alt.lang.asm tutors 
Author Message
 alt.lang.asm tutors

In the name of all of us who are knew to programming in assembly, I'm
wondering if there is anyone already familiar with the pedagogic methods
used by Jeff Duntemann in "Assembly Step-by-Step" who is able to guide
us thru the basics, posting elementary programming examples and
answering queries.  To call the attention of those like myself perhaps
the posts could be named "assembly tutorial part I", etc.  If there is
anything like this already online I would appreciate any references.  

--
http://www.*-*-*.com/



Fri, 09 Jul 2004 00:19:01 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors

Quote:

> In the name of all of us who are knew to programming in assembly,
I'm
> wondering if there is anyone already familiar with the pedagogic
methods
> used by Jeff Duntemann in "Assembly Step-by-Step" who is able to
guide
> us thru the basics, posting elementary programming examples and
> answering queries.  To call the attention of those like myself
perhaps
> the posts could be named "assembly tutorial part I", etc.  If
there is
> anything like this already online I would appreciate any

references.

I suspect that just asking the questions here will get you answers.
That's what usually happens.  It's good to make your questions
specific.  A lot of "how do I write a game?" questions get ignored.

Since this group isn't x86 specific you might look into
comp.lang.asm.x86 as well.

Barry

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Fri, 09 Jul 2004 04:14:30 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors

Quote:


> > In the name of all of us who are knew to programming in assembly,
> I'm
> > wondering if there is anyone already familiar with the pedagogic
> methods
> > used by Jeff Duntemann in "Assembly Step-by-Step" who is able to
> guide
> > us thru the basics, posting elementary programming examples and
> > answering queries.  To call the attention of those like myself
> perhaps
> > the posts could be named "assembly tutorial part I", etc.  If
> there is
> > anything like this already online I would appreciate any
> references.

> I suspect that just asking the questions here will get you answers.
> That's what usually happens.  It's good to make your questions
> specific.  A lot of "how do I write a game?" questions get ignored.

> Since this group isn't x86 specific you might look into
> comp.lang.asm.x86 as well.

> Barry

Good idea.  But making my questions specific has been precisely a main
part of my problem because most or all of the assembly tutorials I've
seen start off being too specific, either offering detailed analysis of
computer architecture before getting to actual programs, or starting off
with example programs which are then left largely unexplained.  You're
left with the only alternative to memorize certain programs, which, it
seems, those who've written them know about, and hope that some other
know-it-all will take the time to explain it to you.  I do not possess
the book by Jeff Duntemann, but have read reviews that indicate to me
another approach, more in keeping with the technical, non-semantic or
syntactic nature of assembly language.  Most everyone who uses assembly
does so because at heart they believe that 'contrary to what everybody
says' assembly is EASY not complicated.  So, guess what, teaching it
ought to be so too.

--
http://communities.msn.com/Semioticphilosophy



Fri, 09 Jul 2004 05:53:08 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors
Hello {*filter*}folk!

On Sun, 20 Jan 2002 23:53:08 +0200, ernobe spake thus:

Quote:
>Good idea.  But making my questions specific has been precisely a main
>part of my problem because most or all of the assembly tutorials I've
>seen start off being too specific, either offering detailed analysis of
>computer architecture before getting to actual programs, or starting off
>with example programs which are then left largely unexplained.

If you ask specific questins here, then if anyone is able to help they
generally do. If you then need to get a better understanding of how or
why a specific instruction or routine works the way it does, you would
then (often, but not always) have to ask that, and then someone (maybe
even the person who showed you how to do something) would try to
answer. If we try to explain every piece of code thats ever posted,
this would turn into a tutorial group, so it just wouldnt work for
everyone. I do appreciate your need for help, but we have to be
practical, and not everyone needs the same help (some need more, some
less, but usually in different areas).

Quote:
>You're
>left with the only alternative to memorize certain programs, which, it
>seems, those who've written them know about, and hope that some other
>know-it-all will take the time to explain it to you.

