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Programming from the Ground Up Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Bartlett Publishing (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975283847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975283844
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,250,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

I highly recommend working through this book even if you'll never program assembly again... you'll be a vastly better programmer. -- Joel Spolsky, JoelOnSoftware.com

From the Publisher

We were excited to publish this book for several reasons. First of all, very few books on assembly language deal with the Linux platform. In fact, most of the ones in use today are either stuck teaching MS-DOS 16-bit assembly language or teaching the MIPS architecture assembly language. Neither of these is particularly useful in modern programming, and 16-bit x86 assembly language is a complete nightmare for new programmers.

This book fills a real need right now. It is the only book available that (a) is readable by new programmers, (b) focuses on the cleaner 32-bit assembly language, (c) targets the Linux platform, and (d) uses the tools that are available standard on Linux distributions. The other Linux assembly language books require downloading and installing third-party assemblers, while this book uses the one that comes with the gcc tool chain.

This book also fills a need in the industry. Right now there are numerous programmers who either never got a formal education or went to a school that did not require assembly language programming. When you don't understand assembly language, you miss out on learning how the computer thinks and acts underneath the hood. This book has helped numerous programmers come back and learn assembly language and really understand how the computer works. If assembly language has been a "black magic" subject for you, this book will help you out.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
This is without a doubt one of the best books in my technical library.
Jonathon
This book uses the right tools, GNU Assembler and Linux on x86, and gives a very good introduction to assembly programming.
Håkon Hallingstad
For people who are just beginning to program, the ground-up style of this book gives a unique perspective.
"aerinfir"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By "aerinfir" on June 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm a student who used this book as the text for the assembly portion of a systems programing class. I must say, I was impressed. The ordering of material seemed natural and the explanations were quite good, especially the section on low-level memory management. Ever wonder how calloc and malloc work? This actually has assembly code (accompanied with plenty of explanation) for writing a basic memory manager.
The nice thing about it is that its written for the gcc compiler and IA-32 architecture, so all you need to write programs that run on your machine is an Intel processor with a Linux partition.
For people who are just beginning to program, the ground-up style of this book gives a unique perspective. Because assembly is more difficult than higher-level languages, I'd recommend that true beginners get familiar with a language like C or Java first, then turn to this book for a fuller understanding of programming. About a semester's worth of another language should prepare you I think. That being said, I do think it's easy to overlook the importance of low-level programming. After you have some experience with control structures and manipulating strings, take a look at this book to really flesh out your knowledge. I definitely felt I gained a better understanding of how we get from source code in a text file to instructions that the machine can really understand.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By sansai on March 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book's homepage:

[...]

It can be downloaded free of charge at:

[...]

UPDATE: Sorry - the links which had appeared here for years were removed by Amazon at some point. Please enter the book's title and "PDF" into your favorite web search engine to find the link.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
After looking around for an introduction to assembly in linux, this is the best book I found (well, there's not much competition). I had heard asm is hard, but you'll be up and running very quickly with this book - it's actually quite easy. I have no intention of doing any real programming in assembly, but after learning the basics I have a better idea of what code in a higher level language compiles to, I finally really understand pointers and the difference between the heap and the stack, etc.

It loses a point for trying to be an introduction to programming in general. There are better books for that, and better approaches than starting at the lowest level (actually, you *could* build your own chips..). It is not a general reference to assembly, will not take you very deep, and is not intended to. IMHO, it should have been.

Anyway, this is the place to go if you want to get started on asm and you use linux (in particular, it's better than the Hyde book).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Håkon Hallingstad on August 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have been looking for an assembly book for Linux on x86 for a long time, but have been disapointed by the available books.

This book uses the right tools, GNU Assembler and Linux on x86, and gives a very good introduction to assembly programming. The book starts with a simple example program that is expanded and explained carefully. Topics like C function calls, Linux system calls and linking are also described very well.

The reason I give this book 4 stars is because 1. later chapters overwhelmed me with large code samples that also contained several new concepts. It is easy to get lost in an assembly program, and the author should have kept the code samples small in style with the earlier chapters. 2. Only a fraction of the instruction set is covered. But having read this book makes it easy to read Intel's documentation and the GNU Assembler Info pages.
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