I’m about halfway through Oregon State University’s (Go Beavers!) post-bacc program for computer science, but feel like I’ve just entered the belly of the beast. On the docket for the summer is CS 271 – Computer Architecture and Assembly Language; a fine relaxing course to take in the months before and during my wedding, right? Not so much.
The material is dense as we learn to program how to move memory around on a computer and perform basic actions on the contents of said memory. The class is focused on the IA-32 – a 32-bit version of the x86 instruction set architecture found in early IBM workstations and personal computers, and then later in embedded systems for phones, aerospace tech, and electronic musical instruments. I’m only a few weeks in, but already it’s painfully obvious to me that assembly is not like any other language I’ve used.