The Art of Assembly Language Programming

Peter Kitson

ISBN : 1886411972

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Sample Chapter From The Art of Assembly Language Programming
     Copyright © Randall Hyde



Data Representation

Probably the biggest stumbling block most beginners encounter when attempting to learn assembly language is the common use of the binary and hexadecimal numbering systems. Many programmers think that hexadecimal (or hex) numbers represent absolute proof that God never intended anyone to work in assembly language. While it is true that hexadecimal numbers are a little different from what you may be used to, their advantages outweigh their disadvantages by a large margin. Nevertheless, understanding these numbering systems is important because their use simplifies other complex topics including boolean algebra and logic design, signed numeric representation, character codes, and packed data.

1.0 Chapter Overview

This chapter discusses several important concepts including the binary and hexadecimal numbering systems, binary data organization (bits, nibbles, bytes, words, and double words), signed and unsigned numbering systems, arithmetic, logical, shift, and rotate operations on binary values, bit fields and packed data, and the ASCII character set. This is basic material and the remainder of this text depends upon your understanding of these concepts. If you are already familiar with these terms from other courses or study, you should at least skim this material before proceeding to the next chapter. If you are unfamiliar with this material, or only vaguely familiar with it, you should study it carefully before proceeding. All of the material in this chapter is important! Do not skip over any material.