A Conversation for Assembly Language


Post 1

flyguy ( the airplane, not the zipper)

When I first started at 'a major computer manufacturer', I was an assembler. I built 3/4 ton mainframes with 8k of memory. ( the bigger model could go up to 64, but then they weighted 40 pounds more) Then I became a programmer, and learned what we called Assembler. We could enter it into the cpu by twiddling switches on the console. It took a long time, because at least once every 5 instructions you would forget to increment the address switch, so the new instruction overlaid the old one at the same address. Then, because you had made one mistake, you wondered if you had made several, and so had to review all the bytes from the starting address upward. But we called it Assembler, not Assembly. (In fact before that we called it AutoCoder, even though it wasn't 'Auto'.)( In fact before that we used wet clay and a stick)


Post 2

Marjin, After a long time of procrastination back lurking

Looks like you have been working with ancient computers longer than I have. I remember you had to twiddle in about 5 instructions into a PDP8, so it loaded the first 128 bytes from disk, so it could load the rest of the OS. This was called the bootstrap and was the only way to start it after a power-down.
This fiddling is no assembler, it predates it, and is entering raw hex (or octal) machine code.
Asembler (or Assembly language) is a symbolic language, that uses a mnemonic code for each possible machine instruction.

But remember: However sofisticated HLL's are, if a job cannot be done in assembler, it cannot be done at all on that type of processor!

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