I find people in the assembly groups here to be pretty helpful. If
anyone asks a question that's not too vague, there are often a few
people who willt ry to help. As we don't always all do things the same
way, it means that you ahve an opportunity of getting more than one
idea about how to do something, or why something does what it does. If
someone rites a tutorial and you try to follow that, you only get
their idea :)

Quote:
>Most everyone who uses assembly
>does so because at heart they believe that 'contrary to what everybody
>says' assembly is EASY not complicated.  So, guess what, teaching it
>ought to be so too.

I wouldn't say that assembly language is EASY, just not as difficult
as some people say it is :) I certainly don''t accept that just
because anyone can do something with ease means that they will be good
at teaching it. I can do a lot of things that I can't explain well,
and I believe the same holds true for most people. There wouldn't be a
shortage of teachers in some places if we could all teach anyone how
to do the things we can do ourselves (in fact, who would need schools?
People would teach each other). You only have to look at some of the
text books on almsot any subject to know that a lot of people who
think they can teach just because they know something can't.

I'm always happy to try and help with subjects that I know something
about, and as time goes on that grows (as with most, if not all of
us).

--
debs

----
Misspelled? Impossible! I have an error correcting modem.



Fri, 09 Jul 2004 11:06:59 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors

Quote:

> I'm always happy to try and help with subjects that I know something
> about, and as time goes on that grows (as with most, if not all of
> us).

(multiple choice question)
I noticed that you erased all mention of Jeff Duntemann from my post.  
That indicates to me that
1) you are jealous of Jeff Duntemann
2) you do not like Jeff Duntemann
3) you believe that you have a better method of teaching assembly than
that of Jeff Duntemann
4) teaching assembly language is irrelevant to the purpose of this
newsgroup
5) you think that learning assembly language by itself is not worth the
trouble, that you only know it of necessity from the use of other
languages, and that this newsgroup exists for the sole purpose of
offering consolation and m{*filter*}support to those who have been
unwillingly forced to use it
6) you don't know assembly yourself and would like to keep this thread
going until someone shows up with all the answers

I would not like to speculate on which one of these describes your
approach.  Beth, are you listening?  Now that should give you enough to
chew on, at least until kingdom come.

Roy

--
http://www.*-*-*.com/



Fri, 09 Jul 2004 22:25:24 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors
You missed one possible reason that he might have left out mention
of Jeff Duntemann's book.  It might not be an important enough
topic to comment on.  A book won't teach you assembly language.  It
can be a big help but in the long run you teach yourself.

I think the choice of books isn't very important.  Some are better
than others but there aren't any bad ones that I'm aware of.
They're all pretty good.

I haven't read Duntemann's book but it has a good reputation.

In any case you might want to consider being a little nicer to
people who are trying to help.  You're getting good answers.  You
just don't know it yet.

Barry


Quote:

> > I'm always happy to try and help with subjects that I know
something
> > about, and as time goes on that grows (as with most, if not all
of
> > us).

> (multiple choice question)
> I noticed that you erased all mention of Jeff Duntemann from my
post.
> That indicates to me that
> 1) you are jealous of Jeff Duntemann
> 2) you do not like Jeff Duntemann
> 3) you believe that you have a better method of teaching assembly
than
> that of Jeff Duntemann
> 4) teaching assembly language is irrelevant to the purpose of
this
> newsgroup
> 5) you think that learning assembly language by itself is not
worth the
> trouble, that you only know it of necessity from the use of other
> languages, and that this newsgroup exists for the sole purpose of
> offering consolation and m{*filter*}support to those who have been
> unwillingly forced to use it
> 6) you don't know assembly yourself and would like to keep this
thread
> going until someone shows up with all the answers

> I would not like to speculate on which one of these describes
your
> approach.  Beth, are you listening?  Now that should give you
enough to
> chew on, at least until kingdom come.

> Roy

> --
> http://www.*-*-*.com/

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Fri, 09 Jul 2004 23:28:20 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors

Quote:

> Good idea.  But making my questions specific has been precisely a
main
> part of my problem because most or all of the assembly tutorials
I've
> seen start off being too specific, either offering detailed
analysis of
> computer architecture before getting to actual programs, or
starting off
> with example programs which are then left largely unexplained.

