History of the MZ-800
written by Maurice Hawes / SUC/UK
Source: SUC-magazine November 1999, Volume 19 Number 3, p. 15
|A Brief History of the MZ-800|
Having got these off his chest, the reviewer turns to System Software i.e. MZ-800 Basic and PCP/M. This section is mainly descriptive, though by implication it seems to be approving. The conclusion starts by explaining that Sharp intend the MZ-800 as a business machine, gets in a few digs at the footprint of the machine when fitted with peripherals, and then concludes:
The MZ-800, however, is the answer to Sharps critics. Not only is it data-compatible with the IBM-PC, it features PCP/M. This is the ace in the hole and will guarantee the machine some success on the businessmans desk.... Having said that, Sharp Owners wont allow Sharps marketing policy to dissuade them from thinking that this is Sharps best home machine to date.... Its best hope is as an upgraded home machine ( where ) it is not only cheaper ( than its competitors ) but offers a new exciting operating system in PCP/M.
The above review did not quote any firm prices, but an official Sharp
price list around that time shows:
All these are EX VAT; in the same Magazine there are many new MSX
machines from Japan e.g. SONY, SANYO, TOSHIBA, all in the price range
£280 - £300.
Unfortunately, Sharp U.K.s policy of concentrating on the business market meant that the MZ-800 was not sold in the U.K. as a home computer; as a result there are few MZ-800s in the U.K. today. The situation is quite different on the European mainland, where Sharp G.m.b.H. made the MZ-800 a popular home computer.
As far as the SUC is concerned, the specification of the MZ-800 is so good that neither the hardware nor the software requires any tweaking. But if you have an MZ-800, we offer a cheap 16K VRAM upgrade and all the known software, and we can advise on fitting disk drives if the machine does not already have them.
As a collectors item the MZ-800 is an attractive proposition,
with its 40 / 80-column display, 2 built-in I/O slots, 16-colour hi-res,
3-channel sound, standard joystick ports, a Centronics printer I/F,
and a switch to emulate the MZ-700. And DISKDEF.COM in PCP/M can redefine
disk drives for other Sharp CP/M formats and two early IBM-PC CP/M-86
formats ( N.B. NOT for MS-DOS formats ! ). So the MZ-800 has to be near
the top of anyones shopping list - but you may well have to cross
the Channel to find one!