You are here



Dennis Seivers

          In the second review, Dennis Seivers continues his fine series of book reviews on interfacing. This time the focus of attention is the IBl-1-PC. The final review looks at computer applications in the flavor and fragrance industries, an area that is probably somewhat unfamiliar to many readers. 
         Do you have some special area of computer expertise that you would like to share with your colleagues? If so, why not write to me and ask if there are books in your field of interest that you might review. Of course, it is always interesting to hear from the readers. Even if you don't wish to review a book, but want to share some comments or suggestions, write to Dr. Harry E. Pence, Book Review Editor, Department of Chemistry, SUNY-Oneonta, Oneonta, NY 13820.
Note: This article was scanned using OCR from the Fall 1986 CCCE Newsletter. Please contact us if you identify any OCR errors.
          Interfacing to the IBM Personal Computer is a valuable reference for those seriously interested in designing interface projects for the IBM PC computer. This fully indexed book is written in moderately technical language. Illustrations are well-placed and accent the text very well. Unlike many books in this field, a rela-tively small number of pages are devoted to specific project construction. Rather, the discussion is more generic in nature and explores bus and circuit design.
          The discussion begins with a full exploration of the 8088 microprocessor. Each feature is fully described along with its use and means of access. This permits direct use of the microprocessor in circuit interfacing. This is one of the better descriptions of the 8088 done in a moderately technical, abbreviated manner.
          The expansion bus configuration is explored in a similar manner. The author provides readers with some interesting ideas for application of the bus circuit but does not design the circuit.
          The section on timing cycles is extremely well done and quite useful. The author develops the use of the internal clock as well as several other possible sources of timing signals. In this chapter information is given on the machine language needed to access these timing circuits. Most of the program considerations are found elsewhere. This material is further explored by consideration of both the hardware and software triggers of timing devices.
          The chapter on interrupt usage is fairly typical of the use of computer interrupts for data collection and transmission. Machine language and BASIC techniques for programming the interrupts are supplied without any specific application in mind. I rather prefer this, as it allows for the construction of a library of useful routines to be created for future use.
          The system and memory maps are comprehensive. This chapter is mostly a series of charts with a minimum of explanation. Dialogue is rarely needed, as this material is used chiefly for reference.
          The section on da'ยท.a transmission and acquisition speed synchronization is one not generally found in most interfacing books. The treatment is clear and detailed. Many unique problems are associated with high speed data transfer, and several solutions are discussed.
          A few projects are described in detail and include the use of the cassette port for TTL output and the use of the parallel printer card for data output. The methods described are, but many users are unaware of the techniques needed for these simple interface des1gns. The  ever popular game card is a standard interface port, and the author describes several uses. A variety of high voltage and high current control devices are described. These include a lamp driver, stepper motor driver (two types), and a classic relay driver. Schematic diagrams and software routines are provided, and these projects should find many applications.
          BASIC programming techniques are described to utilize these interface projects. The use of BASIC and machine language drivers teaches many important concepts. The programming chapter is very well done but does assume some prior experience with machine language entry and BASIC.
          If you are looking for predesigned projects and software, this book is not for you. Should you be interested in designing a special interface for your laboratory, this book could answer many technical questions related to the hardware and software components. The experienced user will find this a useful reference, while the intermediate user should learn a great deal from this book.
*Central Community High School
Route 50 West
Breese, IL 62230
10/01/87 to 10/05/87