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Assembly Language Step-by-step: Programming with DOS and Linux (with CD-ROM) Paperback – May 24, 2000

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From the Back Cover

The bestselling guide to assembly language-now updated and expanded to include coverage of Linux

This new edition of the bestselling guide to assembly programming now covers DOS and Linux! The Second Edition begins with a highly accessible overview of the internal operations of the Intel-based PC and systematically covers all the steps involved in writing, testing, and debugging assembly programs.

Expert author Jeff Duntemann then presents working example programs for both the DOS and Linux operating systems using the popular free assembler NASM. He also includes valuable information on how to use procedures and macros, plus rare explanations of assembly-level coding for Linux, all of which combine to offer a comprehensive look at the complexities of assembly programming for Intel processors.

Providing you with the foundation to create executable assembly language programs, this book:
* Explains how to use NASM-IDE, a simple program editor and assembly-oriented development environment
* Details the most used elements of the 86-family instruction set
* Teaches about DEBUG, the single most useful tool you have as an assembly language programmer
* Examines the operations that machine instructions force the CPU to perform
* Discusses the process of memory addressing
* Covers coding for Linux

The CD-ROM includes:
* Net-Wide Assembler (NASM) for both DOS and Linux
* NASM-IDE, a command shell and code editor for DOS
* ALINK, a free linker for DOS programming
* All program code examples from the book

About the Author

JEFF DUNTEMANN is the Editor-in-Chief of Visual Developer magazine, former editor of Turbo Technix and PC Techniques, the "Structured Programming"columnist for Dr. Dobb's Journal, and has written and edited more than twenty programming books.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 613 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (May 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471375233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471375234
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a writer, editor, technologist and contrarian living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Although I have worked as a programmer, I've been in the publishing industry (both technical magazines and books) since 1985. I co-founded Coriolis Group Books in 1989, and since 2002 have been a partner in technology publisher Paraglyph Press. Most of my book-length work has been on computer technology. (See JEFF DUNTEMANN'S WI-FI GUIDE, ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE STEP BY STEP, and DEGUNKING EMAIL, SPAM, AND VIRUSES, as well as many more titles now out of print.)

In my loose moments I'm an amateur radio operator (now K7JPD), amateur astronomer, and SF writer. My first SF novel (THE CUNNING BLOOD) was published in November 2005, but I have been selling SF stories to magazines and anthologies for 30 years, and was on the final Hugo Awards ballot in 1981. As time allows I build and fly kites and gadget-hack with Meccano/Erector parts and radio tubes. I loathe sports, politics, and cruciferous vegetables, separately and in combination.

I am a relatively liberal Old Catholic (which means I belong to a non-Papal independent Catholic jurisdiction) and read a great deal on religion and spirituality. There's more to Catholicism than Rome, though we hide well. My wife Carol and I met in high school and have been married for 35 years. We live on the side of Cheyenne Mountain with four bichon frise dogs.

There's more about me on my Web sites: (my blog) (tech projects) and, which is a quick index to all that I've published online.

