• How do I get started actually using assembly?
    8 replies, posted
I took a university course in microprocessors and loved using assembly. The thing is, it was in Motorola 68k and we used a 68k simulator. So I never got a sense of how it actually worked on a machine. I don't know where to start for which programs and tools to use to learn stuff like ARM or x86 and get things actually running rather than simulating it. If anyone has a favourite hex editor I'd love a recommendation for that as well <3
Is that really possible? On Windows you can use MinGW and nasm, at least that's what I used on my course. There are plenty of materials on the web on how to approach it. Try starting from a basic calculator and so on. I used Notepad++ for writing it, didn't really learn much but using something is better than just using Notepad.
Huh, I'd used MinGW for C before but I never really pieced together what it actually did until looking it up now, thanks! I could take this time to get used to fancier programs for the code itself like Visual Studio. And yeah, I printed off a 92-page list of the instruction set and execution times, it's probably stockholm syndrome at this point.
Yes Alternatively, since you already know m68k you could try writing something for a retro system like the Amiga or Atari ST or Sega Genesis.
i prefer nasm to GNU's assembler intel syntax > AT&T (att syntax is ugly af) also, if you're on windows 10, use WSL instead of mingw
I heard that hpsupports sucks. They couldn't even afford the "m" in .com.
Assembly programming is a lot more than writing crap that runs on the main cpu. The genesis not only has an m68k and a Z80, but can be expanded with another m68k (sega cd) and 2 sh-2s (32x). The other half is interacting with the various state machines on the bus, giving registers what they want when they need it, etc. If all you want to deal with is the main cpu and a ppu of some kind, go with a gameboy or gameboy advance. The emulation+debuggers for both will do the business, and they are popular enough that you can find all sorts of dirty tricks in commercial games without too much effort, off the top of my head the DRM in a few classic NES games takes advantage of improperly emulating the arm7s pipeline for example.
Any system works, really; dealing with other CPUs and IO can be a fun challenge. The Z80 can be ignored if you don't want to deal with audio while beginning with the system AFAIR. The docs and debuggers for GB/A are likely better yeah.
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