The quest for NASM Assembly .COM sources

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By Paolo Amoroso (

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tmo says:

@Paolo, yes “accessibility” and “'being approachable” is the name of the game for me. I've never went straight into learning a programming language of any type – be it JS, PHP, or even HTML back in the day (though HTML is still useful/necessary these days, too). And in regards to Assembly, of ALL types, it's a completely different animal, but it is also one of the more fascinating things to read up on, and eventually try, for me (sometime here soon, I hope).

Can't put a finger on WHY I like it so much, but I DO like it :)

Hope all is well

Paolo Amoroso says:

@tmo Thanks for the kind words and advice.

Assembly is fascinating and the RISC-V instruction set is indeed accessible. But there's a catch, the reason I focus on early CPUs like the 8080, Z80, and 8086. In later CISC CPUs, i.e. 80386+ and RISC, major issues like caches, pipelines, and power management come into play and make Assembly programming harder. If you don't come up with the right instruction sequences you may degrade performance, draw more power, or overheat the device.

So I prefer the simplicity of early 8-bit and 16-bit CPUs with no hidden constraints.

tmo says:

Hey Paolo!

I spent the past two days delving deep into the “Some Assembly Required” document on Github, which I think I first heard about on your blog, and I enjoyed learning some core tenets of Assembly and what it is actually doing, but after two days, I stopped taking notes and reading up on it, because it was (of course) very math-based, which I didn't know what I expected otherwise, but judging by the (simplistic) examples given in the SAR document on Github, I decided to not go further. Still, it IS a very interesting subject (be it Assembly for x86 or RISC-V, or whatever). I may look back into it here soon and see what the examples, syntax, etc. are for RISC-V, as that is apparently much simpler than x86, so I'll see what I turn up.

And sorry for the rant there, but in regards to what you're looking for, I'd imagine it would be relatively difficult to find (as you are proving), but perhaps send some e-mails to “retro” YouTubers, or perhaps folks in the 8BitNews newsletter, as a lot of them likely have a hunch of where to look.

Anyway, sorry I am no help in this. Wish you all the best, and congrats on the HN thing the other day!