The Art of Assembly Language 2nd edition

Reviewed by Major Keary

 Randall Hyde has a long history of teaching assembly language, including more than a decade was at the University of California. The second edition of his The Art of Assembly Language has been improved by incorporating suggestions and corrections from readers, and has undergone modifications on the editorial side to improve readability. It has been "updated to reflect recent changes to [High Level Assembler] and to support for Linux, Mac OS X, and FreeBSD". The book is intended for "the non-assembly programmer"—in short, the reader is expected to be well versed in programming, but knowledge of assembly is not assumed.

The Art of Assembly Language is a lucid and detailed account; the word, art, in the title is well justified. The book is neither a general guide that lacks detail, nor a terse list of bare-bones how-to instructions. The author employs a narrative-cum-tutorial style that makes extensive use of annotated didactic code. It works exceptionally well. Books of this size are sometimes padded out with graphics and diagrams; in The Art of Assembly Language there are diagrams, but they are essential to the text. The text is written in what may be described as an 'easy style'—conversational rather than a formal pedagogic presentation. It is a pleasant 'read' for anyone with an interest in programming at large or assembly programming in particular.

As I remarked in respect of the first edition, if you want to use assembly language, or add it to your list of programming skills, this is the book to have.

Apart from its specific content there is a lot of information that should be of interest to computer science students at large, and even those teaching computer science subjects.

Randall Hyde: The Art of Assembly Language 2nd edition
ISBN 978-1-59327-207-4
Published by No Starch Press, 732 pp., RRP AU$ 80.95

This title can be purchased from the Australian distributor at A discount can be redeemed by entering the following code at the checkout:



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