North Star Horizon Z80 Computer Emulator (NSE) ncurses-Based

1978 North star Horizon ad.

NSE is a North Star Horizon Z80 Computer emulator for linux/unix systems. The North Star Horizon was an S100-Bus Z80 Computer which had one of the earliest floppy disk controllers at a time when most 'home computers' used extremely slow audio-cassette tapes to store programs and data.

NSE will run most of the North Star Computers disk image files which remain from the 1970's and 1980's.

This is the 2019 public release, and the last of the ncurses-based releases of the emulator. This version follows several previous releases going back to 1998. NSE is ncurses based and has two modes; in primary mode the screen emulates either a TVI-920 or an ADM3A 'green screen' ASCII terminal while the secondary command console mode displays as an 'amber screen' terminal. NSE has the capability of using North Star hard-disk software as well as the North Star floppy-disk software.

This current emulator has been separarated into two parts, the first being the emulator shared library (or DLL) which comprises the Z80 CPU, the command console, the terminal emulators, and most ancillary peripherals. The second part comprises the North Star Horizon-specific items such as the motherboard I/O, the single and double-density floppy disk controllers and also the hard disk controllers.

(This has led to the capability of using the emulator shared library to emulate several other Z80 machines of the 70s and 80s very easily. Thus, a CPZ-48000 SBC emulator is also included with this release of NSE.)

North Star HORIZON Emulator (ncurses version) Screenshots.

North Star HORIZON Emulator User Guide (ncurses version).

Download 'NSE' source code (ncurses version)

North Star HORIZON floppy-disk images.

North Star HORIZON Software & Hardware Manuals

North Star 'Compass' Magazines.

Miscellaneous CP/M Software

Extra Resources:

Harte Technologies for North Star Manuals

Dave's Old Computers for Lots of Stuff for Many Companies' Equipment.
He also has his own embedded systems software.

Dave's Old Computers Website for Dave Dunfield's North Star Horizon emulator for MSDOS. If you have any queries, bug-fixes, or suggestions email me at

This was where the company was located during the early days in 1978 when I bought my Horizon:
 North Star Computers Address in 1978