ST PEEKS & POKES by Richard Karsmakers
Number six in the Data Becker books series for the Atari ST is
Stefan Dittrich's "ST Peeks & Pokes". Just like "ST Intern", this
is a book of much tradition, since I think these books have
appeared for many other computers as well (what about "Commodore
64 Peeks & Pokes"?). The books sells at DM 29,- at Data Becker,
Merowingerstr. 30, 4000 Düsseldorf, West Germany. It is a 198
page paperback, ISBN 3-89011-148-3, written by Stefan Dittrich.
In Holland, this book can be bought through your local bookstore;
information can be obtained through Bruna & Zn.
"ST Peeks & Pokes" is much more written for the practical user.
The author explains all kinds of things of which some are also
explained in "ST Intern", but more popular. Whereas "ST Intern"
works with machine language and C, this book works mainly in ST
Basic. Most people that have bought "ST Intern" will probably
refer to it once in a while, because they just aren't big
programmers that need to know all about the BIOS, GEMDOS, XBIOS,
the processors, the hardware (connectors, etc.) and just spit
upon any BIOS listings. "ST Peeks & Pokes" is, like I said, more
popular and aims at the hobby-user that would like to program a
bit in ST Basic or maybe even GfA Basic.
The author also explains the hardware configuration, the
interfaces, the intelligent keyboard processor and lots more. He
even explains some of the more advanced topics like error vectors
and even machine language programming (the basics, anyway). In
fact, "ST Peeks & Pokes" was the only book that was good enough
to let stupid me understand how the addressing modes of the 68000
worked (until I read Mark van den Boer's machine language course,
elsewhere in this issue, which also makes it very clear!). You
could call "ST Peeks & Pokes" the little practical Basic-oriented
brother of "ST Intern", that really offers too much information
for the beginner (and wait until you've seen "The concise Atari
ST 68000 Programmer's Reference Guide", that's even worse!). ADJ
(the notorious cracker) must have been right when he told me that
this really was the only book you needed on the ST, back in April
1986 when I decided to buy this fabulous machine. Nine out of ten
people will do nicely with this small, cheap and handy book, and
I therefore think it's a book that every more or less serious ST
user has to have in his library.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.