Zenith Z160 Luggable PC aquired

Fred Cisin cisin at xenosoft.com
Sun Dec 11 16:28:18 CST 2016

On Sun, 11 Dec 2016, Devin wrote:
> Picked this up a while back, just getting around to messing with it. Appears 
> to be an IBM XT compatible machine in a portable....err luggable size. Dual 
> 360K drives, although the second one does not seem to be working. I can get 
> it to boot to dos, but run out of space quite quickly.
> Anyone have any experience with these machines, is it possible to upgrade 
> the drives in there? There appear to be isa card slots inside, i was 
> thinking as a last resort to swap out the floppy controller and put some new 
> drives in it. That space limitation is really making it a doorstop. I have a 
> parallel port hard drive, but the driver takes up too much space and will 
> not fit on the boot disk.

If it is "XT compatible", and runs MS-DOS 2.00 or above (hopefully ZENITH 
MS-DOS 2.11),
then it can support a hard disk.  "Hard Card" would be one 
of the easier ways to do so.

If it can run DOS 3.20, or depending on WHICH MS-DOS 2.11 is available, 
then the 360K drives can be trivially swapped out for 720K.

If you make a new boot disk (write protect the one that you have!)
if you delete everything except COMMAND.COM from the duplicate, then is 
there room (about 300K!) for your driver?  You will need to create 
CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT to run the driver.  Surely, the authors of the 
driver for a parallel port hard drive would not make a driver that would 
not fit on a MINIMAL system disk!   (although likely not fit on a 
"complete" copy of DOS)

MicroSolutions "Backpack" drives always had a verion of their drivers that 
would fit on a 360K, sometimes even on a 160K.

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