Midnight Pub

Assembling some notes on Assembly Language

~tffb

So, I saw a thing on the YT channel "The 8-bit Guy" some time ago about Assembly Language, and I think the video before that was "The Basics of BASIC", and over a couple months, I kept going back and thinking again and again about AL.

"Wow!", I thought. "It would be like writing code **straight** to the damn hardware, itself!" Which, is kinda IS doing that.

So I started to put together some notes from a Github hosted "e-book" called "Some Assembly Required" by the "Hack Club" (an "organization" of developers/programmers who are in high school - sort of a national organization type of a thing), and I am a fair bit into SAR, and got down to the some specific code examples (which were geared for x86 (64-bit)), and I was like "this (AL) is essentially all math-based, yea?", and I kinda steered away from AL after that.

The initial intention was to figure out a thing or two about a thing or two and try to write *something* with RISC-V, as it is supposed to be the most approachable over other types of AL.

Either way, I stepped away from the diligent note-taking, for now, but will go back to it soon enough.

In the meantime, I need to start getting some stuff together for the "retro" computer project I am putting together, which is KIND OF retro, but really it will be a kit of some kind, using a modern board (micro computer), but one that is geared for retro computing. Essentially, not a "legit" old Commodore 64, or Tandy, or anything like that, but just a modern-component board that is sort of low-powered (and therefore affordable). I am aiming for one of the Maximite models (either the original (which is hard to find these days), or the newest version of it - the Color Maximite 2 Deluxe).

Anyhow, I hope all are well, and I'll simply have a water please, ~bartender, as I have plenty of caffeine in me already ;)


tetris

I once dove into the assembly space with a MIPS processor, and took great joy in talking directly to the CPU.... that was until I learned that assembly itself is not a machine language but an *interpreted* one, because newer CPUs now perform their own optimisations in the hardware space!

After that I grew listless and world weary, and I closed the curtains in the basement and listened to depressing 80s music.

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tffb

I mean (first, lol) Assembly always did go through an assembler and then made into machine language, and then *that* language went on to do the specific hardware tasks, but if you mean individual types of CPU's, themselves, have their own (*small*) ways of processing *that*, then I suppose I could see what you mean. Apple M1/M2 chips likely do something like that.

I also DO get confused when reading about AL (hell, I *just* started reading up on it a couple weeks ago to the extent of taking notes), and just HOW the CPU *does* all these instructions. It's definitely fun to learn!

Just in case, I have a playlist pre-made of The Smiths, Morrissey, and I'm sure I'll find a band or two to toss in in case I become disenchanted for good measure ;)

3:30 AM here, and I'll take a coffee, ~bartender! Thanks!

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tetris

Yeah, the latter -- I'd spend hours optimizing and optimizing and optimizing my assembly code, only to later learn that it was being secretly undone in the background.

Depeche Mode, Harmonium, and some good old fashioned existential BOC

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inquiry

I marvel at your patience and gusto.

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tffb

the more efficient I get at Assembly Language, the less patient I have to be! :):)

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inquiry

You make a good pointer - I mean point!

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contrarian

How about a Commander X16 or MSX3? The MEGA65 is too expensive.

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tffb

ah, and ~contrarian, the Commander X16 was just released today (or the finalizations of the prototype are starting). Woot!

I joined that forum to see it all come together :)

May go that route, but who knows

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tffb

I've considered the Commander X16, and just heard of MEGA65 just today from Perifractic. I didn't see the price of the MEGA65, though, but I'd imagine expensive when he said prototype copies from back when sold for ~$50K on eBay. Wild.

Just something *about* the Maximite that I like. Initially I wanted the first model, monochrome only, but they are likely not making new models of that, and even the Color Maximite 2 seems to be bit difficult to find in stock. That's why I'd get the Deluxe.

:)

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contrarian

https://rc2014.co.uk/

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tffb

Ah, hadn't seen that site before. Thank you :)

I went and checked the status of the Commander X16 real fast, and I see that as of Dec 2021, the COVID-induced chip shortage delayed the project by (estimated) 12 months, so I am likely to rule that out for the "init commit" (retro computing) project I am doing.

There's a guy on Write.as that is doing a lot of Z80 stuff, and something he shared reminded me of the possibility of me possibly doing a "breadboard" type of machine (board building w/o the need for soldering), and I'd like to go that route as I am not solder-ready, at the moment. Definitely a thing I will get into, but I sort of want to get the ball rolling on an initial hardware/software project and get the proper peripherals before I get into a "build".

I bookmarked the rc2014 site, though, so thank you again :)

~bartender, another hot coffee for me! Thank you much!

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