The Z2 system was an evolution of the Z1 model. Major change was a new CPU board using a 4 Mhz. Z80 microprocessor. The system, always based on the S-100 bus, proposed 21 connectors for S-100 cards and a stronger power supply able to supply additional peripherals. The front panel didn't offer any switches or control leds. 8080 based software made with the Z-1 model could run on the Z-2 system
The Z2-D (September 1977) version included 64 KB of RAM, one or two 92 KB (then 184 KB) formatted floppy drives and controller card.
The Z2-H system appeared in July, 1980. Using the Z-2 basis but including a 11 MB hard disk, two dual sided floppy disc drives and 64 KB of RAM memory.
I sold "micros" in Atlanta from 1979-1981, and Cromemco was one of the machines we sold. It was a tough sell because, although the Z2 was plainly a quality machine, the prices were substantially higher than other Z100 CP/M machines.
The one piece of Cromemco hardware I recall selling was the amazing 10MB hard drive. What a wonder that was - super fast, and super-huge, compared to the standard 512K double-sided 8" floppies! (Then again, the case for the hard drive was gigantic, as well: a full-bay 14" monster!)
But oh, the price tag on that hard drive. $10,000! Yes, seriously, someone actually plunked down $10K for 10MB! The guy who bought it was thrilled with the response time and the vast amount of space, but compare $1,000 per megabyte with modern storage costs!
Monday 3rd April 2017
Christopher Shubert (USA)
I was part of a team that installed about six of these computers for use in the Health Service for word processing (Wordstar) and data capture. We wrote software to capture data about children''s vaccinations which could then be sent via an accoustic modem to a mainframe system. The basic hardware was very reliable, but let down by unreliable external eight inch disk floppy disk drives and poor quality modem links. The ''customers'' hated the data transmission but were happy to replace typewriters with Wordstar. A few lucky ones even got a daisywheel printer!
Friday 25th February 2011
Peter Fisk (Essex, England)
I remember my excitement when we received our Z-2 during my senior year at El Capitan HS. We finally had an alternative to the school district''s HP2000F Time-Share system. My first project was to hack-together a Z80 version of Pong that I never got to work right. I was heart-broken when I heard it was stolen while I was away to Basic Training in 1979.