This book is directed to the person interested in obtaining a complete understanding of the design and capabilities of the ATARI 800 computer. It opens the door to many applications of the ATARI 800. It differs from many books in that it explains fundamental microprocessor techniques while it enables you to use your own ATARI effectively .
Software packages are available that will enable the user of an ATARI 800 to begin running programs without spending time learning the basic fundamentals. However, to write and run programs effectively, the programmer should have a fundamental understanding of the components that make up the ATARI 800. This knowledge begins with the microprocessor chips, memory chips, and I/O chips . It extends to the keyboard and switches for setting up an instrument or device, transducers for sensing inputs, actuators for control, devices for communicating with remote computers and other instruments, devices to provide extra storage capability, and printers and displays for informing the user of results.
Once the basic components of the machine are understood, the programmer must thoroughly understand programming processes and be able to translate these into the language of the ATARI 800. It is also helpful for the programmer to understand how the extensive requirements of the ATARI 800 can be broken down into manageable parts and how sections of programs can be written to meet each requirement. Finally, the programmer must be able to put the software parts together into a coordinated whole so that the overall goals of the program are met.
To the novice, all of these requirements may seem a little much to conquer right at the beginning, but this book is designed to lead you step-by-step— taking first things first— until even the beginner will be able to program the ATARI 800just like a seasoned pro.
Some of the initial data may seem immaterial at first , but as you get more and more into actual programming, all of this material will "gel"— and result in a thorough knowledge of the ATARI 800 and how to program it to suit personal needs.