Download Usborne Guide to Electronics of the 80s PDF

TitleUsborne Guide to Electronics of the 80s
TagsRandom Access Memory Read Only Memory Integrated Circuit Electronic Circuits Computer Data Storage
File Size17.2 MB
Total Pages27
Document Text Contents
Page 1


~~~oIiAME!iI How they workand howtowin

Page 2



Ian Graham
Edited by Lisa Watts

This book was designed by Round Designs and Roger Priddy and illustrated
by Graham Smith, Graham Round, Ian Stephen and Tony Morris.
Thanks to Simon Lowe for arcade games playing tips.
The names of the games in this book are registered trade marks. The
book has been produced independently of the games manufacturers and
the winning strategies for the games have been devised by our own experts.

Page 13

Talking games
There are lots of games which can
"speak" to you, but it is not yet possible
to build a game which can understand
spoken words. It is very difficult for a
computer to understand the human
voice as everyone speaks slightly
differently- A very large computer,
though, which has lots
of memory, can be programmed
to understand a few words.

Computers which can
talk have all the words
they can speak stored
in binary code in their
memones. Below you
can find out how this works.

Howa computer stores
There are several different ways in
which sounds can be stored, for
instance, on record or tape. A
computer, though, can store
information only in binary code, and
sounds, too, have to be coded in binary.

Most words contain several sounds
created by the arrangement of the
letters in the word. In order to speak,
the computer has to store all the sounds
for each word in its memory.

~ ~
The easiest way to do this is to break

the words up into word particles, for
instance, com-pu-ter. Each word
particle, for instance, "com", is
represented by a different piece of
binary code. The word particles can
then be put together in lots of different
ways to make different words.


In its ROM the computer has a store of
"word particles", that is, parts of words
which can be fitted together to make all
the words in the computer's vocabulary.
The word particles are in binary code,
along with rules telling the computer how
to fit them together. Instructions from the
central processing unit tell the memory
which word particles to select. They are
sent to a binary decoder where the binary
code is translated into an electrical

current. The strength of the current varies
continuously and represents the changes
in the sounds in the words. The current
then goes to a loudspeaker which vibrates
to create the correct sound waves for the
words. Making a machine speak like this
is called speech synthesis.

In this game you have to destroy
enemy spacecraft. You score more
points Ifyou hit the spacecraft while
they are attackmg. The small yellow
spacecraft with its two red escorts IS
worth a lot of points, so shoot it down
as soon as it appears. Do not try to
follow the purple spacecraft though.
They fly at acute angles and are
difficult to hit. Be careful not to stay
too long in the corners of the screen
as you are liable to be trapped there

In this game you control a spaceship
at the base of the screen. The game
has five phases and the aim ofthe
game is to survive the attacks by the
birds in the firstfour phases so that
you can destroy the alien spaceship
and pilot in the fifthphase.

In the first and second phases,
fire at the birds before they break
out of formation They are easier to
hit like this, although they are not
worth so many points.

In the second phase you can fire
more rapidly, so aim at the highest
concentrations of birds and destroy
them with continuous fire.

In the third and fourth phases, try
and destroy the eggs before they
hatch into birds which can drop
bombs. Ifan egg hatches, you have
to destroy the bird by hitting it full in
the centre.

When the saucer appears,
destroy all but one of its guard
birds. Ifyou destroy all of them, a
new set appears. Then shoot a hole
through the protective ring round
the ship, and through the bottom of
the ship, so you can get at the pilot. 23

Page 14

Playing games with a microcomputer
You can play any game you want on
a microcomputer, and you can
invent your own games too, A micro
has all the same parts as a computer
game, except for the games
program You give a micro its
program by typmg on the
keyboard, or by plugging in a
prerecorded program from a ROM
cartndge or cassette, You can find
out more about this, and about
writino your own programs, over
the page, Here, there are some
examples of the kinds of games you
can play on a micro


.=...--------------=~-"-- --..::..-_""":.-______ .......a •••..• -.-\.,;,,;, _------ •.....• _-----

Most microcomputers consist of a keyboard
which you plug into a TV set. The game, or
any other program you give the computer, is
displayed on the TV screen, The kind of
games you can play depends on how much
memory the computer has, A computer with
a memory of 16K(K stands for kilobytes and

one kilobyte is a thousand bytes), can cope
with complex games such as chess and
imitation arcade games, With a smaller
memory of 4K to 6K you can play quite
reasonable games and with a memory of IK
you can play only very simple games, You
can buy extra memory for some micros.

This is a version of an arcade game
called Scramble which you can play on
a micro, You can also buy programs for
versions of Space Invaders, Missile
Command and Asteroids to play on
most micros.

Howa micro works

You can play chess on a
microcomputer. The computer
displays all its own moves and yours on
the TV screen, and it can beat all but the

24 very best players,

Like all other computers, a micro is made up
of chips and has a central processing unit
(called CPU for short), a permanent memory
(ROM) and a temporary memory (RAM),
Some micros have as few as four chips to do


all the work, but an average sized micro has a
printed circuit board similar to that in an
arcade game,

In a micro, the ROM contains instructions
telling the micro how to work, and the
programs you give it are stored in the RAM,

This is a game called lunar lander in
which you have to land a space ship
safely on the moon, taking into account
how much fuel you have and the
velocity and drift of the ship,

,... ....,
STAMINA .•... , 80
PSi 20
TREASURE •...•.....•...... 125



This is an "adventure game". The
computer describes a hazardous
adventure in words on the screen and
asks you what you want to do at various
stages. Your decisions affect what
happens to you in the adventure. There
are lots of different kinds of adventure
games. Some are very complex,
needing large computer memories and
often taking weeks to solve.

