Welcome to the homepage of the "Z-100 LifeLine", a professional journal for users of the Heath/Zenith H/Z-100 series computer. I'm glad you stopped by.
This web site is for computer hobbyists interested in facts about the Z-100's history, hardware, software, service and support. The Home Page contains some links to other related Z-100 Web Sites.
The About "Z-100 LifeLine" Page
This important page contains information about the "Z-100 LifeLine" newsletter. When the Z-100 articles in the "REMark " and "Sextant" magazines began to wane, it rapidly became apparent to the numerous Z-100 owners that they needed a new form of communication to stay in contact with each other and provide a mutual means of support. So Paul Herman began the "Z-100 LifeLine" newsletter in 1989 to discuss all things Z-100 and provide the means for dealers to market Z-100 upgrades, modifications or new products. Then, when the Z-100 owners were also losing interest, Paul decided to follow the growing PC market and I offered to assume the duties as editor and publisher in 1994. So, even while users continued to lose interest, the LifeLine continues to serve the Z-100 community to this day. I have created a comprehensive index to prior articles in the "Z-100 LifeLine" (through issue #128, July 2019), "Sextant", and "REMark" and quick access to this Index is available via a link in the right column. Copies of all back issues are available. If you have not been a regular subscriber to the "Z-100 LifeLine", you've been missing a lot.
The About Z-100 Computer Page
Introduced in the early 1980's as a kit by Heathkit and in an assembled version by Zenith, the H/Z-100 series computer was available as a Low-Profile (H/Z-110) or All-In-One (H/Z-120). The All-In-One had its own monochrome monitor included. The computer used dual CPUs - an 8085 for CP/M and an 8088 for Z-DOS (MS-DOS v1.0). It initially came with 64k RAM standard (192k max) and ran at a blistering 5 MHz! The display was either yellow or green (8 gray scale levels or 8 colors if the color RAM was installed) and displayed 25x80 characters. Modifications by Zenith, the Users' Groups, Owners, and the "Z-100 LifeLine" members have produced a machine capable of several megs of RAM, running at up to 12 MHz, using MFM, IDE, or SCSI hard drives and high density floppy drives, has bootable EEPROM or NVsRAM capability, and is nearly 100% PC-DOS compatible. This page contains information on the Z-100 series computer, it's initial configurations, and the improvements made over the years.
The Interesting Links Page
This page contains links and a description of a few remaining websites that may be of interest. They contain sources of parts, repair information, software and online manuals and schematics.
The What's New Page
While most of the pages on this website will remain fairly static (the disassembly of the Z-100, for example, will not change) there are still things happening in our Z-100 community, and this page will be where I will discuss or publish recent articles and update you on what is happening. If you haven't visited in a while and are not a subscriber to the Z-100 Lifeline, you may wish to add this page to your favorites folder and check it often.
The Repair and Modification Page
This is probably the most important page of the site. It contains information on disassembling the Z-100 series computer, and serves as a launching vehicle to articles on Z-100 repairs and modifications that may be of interest. The latest addition is an article on the description, differences, and servicing of the Zenith ZVM-13x series of color monitors. If you are having any difficulties with your monitors, you won't want to miss this one.
The LifeLine IDE Controller Page
This page contains information on a new IDE Controller Board to replace the Z-217 Controller Board and MFM Hard Drive system presently being used in the Z-100 series computer. This board is finally completed and all the pre-orders have been shipped. In addition to working with IDE hard drives, it also works great with Compact Flash (CF) memory cards. However, I cannot recommend the Disk-on-Module (DOM) memory units - they seem a bit flaky during my limited use. It may have been the unit I received. I still have a few extra IDE boards, so if you are interested, contact me NOW!
Feel free to browse around. Use the e-mail link to tell me what you think, or if you have any suggestions. I hope you enjoy your visit!
I'm sorry to announce that our software guru, John Beyers, has left "Z-100 LifeLine" rather suddenly and very unexpectedly. With us since the Z-100's early beginnings and well before my time, he has nearly single-handedly written or modified all the source code for this latest Z-DOS version, the last several monitor ROMs, and the LLSCSI and LLIDE Controller projects. He will be sorely missed and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
However, this has created a huge, very critical hole in our organization. If you have Z-80 or 8080 assembly code experience, have lots of free time on your hands, and would like to opportunity to work for free, we could sure use you. E-mail me with any questions you may have.