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Thread: Looking for low-level x86 assembly language and/or C development work

  1. #21

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    I've *heard* (though haven't confirmed) that in-depth knowledge of x86 assembly language is still quite valuable in the fields of hardware/software security research.

    Being familiar with the low-level stuff going on behind the scenes helps expose and understand vulnerabilities in everything from operating systems to CPU designs.
    int10h.org :: :: :: blog

  2. #22

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    I imagine that's true. It's very useful on embedded, although of course you are looking at 8 bit architectures or ARM usually.

    Handy for debugging and for optimising.

  3. #23
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    I'm not aware of anyone doing anything but small-scale routines on ARM in assembly. I think C/C++ reigns supreme in that area--the compilers are generally pretty good, the register file is generous and 32-bit. There is a movement to use Ada in the embedded world, but it always seemed to be a bit of a fringe effort.

    One aspect of ARM programming is that you're generally not of a mind to fix your code to a specific processor or even vendor, as new ones seem to pop up monthly. This is where a good cross-platform library and compiler can pay off hugely. I've noticed that there's a point where more capable STM32F7 Cortex processors are actually cheaper than the older STM32F4 ones.

  4. #24

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    To give you an example I wrote a pretty big chunk of assembler for a high performance signal processing application that needed to use NEON instructions. Back then the official ARM compiler based on GCC wasn't very good for that kind of thing. It's based on LLVM now and maybe it's better, I don't know.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcdosretro View Post
    I was at VCF West for both of those shows so it was likely me as I recall mentioning that I worked on PC DOS 7 to someone in the consignment area. I didn't make it to the last two shows though.

    Here's what I did on PC DOS 7 - https://sites.google.com/site/pcdosretro/dosmods

    I also worked on adapting Phoenix BIOS (which was a huge mess) and General Software Embedded BIOS to specific hardware and I've seen the old Award 4.51 PG codebase and of course the IBM PC family BIOSes as well as the AT&T PC 6300 BIOS (also listed in a technical reference manual). Unlike most people I truly enjoy assembly language programming and see it as easy and fairly straightforward.
    Hello
    perhaps off topic
    But do happen to know exactly what instruction in the original BIOS (ibm pc) that halts newer cpu's ?
    ..i found that a IBM5150a from 1982 do not boot with Inboard386 and 586 cpu's, but if i switch BIOS to the newer SUPER-XT bios the inboard with 586 cpu starts just fine ?

    Other question - do you happen to know the Netroom3 loadable ABIOS , and do you know how compatible it is ?
    (need to say - i do not have a copy of that file , only my bought copy of Netroom3)
    .i do mention the Netroom3 in this post : http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...nd-compability

    i still have much to learn about the old IBM pc, but any new information to enlighten this topic, is appreciated
    /cimonvg

  6. #26

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    Does anyone use assembly language in the industry anymore?

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirin View Post
    Does anyone use assembly language in the industry anymore?
    Yeah, Steve Gibson.
    Daniel P. Cayea - The Lyon Mountain Company - Plattsburgh, New York 12901
    Vintage Equipment: IBM 5150 * IBM 5161 * ThinkPad 770ED
    Modern Equipment: MacBook Pro 13 * Alienware M15R3

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirin View Post
    Does anyone use assembly language in the industry anymore?
    Sure, I use it regularly.

    Sometimes I need code to be as small or as fast as possible, sometimes the C compiler can't be relied upon to produce deterministic timing.

  9. #29
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    I try not to, if it can be avoided. I do more cross-platform stuff nowadays and don't want to spend time how to say the same thing optimally on different ISAs.

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