Posts in the “Books” Category - page 2
Adventure games were some of the earliest games written for computers and they were incredibly popular at the beginning of the microcomputer revolution. Despite this popularity, there were only a handful of books that showed how adventure games worked in detail or how to write one. In my opinion, the best book of this type was by Frank DaCosta.
In the early days of microcomputers, books containing “type-in” BASIC programs were common. But probably the book series published for the widest range of computers was the “32 BASIC Programs” series, written by Tom Rugg and Phil Feldman and published by dilithium Press. (The name dilithium was intentionally lowercase.)
Each book contained thirty-two BASIC programs divided into six categories: applications, educational, graphics, game, mathematics, and miscellaneous.
Creative Computing was one of the longest running of the early microcomputer magazines, publishing from 1974 to 1985. Unlike most later microcomputer magazines, Creative Computing covered the entire range of personal computers, including the TRS‑80, Atari, and Apple.
In 1983, Creative Computing Press published three books collecting computer-specific articles from the pages of Creative Computing. They targeted each book at a different computer market: , , and .
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.
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.
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.
Back in 1981, the TRS‑80 was the best selling computer and 80 Microcomputing magazine was bursting at the seams. The publisher of 80 Microcomputing, Wayne Green, envisioned a new set of books: the Encyclopedia for the TRS‑80.
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.