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Any coders here? - Page 2

post #16 of 42
Assembly is just symbolic representation for machine language. You're not going to get any faster by writing C8 H0 F3 instad of MOV AX, F3 (just paraphrasing), but you ARE going to bust your mind by spending all your time figuring out as to which bit in the opcode to set to get it to to be BX register instead of AX, and so on.
post #17 of 42
Assembly probably isn't used much by anyone other than Demo coders or game programmers who what to get that last bit of performance.

I severely doubt many general application programmers use assembly.

- pearle
post #18 of 42
Thread Starter 
Absolutely right, aos.

Assembly is very fast and efficient - from the program's point of view. They are fast and small = efficient.
And with asm, you can do anything your hardware allows you
to do.

From a programmer's point of view, assembly is absolutely inefficient. It takes significantly longer to write, is extremely error-prone (no compiler to help you) and debugging is just hell.
For any mid-size or bigger program, it would be insane to use assembly.
But you can write parts of it in asm if youneed the extra speed.

For small, fast, and/or low-level programs like device drivers and
something like a 64k intro, assembly is still the language of choice.

I used to do quite a bit of x86 programming a couple of years ago.
Small graphic intros, but nothing really good. That was fun back then

What does 'bloated code' mean? Is the program bigger? Sure. (even without the libraries) But who cares with today's prices for memory?
Is the program slower? Maybe. Today's compilers do a pretty good job optimizing your code, so you might not get 100% speed but very close. On the other hand, a well designed algorithm in C++ beats a bad algorithm in asm. And algorithm implementation/testing is a lot easier with higher-level languages such as C/C++ or Pascal.


post #19 of 42
Thread Starter 
Well, I have to be honest: it can be pretty hard.
They have this high reputation here and the wanna keep it, so they really demand a lot.
A lot of programming, a lot of math, lots of assignments.
One can do it, but one shouldn't expect to be able to sleep through the CS program
( one might find oneself without sleep quite often though, especially before assignment submission deadlines, or one might spend some nights in the computer lab )


post #20 of 42
The reason high level languages are used almost exclusively is - the same as for everything else nowdays: money. Rapid development time is THE most important requirement today, not the speed or reliability, much less the hardware requirements. The second important parameter is ease of maintenance. Assembly loses on all counts, and even languages like C - which is by the way almost as fast as assembly/machine code are used less and less.

However, I personally noticed that the mental requirements for people doing programming have changed as well. Logic used to be most important, and you needed to be intimately acquainted with the machine. You needed to be practical and hands-on. Of course you needed brains but you needed to get your hands dirty. Nowdays, it's the abstract thinking - instead of direct approach, you now live in this sterile, isolated world of objects and interfaces and zillions of class libraries, design methodologies, "patterns" and thousand-dollar diagram drawing packages. I was always a practical person (way better in physics than in math for example), and now I find programming more and more boring compared to the old days. Besides, as electrical engineer I prefer hardware and I liked software more when it used to be more coupled to it.
post #21 of 42
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I know what you mean.
Today, it's more about knowing what libraries to use to do something instead of writing it yourself. And a lot of these kids that may be gifted java programmers (but don't know asm) have no idea what is going on n their computers.

Personally, I'm more the mathematical type of guy and don't like programming very much. Yeah it can get boring, especially if you do something for somebody else (assignments, projects, job)

Additionally, I think that programming languages are a very poor modeling tool for the transition idea -> program.

Maybe it's time somebody invents a brain scanner...


post #22 of 42
You all answered my question thanks. The guy I was referring to writes a mac emulator and his website is www.emulators.com I read some of his more detailed articles on how processors execute functions and yes it was busting my brain... I can imagine what a bitch it would be to write in such low level languages. He also calls C++ all kinds of bad names. The one thing that led me to believe him was the fact that he said Mac OS sucks next to windows. I myself can attest to this having to work with macs in the lab all the time. He also despises the P4 for reasons explained yet still essentially unknown to me. This I also felt as the glaring truth so I wanted to ask about C++ since he had been bashing it as well.
post #23 of 42
visual basic models ideas very well, but too bad you can't do s*** on it...

