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'Assembly Language Books'
1998\10\02@103949 by myke predko

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Wow!  I didn't think I'd get so many replies.  I have read/have a number of
these books, but I thought it would be worthwhile putting them all down
(with the contributors and my comments):

>Using Assembly Language, 3rd Edition, Allen L. Wyatt Sr., 1992 QUE Books
>ISBN 0-88022-884-9


>"Assembler Inside & Out", by Harley Hahn - Excellent for those with
>little or no programming experience. Experienced programmers will get
>off to a fast start with this text.

I've had this for a few years, not a bad book but doesn't really extend on
beyond the basics.  You'll need a good Tech. Ref. for both the i86 and PC.

{Quote hidden}

I looked at this seriously (about the same time) but didn't buy it for some
reason.  To be honest, I think it was because I was sick of Peter Norton
being everywhere and being hailed as the ultimate authority on the PC (kind
of like Scott Adams).


{Quote hidden}

I have the first edition of this as well (Published 1983) - I'm confused
because my version references the MS Assembler but does everything in
"debug.com".  There wasn't a diskette that came with it.

It is one of the best books that I have for explaining the '86, but the copy
I have references FCB file transfers, instead of handle based file I/O
(well, it was written before MD-DOS 2.0 was released).


>There are a couple of good books by Michael Abrash, "Zen and the Art of
>Assembly Language", and another one I can't remember the title to.  These are
>advanced books, but full of nice tricks and tips.  Mike's gone on to that big
>company in the Northwest since he wrote those, but don't hold that against him.

"Zen..." is a good book *after* you've done the basic assembly language
programming and are ready to move up.  I found it to be an intermediate book
that got old fast.


{Quote hidden}

This was another book I left on the shelf and I can't quite remember why.  I
suspect it had to do with not having a significant amount of BIOS/MS-DOS API
Information.


I'll go through this information and add it to the "Book Room" under
"Programming Resources".

myke

If you're curious to know what Houdini looked like as a leading man; check
out "Houdini: A Pictorial Biography".

http://www.myke.com/Book_Room/book1a.htm

1998\10\02@135431 by Andy Kunz

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>being everywhere and being hailed as the ultimate authority on the PC (kind
>of like Scott Adams).

Hey, Mike, are you some kind of in-DUH-vidual or something to not like
Scott Adams?

Andy

==================================================================
Andy Kunz - Statistical Research, Inc. - Westfield, New Jersey USA
==================================================================

1998\10\03@232005 by myke predko

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Andy Kunz Responded to my comment:
>>being everywhere and being hailed as the ultimate authority on the PC (kind
>>of like Scott Adams).
>
>Hey, Mike, are you some kind of in-DUH-vidual or something to not like
>Scott Adams?

I didn't say I didn't like Scott Adams (in fact, I *really* like him); the
point was, him (and his roly-poly mouthless creations) are everywhere!


Just as a comment on the books that were suggested on the list yesterday;
they're all out of print.  I was kinda amazed by that, but you can't find
one of any of them new in a bookstore.

If that's the list this group can come up with, it's obvious that we've gone
on to smaller and better things.

myke

Look at the accomplishments and people that made them happen over the past
1,000 years in "The LIFE Millennium".

http://www.myke.com/Book_Room/book1a.htm

1998\10\04@003237 by William Chops Westfield

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   Just as a comment on the books that were suggested on the list yesterday;
   they're all out of print.  I was kinda amazed by that, but you can't find
   one of any of them new in a bookstore.

People don't program PCs in assembly any more.  The last time it was a
reasonable thing to do was probably slightly before the 286 machines came
out, and now it's close to laughable.  What is the average program these
days, anyway?  10% new code and 90% windows libraries and system calls?

There's still call to program xxx86s in assembly language, of course,
for really small or really fast applications, but not on PCs.  PC
programmers (or would-be PC programmers) are where the book sales are -
there's plenty of books on Java and Visual Basic...

I didn't have much trouble picking up the 8086 assembler from Intel's
manuals, WAY back when - the instruction set description assumed an
implied (strongly typed!) assembler syntax, and they were nicely grouped
in catagories.  Of course, it was something like my 6th processor to
program in assembly, and Intel may have followed MicroSoft into the
depths of awful manuals.

The MIT (?) freeware unix cross-assembler is probably still available,
although it doesn't use the Intel syntax.

68000 based Macintoshes are pretty cheap (used) these days if you want
to try your hand at 68k assembler.

BillW

1998\10\04@041038 by g.daniel.invent.design

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William Chops Westfield wrote:
>
>     Just as a comment on the books that were suggested on the list yesterday;
>     they're all out of print.  I was kinda amazed by that, but you can't find
>     one of any of them new in a bookstore.
>
> People don't program PCs in assembly any more.  The last time it was a
> reasonable thing to do was probably slightly before the 286 machines came
> out, and now it's close to laughable.  What is the average program these
> days, anyway?  10% new code and 90% windows libraries and system calls?
>
<cut>
> BillW

Dick Smiths Electronics sell "PC Architecture & Assembly language" by
Bary Kauler (still going 1995 anyway) (publisher Karda Prints in
OZtraaaaaalia)   Has companion disk with pop up Assembley reference,
also DOS services etc.

Shareware Assembler is also included.

As Bill generalized above, assembly language programming is kind of past
it's use by date today *unless* high speed drivers or intimate control
of processor is required.

regards,
Graham Daniel.

