at computer end to chassis ground at MODEM, transmit at computer to receive at MODEM, receive to transmit and frame ground to frame ground respectively.

On the Z88 end, pins 8 and 9 should be strapped together.

If none of that makes sense then the cable should be obtained from the dealer supplying the MODEMs. Should you have any difficulties, contact Rakewell for a Z88 MODEM cable.

to menuAppendix 3 - Miracle Systems Autodial MODEM

The Miracle should be connected to the phone system with its BT plug. If required, a telephone may be plugged into the MODEM.

The switch (if fitted) should be set to 1275. If the switch is not there, the MODEM will be set to 1200/75.

to menuAppendix 4 - The CONTROL key

As the Z88 is not equipped with a CONTROL key, a special key sequence may be used to send such characters to a remote host.

The sequence to be used is

tZ followed by the character to be sent as a control code.

For example to send a Control-S from the Z88, either hold down the t key while pressing Z, then release both keys or press them one after another and then press S, shown as tZS.

to menuAppendix 5 - PRESTEL Passwords & Customer ID's

Your Customer ID is precious. It should NEVER be revealed to anyone else. If you lose it, or forget it, write to PRESTEL who will re-confirm the number to you in writing to the address they have on file. PRESTEL will never contact you to ask for your Customer ID so if someone phones purporting to be PRESTEL checking on ID's, ask them for their phone number and MailBox number, (because you're so busy at the moment,) and report it immediately.

Concerning your PASSWORD, you will be given a Password by PRESTEL when you first get written confirmation of your MailBox details. When you first log-on to PRESTEL, you should change this Password to one of your own choosing.

NOTE: Re Amending Passwords.

PRESTEL operates on a number of different computers. You will regularly log on to one or two of them. Each of the computers to which you get connected will have to be advised separately of your new password. Obviously, there will be an interim period when you will be using two different passwords to log on until you have established contact with all your PRESTEL computers and programmed your new password. The PRESTEL Directory does explain this procedure.

At the time of writing this manual, the password procedure is changing. Once one computer is updated, all the others receive the same updated password information. This should be checked with the PRESTEL directory.

On accessing PRESTEL, follow the Main Index path to Customer Guide to find the place to change a password.

to menuAppendix 6 - Use of -TAB- & -DEL- keys

Two particular characters are of immense importance on the PRESTEL system. They are the asterisk, [*] and the hash sign, [#]. To ease the use of PRESTEL on a typewriter keyboard, as found on most computers, the -TAB- and -DEL- keys are re-interpreted under PrezTerm to produce the [*] and [#] respectively. On most occasions this will simplify your use of PRESTEL but if you are not comfortable with these key definitions they may be ignored and the keys themselves used.

If these two symbols are required within a function key definition, the keys themselves must be used rather than the -TAB- and -DEL- substitutes.

to menuAppendix 7 - PRESTEL Demonstration Database

For those who wish to see a demonstration of PRESTEL facilities before actually taking out a subscription, or while waiting for ID's and access codes, a limited free service is provided by PRESTEL. To use this service follow the procedure described below.

1. Phone PRESTEL Enquiries on 0171-822 1122 and ask for the number of your local access node. (The node is the local phone number you will use to connect to PRESTEL.) Please note that if you intend to use a 300/300 MODEM, inform PRESTEL Enquiries of this before asking for a phone number. In this case you will be given a London number which at the time of printing this manual was 0181-680 8245.

2. Configure one of the function keys with a CUSTOMER ID of

3. Connect to PRESTEL as described in the manual and when asked for your personal password enter

4. Happy hacking... but please note that the demonstration system is only a part of the whole PRESTEL service. One item it does offer is a sign up frame for arranging your proper subscription.

PRESTEL CET Telesoftware downloader

Software may now be downloaded from a VIEWDATA system. When the start-frame of the telesoftware is displayed, enter a tFC. The start frame will usually be identified by the words 'Press tFC to start download.'

The file collected will be stored on the Default Device and Default Directory as defined in the Control Panel.

