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Ketman ASM Maximaster

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Pat Briody
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Ketman ASM Maximaster description

Complete ASM Toolkit (real mode) for both beginners and advanced programmers, comprising assembler, debugger and assorted tools. Also contains unique ASM interpreter, allowing unassembled source text to be single-stepped . Is also unique in allowing both interpreter and debugger to be back-stepped, so that programs are de-executed. Has 20,000 word programming tutorial for beginners in x86 programming.

Cautionary Notes for Students:
As a result of some enquiries from people doing college courses I have had to think a little more carefully about who should be encouraged to try Ketman, and who should be warned off it.

Ketman has a pared-down assembler. I mean that in two senses. First, it limits itself to the real-mode instruction set. It doesn't yet provide for protected-mode. Neither does it recognize floating-point instructions. Second, it is pared down in its use of assembler directives. It doesn't either demand or recognize those familiar formalities like PROC, ENDP, PUBLIC, MAIN and so forth. That is not merely because Ketman attracts a lot of beginners, who wouldn't thank me for making their learning curve steeper than it has to be, but also because I myself consider so much of it to be unnecessary. I am not too familiar with the popular A86 assembler, but I infer that the author takes a similar view, because his program allows the user to dispense with them. But A86 does at least recognise those directives if you insist on using them, and is therefore compatible with rival assemblers on that point at least. But Ketman is not. You cannot import/export source files to/from other assemblers. Or not without some messy modifications anyway.

I have never taken a college course myself, but I would guess that a course tutor would always expect submitted work to be in a format familiar to him. In that case I couldn't recommend Ketman to you as a platform for delivering finished source text. You'd probably get it thrown right back at you.

That doesn't mean that I don't think Ketman would be of any value. On the contrary, there is no better platform for testing your algorithms, for which in many cases you don't need an assembler at all (as you would find out). But I have to discourage you from buying the registered program if you are doing so in the belief that it will help you win good grades. Ketman is designed essentially for people like me, people who don't have to submit their work to anyone for approval. We can use any format we like. As long as our programs are clear to us, and work as want them to, that's all we care about.

But by all means use Ketman as an auxiliary tool in your studies. The demo version is free. If you like it, I will accept your good opinion as payment.

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