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How Hard Is It To Program An Addin For Prizm In Asm?


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#1 flyingfisch

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 03:55 AM

I found this, and thought it was interesting.

Now, first, let me let everyone know that I no nothing about programming ASM.

That out of the way, I was wondering how hard it would be to program and Addin for PRIZM in SH-4 ASM? I remember hearing something about wrappers, not sure what those are or how they work.

Could someone enlighten me on the subject?
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#2 nsg

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:53 PM

Programming in ASM is not difficult at all. You just need to have the right tools and then push the right buttons in the right sequence on your keyboard.
The main difficulty is that no one document will tell you all the necessary detail and those that do, use the language and set of notions that assume some previous knowledge on your part. another difficulty is absence of so called IDEs for asm. Basically, you cannot step through, put a break point, examine variables (it was not always this way, but nowadays it seems to be a norm). If you make a mistake, your calculator freezes and this is your clue that something is not right and you need some figuring out to do.

If you did not have previous asm exposure, i recommend some book that exposes the subject using some made up assembler/hardware platform. The benefit is that those would have simulator/debugger that will make trying things much easier.
Among recent ones I can recommend with passion this one:
The Elements of Computing Systems / Nisan & Schocken / http://www.nand2tetris.org/
I read (and completed excersizes) first half of it and enjoyed it a lot. It even has most chapters available online, in case you cannot afford a paper book.
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#3 flyingfisch

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:29 PM

So is that book for x86 ASM?

#4 nsg

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:50 PM

No, the book is for made-up asm of a made-up hardware platform. The interesting part is that they buid this platform from ground up, starting from nand, leaving nothing implied.
If you had no exposure to any asm before, i believe this is the best path for you -- to start with something made-up, simple, and explained in complete detail. After that you may or may not be ready to be exposed to the ugliness of the real world, where explanations for certain dirty and vital details are scattered, nonexistent or buried deep inside corporate intranets.

#5 flyingfisch

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:56 PM

I just went through the site and I am wondering about a couple things. First, is the computer you are building a real-life computer or a simulator? Also, how can I find out if this class is being held near me?

#6 nsg

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:11 PM

I am not sure if anybody actually built the computer from actual chips. Probably not, that is not the intention.
As far as having it as you actual class and getting credit for it, i cannot help you there, i have no idea how that system works.

#7 flyingfisch

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:16 PM

OK, so you build a virtual computer, basically, right? And, ok, I am homeschooled, so getting credit shouldn't be too hard, but if it was an actual computer that was being built, it would have been good to do it at a center where I could get the nand chips, etc.

#8 nsg

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:37 PM

If getting credit is not an issue, then just try the course (BTW, how DO you get credit for things like that when you are homeschooled?). You will not need any actual nand chips -- you build everything on a simulator. I think it is windows based, not sure how much of a problem it is for you. Even without the simulator you can meaningfully do the excersizes, simulator is just icing on a cake.
The first 6 chapters (those that are available online) make up self contained course on hardware architecture and low level programming. Second half talks about compilers and opertaing systems. It is also good to know, but first things first.
One chapter a day is ok pace, leaving you plenty of time to do other things.

#9 flyingfisch

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:44 PM

If getting credit is not an issue, then just try the course (BTW, how DO you get credit for things like that when you are homeschooled?).


You do the project, and then save it. At the end of the year an assessor looks at all the work you have done, as well as the projects you've done, and gives you credit accordingly. So as long as it is possible to show it to the assessor I should be alright. ;)

The first 6 chapters (those that are available online) make up self contained course on hardware architecture and low level programming. Second half talks about compilers and opertaing systems. It is also good to know, but first things first.
One chapter a day is ok pace, leaving you plenty of time to do other things.


Sounds good :)

How much does the paperback cost, and where can I get it?

EDIT:

He talks about his software being UNIX and Window$ compatible, so I think I'll be OK.

#10 nsg

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:18 PM

So, at the time you decide on a project you do not know beforehand if the assessor will be pleased by your choice?
And what exactly counts as a project? Files with completed excersizes?

How much does the paperback cost, and where can I get it?

I bought the book a few years ago. Pretty much sure it was from Amazon. I do not remember how much was it, neither excessive, nor especially cheap, i guess. Ironically, I only did the first half, the one that is online anyway. The compiler/OS part I just skimmed through, planning to return to it some day.

#11 flyingfisch

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:41 PM

So, at the time you decide on a project you do not know beforehand if the assessor will be pleased by your choice?
And what exactly counts as a project? Files with completed excersizes?


The assessor wants to see everything I did during the year that could count as schoolwork. That is the freedom of being homeschooled. My calculator programs, for instance, were given credit last year. When she asked what I would really like to get done this year I told her ASM. So that constitutes some of my drive to learn it. :)

Completed exercises should be plenty.




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