Cortesi is author of another book on CP/M, Inside CP/M. This is divided
into a tutorial manual, giving quite a detailed description of CP/M, and an
exploration of many of its features, though not to such a great extent as
Dennon. The second part of this sizeable book is a reference manual, giving a
detailed page by page description of all of CP/M’s facilities. The miscreant
who has borrowed Miller from me suggests that Cortesi is too verbose in his
tutorial section, but to give Cortesi his due, when we were having a problem
with a SUBMIT file, we eventually found the answer here – and nowhere else!
For your information, I note that a SUBMIT file does not like blank lines. It
simply won’t run. Cortesi remarks (p132) that this bug has been reported
several times, but no fix has yet appeared. In consequence of finding this
piece of information, and sorting out the SUBMIT problem we were having, I
feel very kindly towards Cortesi.
For our last CP/M book, we have Hughes’s System Programming under CP/M-80.
This book surveys, briefly and succinctly, the standard facilities of
CP/M, and proceeds to deal with the problems of interfacing Assembly Language
routines to it. In the course of the book, he develops LIST, a file printing
utility, XDIR, an extended directory facility, SYSGEN, which is similar to the
SYSGEN supplied with CP/M, but now at least you know what is happening, and he
then proceeds to introduce some of the problems of writing and implementing a
BIOS. I’m quite fond of this book, as the description of the standard
facilities is quite succinct.
The availability of three Colour Graphics boards for the 80-BUS at
reasonable prices has turned my thoughts to books on Graphics. Using my usual
rule of finding out what has been written on a subject before setting out to
reinvent the wheel, I’ve found two good books on Computer Graphics. These are:
Fundamentals of Interactive Computer Graphics by Foley and van Dam, (664)
published Addison Wesley
Principles of Interactive Computer Graphics by Newman and Sproull, (541)
published in paperback by McGraw Hill.
Both of these books cover substantialy the same ground. They are
concerned with the methods used in Graphics display terminals, either in BW or
Colour, low or hi res, and the solution of problems such as representation in
three dimensions, movement of shapes in real time, perspective control etc.
Foley and van Dam is more lavishly illustrated in colour than Newman and
Sproul, but they are both well illustrated by line drawings. All of their demo
programs are given in Pascal, which will allow them to be readily translated
to almost any language.
Threaded Interpretive Languages by Loeliger, (250p) published by BYTE/McGraw
Recent interest in Forth is reflected in this book, which contains
substantially the entire code, in Z80 mnemonics, to allow implemention of a
Forth Complier. I include it here as I recently discovered that the Graphics
routines of the EPSON QX10 computer and some others have all been written in
Threaded Interpretive Languages (Forth-type languages). Those who have seen
the EPSON QX10 in action will realise that it’s graphics are very powerful.
Perhaps it might be worth looking into the use of such a language for similar
purposes on the 80-BUS. The ideas contained in it, of the threaded type
language, are quite different to the more conventional method of language