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Assembly Programming

Notes for Practical 1

Adan Patience
Joshua Moran

About the Practicals

Covering the Assembly Language
Assembly for Intel-Based Computers
Fourth edition Kip R. Irvine
Also the slides help a lot and check website

7 Practicals
Consult Course outline for dates and website for more information

Practicals 3rd, 4th and 5th period every

Homework Due Next Wednesday
NO late Submissions
Expect Surprise Tests

Programming Languages

Machine Language
"... is a numeric language that is specifically
understood by computer's processor (CPU)..." consists purely of numbers:
1011000000000101 1011000000000101
1011000000000101 1011000000000101
1011000000000101 1011000000000101
1011000000000101 1011000000000101
1011000000000101 1011000000000101
1011000000000101 1011000000000101

What is Assembly
A programming language that is easier for
humans to understand, but slightly less
efficient for computers to process.
Uses names and hexadecimal pointers
instead of binary numbers.

What is Assembly Language?

A machine-orientated language in

which mnemonics are used to

represent each machine-language
instruction. E.g. ADD, MOV, SUB,
MUL etc, which represent machine
language sequences (011000)

Translating Languages
English: Display the sum of A times B plus C.

Java: System.out.println(A * B + C);

Assembly Language:
mov ax,A
mul B
add ax,C
call WriteInt

Intel Machine Language:

A1 00000000
F7 25 00000004
03 05 00000008
E8 00500000

Download Prac 1
Go to
Select prac1
Right click on Masm615.rar and select
save link as
Save the file to C:/

Starting Dos
Click On Start
Then type CMD
Go to the directory Masm615: cd

A full program looks like:

What is a Batch file?

Similar to a Makefile in unix
It is a text file with the extension .BAT that contains DOS
Reduces repetitive typing by executing a batch of commands.

To Compile: make32.bat filename in CMD.
Note: Remove (omit) the .asm extension

Make32 /Zi filename.asm ; include debugging

Make32 /Fl filename.asm ; produce a listing file


Make32 /Fm filename.asm ; produce a map file


Make32 /Zm filename.asm ; use MASM 5.12

compatibility mode

The following command assembles

filename.asm and links filename.obj to the

link library linkfile.lib in the C:\MASM615

Make32 /Zi /Zm /Fm /Fl

filename.asm /link /co


Hello World
Open Notepad
Select File Save As
Save as type All Files
File name hello.asm
Save the file in prac1

Why Assembly language?

public class Hello{
public static void main(String[] args){
System.out.println("Hello World");
int main(void){
cout << "Hello world\n" << endl;
Java and C++ obviously much easier; so why?

Hello World
title Hello World program
; ALWAYS include the following lines
; Name: <Dane Brown> (Replace with your
own name)
; Purpose: This program displays "Hello
; Date: <Today's date>
(Insert todays

; from Irvine CDROM

Hello World
stack 100h
HelloString db "Hello, world", 0 ;message to
main proc

Hello World
mov edx, offset HelloString
invoke WriteString ; Write to cmd
; a macro that calls
main endp
end main

Possible Instructions
Delete (del)

The Basics are over

The next few slides explain registers

in detail and can be read in your own



Segment Registers
CS Code Segment 32-bit number that
points to the active code-segment
DS Data Segment 32-bit number that
points to the active data-segment
SS Stack Segment 32-bit number
that points to the active stacksegment
ES Extra Segment 32-bit number that
points to the active extra-segment

Pointer Registers
IP Instruction Pointer 32-bit number
that points to the offset of the next
SP Stack Pointer 32-bit number that
points to the offset that the stack is
BP Base Pointer used to pass data to
and from the stack

General-Purpose Registers
AX Accumulator Register mostly used
for calculations and for input/output
BX Base Register Only register that
can be used as an index
CX Count Register used for the loop
DX Data Register input/output and
used by multiply and divide

Index Registers
SI Source Index used by string
operations as source
DI Destination Index used by string
operations as destination


.model small : Lines that start with a "." are used to provide the
assembler with information. The word(s) behind it say what kind of
info. In this case it just tells the assembler the program is small and
doesn't need a lot of memory. I'll get back on this later.
.stack : Another line with info. This one tells the assembler that the
"stack" segment starts here. The stack is used to store temporary
data. It isn't used in the program, but it must be there, because we
make an .EXE file and these files MUST have a stack.
.data : indicates that the data segment starts here and that the stack
segment ends there.
.code : indicates that the code segment starts there and the data
segment ends there.
main proc : Code must be in procedures, just like in Java or any other
language. This indicates a procedure called main starts here. main
endp states that the procedure is finished. Procedures MUST have a
start and end. end main : tells the assembler that the program is
finished. It also tells the assembler were to start the program. At the
procedure called main in this case.

message db "xxxx" : DB means Define Byte and so it
does. In the data-segment it defines a couple of bytes.
These bytes contain the information between the
brackets. "Message" is a name to indentify this bytestring. It's called an "identifier".mov ax, seg message :
AX is a register.
MOV is an instruction that moves data. It can have a few
"operands". Here the operands are AX and seg message.
Seg message can be seen as a number. It's the number
of the segment "message" is in (The data-segment) We
have to know this number, so we can load the DS
register with it. Else we can't get to the bit-string in
memory. We need to know WHERE the bit-string is
located in memory. The number is loaded in the AX
register. MOV always moves data to the operand left of
the comma and from the operand right of the comma.

mov ds,ax : The MOV instruction again. Here it moves
the number in the AX register (the number of the data
segment) into the DS register. We have to load this DS
register this way (with two instructions) Just typing:
"mov ds,segment message" isn't possible.
mov ah, 09 : MOV again. This time it load the AH
register with the constant value nine.
lea dx, message : LEA Load Effective Address. This
instructions stores the offset within the datasegment of
the bit-string message into the DX register. This offset is
the second thing we need to know, when we want to
know where "message" is in the memory. So now we
have DS:DX. See the segment explanation above.