1998\10\04@072726 by Peter L. Peres

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On Sat, 3 Oct 1998, William Chops Westfield wrote:

> People don't program PCs in assembly any more.  The last time it was a
> reasonable thing to do was probably slightly before the 286 machines came
> out, and now it's close to laughable.  What is the average program these
> days, anyway?  10% new code and 90% windows libraries and system calls?

pmfji, people DO program PCs in assembly nowadays, especially inline
assembly and embedded language startup/init/boot sequences as well as fast
IO, both on embedded x86 and on real size PCs.

The assembler used by the compilation process of the Linux kernel (as86)
will assemble happily x86 assembly. as86 is freeware.

The Borland Tasm products were among the best documented imho and it may
be worth your while to hunt down an original copy with manuals, second
hand. (the online manuals are worth most of the money though ;)

There is a shareware assembler for 386 and up by ?? Aaronson ?? that has a
less cretin segment/procedure declaration syntax than the mainstream
product. (why ?: f.ex. it is almost impossible to write straight code for
a boot sector using M$ masm, you need to hack the ORGs etc. to fool the
COM model into placing code at offset +0000. Been there. Aiee.).

imho, the *writing* of a at least a functional boot sector from scratch
for a PC should be required 'reading' for any would-be embedded PC
programmer. I did set and fulfill this goal when I was there, and I was
never to be sorry for it...

Nearly all assembler packages used to come with a book by a third party on
assembly for beginners. These can be found now in 2nd hand technical
bookstores, used, for a handshake and a smile. I have a small pile of
them but I'm pretty far away... one of the best books on the matter imho
was the 'Assembly Language Bible', Wiley (?) written loosely around
Borland TASM syntax. I've misplaced my copy a few years ago ;(

Peter

1998\10\04@083203 by Tom Handley

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  Myke, what book/s do you recommend (putting you `out on a limb' ;-)?
I'm an old Motorola guy who has also done a lot of 8080/Z80 and some
x86 work. I'm looking for an advanced book that also includes a good summary
of instructions for the x86 and Pentium. A good coverage of interfacing to
Windows and DLLs is desirable. I have some books on the subject in my Watcom
C/C++ and VBASIC manuals. Thanks,

  - Tom

[snip many book references]

{Quote hidden}

1998\10\04@101150 by myke predko

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I wrote:
>    Just as a comment on the books that were suggested on the list yesterday;
>    they're all out of print.  I was kinda amazed by that, but you can't find
>    one of any of them new in a bookstore.
>
>People don't program PCs in assembly any more.  The last time it was a
>reasonable thing to do was probably slightly before the 286 machines came
>out, and now it's close to laughable.  What is the average program these
>days, anyway?  10% new code and 90% windows libraries and system calls?

I disagree with this statement's totality although I think there's a point
in the last sentence; I believe it is still reasonable to write .DLLs and
VxDs (and soon, WDMs) in Assembler.  Yes, I think doing complete
applications in assembler because of the complexity of the processors and
O/S, but there there are still hardware I/F routines that can be best done
in Assembler.

:

>I didn't have much trouble picking up the 8086 assembler from Intel's
>manuals, WAY back when - the instruction set description assumed an
>implied (strongly typed!) assembler syntax, and they were nicely grouped
>in catagories.  Of course, it was something like my 6th processor to
>program in assembly, and Intel may have followed MicroSoft into the
>depths of awful manuals.

I learned it the same way (my progression was PDP-11, 6502, Mot6800, Z-80
and S/370 Assembly Languages) and then I had to work with it in "IBM"
mnemonics, which pointed to the Intel docs.  Once you figure out 8086
segment addressing, it's a pretty easy architecture to work with.

>The MIT (?) freeware unix cross-assembler is probably still available,
>although it doesn't use the Intel syntax.

If it doesn't use Intel syntax/mnemonics, then avoid it.

>68000 based Macintoshes are pretty cheap (used) these days if you want
>to try your hand at 68k assembler.

I think somebody wanting to learn to program the Mac in Assembler would be
better off getting a used PowerPC.

Tom Handley Asked:

>   Myke, what book/s do you recommend (putting you `out on a limb' ;-)?
>I'm an old Motorola guy who has also done a lot of 8080/Z80 and some
>x86 work. I'm looking for an advanced book that also includes a good summary
>of instructions for the x86 and Pentium. A good coverage of interfacing to
>Windows and DLLs is desirable. I have some books on the subject in my Watcom
>C/C++ and VBASIC manuals. Thanks,

Start with "Assembly Language: Step-By-Step" by Jeff Duntemann (ISBN
0471578142) and then go to "Assembly Language Master Class" by Igor Chebotko
et al. (ISBN 1874416346).  Finally, if you're *really* masochistic, there's
Barry Kauler's "Windows Assembly Language and Systems Programming: 16 and 32
Bit Low-Level Programming for the PC and Windows" (ISBN 087930474X) - he
reminds me of a guy I knew when I first started at IBM; this guy wrote
*everything* is S/370 assembler (no PL/1 or PL/S).

The rumour was he wrote everything in assembler because that way nobody
could fire him.  As students, another guy and I were given the task of
supporting his applications after he was shown the door.  It was really well
written, but we ended up porting most of it to PL/S (which was one of the
smartest things I ever did).

myke

Look at the accomplishments and people that made them happen over the past
1,000 years in "The LIFE Millennium".

http://www.myke.com/Book_Room/book1a.htm

1998\10\06@004934 by Tom Handley

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  Myke, thanks. I'll check out those books. The last two sound very
interesting. My main interest is writing DLLs and drivers.

  - Tom

At 10:10 AM 10/4/98 -0400, myke predko wrote:
[snip]
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