Questions tagged [books]

Questions on retro-related books (contemporary or historic)

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4
votes
0answers
184 views

What was this book about floating-point system design/construction?

A comment on the question Why did 8-bit Basic use 40-bit floating point? says the following (emphasis added): Re, "Nowadays, floating point is usually either 32 or 64 bits." More ...
6
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2answers
263 views

Documents about timesharing systems, access and resource control and its financials

I delved a bit into the origins of (commercial) timesharing and it seems there have been very interesting computing hardware and software (architectures) which have become relatively unknown but may ...
9
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3answers
1k views

What did the SELECT command do in DOS?

The introduction to Greg Harvey’s DOS for Dummies: Quick Reference (also subtitled Command Reference in the first edition) contains this passage: This book not only gives you the lowdown on each and ...
4
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1answer
358 views

Address of ISR for Interrupt INT 13H

The memory address in the Interrupt Vector Table of an 8086 associated with INT13H should be: 13H * 4H = 4CH But a book I was referring to says that: The physical address of the memory location ...
14
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1answer
253 views

Is the “IBM standard character set manual” around?

From Wikipedia's code page article: Originally, the code page numbers referred to the page numbers in the IBM standard character set manual Is any version of this publication available? I'd be ...
14
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6answers
5k views

How is it possible that they used to type “Mb” when they meant “MB” in printed computer magazines in the 1990s?

I've read some English and Swedish computer magazines from the 1990s, even late 1990s, and they frequently (maybe even consistently) use "Mb" to mean "Megabyte", even though "Mb" at least now means "...
3
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3answers
363 views

Understanding the meaning of the term “Modifying a software program” in a book

In his book The Silicon Jungle David Rothman mentions several times the term "modifying" or "customizing" a software program. e.g. Chapter 8: And then the consultant didn’t even supply instructions ...
27
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4answers
6k views

Unix Haters Handbook - guaranteeing synchronous, atomic operations

I've come across Filesystems with versioning and have been reading through the Unix Haters Handbook, linked there. I came across page 85: On the other hand, techniques for guaranteeing synchronous, ...
44
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5answers
4k views

Filesystems with versioning

I've been reading through The Unix Hater's Handbook. It has many, many very valid criticisms. (I'm still raging that terminal escape codes aren't in the terminal driver...) There is one anomaly though:...
12
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2answers
2k views

What DOS games used Mode X as described by Michael Abrash?

In Michael Abrash's Graphics Programming Black Book, many chapters are dedicated to fast drawing of primitives, fills and copies using the 320x240 256-colour Mode X. What MS-DOS games used Mode X? ...
0
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1answer
201 views

Commodore – The Inside Story [closed]

Commodore – The Inside Story, by David Pleasance, who was a manager in Commodore UK. Sounds like a very interesting book, supposedly available, but when I look on Amazon, hoping in particular for the ...
5
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5answers
2k views

How does the ‘real mode flat model’ work?

I am interested in old Intel processors. I'll try to be as concise as possible. I have been studying both Jeff Duntemann's Assembly Language Step-by-Step - Chapter 4 and Modes of Memory Addressing on ...
6
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1answer
475 views

Modern Alternative to Malvino's Digital Computer Electronics

For those who want to study retro computing in depth, starting by understanding 74xxx logic and CPU design is (IMHO), one of the best paths there is. Malvino's "Digital Computer Electronics" (DCE), ...
5
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3answers
2k views

When did “Zen” in computer programming become a thing?

What are the roots of the endless analogies to Eastern philosophy, 1990: Zen of Assembly Language: Volume I, Knowledge 1995: Zen and the Art of the Internet: A Beginner's Guide (Prentice Hall Series ...
6
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2answers
617 views

What books did schools use to teach BASIC?

What books would have been used to teach school aged kids BASIC in a classroom setting back when BASIC was in common use? 8-Bit computers commonly came with tutorials to learn BASIC, like A Touch of ...
20
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2answers
2k views

Why does this BASIC program declare variables for the numbers 0 to 4?

On pages 150 to 154 of William Tang's (1982) Spectrum Machine Language for the Absolute Beginner, there are these lines of code. (Note GOTO 9000 is the first non-REM statement in the program). 9000 ...
9
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1answer
394 views

Where can I get the errata sheet for Spectrum Machine Language for the Absolute Beginner?

I'm happily working through William Tang's Spectrum Machine Language for the Absolute Beginner. I've already found one error (in the EZCODE listing), which I was able to fix myself, but to save myself ...
6
votes
1answer
586 views

What is the title of this Macintosh programming book?

Back when Mac OS was called "System" and preemptive multitasking was a distant fantasy, I had a small collection of Macintosh programming books. For the life of me, though, I can't remember what one ...