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Thanks. Yeah, the pain points I remember from learning x86 asm have to do with screwing up dealing with both 16-bit and 32-bit ints and pointers in the same program. Those were probably pretty contrived assignments, and you're right, most of the x86 bizarreness is there even if you're just doing 8086 stuff.

I just don't know if it's wrong to jump in the deep end with x86. Obviously the argument can be made either way, and x86 is ugly, but I'm pretty prejudiced toward learning something that will potentially be useful right off the bat. That would make me lean towards x86 or ARM for teaching or for self study, I think, and I have no idea what the ARM tools look like right now.

One of my more masochistic long-term goals is to make a compiler (I've made an assembler of sorts) so I might be revisiting this question at some point. Joy.

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