INMC 80 News


June/July/August 1980, Issue 1

Page 32 of 48

Z80 Books

Books and the Z80.

by R. O’Farrell

When faced with a limited budget, and a microcomputer which is constantly demanding new peripherals, one is loath to spend money on non essentials. To many people, books come under this heading, and such people are frequently the ones who are to be heard complaining of the difficulties of learning how to program. It is my belief that the correct choice of book or books can have a value disproportionate to its cost. Nowhere is this more obvious than in computer books – some are very very good, others are a waste of the paper on which they are printed. What I intend to do in the following page or so is to give the name, author, and publisher of some books I have read on some aspects of computing, with a very short and highly subjective series of comments on it, only approximate prices are given in pounds sterling, as the Irish pound fluctuates in value against sterling (and we have 10% VAT on books). The views expressed herein are mine alone, and have not been purchased, or induced in any way (although I am open to good offers – I’m considering a floppy disc system).

The Z80 Microcomputer Handbook, W. Barden: Sams (distributed Prentice Hall costs about 6.50) It is a paperback of some 300 pages, and contains a full description of the opcodes of the Z80, and then proceeds to demonstrate their use in a series of short and useful programs. The book then concludes with a description of 4 Z80 systems. A most readable and interesting book, and if you decide to have only one then make it this one.

The Z80 Software Gourmet Guide And Cookbook, Scelbi (7.95 I think) is another in Scelbis’ Gourmet Guide series. A complete description of the Z80 codes and discussion on how they may be used, culminating in the presentation of a floating point package, which will fit in two kilobytes. This floating point package is interesting because it can readily be extended from four bytes to as many as you like. There is one bug in it, AND A,1 rather than ADD A,1. If interested in number crunching, then this is for you.

Assembly Language Programing – the Z80: Lance Leventhal: Osborne books Costs about 7.50 and is probably more complete in its treatment than the Gourmet guide. Whether it is as readable is another matter. It has a very complete treatment of the programing of the PIO and the SIO which make it worth having.

Programming The Z80, R. Zaks: Sybex (8.00) is more or less Sybex’s answer to the Osborne Leventhal book. It contains 600 pages and Includes a page by page description of each of the op-codes (as does Leventhal) which would make the purchase of the Mostek/​Zilog ‘Z80 Programming Manual’ unnecessary. It deals with the PIO and SIO, but only lightly, referring you to the next volume “Z80 Applications” which is not yet in print. I can’t wait for that one. It has a number of useful subroutines by way of example, including a Binary search for symbol tables – just after I had written one! In consequence of my disgust at this blatent piece of upstaging on Zaks part I cannot claim any impartiality !

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