REVIEW - PC Interfacing, Communications and Windows Programming


PC Interfacing, Communications and Windows Programming


William Buchanan




Addison-Wesley (1998)




Brian Bramer


June 1999



This text deals mainly with PC architecture and programming. In essence it is in eight parts (1) PC evolution from the 8086 to the Pentium II, the instruction set/memory addressing, the chipset (8250 UART, 8259 PIC, 8255 PPI, 8254 PTC) and the interrupt system and the BIOS. (2) buses (ISA, MCA, VESA, PCI, IDE, SCSI, etc.) together with a breakdown of a Pentium motherboard. (3) serial and parallel ports (including interrupt programming under DOS). (4) Visual Basic programming. (5) Architecture of the Windows operating system (drivers, file system, processes management, etc.) (6) Win32 programming. (7) Networking overview with TCP/IP and Ethernet in some detail. (8) Java programming.

As one can see this covers a lot of PC related topics from basic hardware and interfacing to programming in VB and Java. It is well organised and readable with plenty of sample code (assembler, C, VB and Java) and good explanations. Too specialised to be a set book for a module on computer architecture (fundamentals of architecture are not covered in detail and there is more to computers than the PC - the architecture of which is really a cobbled together mess). Insufficient detail for an engineer developing PC hardware and the VB and Java only introductory overviews. However, a useful reference to the PC and worth considering by anyone who wishes to get an overview of the PC or needs to interface to the hardware (e.g. serial or parallel ports) and then write application programs.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.