A Tribute to the Dick Smith System 80
(aka Video Genie and PMC-80/81)

Favourite System 80 (and TRS-80 Model 1) Books

1. Learning Level 2 by David A. Lien
2. TRS-80 Assembly Language by Hubert. S. Howe Jr.
3. Basic faster and better & other mysteries by Lewis Rosenfelde
4. The Captain 80 Book of Basic Adventures by Robert Liddil
5. 80-Micro Review Guide (1st Edition)
6. Molymerx, Mail Order Software Catalogue

The first three books above were invaluable tutorials, giving me skills I still appreciate to this day.  The latter three were well-thumbed through and often used, so I've included them here also.

Enjoy the memories.

1. Learning Level 2 by David A. Lien

Learning Level 2This was the first book I bought after my shiny new System-80.  I found that the author had assumed I'd read the Tandy TRS-80 Level 1 manual (which he'd also written) so I borrowed one from my wife (who used a TRS-80 at work) and read it first!

I loved this book.  It was easy and fun to read, and showed me that programming could be simple and rewarding.  It was my first introduction to BASIC and I was amazed how powerful it seemed, on such a small machine too!.  Not surprising I guess, as my previous exposure to computer languages had been in a 100-level University computer course where we wrote simple FORTRAN code on punch cards with a paper clip!

Some people have criticized David Lien's books as being condescending.  While today they might seem so, at the time when computers were new and very un-intuitive, I felt they were excellent.

(download - 12 Mb PDF)

2. TRS-80 Assembly Language by Hubert. S. Howe Jr.

Trs-80 Assembly LanguageNo, I never did completely understand the mysteries of the Z80 and assembly code but this book took me a long way!  The fact that the System 80 had minor incompatibilities with the TRS-80, forced us to learn to use a machine language monitor or an editor/assembler so we could patch machine language programs to get them to work properly. (or at least understand what the patch was doing.). Clearly written and understandable.

(download - 9 MB PDF)

3. Basic faster and better & other mysteries by Lewis Rosenfelder

Basic Faster and BetterAhh, the hidden mysteries of BASIC!  This book was quite a revelation.  The things you could do with PEEKS and POKES.  Never would I have to twiddle my thumbs waiting for a slow BASIC sort or for the SET command to chug through drawing a line again.

A very informative book.  After using it, plain BASIC was somehow just not the same!

(download - 35 Mb PDF)

4. The Captain 80 Book of Basic Adventures by Robert Liddil

Captain 80 book of AdventuresI loved adventure games.  I bought this book with the intention of typing some in.  I never did, but I was such as fan of these games I just had to include this book on this site. 

5. 80 Micro Review guide

80-Micro Review GuideAs the cover says, 500 reviews of TRS-80 software, hardware and books.  I used to drool over this wishing I could afford the nifty programs and hardware listed *sigh*.

(download - 48.3 Mb PDF)

6. Molymerx, Mail Order Software Catalogue

Molymerx - THE source of TRS 80 software for New ZealandersNot really a book, but a loose-leaf software catalogue from a New Zealand firm specialising in the importation and distribution of TRS-80/System80/Video Genie software. 

Descriptions of the programs were very comprehensive...more like reviews.  Software outlets were not common for the TRS-80 and System 80 in New Zealand, especially in later years and the Molymerx catalogue filled the gap.  They also distributed software in Australia through Micro-80.

You can download a catalogue (33 MB) and/or click here to read an interview with its founder.