Assembly is different than other languages in that it is all about
manipulating the computer architecture in a very direct way.  You
can't learn it without learning computer architecture in a lot of
detail.

C handles the intimate details of the computer's design for you.
Assembly doesn't.

Machine language isn't really a language in the sense that c is.
It's the way the cpu works.  Assembly language is pretty much the
same thing but you don't have to remember the numbers associated
with the opcodes and you don't have to manually calculate all the
offsets.

The real problem with learning asm is that it isn't possible.
There's just too much detail. The ideas involved are just too
complex and too numerous and too inter-related.  So what you do is
just keep exposing yourself to it until it sinks in.  Books can be
a big help by making sure you don't miss anything.

Quote:
>  You're
> left with the only alternative to memorize certain programs,
which, it
> seems, those who've written them know about, and hope that some
other
> know-it-all will take the time to explain it to you.  I do not
possess
> the book by Jeff Duntemann, but have read reviews that indicate
to me
> another approach, more in keeping with the technical,
non-semantic or
> syntactic nature of assembly language.  Most everyone who uses
assembly
> does so because at heart they believe that 'contrary to what
everybody
> says' assembly is EASY not complicated.  So, guess what, teaching
it
> ought to be so too.

I don't recall ever memorizing a program.  Assembly was the first
language I learned, in 1966, followed by a career of over 3
decades.  And not one memorized program.  I retired a failure.

Before you announce to us that teaching assembly is easy, I suggest
you learn it.  Then give us your opinions.

I think you'll find that you can get away with being a smartass (up
to a point) as you learn and still get the help you need.  But the
help might be more and better and friendlier and with more
attention to where you are in the learning process if you don't
mock people who try to help.  It's likely that you'll enjoy it
more, too.

There is a lot of programming expertise in this newsgroup.  And a
lot of teaching experience.  People like to help because it makes
them feel good and it's fun and assembly is fun.  A wise person can
make good use of all that.

Barry

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Fri, 09 Jul 2004 23:47:51 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors

Quote:

> 2) you do not like Jeff Duntemann

I like Jeff Duntemann! I don't *know* Jeff Duntemann, and I haven't read
his book, but I like him because his book uses Nasm syntax, and I'm a
big fan of Nasm :)

We just had a little discussion of "Assembly Language Step by Step" on
the Nasm development list - opinions differ - one person liked it and
would recommend it - another person didn't think it was worth the price.
The person who didn't like it was unix-folk, so I'd guess that maybe the
"dos part" is better than the "unix part" (?).

What is it about Duntemann's pedagogic methods that interests you?

Best,
Frank



Sat, 10 Jul 2004 00:33:14 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors

Hi Frank,

I have Jeff Duntemann's "Assembly Language Step-by-Step".  It seems
to be the first edition, though I am unaware of a second edition.
My copy is dated 1992 and has an ISBN number of 0-471-57814-2 (pb).

However, my edition uses MASM as the main assembler.

On page 77, he writes:
 "For quite a few years there was only one assembler product in
  general use for the PC:  Microsoft's Macro Assembler, better
  known as MASM.  MASM is still an enormously popular program,
  and has established a standard for assembler operation on the
  PC.  The source code in this book is all designed to be assembled
  by MASM."

The next paragraph states:
 "MASM is by no means perfect...TASM is a great deal faster than
  MASM...and the information in this book can be applied to either
  assembler."

So the edition I have uses MASM and TASM.
Where there any other editions that used NASM?

Regards,
Ben


Quote:

> > 2) you do not like Jeff Duntemann

> I like Jeff Duntemann! I don't *know* Jeff Duntemann, and I haven't read
> his book, but I like him because his book uses Nasm syntax, and I'm a
> big fan of Nasm :)

> We just had a little discussion of "Assembly Language Step by Step" on
> the Nasm development list - opinions differ - one person liked it and
> would recommend it - another person didn't think it was worth the price.
> The person who didn't like it was unix-folk, so I'd guess that maybe the
> "dos part" is better than the "unix part" (?).

> What is it about Duntemann's pedagogic methods that interests you?

