x86 Assembly Language FAQ - A86 and D86 
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 x86 Assembly Language FAQ - A86 and D86

Archive-Name: assembly-language/x86/a86
Posting-Frequency: monthly (21st of every month)
Last-modified: 1997/01/06


Subject: 1. Introduction and Intent

This is the x86 Assembly Language FAQ for the comp.lang.asm.x86 and
alt.lang.asm newsgroups.  This FAQ is posted monthly on or about the 21st
of the month on both newsgroups and news.answers, alt.answers and
comp.answers.  It also is archived at the normal FAQ archival sites and the
SimTel mirror sites in the msdos/info directory.  Lastly, the current
version is available from my web page as:
    As text files:
        http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~raymoon/faq/asmfaq.zip
    As html documents:
        http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~raymoon/faq/asmfaqh.zip
Currently, this FAQ is broken into six sections.  The following are the
section filenames and the scope of each section of the FAQ.

assembly-language/x86/general/part1 - This is the basic portion of the FAQ
    that contains information of interest to all assembly language
    programmers.  In general, the information contained in this portion of
    the FAQ is not specific to any particular assembler.

assembly-language/x86/general/part2 - This is a continuation of the above

assembly-language/x86/general/part3 - This is a continuation of the above

assembly-language/x86/microsoft - This portion of the FAQ contains
    information specific for the Microsoft MASM.

assembly-language/x86/borland - This portion of the FAQ contains
    information specific for the Borland TASM.

assembly-language/x86/a86 - This portion of the FAQ contains information
    specific for the Shareware A86 Assembler and D86 De{*filter*}.

The scope and content of this FAQ is to go beyond just answering the
frequently asked questions.  I am including pointers to assembly language
treasure troves that are hidden out on the internet.  I believe that this
will enhance the FAQ's value not only to the novices but also to the old

For the ease of determining what has changed since the last FAQ, the Table
of Contents will have "REVISED" at the end of the subject line for all
revised subjects.  If more than one FAQ revision has been missed, the "Last
Changed:" entry at the end of each subject can be used to determine which
subjects have been revised during the intervening time frame.

The information in this FAQ is free for all to use as long as you
acknowledge the source.  This FAQ can be reproduced in part or in its
entirety as long as the copyright is included.  This FAQ can be made
available on public servers, like ftp, gopher or WWW servers.  Please do
not modify the file, such as converting it into some other format, without
prior permission of the author.

All references to files and locations are in Uniform Resource Locators
(URLs) format.  Some web browser will be able to use these URLs directly as
hot links.  If the format is not clear to you, get RFC 1738.  It is
available from:   ftp://ds.internic.net/rfc/rfc1738.txt

Suggestions for changes and comments are always welcome.  They can be
posted to either newsgroup or e-mailed directly to the me.

Copyright 1997 - Raymond Moon
Last Changed: 6 Jan 97


Subject: 2. Table of Contents

1.  Introduction And Intent
2.  Table Of Contents
3.  What is A86 Assembler and Where Can I Get It
4.  Structuring Assembly Language in A86
5.  A386/D386 Availability
6.  A86 Source Code Site
7.  Eric Isaacson's A86 Assembler and D86 De{*filter*} Web Page
8.  Acknowledgments


Subject: 3. What is A86 Assembler and Where Can I Get It

3.1  A86 ASSEMBLER - A86V402.ZIP

The A86 is Eric Isaacson's shareware assembler.  The latest version is 4.02
and support up to the 286 instruction set.  This assembler does not support
the extended registers and instructions introduced with the 386 processor.
This assembler accepts assembly language source files, and transforms them
directly into either: (1) .COM files executable under MS-DOS, starting at
offset 0100 within a code segment; (2) .OBJ files suitable for feeding to a
linker; or (3) object files starting at offset 0, suitable for copying to
ROMs.  A86 is a full featured program designed to be as closely compatible
to the standard Intel/IBM assembly language as possible.

