Memories - MZ80B - Fond Memories
This article on the Sharp MZ-80 was contributed by John Burns.
A wonderful machine at the time as a direct competitor to the Apple II and later machines.
I first bought the MZ-80K in 1979 after a local shopkeeper asked me to find out "what it was as some salesman had left it with him to see if if sold". Remember the price - £470 - which was just about a month's wage at the time having just been promoted to an officer in the Merechant Navy.
Having been used to an IBM System 7 running a simple navigation system on a ship he assumed I knew everything about computers. So having mastered the Japenese English and cartoon like manual I was well on the way.
I inhertited some money in around 1980 I then bought the MZ-80B alongwith all the peripherals that were available including the 2 x 5.25" inch disk drives, interface box, and printer. Cost around £1500 which was best part of 3 months wages. Also purchased CP/M and the "The Last One" - the program designed that you would never ever need another program. It built very concise programs from a series of templates. Many games and other utilities followed and I eventually used this as my main machine for work building a complete stock control system for a relative's shop all within 64KB. Other software from the likes of SharpSoft soon were added.
Programming in Z80 assembler was a bit complicated but nothing like 64bit versions today. That early introduction to BASIC on the MZ-80K and later on the MZ-80B still exists today in the many systems I have built in Visual Studio including "Chippy's Haverhill" customer & delivery systeml.
I still have both machines, the peripherals and all of the software on tape and disk some 30+ years later.