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A very nice book about assembly programming is "Assembly Language Step-by-Step: Programming with Linux, 3rd edition" (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0470497025).

The nice thing about this book is that it guides the reader at understanding how the machine works first, and only then to assembly programming.

The sad thing about this book is that it references 32 bit intel-compatible processors.

My guess is that the original author has grown old and is not interested in producing a fourth edition of such book.

On this matter, I would like to ask: is it worth learning assembly for the x86/32-bit instructions, now that pretty much every computer is built on the amd64 architecture ?




I work in an IT dept which supports almost a dozen departments that all told use about 30 or 40 apps, almost all of which are still 32-bit. The hardware is recent and all 64-bit (as is our OS) but even the MS Office we use is 32-bit because of interaction with other apps. We also have to default the browser to the 32-bit IE executable rather than the 64-bit because of plugins (even MS recommends this). Most vendors still aren't up to 64-bit yet because they don't want to shut out the customers that are still years behind on upgrading. I'm thinking 32-bit will still be around for another 10 years to be on the safe side.


When I worked at a university, we had several pieces of legacy 32-bit software, mostly written in C, which were essential to some courses. It became more and more difficult to run them as Linux distributions stopped shipping 32-bit libraries by default (I think Scientific Linux 7.1 caused a lot of problems because of this).


amd64 is essentially a superset of the 32-bit version, and so it makes sense to understand 32-bit first. Actually, it's more like a half-64-bit extension because not everything is consistently 64-bit and a lot of things like operand sizes and registers actually default to being 32 bits.


That's true. I started with 16b and transitions to 32b and 64b were pretty straightforward. It's mostly just registers becoming wider.


I found this book during my Google searches and really enjoy reading the author's website. Here's a comment [1] he made 3 years ago about a new version:

"Well, that isn’t completely my decision. When the publisher wants a new edition, they contact me, and then I begin writing. I don’t see a new edition on the horizon for a couple of years yet. Worse, I need additional pages to cover 64 bit issues, and the number of pages I have in the book is limited. Unless I can persuade the publisher to go beyond the 600-page mark, I’m going to have to eliminate other material to cover 64-bit assembly."

[1] http://www.contrapositivediary.com/?page_id=1808#ASMSBS3E




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