> Best,
> Frank



Sat, 10 Jul 2004 03:47:09 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors
Hello {*filter*}folk!

On Mon, 21 Jan 2002 16:25:24 +0200, ernobe spake thus:

Quote:
>(multiple choice question)

Try option 8 (Barry gave a 7th option). I've never read or even seen
Jeff Duntemann's book, so I am not qualified to comment on it. Would
you rather I say its good or bad without knowing, or just not comment
on it when I ahve no information to base my comments on?

Quote:

>I would not like to speculate on which one of these describes your
>approach.  Beth, are you listening?  Now that should give you enough to
>chew on, at least until kingdom come.

I choose to try helping when I am able, and to not try when i am not
able. If you choose to ignore what I say or to try and belittle what I
say because I don't respond to one part of your post (which you
obviously thought important) then fine, but thats not going to stop me
trying to help. If you don't want general answers, don't ask general
questions. If you only wanted replies about one book, then only ask
questions about that book. I can't be expected to know which part of
your post you wanted a reply to if you didn't want people to offer any
help otehr than one specific area. My understanding was that you came
here looking for someone to teach you from scratch. I see posts like
that regularly, and nobody would ahve the time to be a full-time tutor
to several people starting on separate weeks, so some of us choose to
give what help we can with the things we can help with, while leaving
other stuff to others. That should get you better help than relying on
one person to know everything and be able to present it in the way you
want on a regular basis.

If you don't like what I ahve to say, don't bother trying to insult me
again. Getting kill-filed will only mean that when you want help with
something that only I can help with it won't be there (and that could
happen, we all ahve information about different things, and I might
know something you need to know at some point).

--
debs

----
Misspelled? Impossible! I have an error correcting modem.



Sat, 10 Jul 2004 03:56:31 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors

Quote:

> > I'm always happy to try and help with subjects that I know something
> > about, and as time goes on that grows (as with most, if not all of
> > us).

> (multiple choice question)
> I noticed that you erased all mention of Jeff Duntemann from my post.
> That indicates to me that
> 1) you are jealous of Jeff Duntemann
> 2) you do not like Jeff Duntemann
> 3) you believe that you have a better method of teaching assembly than
> that of Jeff Duntemann
> 4) teaching assembly language is irrelevant to the purpose of this
> newsgroup
> 5) you think that learning assembly language by itself is not worth the
> trouble, that you only know it of necessity from the use of other
> languages, and that this newsgroup exists for the sole purpose of
> offering consolation and m{*filter*}support to those who have been
> unwillingly forced to use it
> 6) you don't know assembly yourself and would like to keep this thread
> going until someone shows up with all the answers

7) She has no idea who Jeff Duntemann is and left him out because she can't
make any useful comment on some obscure person she doesn't know...

8) It was merely coincidence; She wasn't going to copy all of your post over
and Jeff just happened to be in the bits she left out...

9) A combination of 7) and 8); He was left out because she had nothing to
say about the parts of your post that featured him (possibly because she
doesn't know who he is :)...no malice being intended because she doesn't
know enough about him to be able to habour any malice...

10) She can see your bizarre obsession with Jeff Duntemann and delibrately
left him out just to{*filter*}you off...but, personally, has no problem with
Jeff at all...just with you...

11) You don't know much about assembly and have this idea that it begins and
ends with Jeff Duntemann for some inexplicable reason...thus, you spot debs,
who does know her stuff ordinarily and think that if you just randomly
challenge her out of the blue about Jeff Duntemann - because you've managed
to find the a topic you know more than her about and can look "clever" going
on and on about - and, thus, attempt to elevate your standing...trying to
"leap-frog" debs into looking "cool" or something...

12) You thought you'd find out what being a troll is all about and chose
this moment to give it a whirl...

13) She, unlike you, isn't at all impressed by random name dropping..._even_
when that name _is_ "Jeff Duntemann"!!! :)

14) Why the "{*filter*}" thing? Why, because _debs alone_ edits out your
idol - Jeff Duntemann - from her reply, do you make point 4)? Implying that
everyone on the group is conspiring to oppress Jeff Duntemann and his
followers...if there is a {*filter*} around here, no-one's let me in on it,
anyway (and, anyway, if you know me at all, then you'll know that I don't
just follow the popular choice...even if there was a {*filter*} and they
wanted me in on it, I'd likely decline as a matter of principle because I
don't believe in conspiracies :)...