Z-Term will check that there is enough space to save the file and a warning will be given if space is tight. However, the calculation is conservative and an option to ignore the warning is given.

The volume of software available on PRESTEL is increasing steadily and will no doubt continue to expand with both free software and chargeable items ready for downloading.

to menuAppendix 8 - Using the Function keys to log-on to CompuServe example

Logging onto CompuServe or the Internet can be simplified by assigning the Function keys to do different tasks.

This example shows how to make up your own strings.

There are a number of steps you need to take. These are:

  • logging onto the Host computer manually recording what keystrokes you used.
  • designing the string.
  • testing and fine tuning.

Logging onto the Host computer

First you need to look up what your system provider requires you to type in to access the computer.

The phone number to dial is simple - just add it to the list of AutoDial numbers with the name. For example:-

1> Wordmongers PPS 01296437262
2>TG1275- SloughPSS 012221234
3>CompuServe 9,01582 11
0> Dial a special number

Remember to put any numbers that you need to get an outside line before the main number. The comma pauses the modem before dialling the next digit.

If you get connected you will get the opening dialogue from your system provider. In my case it looks like this.

GNS Dialplus 07-Dec-1995 British Telecom
Welcome to
Datacommunications made easy Reliable, cost-effective and error-free
(C) British Telecommunications plc 1989
If problems occur, please telephone 0800 181555, quoting the following: m02 MCPD2241
To access Dialplus, type your password and press RETURN:

Here is the first point that a response is required. In my case it is:-


These are shown as ***** on the screen. There then follows some more dialogue

Calling 234212303300 Connected to 234212303300
Host Name:

More responses are required, these are shown in Bold.

User ID:
100012,3112 -ENTER-
CompuServe Information Service 11:33 GMT Thursday 07-Dec-95 P
Last access: 11:27 07-Dec-95
Copyright (c) 1995 CompuServe Incorporated All Rights Reserved

Designing the string

There are two ways that you can use the five function keys.

One way is to put the string of characters on each line directly which would mean that the function keys would do the same function whatever number is dialled.

The other way is to create a five line PipeDream file assigning what the function keys do after the telephone number has been dialled.

I prefer using the file method so that I can have several system providers and use the function keys to do the same thing in each case, for example Function A to log-on and Function E to log-off.

Open a PipeDream file and name it (tFC) COMPUS.DAT

On the top line the log-on string will be:-

The | is the -ENTER- key and the ~ gives a delay to allow some time for the dialogue to be sent.

Other lines may be added for other functions, for example Function B to log onto the Internet and Function E to log-off.

The final file may look like this:-



Save the file (tFS) as a Plain Text file.

Add the following command to the options field in the AutoDial menu to call up the file when dialling the number.


Testing and fine tuning

When dialling the number again, your new file should run. You may find that you need to alter the number of pause characters (~) in the file as these depend on the speed of your modem and the system provider 's dialogue and response times.

to menuAppendix 9 - Using Z-Term with the Amstrad PDA600 Pen Pad to Download files to the Z88

Limited Use

Unfortunately the Amstrad PDA600 Pen Pad uses an in-house protocol to communicate. This has restricted the Pen Pad just to transmit it's address list to the Z88 using Z-Term.

Setting the Baud Rate

Set Z-Term to 9600 baud 8 bits No parity.
Connect the cable between the Z88 and the Pen Pad.

Sending the Address Book

On the Z88,

  • (2) - Manual Dial and Connect
  • Turn on 'Toggle Text Capture' (tFT)
  • Enter filename for saving data e.g. address.pda

On the Pen Pad

  • Select (
  • Select the Desktop (along the top row)
  • Select éê
  • Select

The address list should now be appearing on the Z88. When it is finished

On the Z88

  • Turn off 'Toggle Text Capture' (tFT)

Viewing and printing the file from PipeDream

On the Z88

  • Go into PipeDream
  • Load the file (address.pda) as a 'Plain Text' file (tFL)
  • Connect the printer and use the Print command (tPO)

