Slightly OT: Computer internals book recommendations

Eric Christopherson echristopherson at
Sat Nov 18 17:57:10 CST 2017

The fascinating discussion Jim just started on buses got me thinking
again about a book I've been trying to track down for a while. While
it's not necessarily classic-computing-oriented, it's not really about
newfangled computers either; heck, I encountered it in 2003 or so, so
it'd be pretty dated by now.

Basically, I'm looking for a certain book (although really any book in
the same vein would satisfy), which was on computer system architecture,
organization, etc.; it talked about the usual boolean logic, assembly
programming in some fictitious instruction set, an overview of two
actual architectures (I think at that time they were 32-bit x86 and
64-bit POWER). The other thing I remember very specifically was there
was a place near the back (probably an appendix) that talked about
one or more specific buses (I think at least PCI was there), with timing
diagrams to tell you what was actually going back and forth between the
bus and CPU.

Like I said, I'm sort of keen on finding the exact book I had, but I
realize that's somewhat unrealistic, so I'm open to recommendations on
any book like that. And if it can cover the relavant concepts for both
classic and newish computers, that would be great.

Basically what I hope to learn is how you actually deal with
peripherals, add-in cards, etc., on the assembly language level, and
what that really translates into on a signaling level. I only really
know a little about how to do that in memory-mapped IO systems like the
Commodores (and to be honest I don't understand how the buses work
there, just how to poke and peek.)


        Eric Christopherson

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