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 Merchant 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 Japanese English and cartoon like manual I was well on the way.

I inherited some money in around 1980 I then bought the MZ-80B along with 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 system.

I still have both machines, the peripherals and all of the software on tape and disk some 30+ years later.

Date : Unknown

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH40301. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Memories - MZ80B - Fond Memories

Click on the Images For Detail

Help support the museum by buying from the museum shop

View all items

Founding Sponsors
redgate Google ARM Real VNC Microsoft Research
Heritage Lottery Funded
Heritage Lottery Fund
Accredited Museum