Ah, Memories (and registers)
I just had a look at Machine Code For Beginners :) I remember the Z80 and the 6502 very well. I used to be able to do mental arithmetic in hexadecimal.
These are wonderful - a big THANK YOU to the publishers.
UK publishing house Usborne is giving out its iconic 1980s programming books as free downloads. The books, which are available for free as PDF files, include Usborne's introductions to programming series, adventure games, computer games listings and first computer series. The series was particularly popular in the UK, where …
I still have my copy of "Write Your Own Adventure Programs For Your Microcomputer" somewhere. The dragon on the front was very exciting as I recall. The reality back then is that much more imagination was required during gameplay of course ;-)
It's only been around 30 years, I should probably find time to finish the book ;-) Although, need to download all the others I don't have first!
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Wow, I'd totally forgotten these - though there must be 3 or 4 of them still on my old bedroom bookshelf back at my Dad's house. I think my most used (by a long shot) was the Adventure Game one. I got it just before our annual 2-week holiday to Wales, and spent most of that fortnight laying out the map and items on paper, desperate to get back home and be able to start coding it on my C64.
I still remember that the very first thing you had to do to get anywhere in my game (The Adventurer) was "CALL GUARD" - luckily my game got its guards from the same place all Hollywood movies get theirs from so the guard was stupid and easy to overcome.
Wonderful! These books were fantastic - really approachable and well illustrated. And with some great emulators out there for the Spectrum and C64 now anyone can experience the thrill of typing in a long listing, running it and finding out it doesn't work ;) Just downloaded all of them!
Here's another blast from the past: https://archive.org/details/inputmagazine&tab=collection
I know what needs to go online - all those old The 555 Timer Cookbook and The 741 Op Amp Cookbook things. Tiny little printed on bog-paper books that you could get from Tandy - was it Roger Penfold who authored them? Anyway, brilliant little books on just about any electronic standard IC. IIRC they had a punched hole in one corner for some reason.
I remember finding this little gem in my school library and it completely demystified Z80 programming for me. It explained in its jokey fun way, binary, two's compliment, registers and the stack which as a young kid seemed quite difficult concepts.
Does any remember a book, ZX Machine Code by Toni Baker, it had a great draughts program but I never understood the floating point chapter?
The name Toni Baker rings a bell. Was the cover of that book mostly dark green / black and I think the text was gold/yellow? If so, then that was the book where I *finally* after a very long time, managed to grasp Z80 assembler.
UPDATE - I used "Google" (whatever that is) to find it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mastering-Machine-Code-Your-Spectrum/dp/0907563236
That was totally my bible when I were a kid - so thanks Toni Baker!
Links not working as expected downunder in VIC...
The varii tempting .PDF links tried all take us to:
....and downloading merely downloads that page.
So at least it's consistent.
Is this, perchance, a conspiracy against Vulture South?
Prejudice against hard-working convict descendants?
Revenge for the cricket results....?
Ahh..... that'll be it.
I was a Dad who typed that in for our 464.
It took some BASIC-fu to get it running, iirc.
Then we hacked it about with local/family/school references inserted and the like.
Had done something similar on the ZX81 previously, as well as a couple of
self-published 'action' games. So it was not hard to fix, just tedious.
Happy days indeed.
I had one of these books which appears to be a compendium of three of these others: http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/9742/The-Beginners-Computer-Handbook/
and it probably has heavily influenced the career I am in today.
I've just had a quick skim through the Machine Code one and it's very good, but it does make me realise how lucky us BBC/Electron owners were with their built-in assemblers, it's a bit of a shame that the book doesn't appear to even mention this though.
If I have one criticism, in one of the books here (which I don't own) it states the oft-repeated myth that a BASIC interpreter converts each line into machine code, which it then executes before moving onto the next one. I do wonder whether this book was responsible for people believing this, I certainly remember having a heated argument with my Computer Science lecturer at college about it!
I have a couple of the BBC micro books somewhere. Is it the BASIC manual and was there an Advanced book? Red and green for the first and yellow and blue for the second? Anyway, wire bound doorstops, they were, and so intricate. Really tied together the code and what was actually happening inside the chips themselves.
And just last night found a Lotus123 manual and took my wife on a nostalgia trip. I still have a mint Tandy 1982 catalogue as well.
Remembering the days and nights spent typing pages of code from books and mags, then the days and nights spent trying to debug it to find out where you'd gone wrong!.
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