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  • Retro computer books

    A selection of retro computer books available on Amazon.co.uk.  You can support this website by buying via the links below  (the prices are the same as going direct to Amazon) –  cheers!

    Retro Gaming & Computing:

    Creating the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega describes how the four founders of Retro Computers came together to create a unique games console: the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega. Sir Clive Sinclair, the world famous inventor, caused a technological revolution in the early 1980s when he launched the ZX Spectrum, a low-cost colour home computer that found its way into millions of households throughout the UK, Spain, Russia and many other countries across the world. The Spectrum proved so successful that more than twenty thousand games, utilities and educational titles were written for it, many of which are remembered fondly to this very day. When the Retro Computers team released the Vega, a modern interpretation of that original ZX Spectrum, one thousand of these much-loved games were pre-loaded on the console; obtaining the rights to these is just one part of the fascinating story that this book tells: the genesis, conception and development of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega.
    The ZX Spectrum ULA: How To Design A Microcomputer. This book takes the reader through the design and implementation of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum’s custom chip, revealing for the first time the decisions behind its design and its hidden secrets. By using it as case study, the techniques required to design an 8-bit microcomputer are explained, along with comprehensive details of the Ferranti ULA manufacturing process. If you have ever wanted to design your own computer or wondered what was behind the most successful microcomputer of the 1980s, then this is the book for you. For the first time, the inner working of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum’s custom chip and heart of the computer, the Ferranti ULA, is exposed in minute detail. Packed with over 140 illustrations and circuit diagrams, this book takes the reader through the cutting edge technology that was the Ferranti ULA and the design of the ZX Spectrum home computer.
    Racing The Beam. This book offers a detailed and accessible study of this influential video game console from both computational and cultural perspectives. Studies of digital media have rarely investigated platforms–the systems underlying computing. This book (the first in a series of Platform Studies) does so, developing a critical approach that examines the relationship between platforms and creative expression. Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost discuss the Atari VCS itself and examine in detail six game cartridges: Combat, Adventure, Pac-Man, Yars’ Revenge, Pitfall!, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. They describe the technical constraints and affordances of the system and track developments in programming, gameplay, interface, and aesthetics.
    Commodore. Filled with first-hand accounts of ambition, greed, and inspired engineering, this history of the personal computer revolution takes readers inside the cutthroat world of Commodore. Before Apple, IBM, or Dell, Commodore was the first computer manufacturer to market its machines to the public, selling an estimated 22 million Commodore 64s. Those halcyon days were tumultuous, however, owing to the expectations and unsparing tactics of founder Jack Tramiel. Engineers and managers with the company between 1976 and 1994 share their memories of the groundbreaking moments, soaring business highs, and stunning employee turnover that came with being on top in the early days of the microcomputer industry. This updated second edition includes additional interviews and first-hand material from major Commodore figures like marketing guru Kit Spencer, chip designer Bill Mensch, and Commodore co-founder Manfred Kapp.
    The Apollo Guidance Computer. The technological marvel that facilitated the Apollo missions to the Moon was the on-board computer. In the 1960s most computers filled an entire room, but the spacecraft’s computer was required to be compact and low power. Although people today find it difficult to accept that it was possible to control a spacecraft using such a ‘primitive’ computer, it nevertheless had capabilities that are advanced even by today’s standards. This is the first book to fully describe the Apollo guidance computer’s architecture, instruction format and programs used by the astronauts. As a comprehensive account, it will span the disciplines of computer science, electrical and aerospace engineering.
    Digital Retro. Compatibility? Forget it! Each of these computers was its own machine and had no intention of talking to anything else. Much like their owners in fact, who passionately defended their machines with a belief verging on the religious.
    This book tells the story behind 40 classic home computers of an infamous decade, from the dreams and inspiration, through passionate inventors and corporate power struggles, to their final inevitable extinction, and subsequent worship by the nostalgic collectors market. Digital Retro is an essential read for anyone who owned a home computer in the Eighties.
    The Future Was Here. The Amiga 1000 was, as Jimmy Maher writes in The Future Was Here, the world’s first true multimedia personal computer. Maher argues that the Amiga’s capacity to store and display color photographs, manipulate video (giving amateurs access to professional tools), and use recordings of real-world sound were the seeds of the digital media future: digital cameras, Photoshop, MP3 players, and even YouTube, Flickr, and the blogosphere. He examines different facets of the platform–from Deluxe Paint to AmigaOS to Cinemaware–in each chapter, creating a portrait of the platform and the communities of practice that surrounded it.
    Masters of Doom. This is the true inside story of the Lennon and McCartney of the video game industry: John Carmack and John Romero. Together they created an empire, ruled a multibillion-dollar industry, and provoked a national controversy. They lived a unique American dream, escaping their broken homes to co-create the most innovative and notoriously successful video games in history – Doom and Quake – until the games they made tore them apart.David Kushner has been covering the video game industry for ten years and knows all the angles. Even those with no interest in video games will be fascinated by this vastly entertaining tale of friendship, betrayal and the genesis of a multibillion-dollar popular art form.
    Replay. A riveting account of the strange birth and remarkable evolution of the most important development in entertainment since television, Replay is the ultimate history of video games. Based on extensive research and over 140 exclusive interviews with key movers and shakers from gaming’s past, Replay tells the sensational story of how the creative vision of game designers gave rise to one of the world’s most popular and dynamic art forms.
    The Making Of Karateka. In 1982 — the era of Apple II and Commodore 64 — 17-year-old college freshman and aspiring game designer Jordan Mechner began keeping a private journal. This first volume is a candid account of the personal, creative and technical struggles that led to his breakthrough success with Karateka, which topped bestseller charts in 1985, and planted the seeds of his next game, Prince of Persia.
    Speccy Nation. A tribute to the ZX Spectrum and the golden age of British gaming from veteran games journalist Dan Whitehead. Witty write-ups on fifty classic games that helped define the ZX Spectrum.
    Diary Of A 80s Computer Geek If you were a child of the 80s and remember the joy of receiving your very first home computer or maybe a young adult who fondly remembers the excitement, then you will appreciate this unabashed reminiscence of a simpler time whose adolescent technological was on the cusp of great advancements. This book is intended as celebration and reflection of all the computer technology that made the 80s such a wonderful, pioneering period and follows the journey of a self confessed, teenaged computer geek who experienced and enjoyed every ground breaking moment, including publishing his own software. 10 Print “The 80s are fab!” 20 Goto 10 Run


