By Ian McLean,
Simon Rushbrook Williams,
Peter Williams Price £5.95
Published by Prentice-Hall
A useful book aimed at the beginner who wishes to develop his computing talents. The straightforward text is well written, punctuated by cartoons and over 170 helpful diagrams and shows how you can make better use of the Spectrum's sound, graphics and data handling functions.
Chapter 8 deals with sound and shows you how to take a piece of music, break it into sections and convert it into a program to play a simple melody using the Spectrum's Beep parameters. Chapter 9 is pretty comprehensive dealing with user-defined graphics. The final chapter takes a quick look at how you can interface your Spectrum to the outside world via peripheral devices. All in all, a handy book that complements Sinclair's own manual very well.
By RJ Simpson & TJ Terrell
Published by Butterworth Group (Newnes Technical Books)
An important book for Spectrum users who wish to know more about the technical aspects of their machine. This book describes the features and operation of the Spectrum in great depth with detailed chapters covering data handling and colour graphics. A very useful section describes flowcharts and how they are best translated into working programs with step by step examples.
Both hardware and software are generously covered — ROM, RAM and the Z80A microprocessor as well as a comprehensive guide to machine code programming techniques with full listings of the machine code Instruction Set.
The chapter on sound is rather disappointing in comparison with other chapters, dealing mainly with the Beep function. A small section shows how you can create your own sequences and this really should have been expanded upon.
Even so, this is a good, technically-orientated book that deserves a place on the bookshelf of every Spectrum user who is serious about computing.
Prentice-Hall International can be contacted at (Contact Details).
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