Z88Link, by John Allen, links the Cambridge Computer Z88 portable with Risc OS computers. It requires a cable, wired as detailed below, but does not require the PC Link rom in the Z88.
Z88Link only works from the desktop, there are no '*' commands available from the command line.
Version 2.xx is available from the author on receipt of £5.00.
© John Allen 1994 - 1996.
This application is Freeware and is supplied on the understanding that:
- The source code is not altered in any way
- Any copies made contain all of the files in the directory
- It is not sold for a profit
- It is not included on any disc costing more than £2 or any CD Rom costing more than £20 without my prior permission
Please contact me before adding it to a PD library so that I can supply an up to date version.
Load the application by double clicking on the icon, this installs the 'Z88' icon on the left hand side of the icon bar.
These should be set on the Risc OS machine to match the ones set on the Z88's Control Panel. This is done by using the 'Serial Setup' window selected from the Z88Link iconbar menu. This window is displayed either by clicking the item on the menu or by moving the mouse to the right of the menu text.
The settings on the Risc OS computer can be saved using the 'Save Setup' option on the iconbar menu. Once saved, these settings will be the initial ones used every time that Z88Link is loaded. They are stored in the file 'Settings' within the application's directory. If this file is not present, default settings, to match the Z88 defaults, will be used.
Acorn's replacement Serial Device Driver module 0.22 is included in the application and loaded with Z88Link. Without it random chunks of files transferred will disappear on older machines running Risc OS 3.10. This problem can still occur at higher speeds on these machines when transferring to floppy discs. For safety you should transfer to a hard disc or a ram disc and copy the file to a floppy. If you don't need the module it can be deleted in the !Run file.
Sending a file to the Z88
Sending a file from the Risc OS machine can be started in two ways:
- By dragging a file of type 'Text' (&FFF), 'PipeDream' (&DDE) 'Basic' (&FFB) or 'Data' (&FFD) onto the Z88Link iconbar icon.
- By dragging an icon of type 'Text', 'PipeDream' 'Basic' or 'Data' from the save window of another Risc OS application to the Z88Link icon on the iconbar.
In both cases an 'Export' window will be displayed and you should follow the instructions in the large top icon. Broadly you set the Z88's Export utility (X) to receive a file and then click on the 'Start' icon in the export window. The Z88 can be set to receive a batch of files when any number of files are sent from the Risc OS computer and 'ESC' pressed on the Z88 after the last one.
Although BBC Basic is used on both machines the files are formatted differently, so Z88Link performs the necessary conversion. It should be noted that there are differences in the implementation of BBC Basic on the two machines so programs are not necessarily able to run on both machines, this is particularly true if graphics, sound or add-on hardware is used.
Receiving a file from the Z88
This can be initiated on the Risc OS machine in two ways:
- By selecting the 'Import File' item on the Z88Link iconbar menu.
- By clicking on the Z88Link icon on the iconbar.
In both cases an 'Import' window is displayed while the transfer takes place, with instructions appearing in the large top icon. Broadly the procedure is to set Z88Link ready to receive then send the file from the Z88 using the Z88 export utility (X).
Once the file has transferred the save window will display a suitable file icon and the Z88 leafname for the file. The leafname can be edited. If a full pathname is inserted click 'OK' to save the file. If the leafname is not edited, or if the resulting name is not a full pathname, drag the icon to the required Filer directory.
Any file extension in the Z88 name will be retained but the '.' will be replaces by '/'. This conforms with the convention when reading PC discs.
Note that ADFS has a maximum file name length of 10 characters, the Z88 allows 12 characters and there can be another four characters added for a file extension. It is advisable to edit long file names before saving to ADFS otherwise they will be truncated to 10 characters.
Z88Link will examine the file to decide on the filetype. PipeDream working files will be given 'PipeDream' (&DDE) filetypes, Basic programs will have 'Basic' (&FFB) filetpyes and all other files will have a 'Text' (&FFF) filetype.
Although BBC Basic is used on both machines the files are formatted differently so, as with exporting Z88Link will perform the necessary conversion. It should be noted that there are differences in the implementation of BBC Basic on the two machines so programs are not necessarily able to run on both machines, this is particularly true if graphics, sound or add-on hardware is used.
The lead to connect the two machines should be wired as follows:
RISC OS Z88 9-pin female D 9-pin male D
2 ------------ 2 3 ------------ 3 5 ------------ 7 7 ------------ 5 6 ------------ 4
On the Risc OS computer plug pins 1, 4 and 8 should be connected together and on the Z88 plug pins 8 and 9 need to be connected together.
- Risc OS 3 has a 'Drag A Sprite' module which allows solid spites to be dragged from file save windows rather than the standard dotted box. Z88Link will use this facility if the module is present, and if Risc OS is configured for this to happen. Unfortunately this is not one of the options available from the Risc OS !Configure application so two simple programmes are provided to configure this facility, they are in the directory 'DragOpts' inside this application directory. Double click on the appropriate file to set the option on or off.
- This does not stop Z88Link from operating as normal under Risc OS 2.
- Z88Link uses the new style 3D icons with Risc OS 3.10 or higher, otherwise standard 2D icons will be used in all of the windows.
Version 2.00 has more bells and whistles! It does everything that this PD version 1.02 does, plus it allows batches of files to be transferred in either direction. For example by using suitable wildcards, all files in the Z88 or in a particular device can be backed up to a single archive file on the Risc OS computer for safety. The entire contents of the Risc OS archive can then be restored to the Z88, or an option allows selective restoration. Mystery Z88 resets need never again be a problem! Version 2.xx is available from the author for £5.00 and is NOT a PD utility.
I can highly recommend the book Z88 PipeDream: A Dabhand Guide for Z88 users, but then I guess you'd expect that, as I wrote it.