Books on ZX80 Assembly and/or HW Architecture

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afwlehmann
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Books on ZX80 Assembly and/or HW Architecture

Post by afwlehmann » Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:55 am

Hi,

as I couldn't find anything related using the forum's search, I'd like to ask whether somebody has compiled a list of useful books (maybe still available somewhere in print or at least in electronic form) on ZX80 assembly and/or architecture of its sound and graphics HW.

EDIT: For starters, I found a recommendation on this one:
  • A Z-80 Workshop Manual
Thanks a lot in advance,
Alex

sjbaines
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Re: Books on ZX80 Assembly and/or HW Architecture

Post by sjbaines » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:10 pm

I highly recommend Jonathan Cauldwell's "How to Write ZX Spectrum Games".
http://s3.spanglefish.com/s/22323/docum ... mes1.0.zip

Very hands-on and practical. I'm half-way though it and have found it VERY educational.
Mind blown by ZX Spectrum back in '82, leading to career as software developer.
Always regretted never having written anything proper for the Speccy BITD,
so looking forward to my Next chance!

afwlehmann
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Re: Books on ZX80 Assembly and/or HW Architecture

Post by afwlehmann » Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:36 am

Thanks @sjbaines, that's very much appreciated!

Slow
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Re: Books on ZX80 Assembly and/or HW Architecture

Post by Slow » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:57 am

General Z80 assembler:

"Programming the Z80" by Rodnay Zaks is very complete and thorough treatise of the Z80 CPU (and I'd say famously so). It is the single source for both beginner and advanced programmer.

Graphics, interrupts, and timings:

"Advanced Spectrum Machine Language" by David Webb rather completely and thoroughly introduces all (or at the very least most of) the original ZX Spectrum 48K graphics concepts and interrupts. He does so in assembler, implementing a very careful selection of concepts just sufficient to thoroughly introduce and explain each one of them. Great stepping stone.

Sound:
I have no idea for a complete and thorough literature on this subject, anyone please fill in?

Generally speaking, I would dare say you may not even need other books than those two, other than to deepen your knowledge on very specific subjects (like better algorithms, specific external hardware, new graphics modes, sound chips etc.). However, most further deep knowledge may be esoteric and is probably most easily obtained by... well... reading source code of accurate ZX emulators (possibly also the VHDL of Spec Next if, or rather when, it becomes available) and/or simply posting specific question on this forum - some people here will instantly know something about it, or at least refer you to a project that has done this before.

Trivia: Rodnay Zaks continued writing the "Programming the ..." series and also covered (less famously but just as thoroughly and completely) the 6502 CPU, the 6809 CPU, etc., making the book series a great reference for 8-bit CPU comparison.

Alessandro
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Re: Books on ZX80 Assembly and/or HW Architecture

Post by Alessandro » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:27 pm

I would also recommend Lance A. Leventhal's Z80 assembly language programming.

You can find a scan of it here.

afwlehmann
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Re: Books on ZX80 Assembly and/or HW Architecture

Post by afwlehmann » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:54 pm

Thanks, Slow and Allesandro, for picking up on this thread. I had already found out about Rodney Zak's book but not yet about the one from David Webb, the latter of which sounds especially intruiging to me :) Also thanks for providing the link to the scan of Leventhal's book. Makes it much easier to find.

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robpearmain
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Re: Books on ZX80 Assembly and/or HW Architecture

Post by robpearmain » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:24 pm

I wrote the game Bipboi using the techniques referenced in David Webbs book

Found a scan of it here

https://wos.meulie.net/pub/sinclair/boo ... nguage.pdf
Rob Pearmain
Bipboi (Zx Spectrum 48k), Harry Hedgehog (ZX Spectrum [1K]), Luna C (PC), Turbotoons (PC)

ZX Spectrum 48k, +, 128k, Next (board)

afwlehmann
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Re: Books on ZX80 Assembly and/or HW Architecture

Post by afwlehmann » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:08 am

Great, I could not for the life of it find a working link :)

afwlehmann
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Re: Books on ZX80 Assembly and/or HW Architecture

Post by afwlehmann » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:54 am

So far, I've read through Jonathan Cauldwell's "How To Write ZX Spectrum Games" as well as Hardman and Hewson's "40 Best Machine Code Routines for the ZX Spectrum".

Jonathan has a nice writing style and keeps things concise. The pace at which he explains all the stuff feels about right. All in all it's been a very interesting bed-time read for me which made me long for more.

Hardman and Hewson's book, on the other hand, gives a very long introduction into Z80 assembly, thereby wasting a considerable number of pages, of which the books has only ~150 in total anyway. They have nice examples here and there, but sometimes the displayed code seems a bit bloated, and what they write about the code is merely a translation of the assembler code into the English language. Still, I wouldn't want to argue totally against the book as it nevertheless provides a useful collection of routines that may serve as a starting ground.

At the moment I'm trying hard to get my hands at a copy of "Advanced Spectrum Machine Language", although I'm having a bit trouble to convince myself that existing copies usually come at a very high price.

Jonv
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Re: Books on ZX80 Assembly and/or HW Architecture

Post by Jonv » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:24 pm

There are some great downloads in this thread but but not being a huge fan of ebooks I am really after a physical Z80 reference manual that I can purchase. Can anyone recommend one or should I just try a second hand copy of the Rodney Zaks book?

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