Why learn assembler ?

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How many programming languages have you used ?

None - I'm not that much of a geek
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Total votes : 13

Why learn assembler ?

Postby Nigel » Sun Jul 23, 2006 12:45 am

Why not ?

IMHO it's good for the soul. It's one of those things that will mark you out as a "real" programmer, rather than some Pascal/PHP writing quiche-eater. To get it right you have to actually understand what is going on inside your computer.

Of course, in these days of high speed processors and cheap memory, very few people actually need to write in assembler (I haven't done any since the late 1980s), but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.

Good luck... and keep us posted on the progress of MikeOS !
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RE: Why learn assembler ?

Postby Rhakios » Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:24 am

Does programming my video recorder count?

:)
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RE: Why learn assembler ?

Postby Nigel » Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:25 am

Given the complexity, appalling instructions and general user-unfriendliness of the last one I bought, probably ! ;)
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Re: Why learn assembler ?

Postby M-Saunders » Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:33 am

Nigel wrote:Good luck... and keep us posted on the progress of MikeOS !


MikeOS can now load and run external programs from disk! Oh, and it has a music keyboard simulator (albeit using the PC speaker). A few more features and it'll be ready for enterprise deployments in synergised data silo paradigms!

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Re: Why learn assembler ?

Postby Nigel » Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:43 am

M-Saunders wrote: A few more features and it'll be ready for enterprise deployments in synergised data silo paradigms!


Are you going to put a copy on the coverDVD sometime soon so we can all marvel at it's features & compactness ?
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Re: Why learn assembler ?

Postby M-Saunders » Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:18 pm

Nigel wrote:Are you going to put a copy on the coverDVD sometime soon so we can all marvel at it's features & compactness ?


Sure, when we've finished the Getting Started with MikeOS special...

:-)

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RE: Re: Why learn assembler ?

Postby Rhakios » Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:25 pm

So, LXF is getting a new look because it has been renamed MikeOS Format?

:)
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RE: Re: Why learn assembler ?

Postby towy71 » Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:27 pm

aye and going for a smaller format too :roll:
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RE: Re: Why learn assembler ?

Postby Rhakios » Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:42 pm

Poor old Mike, someone always has to play the midget card :lol:
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RE: Re: Why learn assembler ?

Postby jjmac » Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:59 pm

>>
Does programming my video recorder count?
>>

Yes,

>>
Of course, in these days of high speed processors and cheap memory, very few people actually need to write in assembler
>>

True, but it doesn't hurt to at least have some handle on what assembler is trying to describe. It doesn't necessarily mean that video recorder logic is all of a sudden going to make sense though.

An interesting trick is to just draw up something really simple. A main f() with maybe just an integer declared and assigned. Compiled with the "-static -S" switches. Soon becomes obvious why higher languages just had to be invented.

It can be so frustrating, following all the advice and going into the source to try and understand some aspect of functioning ... and then finding the bits that really describe how something works, are all in friggin assembler (eek.png).

Glad i wasn't one of those poor critters who had to do stuff like that all the time. It tends to make me think of early "print" when some people, kids, were only taught how to read in mirror writting. Just so they could carve out wooden type face blocks.


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Re: RE: Re: Why learn assembler ?

Postby Nigel » Mon Jul 24, 2006 8:31 pm

jjmac wrote:Glad i wasn't one of those poor critters who had to do stuff like that all the time. It tends to make me think of early "print" when some people, kids, were only taught how to read in mirror writting. Just so they could carve out wooden type face blocks.


I started out doing maintenance programming (aka bug fixing) on a program for writing machine tool control programs. Written by committee in spaghetti-Fortran & Plan (the ICL 1900 assembler). As I say, good for the soul (and it really makes you appreciate well-commented code !).

A bit later on I had to modify a device driver for a DG Nova clone to accept input from either of two devices - sounds simple (and the kernel hackers would say it is simple compared to what they do), but it involved getting right down into the guts of the machine, using the front panel switches & lights to debug it. Great for geek-cred, glad I had the chance to do it, never want to go there again :wink:

I like to think that doing some assembler has made me a better high-level language programmer... at least it did in my Fortran days - colleagues might have other opinions of my C code :roll:
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RE: Re: RE: Re: Why learn assembler ?

Postby jjmac » Mon Jul 24, 2006 9:12 pm

:D

>>
glad I had the chance to do it, never want to go there again
>>

:D, I used to really like pulling machinery apart. Now i would be inclind to hide out somewhere. (grin).

I think i felt the most excitement, when i was first learning BASIC, rather than anything else. But i wont be blaming my own boredom for to much, i think :)


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