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Thread: Resources for learning Ye Olde Assembly (X86)

  1. #21

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    Be advised different approaches work for different people. I just took a look at the Duntemann book, and with all due respect the first 20 or so pages talking about getting the kids ready for school and Martians just drove me crazy. That's why I like the Abel book so much. It gets to the point, was seemingly structured perfectly (from my vantage point anyway), didn't insult my ignorance of the subject, and did the trick. I had tried other books, including the masm manual, which someone gave me (Tandy 2000 version), and all failed miserably. The masm manual may have set the groundwork for properly learning the subject.

    I'm even queasy about recommending the 2nd ed. as I haven't taken the oppurtunity to compare them side by side. They resemble one another, so my guess is they're similar. But a guess is only a guess.

    I also picked up Leo Scanlon's book, I'll get exact title and all, and didn't read the whole thing, but it's treatment of binary math was superb. It asked and answered every relevant question I could think of.

  2. #22

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    IBM PC Assembler Language and Programming 1st ed. 0134481437

    IBM PC Assembly Language and Programming 2ND ed. 0134489454

    IBM PC & XT Assembly Language A Guide for Programmers, Leo J. Scanlon 0893032417

    - there's an earlier version that drops "& XT" from the title

    Assembly Language Programming for the IBM PC AT, Leo J. Scanlon 0893034843

    - never cracked the cover

    Programmer's Problem Solver for the IBM PC, XT, & AT, Robert Jourdan 0893037877

    -solutions in BASIC and assembly language, interesting, but only skimmed

    Microprocessors and Interfacing Programming and Hardware, Douglas V. Hall 0070255261

    -*not* recommended for assembler treatment, but good hardware book. To each his own.

    Experiments in Microprocessors and Interfacing ... , Hall ● Pat Hunter 007025527x

    -lab manual for above, usilizes Intel SDK-86 board, doesn't teach you how to build an 8086 board, dissapointing.

    https://www.amazon.com/IBM-Personal-.../dp/0201069180

    This book has 4 (early) versions IIRC, 2nd and 3rd and 4th include mentions of the Peanut, AT, and PS/2's, respectively. I can't remember which version I had, 1 or 2, but I recall it being very good.

    Interfacing to the IBM Personal Computer, I recently bought the 2nd edition, thinking it may be an improvement on the original I have a digital copy of somewhere, I didn't likenit. Maybe the 1st ed. sucked too.

  3. Default

    Icebit,

    Thank you very much for your extensive recommendations and the ISBNs.

    I've ordered a 2nd edition of Abel's book, for now.

    Be advised different approaches work for different people. I just took a look at the Duntemann book, and with all due respect the first 20 or so pages talking about getting the kids ready for school and Martians just drove me crazy.
    Some of it was a bit much, but I don't mind skimming over material that assumes I don't understand something as much as I do trudging through material that assumes I do. In any case this thread has provided me with a lot of great resources to work with.

    Much appreciated!

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2icebitn View Post
    We all need a thorough review ...


    Well I don't know ASM, so I guess it's not that good. OTOH, as is often the case that could just be me. Couple of points. That edition of the book is 16-bit only. there are others see:
    http://www.plantation-productions.co...com/index.html

    There used to be a mirror that wasn't quite so hard on the eyes. The first few chapters are more about the operation of the CPU. For example explaining say ADD in terms of a bit pattern, how the control unit interprets this etc, etc. All quite interesting stuff. Then a simplified version of ASM is explained, followed by 8086. It all seems logically set out. But I don't have anything to compare it to, and don't really know much about it, so I could not really give an accurate review. I may get the one you recommended.
    Looking for: OMTI SMS Scientific Micro Systems 8610 or 8627 ESDI ISA drive controller, May also be branded Core HC, Please PM me if you want to part with one.

  5. #25

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    @IC - it was my pleasure. Just understand we don't have any natural tendency to understand certain things, many things. 16 bit assembler is like that for most people. Some of IBM big iron was structured that way, segments and offsets. It really isn't a huge deal, it just has to be taught right. We want to be able to own newly acquired knowledge. The trick though sometimes is just take it in and let it gestate. With his book though I sat there with pen and paper and wrote down what was relevant (I don't do that shirt anymore, I use a computer, Land O' Goshen!). And it didn't take long before it clicked. Coming in with a certain perspective and knowledge about computers, a kind of "with enough switches, anything is possible" perspective, not even necessarily knowing how a transistor functioned at the time, made it work. Some crap like that.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by mR_Slug View Post


    Well I don't know ASM, so I guess it's not that good. OTOH, as is often the case that could just be me. Couple of points. That edition of the book is 16-bit only. there are others see:
    http://www.plantation-productions.co...com/index.html

    There used to be a mirror that wasn't quite so hard on the eyes. The first few chapters are more about the operation of the CPU. For example explaining say ADD in terms of a bit pattern, how the control unit interprets this etc, etc. All quite interesting stuff. Then a simplified version of ASM is explained, followed by 8086. It all seems logically set out. But I don't have anything to compare it to, and don't really know much about it, so I could not really give an accurate review. I may get the one you recommended.
    With all due respect I think you may be looking at it in too complicated a fashion. Just try and focus on learning some simple rules and learning how to get something basic working. I feel for you if you picked up a wrong book or two.

  7. #27

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    Ok, I read your post too fast. Apologies. You were explaining how the book was laid out. I dislike it already LOL. Again to each their own. A lot of people have learned this stuff. But I heard a lot of complaints. One guy said he took a course, passed it somehow but didn't really understand anything, then 6 months later it all clicked.

  8. #28

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    I have recently become familiar with assembly language for the 8088. Three books I have found very helpful are the book by Singh & Triebel (apparently Triebel worked for Intel). This book has many programming examples especial with debugging examples. Another book by Joerg Mayer is helpful and gets into programming right away. The other book is by James L. Antonakis. (Sorry I don't have the exact book titles on hand, I'm away from home).This book came with a 3.5" diskette with many programming examples and some clever graphics programs. Also in this book is an entire design example for the hardware design of an 8088 computer, complete with a software monitor. Also examples for programming to send data out the parallel port and use a DAC to generate sine waves etc. Prior to having these books I had only programmed in BASIC, but now most programming jobs for my 5155 computer I go straight to assembly language as its so much faster, especially on my vintage 5155 computer. I have installed MASM & LINK on the 5155's HDD, so it's a quick task to make the .EXE's. I can also make .COM's too, with EXE2BIN.

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