Amstrad CPC 464 Whole Memory Guide (The Amstrad User)Littérature English
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Whilst the Amstrad CPC464 Whole Memory Guide by Don Thomasson "provides the definitive guide for programmers", Making Music on the Amstrad CPC464 and 664 by Ian Waugh "allows users and their machines to write musical programs" - at least that is what the blurb says.

Shane Kelly and Peter Campbell give us their opinions.


There are over 250 entry points to the CPC 464 firmware. If you had to find out what they all did by yourself you would spend the next 2 years trying to work it out. Don't bother. Author Don Thomasson has done it for you!
The reader is taken through the memory map of the 464 in the logical order of low memory restart functions through to the jumpblock and data areas pertaining to each section of the firmware. The low memory functions are explained in depth and some of the code is presented for your perusal. The explanation of how the 464 accesses ROM while running programs in RAM at the same address is excellent and should be understood by anyone who has a rudimentary knowledge of the Z80 and concepts of addressing. After this comes an explanation of what happens when a full reset is issued, followed by the action of MC BOOT PROGRAM and MC START PROGRAM and then the rest of the machine pack follows in short order.

Then comes a clear and thorough look at one of the most powerful features of the 464 - the EVENT system. The interrupt path is explained in detail and how to set up your own 'events'becomes child's play. Next on the list is the DISPLAY SYSTEM which takes up 52 pages in it's entirety and is far too detailed to go into here. The SOUND MANAGER is given a short treatment and whilst not as comprehensive as the other parts of the book, is still quite acceptable given that the book is intended to show how the memory is set up and used in a standard way by the firmware. Following the sound section comes a short section on EXTERNAL ROMS. There are not too many external ROMS available in Australia but they are appearing in the U.K. and may work their way over here eventually. Finally, we are given entry points to support routines for the BASIC interpreter maths routines. These are not easy to use according to Mr. Thomasson, but are presented anyway, along with a list of the BASIC keywords, their tokens and their addresses in the upper ROM. There is potential for experiment there! In conclusion, a book for the interested (and knowledgable) BASIC programmer and a must for the serious 464 machine code 'hacker'.


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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.