Some of A86's features are:
* Assembly speed
* Ease of use
* Support modular programming even in .COM files
* Support very large programming projects
* Full featured macro capability
* Support for math coprocessor instructions
* Supported by its own de{*filter*}, D86

New features of version 4.02 are:
* INCLUDE file support
* listings
* no limit on size of sourse files
* forward references in complex expressions
* END operand

3.2  D86 DE{*filter*} - D86V402.ZIP

The D86 is Eric Isaacson's shareware de{*filter*}.  The latest version is 4.02.
D86 is a screen-oriented de{*filter*} that facilitates the troubleshooting of
faulty computer programs written for the IBM-PC and all compatibles.  D86
can freeze the state of a program so that the values of registers, flags,
and memory can be investigated.  The program's execution can be monitored
by stepping it one instruction or procedure at a time; or starting the
program running, telling D86 to stop it when it reaches certain locations.
D86 recognizes the symbol-table output of the A86 assembler, creating a
symbolic disassembly of a A86 program, and allowing referenced to locations
and variables by name.

Some of D86's features are:
* Values of registers, flags and stack top are displayed at a fixed
    location on the screen.
* Support for viewing memory contents in a variety of types including
    complicated structures.
* Support for displaying math coprocessor registers

New features of version 4.02 are:
* Keystroke scripts
* macro keys
* Undo command
* file copy and delete



This file contains information on converting MASM files into A86 files.
The information is dated and a better source is Chapter 12 of the A86


If your computer does not have an IBM-compatible BIOS, this file will help
getting D86, the de{*filter*}, to work with your BIOS.


All files are available from SimTel


    mget ?86*                   For all files
    mget ?86v402.zip            or the basic A86 and D86 files

Last changed: 4 Nov 95


Subject: 4. Structuring Assembly Language in A86

John Barnes has converted the macros from Kurt Schindler's "Structure:  The
Complete Toolkit for Structuring Assembly Language Programs."  John Barnes
warns that the every macro has not been proofed and tested completely.

These macros are available from SimTel.


Last changed: 8 Jan 95


Subject: 5. A386/D386 Availability

I have received the following information about A386/D386 availability from
the author, Mr.Eric Isaacson:

A preliminary version of A386+D386 currently is shipping on the registered
A86+D86 disk.  The A386 implements the entire 386/486/Pentium instruction
set, including 32-bit registers, 32-bit expression arithmetic, and 32-bit
memory indexing.  The only major feature not yet implemented is segments of
type USE32 (i.e., flat mode).  There is not any schedule date for
completing that last feature.

Note that the A86-only registered disk does not have A386. the A386 disk is
available for $80 to get A386 ($82 overseas, $84 in Indiana).  The printed
manual that covers everything is an additional $10 ($15 overseas, $10.50 in

If you already have registered A86+D86, the A386 disk is available for the
normal update service fee of $10 ($12 overseas, $10.50 in Indiana).  If A86
but not D86 is registered, the A386 disk is available for $40 ($42 overseas
or Indiana).  Again, the printed manual is extra.

Last changed: 20 May 95


Subject: 6. A86 Source Code Site

The only A86 Source code site is Simtel and its mirrors.  The following two
files are available there:

    Writes a boot sector to floppies which displays color text if user
    tries to boot from the disk.  Works with non-system disks through BIOS.
    The display is NOT a file.  Choice of many displays.  Can boot from C
    drive etc.  Useful A86 boot sector source code included.

    Lets you create your own TSR screens easily and quickly.  Includes A86
    source code.

Last changed: 20 Dec 96


Subject: 7. Eric Isaacson's A86 Assembler and D86 De{*filter*} Web Page

7.1 A86/D86 WEB PAGE

Eric Isaacson has his own web page for the A86 Assembler and the D86
De{*filter*}.  The URL is:
The topics of this page are:
    Overview of A86
    Overview of D86
    A86 and D86 Features
    A386 and D386 Status
    Downloading A86 and D86


As indicated above, you can get the A86 assembler and D86 De{*filter*} right
from the author's web site.  The URLs are:

    For A86:     http://www.*-*-*.com/
    For D86:     http://www.*-*-*.com/

Last changed: 16 Apr 96


Subject: 8. Acknowledgments

I would like to acknowledge all the people who have assisted me or any of
the contributors.  For their time and effort, this FAQ is a better product.

John Krueger and Gary Smith

Wed, 11 Aug 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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