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Old 30th April, 2003, 05:54 AM
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DimViesel DimViesel is offline
Join Date: April 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 517

Assembler eh...?
From a very young age (4 - Atari 2600), intrigued by the ability to take control of images rendered on a crt screen (games to the rest of us), I have been aghast as to what can be accomplished by the building of a logical framework from simple inviolable axioms.

Before you react violently and banish me from these tech forums for my impenetrable and turgid prose, I'm talking of the logical building blocks that allow the logical piecing together of a general logical and arithmetic evaluating system, more commonly known & simply referred to as the computer.

The intriguing thing about programming when contrasted with all the other sciences (if indeed it can be argued that it is a science more than it is an art and you agree with this point of view) is that is recent and in many respects inevitably solitary due to the compounding layers of complexity in an advanced algorithm to a specific problem.
We humans, whether we like it or not are naturally illogical by nature. We are swayed biased and thrown by our subjective and presumptuous inclinations.
At risk of going seriously off-topic here it is, I believe, primarily for these reasons that for many of us the discovery of programming and its inherent formal logic is a rude awakening. For some it even goes as far as making the world seem like an entirely different place. For one we grasp at once the wonder of the immense ingenuity of the creation of the complex computer and also to be fully versed in the paradoxical shock of its extreme and its very real limitations. We thought they were 'capable' of so much before we realised the ingenuity of their creation, they were almost magic boxes; not so once you realise the 'simple' routine which underlies ALL of their functions.

For some it goes further. It makes us realise the inherent illogicality of our own behaviour and begin to question the efficiency of how we do things. Programming taught me the power and importance of sequence when going about my daily life. How sequence is often the primary factor affecting the result of more activities than we realise; although mostly the time in which we can complete a non-trivial activity and even a lot of non-trivial ones too (note I do know that terms like 'trivial' and 'non-trivial' are prob. wholly subjective and therefore almost impossible to formaly define satisfactorily in any useful way but I did say we humans are illogical and prejudiced by nature and unfortunately I can choose to be nothing else ).
I could be over presumptious here (only human), and these realisations and new-found biases (for at the end of the day for all their logical good intentions that is what they are) could have their roots more in my study of Systems Analysis. Perhaps this is what is required to make the connection between the ability to employ logic within the confines of the artificial system of a computer and 'porting' it over to the real world.

If you have stuck with me thus far good on you and you will be rewarded with a conclusion that will hopefully ignite your inquisitiveness give you the shove you need or the wind of inspiration to surge forward.
I have looked at many languages used many of them (although paradoxically I never properly learnt the most prevalent and its cousins C, or C++), though as I said I am aware of their rudimentary structure, background, purpose and application.

Formal functional, procedural, OOP paradigms list based etc. these are all the logical interpretations of the tactics best used for creating algorithms that aid solving problems and tasks that could be maneuvered into computation.
Different languages subscribe to one or many of the above theories or ideals. Assembler in the main does not although mostly I believe it would be procedural in nature if it was to be described as anything.

Assembler is a challenge that I do not feel I have completed fully yet though I have begun. It is serendipitious that I happen to have recently bought an EPoX 8RDA+ and hence was directed to these forums via the UK support site. However I will certainly be joining Garfield on his quest, as long as our paths lead to a common goal... and for the reasons outlined above I would urge you to do the same. The insight, the ability you will possess to finally command your machine to do precisely as you instruct it (this in apprentice hands is also one of the dangers of Assembler - or Assm for short - although there is no need to worry it is nowhere near as bad as it once potentially was, I think... ) and the ability to formalise and analyse the world you thought you knew so well can only increase your potential value to yourself and others!
Who knows! You may realise that it's something you have been looking for all your life without knowing ... you may unlike myself find your self taking to it like a camel to the desert, and also (unlike myself) find that you are a natural at 'seeing through the matrix' of machine code -LOL!

Although people frown at the devotion some of us invest in our 'coding' I would say that with television and the world being the way it is you really aren't missing any kind of a party. Don't let my negativity rub off on you though!

Woohoo! Registers, upper and lower order bits here were come!

PS The author is not the resident of a mental care institution, has never had the pleasure to reside in one, and while he can pass off as a normal person successfully, does not foresee this changing in the near future. He does however ask you to cordially forgive his over enthusiastic 5640 char post!

Last edited by DimViesel; 30th April, 2003 at 12:36 PM.
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