15) She has seen people who use methods that are better than Jeff Duntemann
(in her opinion) and, thus, doesn't share your idolisation of Jeff
Duntemann...

16) Even if she totally and utterly idolised Jeff Duntemann and his methods
and his books, this doesn't negate her kind offer you as much help as she
can by replying to newsgroup posts, does it? In fact, it would seem that
_you_ are implying that the newsgroup is an inadequate way of people getting
their assembly questions answered and that debs and others shouldn't reply
with any help beyond "go buy a Jeff Duntemann book" (personally, I'd tend
NOT to advise paper books...this is NOT because I think books are {*filter*}or
anything (by _any_ author :), it's just that purchasing books is making the
assumption someone has the money to spend and, let us not forget this
newsgroup is a world-wide resource, the available facilities to gain access
to such a book might not be present or, at least, easy to obtain (for
instance, we had someone shyly post to the newsgroup from China...they had
internet access but, in some countries, the availability of books we take
for granted as "easily available" isn't a guaranteed thing at all...it's
possibly not a book to be found on the shelf of any library they could
access (that is, if they are, indeed, able to even access a library of some
sort) and importing such a book into some countries - who don't have the
necessary level of free trade with Western countries - isn't much use to
them...but, if they post to a newsgroup, we _can_ make a minor assumption
that this means they have sufficient resources to access the internet and,
thus, Randy's book would probably get the mention first because it's a free,
public domain internet-available text on the subject of learning assembly
and, further, incorporates downloadable tools to supplement that text...and,
as almost everyone will agree, the best way to learn is by doing so this
extra _practical_ edge does also help to push Randy's book more than
others...but, hey, if Jeff Duntemann's book is good and similarly available,
point me in its direction and I guarantee you I'll give it a fair
review...if it fits the bill of those who seek assistance here, then I won't
hesitate to recommend it to others...and if his methods are as good as you
say, I'd probably also steal a bit of his style in my own replies (I have
done this with other people I think explain and teach things well...Jeff
Duntemann, if he's as good as you say, would be no different...I've just
never seen his stuff to know or be able to comment))...

17) She once met Jeff Duntemann and he was an arsehole...nothing to do with
his teaching methods or books...she just hates the man on personal
grounds...hehehe :)...

18) Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect 200...

etc., etc., etc...

Quote:
> I would not like to speculate on which one of these describes your
> approach.  Beth, are you listening?

Yup; But quite why, I'm not sure...as, also, I'm not sure why you're trying
to drag me into all this when I have not the slightest interest in a
discussion about Jeff Duntemann...and, yup, this is because I know precious
little about the man and his methods...call me stupid, if you like, for that
but, so far, I've never had need to know of him and unless he really is the
new Messiah as your worship of him here suggests, I probably will never have
need of him...this is, of course, nothing against the man or to say his
books are {*filter*}or anything...he's just not in my sphere of reference or
interest...no {*filter*}, sorry...just complete ignorance of who this Jeff
Duntemann person is (save that I know he writes books, which I've never
read)...

And, just for the record, you're going to have to be a whole lot more subtle
about things to snare me into your attempts to start a mini-flame war on
this...do your own dirty work...

Quote:
> Now that should give you enough to
> chew on, at least until kingdom come.

Guess again, mon ami...I've said my piece about Jeff Duntemann (because, as
I say, I know very little about him and, thus, have nothing to say, even if
I wanted to write a short novella about him :)...that's it, save to say:

As for Jeff Duntemann, your over-exagerrated reaction to a simple and most
probably accidental omission of his name - Jeff Duntemann - in a reply and
the accusations of some great anti-Jeff Duntemann {*filter*} going on, have
probably done more harm in one post to the name and reputation of the one
called Jeff Duntemann than any amount of "Jeff Duntemann name omission" than
any {*filter*} to have hoped to do in a single post...in fact, I can see a
"Whatever you do, DON'T mention Jeff Duntemann!!" running joke developing
out of this little outburst of yours and forever the name "Jeff Duntemann"
will unfairly carry a touch of comedy to it, through no fault of his own but
of yours...

