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This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Cromemco  Z-2 computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message! For other purposes like sales messages, hardware & software questions or information requests, please use our main forum.

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Wednesday 24th October 2018
Paul Hansknecht (United States)

OK, one last post: The Z-2H still required a floppy disk to boot up CP/M and get the whole thing started. Slow! I eventually figured out a way to use Cromemco''s 32KB E-PROM board and their Bank Switching capability to temporarily swap in the E-PROM board, copy a CP/M image from it to RAM. switch the E-PROM board back out and jump to CP/M''s startup address. Wow, startup was now instantaneous! I should have passed that technique back to Cromemco. :(

Wednesday 24th October 2018
Paul Hansknecht (United States)

Oops, in my previous post, the Z-2H was announced in 1980, and we acquired one in early 1981, not 1971.

Wednesday 24th October 2018
Paul Hansknecht (United States)

I was the technical half of a two-man company in the 70s and early 80s. The other guy was the owner, the salesforce, and the money man. Our plan was to build turnkey systems for the "zillions of small companies that could profitably use a micro-computer but didn''t know it". So in the late 70s, we bought a Z-2D kit so I could get started. It had a 4MHz Z-80, 64KB of RAM, 2 DSDD 184KB floppy disk drives, and a Televideo 950(?) terminal! We equipped it with the Cromemco Assembler and their FORTRAN IV Compiler. It was a beast! But oh, those floppy disks! Constantly swapping them in and out... Put in the editor disk (WordStar?) to work on some program. Take it out and put in the Compiler. Take it out and put in the linker. Save the executable to a separate floppy Test it. Repeat till satisfied. We knew most businesses would have a hard time keeping their program and data disks straight, but that was the best we could do. Then in 1971, Cromemco announced the Z-2H! OMG, 10MB! We swooned over the possibilities, and, unbelievably, the money man agreed to buy the add-on kit to convert our Z-2D to a Z-2H! We qualified as a Cromemco OEM at the time, so we got a 20$ or 25$ discount and paid a mere $7,500 (or something like that), and WOW! That completely changed the micro world! I could now "instantly" switch between an unlimited number of programs without touching a floppy disk! And that meant our customers could, too! This truly turned the microcomputer into a viable business solution overnight!

Monday 3rd April 2017
Christopher Shubert (USA)

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!

Friday 25th February 2011
Peter Fisk (Essex, England)

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!

Tuesday 27th April 2010
GCG$3 (Bob) (Yorktown, VA)

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.

Friday 18th February 2005
david wright (louisville, kentucky)

In 1976 i was on the degsine team for this Cromemco Z2 system i had worked day and night i went without sleep for 15 days it was very very hard i had completed Cromemco Z2 system prototype but at a high price when we fired it up it blew up into a fire that destroyed my

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