[ubuntu-uk] Anyone here into low-level stuff?

Matthew Wild mwild1 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 17 22:51:09 BST 2008

On Thu, Apr 17, 2008 at 10:37 PM, Andrew Oakley <andrew at aoakley.com> wrote:
> James Grabham wrote:
>  > OK, so a couple of nights ago, someone from my LUG gave me a few old-ish
>  > books ('90s), anyway, theres a beginers guide to Assembly Language
>  > there.  I started reading, and the first 3 chapters are just about
>  > Computer Science, and It's really interesting, Im learning about octal
>  > and hex, and other maths stuff as well.  Id always though low-level
>  > stuff would be really boring...  guess I was wrong.

Very wrong :)

>  I officially retired from machine code when they switched from 8-bit to
>  16-bit. With 8-bit, I could actually memorise then entire 6502
>  instruction set in my head, by the numbers (eg. 96 = return from
>  subroutine). With 16-bit, it was just far too complicated for the whole
>  thing to stick in my head in one go!
>  Low-level stuff is really interesting, but the problem is these days
>  everything is built library on top of another (eg. X-Windows, Gnome)
>  that it is almost impossible to achieve anything in machine code.

Ah, but I believe just knowing it helps you in all areas of computing.
It gives you a feel for the basics, and leads to the guilty conscience
when using strcmp() in C :)

That said, assembly is still used often enough to optimise routines,
in games, or other performance-critical code, I don't believe there is
no longer a place for it.


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