FS: How To Design Build & Program Your Own Working ComputerSystem

Brent Hilpert hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Sat Oct 25 15:56:18 CDT 2008

Steve Robertson wrote:
> Hmm....
> I received several replies to the offer and did some more searching on
> the net. It seems books with the same title are available on both Amazon
> and Abebooks and are very reasonably priced. The booksellers listings
> indicate they are all softcover. The version I have is hardcover.
> The book is a pretty complete "how-to" for building the authors SC/MP
> based "SCAMP" computer. It's quite possible the author did versions with
> the same title except focusing on different microprocessors. Other
> logical offspring would be the Z80, 6502,and 6800.
> Does anyone have other versions of the book?

There are two books
    "How to Design, Build And Program Your Own          Working Computer
System" (1979)
and "How to Design, Build And Program Your Own Advanced Working Computer
System" (1981)
("Advanced" is actually underlined), by the same author, and both from TAB books.

The second book continues with some expansion ideas for an SC/MP based system,
and then has some chapters discussing the Z80 and INS8073 processors.

They are kind of weird books IMHO. As construction books I find them somewhat
lacking. There is no complete schematic or board layouts, more like
back-of-the-envelope snippets, now you figure out the details (a criticism I'd
level at a lot of TAB books from the 60s/70s, actually). One has to do a lot of
interpolation between the book and what might be a final, complete system.
I'd almost be surprised if anyone actually built a system from the book,
or alternately, someone who was competent to build such a system from the info
provided didn't need the book.

I keep them around, not with the intention of ever building such a system from
them, but as historical examples of hobbyist computing from the period,
although they were arguably 2-or-so years out-of-date relative to the market by
the time they were published. They are more in line with what I would have
expected to see published around 1976-77.

They do have some other perhaps helpful sections for reference about such
things as interfacing to current-loop TTYs, etc.

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