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  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    Guest:
    The 3rd release of SpinRite v6.1 is published and may be obtained by all SpinRite v6.0 owners at the SpinRite v6.1 Pre-Release page. (SpinRite will shortly be officially updated to v6.1 so this page will be renamed.) The primary new feature, and the reason for this release, was the discovery of memory problems in some systems that were affecting SpinRite's operation. So SpinRite now incorporates a built-in test of the system's memory. For the full story, please see this page in the "Pre-Release Announcements & Feedback" forum.
    /Steve.
  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for some very handy tips!

    /Steve.
  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

    GRC's “BootAble” freeware allows anyone to easily create BIOS-bootable media in order to workout and confirm the details of getting a machine to boot FreeDOS through a BIOS. Once the means of doing that has been determined, the media created by SpinRite can be booted and run in the same way.

    The participants here, who have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience, their successes and some frustrations with booting their computers into FreeDOS, have created a valuable knowledgebase which will benefit everyone who follows.

    You may click on the image to the right to obtain your own copy of BootAble. Then use the knowledge and experience documented here to boot your computer(s) into FreeDOS. And please do not hesitate to ask questions – nowhere else can better answers be found.

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Assembly Language Throwdown to Steve by Dave of Microsoft

#1

D

Duckpaddle

I wanted to hear Steve's response to the former M$ programmer's throw-down to Steve at the end of this very entertaining Windows tutorial using MASM.

Hello, Assembly! Retrocoding the World's Smallest Windows App in x86 ASM


BTW, it was a really interesting video to see a full windows program in MASM!


#2

P

PHolder

I wanted to hear Steve's response
Did you listen to the most recent podcast (last week now, as there will be a new one later today)? That is where Steve made his response (along with having made posts on his newsgroup for SpinRite.)


#3

D

Duckpaddle

That's Great! I am going to listen to it now!


#4



Mainframe

Steve should do some Assembler tutorials. I am learning to do some Assembly programming on the Mainframe and seems fairly different than PC Assembly.


#5

Barry Wallis

Barry Wallis

Steve should do some Assembler tutorials. I am learning to do some Assembly programming on the Mainframe and seems fairly different than PC Assembly.
I did IBM S/360 BAL (Basic Assembly Language) programming in 1973.


#6

P

PHolder

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. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:X86_operating_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.


#7

D

Duckpaddle

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.


#8

Barry Wallis

Barry Wallis

I used to work for DEC.


#9

danlock

danlock

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.]


#10

Dave

Dave

I used to work for DEC.
My late step-mother was Ken Olsen's executive assistant for decades!

She used to ask when I was gonna stop playing with the little kids (WANG) and start working with the big boys.


#11

Barry Wallis

Barry Wallis

@Dave: My years at DEC were the best years of my working life. The people I worked with were great (I still keep in touch with them 40 years later) and the company culture fostered respect and innovation.


#12

D

Dave New

If you get nostalgic for PDP, you can always build one: https://obsolescence.wixsite.com/obsolescence

So far, I've built the PDP-11/70. Lots of fun, and you can see one running behind Leo during the SN podcast.

For that matter, I think those are PDP-8's running behind Steve, as well.

I also have one of these kits: https://adwaterandstir.com/altair/

Unbuilt, so far.

I didn't mess with PDP's much in my youth, but really cut my teeth on 8-bit micros, the 6800, 8080, Z-80, and 6502 on Digital Group systems.

Still have the quick-reference cards for each of those micros, and did write directly in machine code and assembly on each of those platforms.


#13

Barry Wallis

Barry Wallis

For that matter, I think those are PDP-8's running behind Steve, as well.
They are. I too programmed assembly language on a Z-80. I had a thermal printer for it and stored data / programs on cassette tapes.


#14

M

Mervyn Haynes

I had a thermal printer for it and stored data / programs on cassette tapes.
Ahhhhh.... Memories......... (now add the sound of a modem connecting)


#15

R

Ralph

When I worked for Burroughs (Unisys now days) the B1700 small system used cassettes to load the operating system (MCP) and diagnostics. I worked there from 1975-1982 and worked on a lot of stuff that was old even then. Tape drives, disks, card readers, printers, &c many with no chips, all discrete. Mainframes with core memory (B3500) were old back then, but I learned a lot from that old stuff. Interesting to see how computers have evolved. Someone I knew was going to open a business and was interested in technology. I wanted to make him a 'business card' out of an 80 column punch card but couldn't find a key punch to make it. TIme/ technology marches on. I still have a few bits and pieces of machines from them days.