ScuzzBlog: Diaries October 2021

Entry 8th October 2021: Zenith Z-286 LP Professional Desktop.

Zenith Z-286 LP Professional Desktop.

I may not be a great fan of the older PCs but when it comes to a
named product that labelled all their kit as part of their product
line, then it's as close to a classic retro computer as you can get.

The Zenith Data Systems Z-286 LP professional desktop computer
has 640K memory and 256k EMS. The unit has a Zenith Z-549 video
card which gives an orange monochrome screen on the high resolution
Zenith analog RGB video display. The computer comes with a ZA-180-54
external 5.25" floppy drive and internal 3.5" plus 40MB hard drive.
The keyboard is the classic 'Cherry' keyboard.

I was very lucky to be gifted not one but two of these machines and
they are duplicate in every way. Two 'Cherry' keyboards, two monitors
etc. The software and manuals package comes in two hefty boxes and
contains the system manual plus MS-DOS 3.3 Plus and Windows 2.10.

The computers date from 1988 and were resident in a London architects
office from new during that period. They are labelled with orange
and green stickers and have the keys for both in small plastic bags.
The hard drives fell over a long time ago, but they boot into the
BIOS and also when date is set fires up the DOS disk.

The inside of the machines are a bit dusty, but they have been left
undisturbed for 33 years. The battery is clipped to the backplane
board and is an AA size battery. The computer is very similar to the
Commodore 386 and has an Amiga 4000 feel to it. I do like the switch
at the back of the unit to the side of the PSU. Much better than the
long rod on the 4000.

It is useful to compare computers of the period and given that this
machine shares a time period of the 500/2000 it is a case of which
suits your preference. For me the A2000 wins hands down, simply cus
of the OS. But it is so puzzling to me why anyone would have bought
an Amiga 2000 to fit a 5.25" drive and bridge/sandwich board to
emulate one of these things. For me the A2000 was always superior.
I guess the office based software may have been tempting and the
ability to take your work home with you may have been useful.

Anyhoo quite rare beasts these. I guess in the day they cost quite
a lot. I really don't know. Quite interesting it runs Windows 2.10
which is just a graphical interpretation of DOS. [ I'm being pretty
cruel there ... sorry ].

PS I am not kidding when I say that the keyboard is nearly the same
size, weight and thickness of an Amiga 1200.

Zenith Z-286 LP Professional Desktop.



386SX-20 386SX-20 386SX-20 386SX-20

386SX-20 386SX-20 386SX-20 386SX-20

From the collection

scuzz site

If you can only see this CONTENT window
then click the image above for the full site

Last updated 8th October 2021

Chandraise Kingdom

Keep the Faith
scuzzscink 2021