Articles in the "Books" Category
Understanding how to use TRS-80 ROM routines was very important for any TRS-80 Model I or III programmer, and there were many books written about that subject. TRS-80 ROM Routines Documented by Jack Decker was considered to be one of the best. Jack Decker wrote many articles for The Alternate Source, including a series named “TRS-80 ROM Routines Documented,” which served as the basis for this book.
The bulk of TRS-80 ROM Routines Documented is composed of five chapters detailing various portion of the TRS-80 ROM:
At one time in the TRS-80 world, the name William Barden was linked to assembly language programming. This book was one of the main reasons why. TRS-80 Assembly Language Programming
, along with Programming the Z80
by Rodney Zaks, helped introduce a whole generation of TRS-80 programmers to assembly language.
The history of early microcomputers is a poorly documented subject and the amount of misinformation available is incredible. That’s why it is such a pleasure to read a book by someone knowledgeable about the subject. Collectible Microcomputers_ is just that book, a reference book for classic computers.
Long-time TRS-80 users may remember Michael Nadeau as a frequent contributor to 80 Micro, serving as senior copy editor, executive editor, and later editor-in-chief. He was also editor-in-chief of HOT CoCo magazine and the coordinator of the 80 Micro Anniversary issue.
TRSDOS 2.3 Decoded and Other Mysteries was written by James Lee Farvour and published by IJG in 1982. It was volume six in the TRS-80 Information Series.
In a way, this book was a companion to James Lee Farvour’s earlier Microsoft Basic Decoded and Other Mysteries. That book analyzed TRS-80 Model I BASIC in great detail, describing how each part of the language worked. At the end of the book, it included the commented portion of a disassembly of the BASIC. It did not include the complete disassembly because Microsoft never gave permission for that to be published.
Back in 1981, the TRS-80 was the best selling computer and 80 Microcomputing
magazine was bursting at the seams. Wayne Green, the publisher of 80 Microcomputing
, envisioned a new set of books: the Encyclopedia for the TRS-80
. As the first advertisement for the Encyclopedia
Lately, there seems to be an increasing interest in the history of early microcomputers. But for whatever reason, Radio Shack and the TRS-80 are rarely mentioned in histories of microcomputing. When the TRS-80 is mentioned, the details are often incomplete or completely wrong. I don’t know what has caused this collective amnesia, but the TRS-80 deserves to have its important contributions recognized.
The Programmer’s Guide is my favorite TRS-80 programming book, and in my opinion, the most useful. The chapters include:
- an overview of the operating system
- device input/output, with information about filters and drivers
- disk drive input/output, with information about writing a disk driver
- DOS directory structure
- disk file access and control
- interfacing with supervisory calls (SVCs), including detailed information about parameters
- other useful miscellaneous tables and topics
Even though Programming the Z80
was not written for the TRS-80, it was one of the more popular TRS-80 programming books. I suspect that this book and TRS-80 Assembly Language Programming
by William Barden introduced more TRS-80 programmers to assembly language than any others.
was a three volume set containing the complete source code of TRSDOS 6.2 (which was the same as LS-DOS 6.2). Each individual book cost $99.00, so total cost for a complete set was $297.00. Later on, these prices were heavily discounted.