Beth :)

P.S. to avoid being accused of something similar, I've made sure to
reference the name Jeff Duntemann as often as possible...I hope this is to
your satisfaction :)...

P.P.S. And, whatever you do, DON'T mention Jeff Duntemann!!!



Sat, 10 Jul 2004 06:53:03 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors
Hello {*filter*}folk!

On Mon, 21 Jan 2002 22:53:03 -0000, Beth spake thus:

Quote:
>7) She has no idea who Jeff Duntemann is and left him out because she can't
>make any useful comment on some obscure person she doesn't know...

Bingo!!

Quote:

>17) She once met Jeff Duntemann and he was an arsehole...nothing to do with
>his teaching methods or books...she just hates the man on personal
>grounds...hehehe :)...

hehehe. Sorry to say I have not met the guy, and even if I had it
would take a LOT to force me to have hatred toward anyone. I have this
inner flaw that causes me to love people, even if sometimes I might
say something in the heat of the moment that indicates otherwise :)
I'm sure Jeff's books are worth reading, and if I ever come across one
I'll be able to give my own opinion on what they are good for (I ahve
enough books on my shelf that ahve been sued at one time or other, I
know hot to tell if a book would be of use to me without having to buy
it......). When Waterstones start stocking a full range of assembly
language books, I'll get to take a look :)

Quote:

>18) Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass Go, do not collect 200...

Oooh! Do they pay you to go to jail in your part of the country? In my
part of the cuntry I only get paid when I can prove that parking
tickets are unjustified (like the time I had to drive 200 miles home
from a holiday to attend a case, and got my travel costs
refunded....). Useful sometimes, having a disabled parking badge when
things like that happen, and even more useful knowing the parking laws
that can work in my favour :)

Quote:
>P.S. to avoid being accused of something similar, I've made sure to
>reference the name Jeff Duntemann as often as possible...I hope this is to
>your satisfaction :)...

Oh no! You used gods name in vain! LOL

Quote:

>P.P.S. And, whatever you do, DON'T mention Jeff Duntemann!!!

Can I quote you on that? <VEG>

--
debs

----
Misspelled? Impossible! I have an error correcting modem.



Sat, 10 Jul 2004 07:20:01 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors

Quote:

> Hi Frank,

> I have Jeff Duntemann's "Assembly Language Step-by-Step".  It seems
> to be the first edition, though I am unaware of a second edition.
> My copy is dated 1992 and has an ISBN number of 0-471-57814-2 (pb).

> However, my edition uses MASM as the main assembler.

Hi Ben,

I wasn't really aware that the first edition used Masm, but it makes
sense, since Nasm didn't appear until 1995 :)  

Quote:

> On page 77, he writes:
>  "For quite a few years there was only one assembler product in
>   general use for the PC:  Microsoft's Macro Assembler, better
>   known as MASM.  MASM is still an enormously popular program,
>   and has established a standard for assembler operation on the
>   PC.  The source code in this book is all designed to be assembled
>   by MASM."

> The next paragraph states:
>  "MASM is by no means perfect...TASM is a great deal faster than
>   MASM...and the information in this book can be applied to either
>   assembler."

> So the edition I have uses MASM and TASM.
> Where there any other editions that used NASM?

http://www.*-*-*.com/

I first became aware of the second edition ("or third, depending how you
count" - well, zero-based, of course :) when Jeff Duntemann asked in
this (or related) newsgroup about a program he was having trouble with.
It was a Linux program that ran on some kernels and seg-faulted on
others. The problem was solved by preserving ebx. I forget who came up
with the solution - hpa, maybe.

One of the complaints in the "negative review" on nasm-devel was that
Jeff Duntemann didn't know much about Unix - but credits him with
admitting it. So I've gotta admire the guy for doing his "homework" and
at least *trying* to give some coverage to a non-MS OS.

