Dr. Dobb's Python-URL! - weekly Python news and links (Aug 12)

Greg Ewing see_reply_address at something.invalid
Tue Aug 20 03:57:43 CEST 2002

Andreas Leitgeb wrote:

>>>Greg Ewing wrote:
>>>>I did, at one stage of my life. Not much choice when
>>>>you've only got 256 bytes of memory...
> Actually, I wrote that nobody would *want* to write machine-language.
> With emphasis on "want" which implied having a choice.

Even with a choice, there are reasons someone might
want to write machine code -- as a way of learning
about the architecture at a low level, for example.

I greatly enjoyed my early experiences with that
machine, and I don't think my enjoyment was lessened
in any way by not having an assembler. On the contrary --
if I'd never written machine code, I would have missed
out on a lot of the pleasure I did have.

So, even though I didn't have a choice, I still think
it's true that I *wanted* to write machine code at that
stage. I wanted to learn everything there was to know
about the machine from the hardware up, and to experience
interacting with it at all levels. Writing machine code
was part of that experience.

My *next* machine was a different matter, of course --
one of the first things I did was write an assembler
(after building a disk controller and writing a DOS
  - in machine code!) But that's another story...

Greg Ewing, Computer Science Dept,
University of Canterbury,	
Christchurch, New Zealand

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