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Cat For Adoption

Creative Hand-Made Hardware Projects

This was the first book I was commissioned to write, and it was followed in a matter of weeks by BBC Micro Assembly Language, so I had two books on the go at once – something that was to become quite common as the years progressed!

I’m can’t remember how the book came about. At the time I wasn’t especially interested in interfacing projects, so I’m assuming that publishers Addison Wesley approached me, probably via Acorn User magazine. I have vague memories of an initial meeting at the publishers office in central London.

I was working in Moorgate (London) at the time in an R&D depart at Gallenkamp (makers of scientific equipment) and managed to rope one of my colleagues into helping with the various projects featured in the book. In fact the project’s were all Ray Harris' creation. I wrote the text and we developed the programs to drive them together. The book was a big hit and people still write to me about it this to this very day.

I kept hold of the majority of the projects until 2004. In May that year I was getting ready to move to Sydney (my wife is Australian) and I can recall standing in the driveway of my house in St. Albans with the cardboard box containing the projects and debating if I could take them to Australia with me. The dustbin won in the end. A shame as it would have been interesting to have connected them to the Raspberry Pi years later.

The manuscript for the book was hand written, although the programs were all printed on a dot-matix printer for inclusion as camera-ready artwork in the book. The illustrations in the book were all the work of Ray Harris, and the photos were taken by another Gallenkamp colleague – Charlie Moore.

Published in 1984,  at 134 pages it was a relatively thin tome but that hid the huge amount of work and effort that went into it. Some of the projects were quite exciting for the time it was written – using my friends drawing board as an X-Y Plotter was by far my favourite.

The program listings in the book where output to a dot-matrix (yes, dot-matrix) printer and these were used directly as artwork for the book. With time these have fadded and therefore those in the book copy I used to create the PDF are not great.

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Raspberry Pi OS Assembley Language