Customer Reviews

The book is enjoyable and easy to read.
Jeff Pike
Even if you are not looking to learn assembly language I recommend this book.
Eric Durbin
I don't have time to read a 600 page book when it could have been 300 pages.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Robert P. Chatham on June 10, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like everyone else I've ever met who's looked into learning assembly, I had a little trouble comprehending how everything fit together. I'd heard wonderful things about Duntemann's last edition of Assembly Language: Step by Step, so I decided to purchase the updated linux version. Duntemann's 600+ page book slowly guides the beginner into an understanding of Assembly. Don't be confused by the book's size - this book will NOT make an expert - perhaps not even an intermediate programmer. Instead, this book teachers the basics of assembly and provides a decent background into the workings of computer memory, the cpu, and other concepts that EVERY programmer should know. This book can't be given a higher recommendation for anyone looking to start in assembly - Duntemann has a way of explaining (and re-explaining) through metaphors that enhance comprehension. Anyone who already has a background in this material will be amazed by the extreme explanations ("a whole CHAPTER on hex and binary! "), but it's really the perfect way to pound the knowledge in. By the end of the book, the reader will know so much more about assembly - and how/why it works. Just don't expect to be a highly skilled professional.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Billy Kidd on July 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
What I was looking for: With very little assembly language programming experience, I wanted to start writing assembly language for my linux box.
What I found in Step-by-Step: The best introduction to computer science I've ever read. I'm tempted to recommend the first couple chapters to anyone interested in starting to program- whether assembly or even with a high level language.
What I got: After reading the book I've acquired a solid knowledge base to do assembly in -any- environment...and more importantly, his style of writing didn't kill my fascination and desire to start writing code at the assembly level.
Some of what he gives you is "out-of-date". Your likely to do your assembly language programming under protected mode--whether with Linux or Windows NT/2000. Though this makes a large size of the book "out-of-date" it DOES NOT make it worthless or not worth reading. For me, who had no knowledge of the differences between these memory models before reading the book, it was very useful information to have. I was hesitant of his claims in the 2nd editon that learning real mode would help me with protected, fearing he was covering up an incomplete 2nd edition, but in retrospect I appreciate his coverage, though I'll -never- write assembly code using real mode techniques.
This book gave me the foundation to go in any direction I want to take with assembler. I'm able to read those terse online quick starts for assembly language programming with linux and am off and running.
Excellent foundation, gets you excited about the long learning road ahead. A wonderful place to start.
He doesn't just give you an instruction set and briefly describe the memory model..
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Money Leaker on December 29, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great for assembly beginners. The author has a great style of writing that is casual, compelling, at times humorous, and most importantly, honest and instructive. What stymies most newcomers is the lack of explanation of details, which is positively essential when learning assembly, due to its fairly arcane nature. This is where the author shines. Before I read this book, I had difficulty with the concept of memory segments, but Step-by-Step provided an easily understood explanation of what they were, what they do, and how to use them. Another essential tool for the aspiring assembly programmer that is explained in this book is DOS's progam DEBUG. The author devotes enough time on this subject so that you, the programmer can actually utilize some of DEBUG's main features. The book also introduces a few of DOS's and the BIOS's system services that are directly available to assembly programs. Each service that the author discusses is thoroughly covered and shouldn't leave anyone dissatisfied.
Of course, no book can cover "it all" (except maybe the Good Book). You'll need to buy more after this. Just think of Step-by-Step as a "primer" (you couldn't expect to read and understand War and Peace if you can't understand Run-away Bunny). This book is writen by a 30-year veteren of assembly language (among other languages) and of technology and electronics in general. His knowledge is vast and he understands that imposing that vast knowledge on a beginner all at once would be illogical. So, in the authors own words, this book is intended to help you learn how to learn assembly. I'm sure you've heard it before in other tech-book reviews: "You won't be a/n <insert something> wiz once you finish reading this book.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "ewon" on January 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Many people aspiring to learn assembly have been discourage by the high learning barrier of understanding the arcane aspects of language and computer architecture. I was one of them. This book helped me broke that barrier.
As the author said that he set out to write a book that "taught people how to program in assembly language as ther first experience in programming"; the book lives up to that promise.
Unlike many other books that rushes through basic concepts and dives into assembly instruction, the author has great explanations of every concepts in assembly. I especially liked the metaphors approach to describe many difficult concepts.
The NASM assembler and NASM-IDE tools included in the book is another bonus to the book. The author also has a web site to for book errata, links to other great web pages about assembly.
The author dedicated the last 100 pages of the book to Linux programming, and done a decent job at it. I agree with him that the reason he did not choose Windows was that the results from learning and programming windows applications in Assembly is not worth the time. However, I wondered if it would be better that if the author spend that last 100 pages on building something useful with assembly, like a hex editor, so that we get a better feel for the language. He could write a book on programming in assembly for Linux.
But, overall, the book is so well-written, living up to the title: Step by Step - that I didn't even feel any difficulty learning the concepts, as I did in other books.
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