Thursday, November 10, 2011

easyMASM Introduction

It is very difficult and annoying to write assembly code in a simple notepad which do not even show line numbers. Although there are editors for 32 bit assembly but there is not any for 16 bit assembly rather than MASM's but it is also console based and now a days it is not appreciated by the students.
Now here is a question, why 16 bit assembly? The answer is, as it is required to teach students the basics so first they have to learn and code with 16 bit assembly.

To do 16 bit assembly with MASM 611 or MASM 615, first you write code in notepad which is available free with windows then you open command prompt, locate where your MASM directory is, write its complete path, then type ml [location of source (.asm) file]. Now if there is some error, output of assembling process shows its line number, so you will minimize cmd window, maximize notepad window and then find the particular line number which has an error. You will fix it again assemble it as describe above and will run it manually. In the same way, to debug your code you have to open command prompt, write cv[location of .exe file]. Some times you also have to face some stupid fatal errors which are not really expected by you and you become amazed that every thing is all right then why is it happening.
Now if we accept the above limitations and keep all the previous discussion at a side, what about the people who are using Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit Windows OS? They are really in a hell if they have to work with 16 bit assembly. They have to do a lot more than the above. First of all they do not understand that what the problem is with their PC. They ask others and search on internet for the solution. After a lot of search they come to know that their 64 bit OS do not support the old 16 bit MASM . Then the first thing came in their mind is to change their OS to 32 bit. But when it seems difficult to come down from 64 bit to 32 bit only for MASM , they go for some other solution like installing a virtual machine or using DOS BOX etc.

In short, it is really very difficult for the students to understand the issues related 16 bit assembly because backward compatibly issues are always very complex and need a lot of time to completely understand and solve them. Assembly is very important for CS students but they normally start disliking it only because of this difficulty.

easyMASM is the solution of all these problems. It provides very easy to use environment to students.
It is actually a CUSTOMIZATION of a very light weight text editor NOTEPAD++ along with MASM 611 and DOS BOX.

easyMASM is portable
Another good news is that easyMASM is portable. You don't need to install it in your computer, just copy and paste it any where to do MASM .