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probably definitely one of the most tedious languages out there. It's not that it's hard, but while the average language (C, C++, Java, etc.) takes around a month or two to learn, Assembly will probably take you more than a year to use proficiently. This is because unlike most languages which have a syntax similar to written English (for, if, etc.), Assembly is a low level language in which you write the instructions telling the processor what to do. The abstraction used in high level languages hides the complexity of the processor.
Who uses Assembly?
- Fat nerds who think the more obtuse a programming language is, the better it must be.
- Jackasses who like to pretend they are "going old school".
- Those who really enjoy reinventing the wheel.
- People optimizing compilers, but because they die like flies and the public is used to feature-stale software not running faster even after 10 years (see Microsoft Office), the industry rather buys faster hardware.
- Crackergroups who circumvent copy protection of uncreative american games for money to enable eastern street dealers to sell them (instead of bread).
- People who like making the closest to the metal code they can,
not realizing that you can compile code to ASM then assemble.No its still faster.
- Not even Grandma.
PROTIP: These examples apply ONLY to x86 (and in some cases amd64) assembly programming.
This is "Hello, World!" example for MASM (note the includes, this is specific to MASM and Win32):
.386 .model flat, stdcall option casemap :none include \MASM32\INCLUDE\windows.inc include \MASM32\INCLUDE\masm32.inc include \MASM32\INCLUDE\user32.inc includelib \MASM32\LIB\user32.lib .data message db "i herd u liek mudkipz?",0 mestitle db "lol, win32!",0 .code start: invoke MessageBox,0,ADDR message,ADDR mestitle,MB_OK ret end start
If you're using FASM and you think invoke is for pussies:
format PE GUI 4.0 include 'win32a.inc' entry start section '.c0de' code data readable writeable executable data import library user32,"user32.dll" import user32,MessageBox,"MessageBoxA" end data message db 'i herd u liek mudkipz?',0 title db 'lol, win32!',0 align 0x10 start: pop edx push 0 push title push message push 0 push edx jmp [MessageBox] data fixups end data
Or, if you prefer penguins (GAS)...:
.section .data output: .ascii "Goodbye, cruel world!" .section .text .globl _main _main: movl $output, %ecx movl $4, %eax movl $1, %ebx movl $21, %edx int $0x80 movl $1, %eax movl $0, %ebx int $0x80
Because assembly usually operates faster than high level code (C, BASIC, etc.) a lot of compilers for high level languages have support for inline assembly which is basically putting assembly code in your high level code.
This has the advantages of:
- Optimizing speed critical algorithms
Direct hardware accessUnless you're writing your own OS anyway, this is a myth.
But a big disadvantage is that the inline assembly may not work on other architectures.
Here is a tutorial for inline assembly with the gcc compiler.
Here's a short thing about some of the things that you can optimize by using assembly in your programs along with some things you cannot. Firstly, you can greatly optimize all of the operations inside of your DO and DO..WHILE loops these are very easy to replace in assembly, although you should note that if these calculations aren't very big then obviously interfacing it will cause your program to go slower. This is because every time the program calls this separate assembly module, it needs to save certain registers in the stack and then restore them. Which is OK for some programs but it could in theory be a pain in the ass for big programs that call the function several times, but that is again if the calculations aren't very big. IF.. Else's on the other hand aren't very easy to optimize, not that you can't optimize them, but really all of the optimizations you can do to them are very minor and kerxish. Basic math operations are very easy to optimize in assembly especially chunks of code that are repeated a lot. Regular integer stuff is easy to put into assembly but floating point operations are different, although this is not to imply that they are very much more difficult. They are different because all floating point operations are handled by the FPU registers, all of which commands have the letter F added to the front of them, I will elaborate more eventually on FPU. SIMD, which stands for Single Instruction, Multiple Data can be used to optimize vectors. SIMD can be used to optimize multimedia, bullshit like games, etc. The two extensions I know about are MMX and SSE (also I just googled for it, but since I learned assembly there is now SSE2, SSSE3, and an SSSSE4? lol so I'd suggest you look into them instead). It gets even worse if you include 3DNow!. tl;dr amirite?
Assembly is the only language you have to work with when cracking programs. (What kinda noob wrote this?) Imagine the pain groups like Razor1911 have to go through--- HAHA DISREGARD THAT I SUCK COCKS
To turn your assembly code into binary you need to assemble it (compile), here's a list of a few of the most popular ones.
- NASM (The Netwide Assembler) - Cross platform and released under the LGPL.
- Yasm - Complete rewrite of NASM.
- MASM32 - 32 bit Microsoft assembler (what the code above is).
- GAS (GNU Assembler) - Cross platform released by the GNU under the GPL.
- HLA (High Level Assembler) - Assembler for High Level Assembly.
- FASM (Flat Assembler)
- Art Of Assembly - Assembly tutorial.
- x86 CPU Instructions - Reference for Intel x86 Assembly Instructions.
Assembly is part of a series on Programming.
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