Assembly language programming for the Atari computers by Mark Chasin

By Mark Chasin

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Whenever a number is used in an assembly language instruction, it must be preceded by a number sign, #. For example, if we refer to the number 2, we need to write #2. Then the assembler can distinguish between a number and a specific address inside the computer. When the number is preceded by the # sign, the assembler knows that you mean a number, and when a number appears alone, the understanding is that you mean an address. Take the following examples, written in English, for instance: add 2 to SUM add the contents of memory location 2 to SUM SUM+#2 SUM+2 The single biggest mistake that beginning assembly language programmers make is to use numbers for addresses and addresses for 37 38 Learning Assembly Language numbers.

Take the following examples, written in English, for instance: add 2 to SUM add the contents of memory location 2 to SUM SUM+#2 SUM+2 The single biggest mistake that beginning assembly language programmers make is to use numbers for addresses and addresses for 37 38 Learning Assembly Language numbers. This will completly destroy any program, and if you're not familiar with assembly language programming, you can look at a printout of the program for days without spotting the error. The second convention used in assembly language programming involves number base.

That is, if the most signficiant bit is 1, the number is negative, and if the most significant bit is zero, the number is positive (Fig. 2-2). One fallout of this system is that the largest signed number we can represent in 1 byte is + 128, or - 127, since we only have 7 arithmetic bits with which to work . Unsigned binar y numbers 11101111101110111 181 10101111101110111 53 Signed binary numbers 11101111101110111 10101111101110111 -53 +53 Fig . 2-2 Getting Started 19 One note of caution is warranted here.

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