    FPGAs: Instant Access This book provides an introduction to FPGAs as well as succinct overviews of fundamental concepts and basic programming. FPGAs are a customizable chip flexible enough to be deployed in a wide range of products and applications. There are several basic design flows detailed including ones based in C/C++, DSP, and HDL. This book is filled with images, figures, tables, and easy to find tips and tricks for the engineer that needs material fast to complete projects to deadline. This title features tips and tricks that will help engineers get info fast and move on to the next issue. It includes easily searchable content complete with tabs, chapter table of contents, bulleted lists, and boxed features. It offers just the essentials, no need to page through material not needed for the current project.
    Verilog By Example. A practical primer for the student and practicing engineer already familiar with the basics of digital design, the reference develops a working grasp of the verilog hardware description language step-by-step using easy-to-understand examples. Starting with a simple but workable design sample, increasingly more complex fundamentals of the language are introduced until all major features of verilog are brought to light. Included in the coverage are state machines, modular design, FPGA-based memories, clock management, specialized I/O, and an introduction to techniques of simulation. The goal is to prepare the reader to design real-world FPGA solutions. All the sample code used in the book is available online. What Strunk and White did for the English language with “The Elements of Style,” VERILOG BY EXAMPLE does for FPGA design.
    Elements of Computing Systems. In the early days of computer science, the interactions of hardware, software, compilers, and operating system were simple enough to allow students to see an overall picture of how computers worked. With the increasing complexity of computer technology and the resulting specialization of knowledge, such clarity is often lost. Unlike other texts that cover only one aspect of the field, The Elements of Computing Systems gives students an integrated and rigorous picture of applied computer science, as its comes to play in the construction of a simple yet powerful computer system.Indeed, the best way to understand how computers work is to build one from scratch, and this textbook leads students through twelve chapters and projects that gradually build a basic hardware platform and a modern software hierarchy from the ground up.
    A Complete Electronics Self-teaching Guide with Projects. An all–in–one resource on everything electronics–related! For almost 30 years, this book has been a classic text for electronics enthusiasts. Now completely updated for today′s technology, this latest version combines concepts, self–tests, and hands–on projects to offer you a completely repackaged and revised resource. This unique self–teaching guide features easy–to–understand explanations that are presented in a user–friendly format to help you learn the essentials you need to work with electronic circuits. All you need is a general understanding of electronics concepts such as Ohm′s law and current flow, and an acquaintance with first–year algebra. The question–and–answer format, illustrative experiments, and self–tests at the end of each chapter make it easy for you to learn at your own speed.
    The Definitive Guide to the ARM Cortex-M3. This user’s guide does far more than simply outline the ARM Cortex-M3 CPU features; it explains step-by-step how to program and implement the processor in real-world designs. It teaches readers how to utilize the complete and thumb instruction sets in order to obtain the best functionality, efficiency, and reuseability. The author, an ARM engineer who helped develop the core, provides many examples and diagrams that aid understanding. Quick reference appendices make locating specific details a snap! Whole chapters are dedicated to: Debugging using the new CoreSight technology Migrating effectively from the ARM7 The Memory Protection Unit Interfaces, Exceptions,Interrupts …and much more! This is the only available guide to programming and using the groundbreaking ARM Cortex-M3 processor. Easy-to-understand examples, diagrams, quick reference appendices, full instruction and Thumb-2 instruction sets are included. It teaches end users how to start from the ground up with the M3, and how to migrate from the ARM7.