(see at:   http://www.*-*-*.com/ 're
interested in what two people think)

It might be worth noting that "Step-by-Step" uses NasmIde. After
announcing, some time ago, that he wasn't continuing development on
NasmIde, Rob Anderton has "come out of retirement" and updated it.
Version 1.5a works better and has new features which will be appreciated
by users of new (beta!) Nasm versions with new command-line switches.
Anyone using, or thinking of using NasmIde ought to upgrade.

http://www.*-*-*.com/

btw, Rob advises me - it's a mistake I was making - that when the "error
window" (which we hope says "no errors occurred") has the focus,
"assemble" isn't working (tho it might seem to be). You have to close
the error window to assemble again.

I still don't know how much Mr. Duntemann paid Mr. Ernobe for all the
free publicity :) Or, more seriously, what about his pedagogic methods
prompted the question. But in the interest of "equal time", there's
another beginner's tool I've heard of but haven't looked at:

http://www.{*filter*}trails.com/~fys/newbasic.htm

You know anything about that, Ben? :)

The question with any of these things is not "Is it good or bad?", but
rather "Who is it good for?"

Best,
Frank



Sat, 10 Jul 2004 15:51:20 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors


Quote:

> Hi Ben,

Hi again Frank, and good day to ya.

Quote:
> I wasn't really aware that the first edition used Masm, but it makes
> sense, since Nasm didn't appear until 1995 :)

 (smile)

Quote:
> http://www.*-*-*.com/

(saved for review, thanks)

Quote:
> I first became aware of the second edition ("or third, depending how you
> count" - well, zero-based, of course :) when Jeff Duntemann asked in
> this (or related) newsgroup about a program he was having trouble with.
> It was a Linux program that ran on some kernels and seg-faulted on
> others. The problem was solved by preserving ebx. I forget who came up
> with the solution - hpa, maybe.

> One of the complaints in the "negative review" on nasm-devel was that
> Jeff Duntemann didn't know much about Unix - but credits him with
> admitting it. So I've gotta admire the guy for doing his "homework" and
> at least *trying* to give some coverage to a non-MS OS.

> (see at:   http://www.*-*-*.com/ 're
> interested in what two people think)

IMO, Duntemann does have a good writting style.  I might just have to
get the latest version to see what he has added to the zero'th edition.
[ makes sense to start with zero.  As babys, we are zero years old until
  a year later, are we not :) ]

Back when I first started x86 assembly, I was looking around for some
books.  One of the book clubs I was look at, I think BooksOnline.com or
similar, was offering "Assembly Language, Step by Step" (Duntemann),
"Advanced Assembly Language" (Wyatt), and "Assembly Language for the PC",
(Peter Norton), who happens to be my favorite author :).

If you subscribed to their book club and promised to buy one more book
later down the road, they would send you these three books at shipping
cost plus $4.95 (IIRC).  I was sold.

I also had MASM 5.10 at the time, still do for that matter, and since
these three books used MASM/TASM, well there you go.

Since I had been using MASM syntax for so long, NASM's memory reference
syntax really bugged me so I never gave it much look.  However, you have
really sparked my interest in is up-bringing.  Thanks. (Both sarcasm and
a complimental Thanks :)

(snipped: the NasmIde)

Quote:
> http://www.*-*-*.com/
> I still don't know how much Mr. Duntemann paid Mr. Ernobe for all the
> free publicity :) Or, more seriously, what about his pedagogic methods
> prompted the question. But in the interest of "equal time", there's
> another beginner's tool I've heard of but haven't looked at:

> http://www.{*filter*}trails.com/~fys/newbasic.htm
> You know anything about that, Ben? :)

(Frank, the check is in the mail :)

A little bit I think.

Quote:
> The question with any of these things is not "Is it good or bad?", but
> rather "Who is it good for?"

Exactly.  The right tool for the job.

With a discussion with the author I had recently, he stated that when
he was first learning assembly, he wanted to find a nice project to
create and work on.  He stated, "what better project to learn assembly,
than writing an assembler?".  So he began.  Since he had used MASM
for so long and grew up with its syntax style, a similar syntax was
used.  (The syntax of MASM's 5.10 "new" segment directives, anyway).

