Retrochallenge 2010
      Winter Warmup
      Mark Wickens

                                        Retro Library

      Well I'm still slogging away at the MECB/VFD 68k C game but it's coming on
      slowly and I'm not even sure I'll get it finished in time.

      One thing I did want to do was to scan in some of my retro book library to share
      with the internet. I mentioned in my first post about the Fortran VAX games I'd
      been given to try and get working. I can read simple Fortran, but debugging or
      enhancing an application is another matter, so I ordered a couple of books from
      Better World Books. Well, much to my surprise they turned up the other day. Both
      are ex-college library books, both cost me less than £3.50 including postage
      from the USA but one in particular turned out to be fantastic for more than one
      reason. The book is Vax Fortran (The Boyd & Fraser programming language series).
      Firstly, it is hardbound. Actually it is a soft cover book that had been
      hardbound by the library. That wouldn't happen these days! Secondly, the author
      is David G. Weinman of Hollins College and the book is from the 'Junius Parker
      Fishburn Memorial Library' of Hollins College, Virginia. That is a really nice
      touch - this was the library copy of the book written by one of their staff.
      Thirdly, it is really nicely printed in two-colour text. Rather than dodgy line
      printer listing illustrating programs within the text (which seems to be par for
      course for a lot of VAX books) the programs are typeset in a high quality dot
      matrix lookalike font. The effect works very well. It's also printed on very
      nice bank paper-thin sheets.

      Other highlights in this collection are:

      Engineering a Compiler - is one of the authors the famous David Cutler?

      VAX Architecture Reference Manual - this is the definitive description of the
      programming interface to the VAX. Arguably one of the greatest strengths of the
      VAX architecture was its precise definition and this is book is the main vehicle
      by which that specification was disseminated. Although the underlying
      implementation changed greatly throughout the life of the VAX the programmers
      interface remained the same. You could argue it was a 'virtual machine'.

      VAX/VMS Software Source Book - this is a 1,000 odd page directory of software
      available for the VAX, with a lot of interesting detail. Virtually all of this
      software has been lost to the mists of time - the only reason why the software
      catalog from DIGITAL itself is so complete is because a large proportion of the
      catalog was distributed on a set of CDROMs called the 'Software Product
      Library', and companies that subscribed to it got updates generally at least
      four times a year. That's a lot of CDROMs still kicking around!

      It's also nice to see so many books with female authors. I don't know what the
      statistics are, but I'd be very surprised if there wasn't a steady decline of
      female programmers over the years. It's such a shame - a mixed team has got to
      be the best option for producing quality software.

      So, tonight I give you the main highlights of my collection of VAX related
      books, from back in the day.

      Computer Programming and Architecture, The Vax-11.
      Henry M. Levy, Richard H. Eckhouse, Jr.
      Computer Programming, VAX-11 - Front

      Computer Programming, VAX-11 - Page

      VAX Assembly Language
      Sara Baase
      VAX Assembly Language - Front

      VAX Assembly Language - Page

      VAX 11 Structured Assembly Language Programming
      Robert W. Sebesta
      VAX 11 Structured Assembly - Front

      VAX 11 Structured Assembly - Page

      VAX Fortran
      Charlotte Middlebrooks

      VAX Fortran - Front

      VAX Fortran - Page

      Engineering a Compiler
      VAX-11 Code Generation and Optimization
      Patricia Arklam, David Cutler, Roger Heinen Jr., M. Donald MacLaren

      Engineering a Compiler - Front

      Engineering a Compiler - Page

      Programming Using VAX BASIC
      Wayne Muller

      VAX BASIC - Front

      VAX BASIC - Page

      David W. Weinman

      VAX FORTRAN - Front

      VAX FORTRAN - Page

      VAX Architecture Reference Manual
      edited by Timothy E. Leonard

      VAX Architecture Ref Manual - Front

      VAX Architecture Ref Manual - Page

      VAX/VMS - Concepts and Facilities
      Jay Shah
      VAX/VMS Concepts and Facilities - Front

      VAX/VMS Concepts and Facilities - Page

      VAX Architecture Handbook
      (Architecture for the 80's)
      DIGITAL Press
      VAX Architecture Handbook - Front

      VAX Architecture Handbook - Page

      VAX C Programmer's Guide
      Jay Shah
      VAX C Programmers Guide - Front

      VAX C Programmers Guide - Page

      Programming in Assembly Language VAX-11
      Edward F. Sowell
      Programming in Assembly VAX-11 - Front

      Programming in Assembly VAX-11 - Page

      VAX/VMS Software Source Book
      Sixth Edition, October 1990
      DIGITAL Press
      VAX/VMS Software Source Book - Front

      VAX/VMS Software Source Book - Page