This is a maze game in which you have
to catch a creature in a maze inhabited
by bats, beasts and other hazards such
as slime pits. 25

Page 26

adventure games, 25, 40
arcade games, 6-7, II, 12, 19,

Asteroids, 24, 45

how to win at, 7
Astro Wars, 5
Atari, 36, 37, 38

BASIC, programming
language, 13,26-27,47

Battlezone, 38, 44
how to win at, 15

Belle, champion chess
computer, 31

binary code, 10, 11, 16,22,23,

bit, 10
byte, 10, 11,25,47

cartridges, games, 12, 16, 17,

cassettes, 24, 26, 27
central processing unit, see

chess, 24, 2S, 28-31, 46
chips, 4, 5, 6,10-11,16,17,24,

how they are made, 34-35

circuits, 4, 10, 16,34,40,46
coin accepter, 6
computer code, 10, 17,20,34,

Computer Space, 36
computers, first, 28, 36
Cosmic Avenger, 44
CPU (central processing unit),

8, 11,23,24,47

dedicated computers, 12,28,

Defender, 7, 44
disk drive, 27
display, 5, 9,14,34,35,37,40
Donkey Kong, 44

Video creatures answers

electronic components, 5, 36
EPROM chip, 35

Field Goal, how to win at, 43
floppy disks, 27
fluorescent tube display, 5, 14
£rogger, how to win at, 19

Galaxian, 44
how to win at, 21

hand-held games, 4-5, 6, II, 12,

handsets, 16, 17
hardware, 47

joystick, 17

keyboard, micro, 13, 24
kilobytes, 24

liquid crystal display, 14,29,

Little Professor, 39
loudspeaker, 6, 15,20,21,23
lunar lander, 25
Lunar Rescue, how to win at, 21

memory, computer's, 8-9,12,
size of;ll, 18,24-25,30,40

microcomputers, 13,24-27,34,

microprocessors, 6, 10, 11, 12,

Missile Command, 24
how to win at, 9

monitor, 6

Pac-man, 44
how to win at, 13

permanent memory, see ROM
Phoenix, how to win at, 23
player's controls, S, 6, 8-9,17,35

printed circuit board, 5, 6, II,

program, 12, 13, 16,24,26-27,

programmable computers, 12, 13
pulses, 10,12-13,20,21,34,46

Qix, how to win at, 13

RAM (temporary memory), 8-9,
10, II, 15, 17, 24, 29, 30, 32, 47

records, world, 7, 45
resistors, 11
robot 2XL, 39
ROM (permanent memory), 8,

10, II, 12, 16,22,23,24,29,

score, 9,15,17,34
Scramble, 24

how to win at, 19
seven segment display, 15
silicon, 4, 10,34,36,40
simulation, 38
sound effects,S, 6, 20-21
Space Invaders, 24, 44

how to win at, 43
Speak and Maths, 39
Speak and Spell, 39
speech synthesis, 23, 28, 40
Stratos, how to win at, 43
Super Pong, 37
Swarm, how to win at, 23

Tempest, 44
temporary memory, see RAM
transistors, 11,36
TV games, 16-17,26,34,37,40

screen pictures, 17, 18,24
Turk, the, 28

watch, invaders on a, II
Wizard of Wor, 44

1. Centipede; 2. Warrior from Wizard of Wor;
3. Briter from Defender; 4. Donkey Kong;
5. Bomber from Defender; 6. Monster from
Pac-man; 7. Spiker from Tempest; 8. Pac-man;
9. Alien from Space Invaders; 10. Submarine
Irom Cosmic Avenger; 11. Worluk from
Wizard ofWor; 12. Fuseballfrom Tempest;
13, Mutant from Defender; 14. Galaxian;
15. Defender; 16. Wizard ofWor;
17. Battlezone.

First published in 1982 by Usborne Publishing
Ltd, 20 Garrick Street, London WC2E 9Bl,
© 1982 Usbome Publishing
The name Usborne and the device ~
are Trade Marks ofUsbome Publishing Ltd.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication
may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording or otherwise, without the prior
permission of the publisher.48

Page 27

Usborne Computer Books
Computers are fun. You can play games with them, ask them questions, write
poetry with them and play music on them too. This colourful new series of books
shows you some of the exciting things computers can do and explains how they
work and how to use them. Written in clear and simple language with lots of
pictures, these books provide a fun introduction to computers and computing for
absolute beginners.

Understanding the Micro
A colourful guide to
microcomputers, how they
work and what they can do,
with lots of ideas for things
you can do with a micro.

Computer Games
A colourful look at how
computers play Space
Invaders, chess and other
games, with lots of tips on
how to beat the computer.

Computer Programming
A step-by-step guide to
programming in BASIC for
absolute beginners. With
lots ofprogrmnsto run on
any microcomputer.

Usborne Computer Fun
These two superbly
illustrated books are
packed with games
proqrams to play on a
microcomputer. Each game
is suitable for use on
the most common micros,
and there are lots of tips and
hints for writing your own

Published in the USA by
Hayes Books, 8141 East
44th Street, Tulsa,
Oklahoma 74145, USA.


Published in Canada by
Hayes Publishing Ltd,
3312 Mainway, Burlington,
Ontario, Canada, L7M 1A7.

Published in Australia by
Rigby Publishing Ltd,
Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne
and Brisbane.


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