Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 19 / DECEMBER 1981 / PAGE 64

Book Review:
Microprocessors For Measurement And Control

If your business or pleasure is realtime control applications this could be a valuable book for you. Seven realtime control applications are described in complete detail. These include DC motor control, position control, control of temperature, an automatic weighing system, a plotter, a computer controlled saw, and a blending process control system.

Each application is described in great detail, including circuit diagrams, flowcharts, state-transition diagrams, timing diagrams, and a complete discussion of the algorithms. The book is replete with pictures and diagrams. Having studied the examples, readers will be able to think of and design their own control systems. Do not decide against the book simply because your application is not described: there are enough general principles to make the book valuable for anyone working on realtime control of a device by a computer (especially if the device is a robot that will mow lawns and shovel snow).

The book is not written for the novice. Some experience with microcomputers, machine language, binary numbers, and input/output operations is desirable. If you haven't worked with a single-board machine or peeked inside your Apple, PET, or Atari to see what makes it work, then this book is going to be tough sledding. To actually construct the projects described will require electronic test equipment such as an oscilloscope, signal generator, breadboarding equipment, and components.

I liked the book. I liked the idea of describing as application from first principles to the last detail, giving both the theoretical background and the practical implementation of the application. This is because my computer interests gravitate toward interfacing and control. On the other hand, if you are strictly a programmer who is happy with business applications, games, computer aided instruction or number crunching, then this book is out of the mainstream of your current interests.

Of great importance to the 6502 community is the fact that almost half of the book (approximately 155 pages) is devoted to program listings in BASIC, PASCAL, C, and FORTRAN, as well as 8080 assembly and machine language. This half of the book will be almost useless for the great majority of 6502 purists, unless you are familiar with several of these languages, particularly the 8080, Z80, or 8085 instruction set.

The book is characteristic of the generally fine quality of the computer literature published by OSBORNE/McGraw-Hill and, if you are interested in computer control of devices, this book is a good investment.

Reviewed by Marvin L. De Jong: the reviewer is Professor of Physics at The School of the Ozarks, Pt. Lookout, MO 65726. He is the author of the book "Programming and Interfacing the 6502, With Experiments," published by Howard W. Sams & Co., Inc., 4300 West 62nd Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46268.

David M. Auslander & Paul Sagues
OSBORNE/McGraw-Hill, Berkeley CA
(630 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94710)