Assembly Language Throwdown to Steve by Dave of Microsoft

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Well-known member
Sep 16, 2020
Ontario, Canada
Well the assembler is just a pretty sugar coating on machine language. Machine language is particular to the architecture of the machine. 6502, for example had exactly three registers (well aside from the program counter) A, X and Y. x86 has been extended a fair bit over the years, and has different modes, the real mode uses a 64k paging design that can be eliminated by later flat (protected) modes. ( ) Motorola 68K has a very regular instruction set where you can use almost any register in any use whereas other architectures have specific uses for specific registers. Then there are the RISC processors which I don't think humans really write code for... they're so unfriendly to use they pretty much require machine generation of code.


Oct 1, 2020
I totally agree, that should be his next project after SpinRite! I would love to see what approach Steve would take with teaching ASM. I used Assembler to code for Z80's and CPM. It seemed complicated then but looked back over the code and it seems trivial now. Loved selling customers solutions using CPM 8080 machines for a fraction of the cost of PDP-8s.


Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
I'm sure there are plenty of Assembly Language resources. What might be harder to find is a cheat-sheet of sorts that lists optimization methods, the ways to do things more easily that Steve mentioned in response to the "throwdown."

[I've never worked for DEC.]
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