The Art of Assembly Language, 2nd Edition
Publisher: No Starch Press
Final Release Date: March 2010
Pages: 760

Assembly is a low-level programming language that's one step above a computer's native machine language. Although assembly language is commonly used for writing device drivers, emulators, and video games, many programmers find its somewhat unfriendly syntax intimidating to learn and use.

Since 1996, Randall Hyde's The Art of Assembly Language has provided a comprehensive, plain-English, and patient introduction to 32-bit x86 assembly for non-assembly programmers. Hyde's primary teaching tool, High Level Assembler (or HLA), incorporates many of the features found in high-level languages (like C, C++, and Java) to help you quickly grasp basic assembly concepts. HLA lets you write true low-level code while enjoying the benefits of high-level language programming.

As you read The Art of Assembly Language, you'll learn the low-level theory fundamental to computer science and turn that understanding into real, functional code.

You'll learn how to:

  • Edit, compile, and run an HLA program
  • Declare and use constants, scalar variables, pointers, arrays, structures, unions, and namespaces
  • Translate arithmetic expressions (integer and floating point)
  • Convert high-level control structures

This much anticipated second edition of The Art of Assembly Language has been updated to reflect recent changes to HLA and to support Linux, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD. Whether you're new to programming or you have experience with high-level languages, The Art of Assembly Language, 2nd Edition is your essential guide to learning this complex, low-level language.

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No Starch PressThe Art of Assembly Language, 2nd Edition
 
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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

This is a pretty cool book

By ueberhund

from Salt Lake City, UT

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  • Accurate
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

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    Comments about No Starch Press The Art of Assembly Language, 2nd Edition:

    This is a pretty cool book. Let's face it, if you've ever debugged a program, chances are that you've come across assembly language. Unless you program in assembly professionally, chances are you've forgotten everything you learned in that assembly language class in college. In addition, most programmers today are a lot more comfortable in higher-level languages, like C++, Java, or .NET. This book attempts to bridge the gap between assembly and modern languages by introducing assembly language through the HLA (High Level Assembly) program. Through this language, high-level programming concepts are broken down into their assembly counterpart, making the transition to learning assembly language a lot easier.

    While the programs you write in the first few chapters look more like C than they do assembly, the author quickly dives deeper into assembly as the book progresses. Each chapter essentially introduces a new basic programming concept—from arithmetic in assembly, to data types and control structures, to bit manipulation. By the end of the book, you'll be pretty familiar with the HLA program, and hence a lot more familiar with assembly language.

    If you're looking for something that teaches pure assembly language, minus any sort of HLA program, then this may not be the book for you. But if you're a programmer looking for an easy way to tread into the world of assembly language, I'd highly recommend this book. As with the other excellent No Start Press titles, it's a comprehensive introduction to this very old programming language.

    (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great For Beginners/Students

    By jdruin

    from Kentucky

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    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

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      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about No Starch Press The Art of Assembly Language, 2nd Edition:

      The Art of Assembly Language does a nice job of demonstrating both assembly and the operation of the Intel processor. By using HLA (high level assembly) to abstract away lower level assembly until later in the book. HLA is similar to being half-way between C and MASM. It is low-level enough to interact directly with the CPU but still easier to start learning than pure assembly. Later in the book, the HLA and assembly are used side-by-side so the reader will see how to write the pure assembly.

      The coverage of both 80X86 processor operation and assembly is extensive. Also, the structure of the book makes it easier to learn. HLA is heavily employed in chapters 1-4 to get the reader used to the constructs and basic programming. In chapter 5, the HLA instructions are provided along side of their assembly language instruction equivalents. Overall, the reader will be able to pick up assembly just by following the examples provided.

      The one possible drawback of the book is the HLA itself. Although it does make learning low-level languages faster, the HLA is not necessarily allowed to be used in programming classes at colleges/universities. In some cases, professors will insist to use the "standard" Microsoft Assembler or the Turbo Assembler. HLA itself is the language used in some courses, but students will need to check first.

      This book will be great for those wanting to either learn assembly, lower level processor functionality or both. Also recommended for programmers of "high level" languages who want to learn the underpinnings of those languages. The HLA bridges the high level languages and the assembly effectively making it easy for high level programmers to understand what the assembly is doing at the processor and memory levels. Students will find the book does an excellent job of teaching assembly but may not be able to use the HLA in classes.

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