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Assembly Language for x86 Processors (6th Edition) 6th Edition

22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0136022121
ISBN-10: 013602212X
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Editorial Reviews


“This textbook [Irvine] teaches assembly and architecture fundamentals in a logical and concise manner for students with a reasonable CS1 backgrounds…and are applicable to higher-level programmers as to their understanding of what is happing to the code that they write and how it behaves during compilation and execution.” — John Doyle, Indiana University, Southeast

“The problems and exercises are of good quality and quantity; they always have similarity within the chapter examples, but they are presented in a more challenging way. Students can pick-up skills that can be transferred to solving a new problem.” — Yinping Jiao, South Texas College

“The book [Irvine] is well-organized. The chapters are lined-up such that after you cover the foundations presented in chapter 1-8, you can jump to any chapter you like consistent with what you think the students should know for upcoming classes.” — Remzi Seker, University of Arkansas, Little Rock

“Wonderful! This edition…added clearer examples to make it easy to understand assembly language and computer architecture from the programmer’s point-of-view. I am very impressed with the clarity of explanations. The diagrams are simple and complement the discussions perfectly.” — David Topham, Ohlone College

“The coverage of 16-bit mode is superb…”increasingly historical.”” — John-Thomas Amenyo, York College, City College of New York

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 6 edition (March 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 013602212X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0136022121
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Kip Irvine has written five computer programming textbooks, for Intel Assembly Language, C++, Visual Basic, and COBOL. Along with Tony Gaddis, he is co-author of two books on Visual Basic: Starting Out with Visual Basic 2010, and Advanced Visual Basic 2010. His Assembly Language for Intel-Based Computers has been translated into six languages. Kip grew up in Kailua, Hawaii as a surfer, sailor, and surfboard maker. He studied classical guitar and music composition at University of Hawaii, and earned a doctorate in music composition from the University of Miami in 1982. Around that time he began programming computers, and was a professor of Computer Information Systems at Miami-Dade College for 17 years. He also holds a MS in Computer Science from the University of Miami, and since 2000 has been on the faculty of the School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University. He is also a programming team coach and a 4th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By GoodRead65 on April 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Initially, I hated this book. Hated it. But as I progressed through it I grudingly had to admit that I was learning. Let me state unequivocally, this IS a textbook - it's priced like one and it reads like one. It's not a self study book like the Head First, Deitel, Sams, Dummies, OReilly, et al series, but I think with a modest amount of effort one can learn using it.


- Price -

There is absolutely no justification for the pricing on this book. Non-textbooks have just as much, if not more, content/quality for 1/3 of the cost.

- Dated -

This is the 6th edition of this book. The Sixth!! The front matter states that this book was previously published as "Assembly Language for Intel-Based Computers" which itself has been around since the early 90s. There are signs that the author has made attempts to drag this book into the current millennium but it's still got more age spots than a 3 month old banana.

Plus, the "additions" only seem to highlight the fact that this is an old book. You've got supplemental info in various places: the publisher's website, the author's website, a companion website. Take this remark (pg 103):
"This program generates no screen output, but you can (and should) run it using a debugger. Please refer to tutorials on the book's Web site showing how to use the Microsoft Visual Studio debugger."

Another example, in chapter 5 he details opening/modifying the console window. I would think that anyone who has experience programming in C/Java/Python (as per the prereqs in 1.1.1) would already know what the console window is. This suggests that this is one of the many updates made to this book of the last decade or so which only adds to its fractured appearance.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By H. Martin on January 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books on the subject of Assembly, IA-86 and Windows Assembler specifically, and it is extremely good when compared to other programming books (in other languages).

Assumptions about your goals: You want to learn IA-86 Assembly, and you prefer to learn it on Windows, and you know a bit about programming in general (in some language).

The huff about the "Irvine libraries" from other reviewers is vastly overblown out of all proportion. The POINT of the libraries is to give the new assembly language programmer some basic tools so that meaningful programs can be immediately written without getting (immediately) into ALL the gory details.

Details are the norm in assembly language programming but having to deal with all of the details in Chapter 1, or in your first few programs would either be 1) overwhelming or 2) distracting from the key points that provide the basis for further learning.

I saw the libraries mentioned; loaded them on my computer; and then pretty much ignored them as I learned directly from reading the book and in writing my own program(s).

You only "need" the libraries if you 1) want to slavishly follow the examples and 2) don't won't to implement the equivalent functions yourself.

If you are an advanced enough programmer (in general or in assembler specifically) it is largely trivial to implement the needed routines as you read and study the book -- as long as you have the time and don't find the extra work/details distracting.

For some (perhaps crazy) reason, I decided to re-write one of my CPP multi-threaded network utilities in Assembly -- mostly to see how small I could make it and to force myself to learn Assembly.
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Mike VINE VOICE on October 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book contains a large amount of 16 bit (and 32 bit code that is glorified 16 bit) x86 code. We are now on 64 bits. 64 bit architecture has also changed. This book is representative of the approximately the 2000-2002 era of Windows ME or so, despite the fact it keeps getting "updated". I do not know what these updates consist of, but it still fails to address modern operating systems and architecture. Many students, unfamiliar with DOS, will be quickly lost by the extensive use of the DOS console.

You will not learn x86 Assembly Language from this book. The pace is glacial and you will barely be able to output to the console by the time you finish. Assembly at this introductory level is not that hard, the author has just loaded down his book with useless minutiae, presumably to hide the fact that the book is increasingly outdated, its code is irrelevant, it fails to address the windows api, and it doesn't deal w/any modern MASM implementation. As a bonus, the writing is terrible and the programming exercises frequently require knowledge of material not covered at the time of the exercise (most of the chapter 5 exercises, for instance, essentially require bit-shifting, conveniently located in chapter 7 - 2 chapters afterwards), or, still better, are often not covered at all.

But, perhaps the worst part of the book is that the author does not use a standard library (MASM32 would be ideal - or the libraries included w/the latest Visual Studio Express - available for free) instead the author writes his own proprietary library for the outdated last pre-VS hurrah of MASM. So, when you're finished with the book, not only will you have learned little, but you will not even have learned many standard calls or even a modern MASM implementation. Computers progress quickly.
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