|★ LITTÉRATURE ★ ENGLISH ★ The Amstrad CP/M Plus ★|
|The Amstrad CP/M Plus (Amstrad Computer User)||Littérature English|
Those owners of CPC6128s and PCW8256s who have been waiting for something rather more heavyweight than the initial crop of beginners books need wait no more.
Andrew Clarke and David Powys-Lybbe have conspired to lighten our darkness with a massive tome that starts exploring the subject with the conception of CP/M back in the dark old days of 1974, and traces it through to the implementation of Amstrad's CP/M Plus by Locomotive Software.
The co-authors'interest in CP/M extends beyond the purely functional, and so the book meanders through just about every aspect of the subject.
A detailed dissection of the delights of ED and PIP (and every other utility available to CP/M Plus users) is liberally laced with an overview of public domain software and a brief foray into the realms of classic applications, by way of preparing the unwary reader for what lies in wait at chapter 7.
Redoubtable is hardly the word for the exposition in chapter 7 on the BDOS and BIOS. Extent folding, RSXs, FCB, SCBs are all covered in detail. A detailed analysis of each BDOS function is provided, with more than enough information to enable the competent machine code programmer to get to grips with CP/M.
The GSX chapter is somewhat brief -tersely referring the programmer to the Digital Research GSX manual for further succour. Programming languages are explored at length, and even Algol-M is exhumed and considered. I was particularly intrigued by the WRITEON statement.
This book is a rare thing indeed. It manages to explore and explain a very dry technical matter with a degree of humanity that is lacking in most comparable works. The de facto references in this sphere are the works of one Mitchell Waite who, with a crew of collaborators, made writing CP/M books a one-man industry in the CP/M heyday around 1980.
The Amstrad CP/M Plus is a far better book than any of the non-specific CP/M books available. The index is quite exemplary, and was apparently produced using one of the built-in functions of NewWord3.
The first edition uses a convenient and sturdy loose leaf ringbinder. The print is just a fraction too small to be entirely comfortably read, and even then the 470 pages only just fit!
The book is an essential companion to all Amstrad CP/M users who believe in life after Locoscript. Buy it.