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 !