When NBASM was somewhat finished, it was targeted for the Intel 286
processors.  Later, the author became interested in writing a DOS
like Operating System and used NBASM to write it with.  Now, he states
that this was the best thing to do, because he found so many little
bugs and gliches in NBASM that he was able to support NBASM like it
should have been.

However, recently, he decided that he would like to write his own
PMODE operating system.  Since we all know that PMODE requires
a 386 and a PMODE assembler (or compiler), he decided that NBASM
needed to be a PMODE assembler.

And so it has begun.

As for who NBASM is for, he states: "For me, for fun."  He says that
he uses it for many projects including the new operating system that
he is starting to write.

However, any person that is interested in learning x86 assembly,
NBASM is a very easy to learn assembler, and with a lot of literature
that is MASM/TASM based, there are little changes to the MASM source
to make it NBASM assembleable.

Granted, NBASM is not "powerful" enough to assemble PMODE projects,
but it is on its way.  The main purpose for NBASM, other than the
authors own use, is for people who are interested in learning
assembly.  Then when they have learned all they can and NBASM will
no longer support their needs, they can move on to a more capable
assembler.  Like NASM and "Assembly Language, Step by Step" :)

The author of NBASM guarentees me that NBASM should continue to grow
and develop PMODE code.  I don't know if I beleive him or not, but
I will give him the benifet of the dought :)

Thanks, Frank, for the information about the above mentioned book,
the author, and the interest about NASM and its up-bringing.

Best of wishes,
Ben



Sat, 10 Jul 2004 23:30:48 GMT  
 alt.lang.asm tutors

Quote:
> What is it about Duntemann's pedagogic methods that interests you?

From what I've read, it seems that his approach is based on teaching the
following first:
1) that an assembler program consists of instruccions and data that are
stored as bits in memory.
2) that both memory content and the addresses of memory locations are
configurations of bits.
3) that the programmer puts the instructions in consecutive memory
locations in order to be executed by the processor.
4) that the processor executes whatever is in the consecutive memory
locations and may try to process data if it was mistakenly placed there.
Therefore I would tend to expect that a would be tutor give me examples
of the following:
0) the difference between instructions and data
1) an address of a memory location,
2) of what signifies a content of memory
3) what procedures or criteria the programmer follows in
asigning consecutive memory locations to the instructions
4) what the characteristics are of certain instructions, like what type
of data they require and whether both an address and an actual memory
content can serve as data.
5) what special relationship exists between various instructions, which
involves a knowledge of material that is usually given in other courses
of assembly language.  The difference is that this knowledge is given as
part of the exercises that are being used to learn the preceding
material, and not altogether without any reference to actual programs.
In a sense, most other beginning courses in assembly, or in any other
language for that matter, have their pedagogic method backwards, because
they need to start with example programs that teach the simple theories
that are given above first, and then the rest of the technical
terminology can be easily understood by one who knows the actual
representation of the basic technics first.  Otherwise learning is just
an effort of the imagination to match misunderstood programs with
obscure theories. I hope those of us who can stick to the topic, and not
get so easily offended by what has all the guises of an ordinary
conversation, can work out a reasonable solution to the problem of
appropiate assembler tutorials, so that others who are eager to use
assembly in their professional and personal lives can also freely give
their advice on making the use of assembly language more integrated into
the mainstream of computer science. There seems to be a generalized
unwillingness to talk about the inner workings of the computer, which
paradoxically gets spilled over into accusations of personal {*filter*}s,
and I think this can be traced to an over-preoccupation with semantics
and syntax, so characteristic of contemporary computer languages.  This
tends to get on peoples nerves, so when they are addressed with anything
other than what can be interpreted as unconditional adulation, they
react {*filter*}ly.  But, as always, science wins out over ignorant
prejudice.  So for now it is important to remember that, especially when
learning machine language,  one is learning a theory of the way programs
work, not syntax.

--
http://www.*-*-*.com/



Sun, 11 Jul 2004 03:56:02 GMT  
 
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