Z-Term Glossary

Accoustic cups   To provide a MODEM connection without a matching socket for directly connecting a MODEM, accoustic cups may be used. These devices fit over a handset and transmit and receive noises. The accoustic MODEM then translates these noises into electronic impulses that are sent down the phone line. For those areas using tone dialling, an accoustic MODEM can be used to dial from the software because the pulses sent are directly translated by the phone system.
ASCII  Pronounced 'askey', these initials represent a set of characters that are accepted as a standard in the computer world. ASCII characters are the alphabet, upper and lower case, numbers, numeric operators and various other symbols such as the $ sign and the *. The full ASCII character set is often reproduced in the back of printer manuals. In PipeDream terms, a file saved as 'PLAIN TEXT' will be an ASCII file. 
Baud Rate  More simply described as the 'speed', the baud rate is the rate at which data are transmitted between computers and other devices, such as printers. When two computers are connected, the baud rate must be the same at both ends. 
Data framing  When accessing host systems, data are 'framed' into predetermined lumps. These lumps are defined as consisting of 7 or 8 bits with a check on every byte called a parity bit. This parity check can be defined as odd, even, or none (i.e. not applicable). The CONFIGURE Option 'Set parity bits' is used to CONFIGURE Z-Term to match the framing required by the host. 
'DUMB' MODEM  Many MODEMs will respond to software commands, e.g. for dialling and/or automatically answering an incoming call. Those MODEMs that have no such independent intelligence are referred to here as 'dumb'. Dialling must be done manually and the MODEM switched on manually. 
HAYES  This is the name of a man in the USA who is generally credited with pioneering the use of MODEMS attached to personal computers. He designed a MODEM that could be driven from software using a set of commands. That set of commands is now known as the 'HAYES' command set. It is also referred to by some as the 'AT' command set because each command begins with the letters AT. It is a trademark of Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc. 
HOST  A host is usually a computer to which a terminal is attached. The host provides the intelligence and the terminal is the access point to that processing. In Z88 terms, the Z88 is the terminal, using intelligent software, namely Z-Term, to access a Bulletin Board or mainframe system for electronic mail purposes. The system accessed in this manner is referred to as the HOST. 

This is the procedure of getting onto a remote system. It refers to that part of the procedure after establishing a connection but before the remote system acknowledges the presence of the user.

LOG-OFF is the reverse operation by which a user informs a system of an impending departure. On some systems which charge access time, an improper log-off can be an expensive oversight. 

OFF-LINE / ON-LINE  When connected to a host system, the user is said to be ON-LINE. The opposite is OFF-LINE. 
MAILBOX  In the context of electronic mail, a mailbox is simply a representation of a pigeon hole in which mail for each correspondent on a system is placed pending collection. When a user goes on-line, a mail box number is noted by the system and checked for mail. If there is any mail assigned to that mailbox number, the user can then choose whether to read that mail or leave it for another time. 

Private Automatic Branch Exchange. This is an internal phone system that permits direct dialling from one extension to another and direct access to external lines. 

Internal branch exchanges vary greatly. Only those which use a simple two-wire line pair can be successfully used with a MODEM. Many PABX's need special phone instruments to hold the line so when a MODEM is attached with no capability to hold that line, no connection is feasible. Most PABX suppliers are aware of this problem and will usually have a technical department capable of advising how to make a connection. Sometimes this involves taking a spur off the exchange to set up a direct line.

PSS PAD  PSS is the British Packet Switch Stream system consisting of local PAD's throughout the country. A PAD is a number that can be dialled using ordinary phone lines. The PSS system then requests some information about the user, for billing purposes, and a destination number to which the connection is to be made. The PSS system then uses high speed data lines to pass the data through to the required destination. 
PAD  Is the name given to a Packet Assembler Dissasembler. 
STRING  The term STRING when referred to in this manual means a set of characters strung together. So a 'dial string' is a list of numbers that are sent to the MODEM for dialling purposes. It cannot simply be referred to as a phone number because it will often contain other characters for use with the Hayes command set, e.g. commas and dashes. 
V21 / V22  These characters refer to standards defined by a body called 'CCITT' and describe the technical specification for MODEMs operating at 300 baud and 1200 baud respectively. 

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