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Thread: Zenith Z-181 - My Review

  1. #11
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    I've got one of these with a dead hdd as well. Got all the complete documentation- MS Dos 3.21 disk, Quick ref, User guide and ref as well as the Owners Manual. Makes a good serial terminal. Personally I wouldn't run any version of MS Windows on . Any below 3.0 suck big time. PC Geos is another matter altogether.....

    I think I have a thread about it on here somewhere.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caluser2000 View Post
    I've got one of these with a dead hdd as well. Got all the complete documentation- MS Dos 3.21 disk, Quick ref, User guide and ref as well as the Owners Manual. Makes a good serial terminal. Personally I wouldn't run any version of MS Windows on . Any below 3.0 suck big time. PC Geos is another matter altogether.....

    I think I have a thread about it on here somewhere.
    You have the ZWL-183, which is actually a completely different machine, although it does look similar.

    I like early versions of Windows. Period. Nobody’s gonna change that opinion. It’s a must for me on any old system. I even set-up PIF files for my DOS programs, so I can launch most of my stuff right from Windows. Works fine for me. I like it.
    Compaq - “It simply works better”

  3. #13
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    There is not much difference at all. The manual is for the complete Z-180 series...ie covers all models in that series..Has wiring diagrams Component specifications and a lot more......MS Windows before version 3 still sucks......All you are using it for is a glorified Dos menu....Wasting precious conventional memory....
    Last edited by Caluser2000; May 7th, 2020 at 11:35 PM.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caluser2000 View Post
    There is not much difference at all. The manual is for the complete Z-180 series...ie covers all models in that series..Has wiring diagrams Component specifications and a lot more......MS Windows before version 3 still sucks......All you are using it for is a glorified Dos menu....Wasting precious conventional memory....
    There is a LOT of difference in the way they are constructed. They use completely different components on the inside (as in not interchangeable with the ZFL-181), and are assembled very differently. The disassembly process for the two are completely different, I can absolutely tell without any doubt by the internal pictures I have seen of the ZWL-181. And I have had my ZFL-181 apart, so I know exactly how it comes apart.

    They *look* similar, but they are two completely different machines. Just because one manual covers them both doesn’t mean they are the same...


    And, about Windows, most business apps from the era will run fine from within Windows. Every one I have tried so far does. Games can be a little trickier, but I don’t think they really planned on you using Windows for games, considering all of the included PIF files are for business apps. Fine by me, as I like my vintage business software, and I can easily run my games from the DOS prompt anyways.


    As I said above, I’m not just going to start hating Windows 1 and 2 all of the sudden because someone tells me they don’t like it. I don’t care if everyone on the forum tells me that Windows 1 and 2 “suck,” It’ll still remain on all of my vintage PCs. These versions of Windows have worked out fine for me, so I have no reason to hate them.


    I should also mention that I did upgrade the CPU to an NEC V20, which went very smoothly.
    Last edited by compaqportableplus; May 9th, 2020 at 04:57 AM.
    Compaq - “It simply works better”

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by compaqportableplus View Post
    There is a LOT of difference in the way they are constructed. They use completely different components on the inside (as in not interchangeable with the ZFL-181), and are assembled very differently. The disassembly process for the two are completely different, I can absolutely tell without any doubt by the internal pictures I have seen of the ZWL-181. And I have had my ZFL-181 apart, so I know exactly how it comes apart.

    They *look* similar, but they are two completely different machines. Just because one manual covers them both doesn’t mean they are the same...


    And, about Windows, most business apps from the era will run fine from within Windows. Every one I have tried so far does. Games can be a little trickier, but I don’t think they really planned on you using Windows for games, considering all of the included PIF files are for business apps. Fine by me, as I like my vintage business software, and I can easily run my games from the DOS prompt anyways.


    As I said above, I’m not just going to start hating Windows 1 and 2 all of the sudden because someone tells me they don’t like it. I don’t care if everyone on the forum tells me that Windows 1 and 2 “suck,” It’ll still remain on all of my vintage PCs. These versions of Windows have worked out fine for me, so I have no reason to hate them.


    I should also mention that I did upgrade the CPU to an NEC V20, which went very smoothly.
    You are imagining things..../ They share the same case, screen, Keyboard etc....And a lot of the innards....Modem'.......

    Good to sewe you put a V20 in it. That is a plane I have for mine....
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caluser2000 View Post
    You are imagining things..../ They share the same case, screen, Keyboard etc....And a lot of the innards....Modem'.......

    Good to sewe you put a V20 in it. That is a plane I have for mine....
    The case is physically bigger, and the keyboard layout is different (notice how much more room there is above and below the display on the ZWL, and the arrow keys are on the bottom instead of the top). Definitely not interchangeable. Now the screen is the same, which is probably one of the few parts that are. The SupersPORT 8088 also used the same screen.
    Compaq - “It simply works better”

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