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Abbey Road

by Brian Southall
Published by Patrick Stephens Ltd.
Price £6.95

Abbey Road and its famous studio may be internationally known through association with the Beatles album of the same name, but its musical reputation is high enough to ensure for it a place in history quite independently. From the early days of Sir Thomas Beecham, violinist Jascha Heifetz and Yehudi Menuhin and other classical musicians to the Joe Loss Dance Band, Cliff and the Shadows, the Beatles and Kate Bush, Brian Southall's book gives a comprehensive guide to a studio whose history reflects that of the music business itself.

Over 200 pages of text with plentiful photos provide reminiscences, technical details, a few trade secrets and a fascinating catalogue of artists, including Sky, Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons and Adam Ant. Abbey Road has produced over seventy number one singles alone — they're all listed here, and there's every indication from this excellent book that the list can only become longer in the years to come.

Sharp Software Techniques

by D. H. Trowsdale & M.Turner
Published by Sigma Technical Press
Price £5.95

This is an extremely handy book for users of the MZ-80K and MZ-80A micros. It's a companion to 'Software Secrets' by Graham Beech and contains numerous programs, small routines, hints, tips and 'inside information'. The programs, whilst being useful and entertaining in their own right, give valuable practical experience of programming techniques under the headings games, utilities and education, including organ composer and music tutor programs. There are two sections on hardware modification and not often mentioned POKES, PRINT and machine code copying details. Finally, conversion data for PET, Apple II, Tandy TRS-80 and Research Machines 380-Z is given.

ZX81 User's Handbook

by T. J. Terrell and R. J. Simpson
Published by Newnes Microcomputer Books
Price £4.95

The Sinclair ZX81, now available at under £50, is an excellent first buy to introduce the user to the fascinating world of computing, however, the manual supplied leaves many questions unanswered. This is where this handbook takes over.

The first two chapters deal with connecting the computer to the necessary peripherals namely, power supply, TV and cassette recorder, then entering information via the keyboard.

The next chapter explains decimal, binary and hexadecimal number systems and how to convert between them, progressing into binary arithmetic and floating point notation.

Arrays, strings, substrings and the mathematical functions, often a source of confusion for the beginner, are dealt with next with clear sample programs to demonstrate the use of each.

The basics of flowcharting and subroutines are then described along with the basic logic elements and the 'IF' statement before delving into a very informative section on the ZX81 graphics.

To demonstrate many of the principles discussed, several programs, all of which can be stored in the 1K machine, are listed.

The book then takes the reader inside the ZX81 to consider the 'black boxes' or circuits inside the 'chips'. Flip-flops, shift registers, counters and memories are all discussed including the Sinclair hardware.

The Z80A processor is dealt with in detail including a complete printout of the processor's instruction set.

The last two chapters concern writing and using machine code in the ZX81 with details of some very handy routines available from the BASIC ROM. The book ends with a comprehensive Glossary of basic computer terms.

This book is ideal for the ZX81 beginner or enthusiast who wants to make more of his machine and understand the internal workings of its Z80 processor.

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Record Reviews

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Macro Music

Electronics & Music Maker - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.


Electronics & Music Maker - Jan 1983


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