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The Art of Assembly Language Paperback – March 25, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1593272074 ISBN-10: 1593272073 Edition: Second Edition

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The Art of Assembly Language + Reversing: Secrets of Reverse Engineering + The IDA Pro Book: The Unofficial Guide to the World's Most Popular Disassembler
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"My flat-out favorite book of 2003 was Randall Hyde's The Art of Assembly Language."
- Software Developer Times

"You would be hard-pressed to find a better book on assembly out there."
- Security-Forums.com

"If you want to use assembly language, or add it to your list of programming skills, this is the book to have."
- Book News (Australia)

"The text is well authored and easy to understand. The tutorials are thoroughly explained, and the example code segments are superbly commented."
- TechIMO

About the Author

Randall Hyde is the author of Write Great Code Volumes 1 and 2 (No Starch Press) and the co-author of MASM 6.0 Bible (The Waite Group). He has written for Dr. Dobb ™s Journal, Byte, and various professional journals. Hyde taught assembly language at the University of California, Riverside for over a decade.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 760 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; Second Edition edition (March 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272074
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #834,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

The point of the book is to drive home CONCEPTS and techniques and this book does this very well.
Dan McKinnon
One of the differences between the mediocre and the top programmers is that the top programmers nearly always know assembly language.
ADT
If you want to learn about assembly language by taking a route that gets you started easily then this is a good book.
John Graham-Cumming

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michael Ernest on July 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
I started reading assembly language by looking at object output from various C compilers. I learned a fair amount by writing gradually more complex programs and reading the corresponding assembler. But eventually I wanted a concept-driven perspective to help me understand more of the whys and wherefores. So I turned to Randall Hyde because I'd read two other books of his, Write Great Code: Volume 1: Understanding the Machine and Write Great Code, Volume 2: Thinking Low-Level, Writing High-Level. Vol. 2 inspired me in particular because its contents matched the subtitle well, and the book led me in a very likely direction for my interests.

I blithely assumed Art of Assembly would take things a step further, but it is not that book. It covers High Level Assembly, a software package of Hyde's invention that probably makes it easier for high-level language programmers to adapt to assembly code. The reader could learn enough HLA, Hyde proposes, to write low-level assembly directly. I think this point is questionable, and easily lost on some number of readers who are drawn in by the title. Not because it can't be done, but because most people adopting technologies on the go don't have the time or the need for small first steps into a complex, technically demanding topic. And why would you do this with HLA anyway, when you could immediately start doing this with C and the proper compiler switch?

The technical discussion is sometimes overwrought, as if to assuage the nervous reader that things are ok. I found this style distracting, sometimes to the point of irritation.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By D. Quist on March 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm on a quest for a good book about assembly. I teach reverse engineering classes and many of my students ask what the best way to learn assembly is. Some day a decent book on Intel Assembly will be written, but that day is not today. Skip this book if you want to do anything mildly resembling real-world assembly. Paul Carter has a much better assembly book that is freely available for download. (Google "Paul Carter")

I think this book would be much more appropriate if it was titled "The Art of High Level Assembly." The current title borders on false advertising.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Graham-Cumming on January 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
I was somewhat taken aback when reading this book to see the first example bearing almost no resemblance to assembly language at all:

program helloWorld;
#include( "stdlib.hhf" )

begin helloWorld;

stdout.put( "Hello, World of Assembly Language", nl );

end helloWorld;

It looks far more like C++ or Pascal than assembly language. In fact, there's not a single assembly language instruction in that example. That's because it's written in the author's own HLA (High Level Assembly) language that provides a vast number of help libraries and functions to make writing assembly language easier. That's a really worthy goal, but I think starting with a non-assembly example is misleading and confusing. This book would have been much better if it had dived into assembly and built up to HLA as a 'better way'. I assume that the author's argument is that using HLA makes it easier for people to get started and hence more people are likely to stay with assembly as the details get more complex. Personally, I don't like that approach, but others may be reassured by it.

Happily, the author does get into the details of assembly language programming, but it's entwined with descriptions of HLA. For me the book is a disappointment, for others it may well be just what they need to get started. I am giving it 4 stars because it's well written and clear but has a misleading title. If you wanted some hard-core, down and dirty assembly book then this is the wrong one for you. If you want to learn about assembly language by taking a route that gets you started easily then this is a good book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ira Laefsky VINE VOICE on April 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
I purchased my first Assembly Language Book by Randy Hyde on Apple II (6502) about 1982 in one of Boston's first computer stores.
I was amazed how a subject that was made difficult by well meaning Professors in my Computer Science curriculum could be taught exquisitely with cartoons and clear language in a book written for hobbyists. Randy has had almost thirty years since then in perfecting
his instructional and programming techniques for teaching assembly language since then and the current book illustrates this well.

Now that more powerful hardware has become available and even time critical and systems software (include entire operating systems) are
written in higher level languages, assembly language coding has become a forgotten black art. But it is still the best way of learning the relationship between a computer's hardware architecture and software implementation. While there are many books available today for
Intel Pentium Core Assemblers Randy's is still the best by far. He has taken in these recent editions the approach of implementing a
"higher-level" assembler with C/Java-like control structures which assembles to absolutely efficient and minimal machine code. In this
way he is able to teach beginners to assembly language a few statements at a time beginning with a C-like Hello World program and with a gentle introduction to CPU architecture; in a massive but easily understandable volume he proceeds to demonstrate a wide and inclusive variety of functions and data structures including string handling and object-oriented programming all implemented in efficient assembly
code.
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