Heathkit's and Zenith Data System's (ZDS) 8-bit & 16-bit Computers

I created this site to help preserve the early history of Heath Company and their early computers. It initially only covered 8-bit Heathkit's (H8 & H89). Due to some recent acquisitions, this site now covers all of Heath Company's computers which were not IBM PC compatible (adding the H11 & H100). These systems were offered by Heath Company from Fall of 1977 and to around 1984. It is getting very difficult to find information and software for these systems. If you have any comments or information you would like to share, or have old equipment or software that could use a good home, please contact me at mark (at) garlanger (dot) com.H89 with original logo

Computer Systems

H89 Emulator

I'm working on an emulator for the H89. It's now booting HDOS and CP/M, and even plays many of the graphic games. See my H89 Emulator page for more details.

Peripherals

Heath Company and ZDS offered many peripherals for their computer systems. They also sold disk systems, printers, modems, terminals, and more. The disk systems include 5.25" (Z-37, H-77, Z-87) & 8" (H/Z-47) floppies and a 10 MB Winchester drive (Z-67).

Software

8-bit Operating Systems for H-8 & H-89 computers

Programming Languages

Heath company had it's own version of Basic call BH Basic, BH stood for Benton Harbor, the city in Michigan where Heath Company started. Microsoft also provided several languages for both the HDOS and CP/M operating systems.

Software Library

One of my main goals for this site, is to preserve the old software, that ran on the H8/H89. After all these years, much of the software can no longer be found. Most of the companies, that developed software for the H8/H89, are no longer in business and some of the companies, which are still around, no longer have copies of their old software. Much of this software can now, only be found in people's personal collections. I've acquired several large software collections and I'm in the process of imaging the disks and manuals. I've contacted a few of the companies and have received permission to post their software and manuals. With the software I have, plus help from other members of the SEBHC group, I hope to have images and scans of all the major software and will post the images/scans in the library as I receive permission from their copyright owner, since all these titles are still under copyright. With these software images, people will be able to run the software on a real system, or an emulator.

Third-Party Support

Many third-party companies offered products for Heath's line of computers. The products included both Hardware and Software. Most of these companies advertised in the various publications. REMark included listing of these companies typically once a year. BUSS also published a yearly directory.

Periodicals

The official Heath Users' Group  (HUG), published a magazine called REMark. It started as quarterly publication, but after a few years it became monthly. 

There were also third-party publishers that focused exclusively on Heathkit computer.  The publications included BUSS, H-Scoop, Sextant, Staunch 8/89'er, and SEBHC Journal.

BUSS also published yearly directories which included companies that offered products and services for the Heath/Zenith computers.

Although Dr. Dobbs was not specific to Heath systems, they did have some Heath-related articles. I have recently received Volume 2-6 and plan to post the covers (which also includes the index).

Some of local Heath User Groups also published newsletters for their members.

Catalogs

Heath Company offered catalogs, typically quarterly, of their products.

Heath User Groups (HUG)

Computer user groups were critical during the early days. Few people had computer skills, and there were no on-line resources to get information. These groups would meet, share information, and help new-users. In the January 1984 issue of REMark, there was over 150 local groups listed from both the United States and other countries. HUG also had a huge software collection available for purchase.

SEBHC Group/Other Heathkit related websites

If you are interested in Heath Company's 8-Bit computers, you will want to join the SEBHC - Society of Eight-Bit Heathkit Computerists group/maillist at google groups.

Before moving to google groups, the maillist was handled at the sebhc.org site.  With a copy of the maillist from the sebhc archive, I have converted and made it available on my site: sebhc.org maillist from 2004-2007. After that date, you can find the old messages through google groups.

Here are three other sites you may be interested:

How-Tos

Here is a 'How-To' Section, that includes some basic information about these computers including how-to ship old computers and use these systems. This section was just added, and it is very incomplete. More information will be added in the future.

Wanted

I'm always looking for hardware and software for these Heathkit systems. Both HDOS and CP/M software - applications, games, programming languages, tools, etc. Or operating systems, such as MP/M. Below are some key items that I'm particularly interested in finding.

Hardware

H10 paper tape, H/Z-29 terminal, H/Z-39 terminal, 3rd-party add-on graphic cards, 3rd-party enhancement ROMs.

Software

Turbo Pascal, Gravitron I/II, Infocom games such as Zork I - III, HT-11 (OS for H-11), software on cassettes, software on paper tape, and many more.

 Special Thanks

I have been very lucky and fortunate, to receive many items, including a few large collections of Heath/Zenith equipment. I have set up a donation page as a small token of my appreciation and a way of recognizing the donor's generosity.


Author: Mark Garlanger

Contact me at 'mark (at) garlanger (dot) com' if you have comments or any items available.

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