Must have books for Vintage Computing

Scott Stevens chenmel at
Wed Mar 9 18:30:51 CST 2005

On Wed, 9 Mar 2005 11:15:27 +0800
Wai-Sun Chia <waisun.chia at> wrote:

> I'm building my personal library for vintage computing. I need to
> probe the collective wisdom of the list in what books must a "wannabe"
> collector (like me) should have on his/her bookshelf.
> Although I collect primarily DEC stuff, I don't want my knowledge to
> be just restricted to what DEC had to offer.
> p.s. Don Lancaster's books are the first on my list. :-)
> /wai-sun

To provide a 'modern' fork to this discussion:  The Mindshare series of
books, published by Addison-Wesley, are quite valuable.  It deals with
that dreaded 'PeeCee' hardware, but is almost the ONLY place to get
rigorous coverage of the ISA Bus, the PCI Bus, and so on.  So much 'PC'
related material is badly translated little stapled manuals from
Taiwanese motherboard vendors or 'high level' books containing
screenshots of 'the latest from Redmond' that it was refreshing when I
discovered the Mindshare series.

Also good in this vein is:  "The 80x86 IBM PC and Compatible Computers
(Volumes I & II) Assembly Language, Design, and Interfacing." by Mazidi
and Mazidi, Prentice Hall, 1998.  It's a book that takes the reader down
to the bare hardware without flinching, and, again, without ANY of the
fluffy B.S. that almost everything associated with the PeeCee gets mired
in.  I paid $100 for my new copy at the bookstore without (almost)

To go truly ancient:

The 'Radiotron Designer's Handbook' edited by F. Langford Smith,
published by RCA in the 1940s.  It's the 'Horowitz and Hill' of the
vacuum-tube era.  My copies are both US reprintings (a 1941 and a 1945
edition), the original edition is Australian.

But that's radio and electronics stuff.

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