Z80 Assembly Language Programming for Students by Roger Hutty, published by
Macmillan, cost approx £5.
This is a “slim volume” (127p) which deals quite adequately with the use
of Z80 assembly language and an assembler. It would make a reasonable starting
point for a beginner at machine code. In his treatment of the instruction set,
the author deals only with the simplest of the Input/Output instructions, and
mentions the interrupts, so this is not the book to buy if you intend to get
into the interrupt setup very quickly, but for the beginner, a fairly clear
introduction to assembly language.
Introduction to the Z80 Microcomputer by Adi J. Khambata, publ. John Wiley
costing about £12. (330+pages)
This author has written a textbook on microprocessors and an associated
series of processor specific manuals, of which this is the Z80 version. As I
have not seen the major textbook, I cannot comment on it, but without any
doubt, this book contains the best discussion of all the Z80 family peripheral
chips I have seen, dealing with their programming and timing requirements. It
should not be necessary to purchase the main manual if you had any experience
in using the Z80 (or had read, marked and inwardly digested the 80-BUS News!).
This book takes up the subject a little bit further along from where Hutty
leaves it down.
A Z80 Workshop Manual by E.A. Parr, published Babani, £2.75, (184 p).
This is a ‘paperback’ sized book that gives as good a survey of the Z80
and peripheral chips as one could reasonably expect. It deals with the types
of instructions, the architecture of the CPU, the addressing modes,
instruction set, assembly language programming, and use of some of the Z80
family peripheral chips. It also must endear itself to us as it’s examples of
hardware configuration and monitor facilities are based on the Nascom – albeit
with NASBUG monitor. I think this would form a good and very reasonably priced
introduction to the intricacies of Assembly Language and the Z80 for the
A Practical Introduction to Pascal – with BS 6192 by I.R.Wilson and
A.M.Addyman published Macmillan (approx £6)
This is the latest edition of these authors’ book on Pascal programming.
It includes the text of the British Standard for Pascal, which is interesting
if only to read exactly how a language is defined. I note one surprising
omission from the standard – during the discussion over the last few years
leading to the adoption of this standard, it was generally agreed that the
‘case of’ structure should have an ‘otherwise’ extension to allow for the
exceptional situation where the operator did not match a case-constant. This
seems to have been deleted before adoption of the standard. The textbook is
succinct and to the point, being based on the introductory lectures in
programming in Manchester. It is liberally illustrated with example programs,
and would make a good starting point to find out about the language.
So far, so good. I haven’t mentioned CP/M even once. Now comes the
denouement, as the Bishop said to the Actress! One of the problems with CP/M
is that its manual – Digital Research’s CP/M Operating Manual – was, in its
earlier incarnations, absolutely and utterly incomprehensible. Its latest
version (July 1982) is slightly better, but suffers still from 8080
and ‘clever’ use of macros. This has given rise to a plethora of books on
CP/M, all written with the intention of explaining what shouldn’t need to be
explained. It is with some of these that I propose now to deal.