"This book takes an odd approach to assembly language, it is
designed to teach someone to program in assembly as their FIRST
computer language. That is one daunting task, but one to which Mr.
Duntemann rises. Mr. Duntemann comes up with some very
creative ways to teach assembly and the concepts behind programming
in general. As I have said many times on this site, in real life I
am a science teacher. I teach middle school science to
disinterested teenagers. One of the most powerful teaching aids (in
my opinion) are metaphors. If I can take a complex subject and
relate it somehow to something familiar to my students they can
internalize the concept easier. Mr. Duntemann takes the same
approach throughout this book. You start out in Chapter one
relating what a computer does to how you plan a typical Saturday.
Generally by making a list of tasks to perform and then performing
those tasks in order until finished. The metaphor is a very
powerful one and brings computers and what they do down to a more
personal level for most people."
"Mr. Duntemann takes the process of teaching assembly at a very
slow pace and layers each new concept on top of the previous
concepts. If you are pretty experienced and been doing this sort of
thing for awhile then this may frustrate you reading about bytes,
words, RAM and other common terms, however, remember this is
designed to take a non-programmer from nothing to programming in
assembly language. In fact, you do not even begin meeting machine
instructions (on a formal basis) until chapter seven and do not
meet your first real life assembly program until chapter 8. That is
the beauty of the book, Mr. Duntemann does not assume anything, he
leads you step-by-step (gee, thats in the title isn't it) through
everything. Have you ever been sitting in calculus class and the
professor throws a gargantuan problem on the board and solves it in
three steps saying "Of course, it just naturally follows
that......." between each step and it just does not naturally
follow in your mind (or anyone else's but the instructor)? Many
computer and technical books follow the same pattern, but trust me,
Mr. Duntemann does not."
"Look at the title, it does say DOS and Linux right? Now, look
at the table of contents. You may notice something a bit odd, Linux
takes up two entire chapters, at the very end of the book! Are we,
as Linux people getting ripped off, or cheated? Well, no, I will
explain. Actually, I will explain in the authors own words."
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