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Mastering Machine Code on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum

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  • Mastering Machine Code on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum

    When I used to have a Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer I had a couple of books on mastering machine code programming but never managed to pick it up. I could program quite well in BASIC but that was easier to understand. However, it was very rare indeed for commercial software to be written in BASIC as machine code programs ran much faster.
    Does anyone on here have any knowledge of machine code?
    "The answer to the ultimate question, of life, the universe and everything is .....42"

  • #2
    Re: Mastering Machine Code on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum

    Originally posted by philipdalton View Post
    When I used to have a Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer I had a couple of books on mastering machine code programming but never managed to pick it up. I could program quite well in BASIC but that was easier to understand. However, it was very rare indeed for commercial software to be written in BASIC as machine code programs ran much faster.
    Does anyone on here have any knowledge of machine code?
    I know what you mean. I picked up basic pretty quickly after typing in loads of progs from Spectrum user mag and having to debug them!
    Machine code however was a different ball game. Assembly language made it a little easier. I managed to get my head round registers and the accumulator to do basic addition but never got as far as anything cool like graphics and sprites etc. To be honest I dont think any of the books at the time went into it that deeply anyway.

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    • #3
      Re: Mastering Machine Code on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum

      Never used the Spectrum, but the Zilog Z80 processor (the one used in the Spectrum) was a very capable (not to mention hugely popular) CPU which I did a lot of machine-code programming for at one time. The Z80 was effectively an extension of the Intel 8080, with extra registers and an extended instruction set, not to mention a good few other features. The actual code was compatible to the extent that binaries for the 8080 would run on the Z80, although the standard assembler mnemonics were different, even for the shared instructions. The Z80 is still a very versatile and useful CPU for dedicated controller applications.

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