80-Bus News


July–August 1983, Volume 2, Issue 4

Page 42 of 55

Cluster Analysis Algorithms by Helmuth Spath, published by Ellis Horwood (John Wiley distrib.) at approx £18 hardback and £12 softback.

All examples given in this work are in FORTRAN, which translates easily to BASIC, but the author’s background as a Professor of Mathematics assumes a certain mathematical background on the part of the reader, and a familiarity with Group and Set manipulation that has long since eluded me.

On the same subject, I draw the attention of interested readers to:

“Computer Applications in Archaeology 1974 – 1982” (continuing) mostly available from Dept. of Archaeolgy, University of Birmingham, at a price of approximately £2 per volume.

These 60/100 page Journals are the Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Quantitative methods in Archaelogy (or Computer methods or similar – the name is not always constant) and consist of the typescripts of most of the papers delivered. The fields are widely ranging – use of the computer as an excavation recording teminal, graphic recreation of pot shapes, cluster. analysis of collections of (guess what?) Axeheads. They seem to use the computer for nearly everything but Word processing! If you are an archaeologist, try and get your hands on these – your University Library may have them. They will certainly give you ideas about the use of computers in Archaeology – perhaps you will be able to bring some of the flexibility of the 80-BUS systems into that field in return. Digression: consider how many professions depend on literary output. E.g. Barristers, Orthopaedic Consultants, Archaelogists, Historians. How many of these even consider using a ‘Word processor’? Fools! To avoid argument, let me state here that it doesn’t matter what an archaeologist digs up if he doesn’t write it up. I know one orthpaedic consultant who spends more than half his time dictating reports and opinions on patients for legal proceedings arising from the accidents that brought them to his attention. The other half of his time he spends doctoring – he can even recognise patients from their X-rays – but that is another story. End digression.

One of the fields opening up is the use of the microprocessor in control of machinery. With our detailed knowledge of the intricacies of the Z80, and the powerful and reasonably priced CPU cards available to us, it is practical for us to consider their use in control applications, and perhaps even to advise on it. Consider what can be done with a CPU, a serial I/O, and a PIO. A simple control program can be blown in EPROM and then the CPU card can control almost anything. A marvellous read on this subject is:

Industrial Design with Microprocessors by S.K. Roberts, publ. Prentice-Hall Inc., costing approx £22.

This is a most enjoyable book on the philosophy and practicalities of using purpose built controllers for industrial applications. In addition to dealing with the hardware interfacing necessary, the author deals with the debugging and user friendlying necessary if such a machine is to work successfully. He deals with a number of projects based on his own experience, giving copious examples of what happened, and what went wrong, with the object of guiding you away from these sticky areas. In spite of the expense, I feel that this book should be on the bookshelves of every inplant engineer. The author takes a light-hearted approach to the problems, making the book enjoyable and easy to read, but never lightweight or trivial.

Now for three Z80 books. These are:

Page 42 of 55