By Rory O’Farrell
Build Your Own Z80 Computer By Steve Ciarcia
Published BYTE/MCGRAW HILL
This is a very readable book, by the author of the well known.
construction column in BYTE. It describes the various considerations in the
design of a simple Z80 based machine and the monitor which would be necessary
to drive it. It reprints various relevant data sheets, and discusses problems
of driving capability of chips and timing specifications.
Z80 User’s Manual By Joseph Carr
a a Published Reward books (distrib. Prentice Hall)
This book discusses the considerations in the design of a Z80 based
system, and interfacing to various peripherals. It also discusses the
instruction set of the Z80 in much the same way as the Z80 Programming manual. –
Unfortunately, this latter section is marred by faulty proof reading and
typesetting errors. As I have the Z80 programming manual, obviously I would
prefer that the 200 pages devoted to the discussion of the instruction set
were instead an extension of the 100 page section on interfacing and system
Interfacing Microcomputers to the Real World By Sargent and Shoemaker
Published Addison Wesley
This book is similar to the preceeding two in that it sets out to tell
you sufficient to design a Z80 based system, but puts particular emphasis on
interfacing with external devices. In particular, it discusses A/D and D/A
conversion in detail. It must be pointed out that the A/D chips they use are
not necessarily the most easily available chips on the market in the U.K., but
the general principles are relevant. In addition, they discuss the design of a
suitable monitor, and give the listing of DEMON, a DEbug MONitor based on
TDL’s 2K Zapple monitor.
8080/Z80 Assembly Language By Alan Miller
Published John Wiley
This book deals with programming both the 8080 and the Z80. In
consequence it switches from one set of mnemonics to the other, but it is easy
to keep abreast of what is happening. The author develops a monitor for these
computers, and considers some of the problems in interfacing routines with
CP/M. He is very readable, and the use of the two sets of mnemonics and _ the
optimisations he shows for Z80s over 8080s are interesting and informative.
A few miscellaneous comments
Software Tools, which I reviewed in INMC80-5, has now been published
as “Software Tools in Pascal” by Kernighan and Plauger, published Addison
Wesley. I have not yet seen this book, but imagine it to be Software Tools
rewritten with the programs in Pascal rather than RATFOR and PL/I. As such, I
think it would be more relevant to Nascom users than the previous edition.
In using a microcomputer, we find ourselves reinventing the wheel at
every step. We must remember that the path we tread towards the development of
a usable computer system has already been forged by many trained and brilliant
minds. Fortunately for us, they have, in many cases, published their thoughts
and results. These findings are now being taught to computer students, and we
can learn and indeed save ourselves much work by seizing onto this fact.