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  1. #1

    Default Assembly Programming

    I have an ancient 640k machine running dos and would like to learn assembly programming for it. Would you be able to

    1. suggest a compiler that is compatible with my machine.
    2. comment on the use of DEBUG
    as a decompiler (compiler?)
    3. provide some tips to get started.

    your assistance is appreciated, W.G.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Assembly Programming

    Don't mess with DEBUG. The best that can be said for it that it is barely possible.

    You can get all the software you need from the Simtel archive, in the directory pub/msdos/asmutl.

    The a86 assembler has lots of documentation, so has the d86 disassembler ... (the extension '.DOC' on the document files does not mean that they are word processor files!). There is an editor ae29 ... is a tutorial on assembly prog for the IBM computer. Have a good browse in all the directories -- you'll find that people achieved a lot with DOS in small/slow machines.
    I have found that I can do most assembly-type things with Turbo Pascal.

    Borland actually give away version 6. I don't know if it will run in 640k (Version 3 did -- it came on one 360k floppy). Download fits on one floppy, expands to a few MB. That has access to memory as a predefined array, similarly with I/O ports.

    Trouble is finding the documentation -- public libraries might have some of the books.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Assembly Programming

    Can you tell me if Turbo Pascal is available as a download and if so where from.


  4. #4

    Default Re: Assembly Programming

    Intel have published books about the instruction set of the 386/486. That helps.
    PC Mag, (pre 1990) used to publish .ASM programmes with annotations, partly because they were useful, (before Windows complicated everything), partly as a teaching thing.
    It ain't easy, but it is possible.

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