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Unformatted text preview: er of exercises illustrating different aspects of assembly language and compilers. This is a subject matter where mastering the details is a prerequisite to understanding the deeper and more fundamental concepts. Spending time studying the examples and working through the exercises will be well worthwhile. We give a brief history of the Intel architecture. Intel processors have grown from rather primitive 16-bit processors in 1978 to the mainstream machines for today’s desktop computers. The architecture has grown correspondingly with new features added and the 16-bit architecture transformed to support 32-bit data and addresses. The result is a rather peculiar design with features that make sense only when viewed from a historical perspective. It is also laden with features providing backward compatibility that are not used by modern compilers and operating systems. We will focus on the subset of the features used by GCC and Linux. This allows us to avoid much of the complexity and arcane features of IA32. Our technical pr...
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- Spring '10
- The American