Yeah, i tried programming a 15 year old motorla 6808 in machine code, and it got quite confusing when i tried to do anything complex. But i didn't have enough time to get to know the opcodes well...

anyways, i'm not a programmer, kinda lost interst after 3 bitchy computer teachers in a row, make me learn every single feature of watcom pascal (no offense redwood, but it SUCKS...), and in the meantime i got a lot more interested in electronics

i'm thinking more of the EE co-op program, but the WORST person that gets in has like a 96 average (and they have no chance of passing ) I heard that last year, everyone was getting sweet coop positions, but now they're all screwed with the tech meltdown...I think Mac or queens is a lot easier, and still have decent reputations...
post #24 of 42
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a more dramatic change in programming, so we don't need these crude/complicated/error-prone languages
any more

Yeah, i tried programming a 15 year old motorla 6808 in machine code, and it got quite confusing when i tried to do anything complex. But i didn't have enough time to get to know the opcodes well...
Hmm, sounds like someone was reading 'The art of electronics'

If you're more interested in electronics, then EE (or maybe computer engineering ?) is probably the better choice.
I don't know anything about the reputation of either Mac or Queens in this area, but I'm sure they're allright.


(BTW: I don't like Pascal either )

post #25 of 42

Check out arstechnica.com for info on Macs, P4s, everything!

Someone mentioned their friend didn't like MacOS or P4s, there's lots of information on the P4 at www.arstechnica.com which is a great tech site in general anyway. For all you coders that is.

Any P4 dissidents tend to dislike the P4 because it has a small instruction cache (although it caches decoded micro-ops which seems like a good idea), and because it has a huge pipeline (22 stages or something like that) which is viewed by many as a kludge to get the clock speed faster at the expense of counterproductive complexity. Many feel the Athlon is a better design and that other architectures such as the PowerPC are more elegant. There is a lot of controversy about Mhz as a reasonable measure of performance, with articles about the "Mhz gap" being popular, since AMD challenges Intel's faster clocked chip and beats it with a slower clock speed in many performance tests, as does a PPC which is less than half the clock.

As for Mac's sucking, he's just DEAD WRONG :-) OS X forever!

Since this thread is about code, I'll mention lately I've been lucky to find some work coding in Lisp! Using CLOS as well. My background is everything from Assmbler to C++ and Java, so now I get to do some Lisp too. I highly recommend it. We're doing server side stuff with a Lisp Web Server called Allegro from Franz Lisp, which I would have never believed I'd end up doing in Lisp.
post #26 of 42
He hasnt officially said OS X sucks. However I believe he prefers windows over Mac OS anyday. Windows NT/2000/XP that is. (PS he isnt my "friend" per se just some guy online)

As for the P4 this guy claims to have run tests and determined a Pentium 200Mhz to perform certain functions more quickly. This is obviously a calamity, the P4 and its 40 million transistors are a friggin joke.

I am not a real "Coder" in my personal opinion but I do work with Renderman which is operated from the command line. So basically whenever you wan't to make a scene you have to write a little program for it... I also programmed some surface shaders but they were pretty simple and basically just made waveyness.
post #27 of 42
I am a programmer of sorts. I know the basics of a lot of different languages, but none of them in depth. The one that has been the biggest pain in the arse for me has been actionscript. Actionscript is macromedia's version of javascript that is used in Flash. It sucks because in addition to having to find the line of code that doesn't work right when something goes wrong in the code, you have to find the frame that the code is in too. And for those of you that have never coded in Flash and think it is only an animation program, trust me, once you actually try to have the movie do something more than tween, it takes a lot of scripting.
post #28 of 42
The one thing that led me to believe him was the fact that he said Mac OS sucks next to windows. I myself can attest to this having to work with macs in the lab all the time.
LOL, since he says that Mac OS sucks next to Windows, that makes you *believe* him? Heck, that's a good reason NOT to believe him. Blanket statements like that are simply idiotic, and no "expert" in computers would ever say such a thing. Windows and Mac OS each have their advantages and disadvantages. Neither of them "suck." Having administered a dual-platform department with over 500 devices, I actually prefer Mac OS overall, but Windows isn't without merit. And Mac OS X is well on its way to being better than both (not that that means it will gain lots of market share or anything; Windows is firmly in control there )

As for your experiences, remember that just because some "lab" in which you used Macs (or Windows) wasn't great doesn't mean it's representative of an entire platform LOL The truth is that how "good" or "bad" any platform is is 99% in the setup and administration. I can take a Mac and make it more stable and easier to use than any Windows machine I've ever used, just as I could take a Windows machine and make it *far* more stable and user-friendly that it comes out of the box.

post #29 of 42
What's wrong with LISP?

So far, the only programming language I've learned at MIT is Scheme

How many of you here have even heard of it?
post #30 of 42
Thread Starter 
Sure. Scheme. Lots of parenthesis...

Never used it seriously.
I like procedural languages and I'm not really a fan of lambda calculus

Almost had to use it in a programming laguages course last term.
But I dropped the course before it was to late...

So you're at the MIT?
How do you like it (and what program are you in) ?


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