Architecture, low-level

Feb. 15,

I finally got around to upgrading this page!
For people who have my book, Windows assembly language & systems programming (see http://www.cmpbooks.com/cgi-bin/shopspecific/store/products/087930474X.htm) 2nd ed. 1997, this page is an excellent supplement. In particular, I've put together a complete package of tools for programming with MASM.
Over the years I've accumulated some superb x86-family links, and I plan to keep updating as I find more. So, make this page one of your bookmarks!


My own HOWTO pages

Try an utterly different tiny operating system

How to load GIF, JPG, BMP and WMF files and display them in a window (Windows 95+)

GNU C/C++ and MASM (for Win32 programming)
Combining MASM and C files, see my GNU C and MASM page.

How to use Sphinx C--. Latest docs at the project homepage are in Russian, so I wrote my own. C-- intro page, C-- doc page.



C compiler


Borland C++Builder compiler 5.5. The commandline compiler part of C++Builder is free. http://www.borland.com/bcppbuilder/freecompiler. Note also, the famous Turbo Debugger is now free.


LCC-Win32.  This is a great freeware C compiler for 32-bit Windows programming. Has everything: editor, compiler, assembler, linker, resource editor, resource compiler, header files, libraries. Even a rudimentary debugger. The author has worked intensely on this project for seven years. http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~lcc-win32/


DJGPP. freeware 32-bit C/C++ compiler for DOS. http://www.delorie.com/djgpp/


GNU GCC. http://www.xraylith.wisc.edu/~khan/software/gnu-win32/index.html
Also see DEV-CPP integrated development environment below. 


Digital Mars free C/C++ compiler. http://www.digitalmars.com/.


ACC free 32-bit small C compiler for DOS. http://www.goosee.com/menuetos/macc.htm

Open Watcom. Free C/C++ compiler for DOS, Win16/32 and OS/2. In fact, this is a complete SDK, with all the tools. Superb. http://www.openwatcom.org/

Sphinx C-- free 32-bit C-like asm-like compiler for DOS, Windows, etc. http://www.sheker.chat.ru/index_e.htm and http://www.goosee.com/cmm/
-- my page also has documentation in English.

XSCompiler free 32-bit C-- -like compiler for DOS, Windows, etc. http://web.cs.pub.ro/~vycxs/xs/

LadSoft cc386 32-bit compiler for Windows. Has an IDE and source code.



IASM. A basic freeware 32-bit assembler. http://www.dcc.ufmg.br/~augusto/project/


NASM. The Netwide Assembler Project. Free. http://www.web-sites.co.uk/nasm/ , or, http://www.cryogen.com/Nasm.


LCC-Win32 assembler. Free, included with LCC C above. Unfortunately it has a very strange syntax. 


Pass32. http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Bay/9159/pass32.html


MASM. See the Help/Reference/Microsoft DDK section below. Also MASM is in winmasm.zip on this site, see below.

GoAsm by Jeremy Gordon. www.GoDevTool.com/goasm

SpAsm. Open source, has IDE with debugger. http://betov.free.fr/SpAsm.html

FASM open source freeware project. http://fasm.metro-nt.pl/
WASM. Part of the superb Open Watcom SDK and C/C++/Fortran compiler package for DOS, Win16/32 and OS/2. http://www.openwatcom.org/.



Virtual Windows Class Library. Freeware class library for C++ Win32. http://www.toddtown.com/


DLLs for Win95: http://www.simtel.net/pub/win95/dll/

Text editors
somewhat with


ConTEXT. Looking for the perfect editor? This has been an on-going thing with me. Well, I discovered one that comes close. It is called ConTEXT, and is Free and is to be found at: http://www.fixedsys.com/context.


Programmer's File Editor (PFE). Free. Versions for Windows 3.1, 95. NT. http://www.lancs.ac.uk/people/cpaap/pfe/, download: http://www.winsite.com/info/pc/win95/misc/pfe101i.zip


Paws. http://www.godevtool.com/  Another product from Jeremy Gordon.


Syn. I used ConTEXT very happily for about a year, then recently (Sept. 2002) discovered Syn text editor that I like even more. Syntax highlighting for about 40 languages. Very fast. It has nice IDE features so overlaps with the next section. Free and open source. http://syn.sourceforge.net/.


environments (IDEs)


ASMIDE. http://www.idb.hist.no/~kurtg/ <<<LINK BROKEN , download: http://www.inx.de/~nkomin/files/asmide.arj


Visualasm Win32 IDE. http://visualasm.cjb.net/


Micro Asm. http://www.microasm.com/


TASM IDE. http://tasm.freeservers.com/


DEV-CPP: http://sourceforge.net/projects/dev-cpp/ and http://www.bloodshed.net/devcpp.html.
A real nice IDE, uses GNU C/C++ and MINGW, generates Win32 executables. 


VIDE: http://www.objectcentral.com

AsmEdit: http://asmedit.massmind.org/
It comes with a resource editor that can be used as a stand-alone app.

RadAsm: http://radasm.sonshinesoftware.com/
Open Watcom IDE. http://www.openwatcom.org/

Resource/dialog editor

WeditRes. This is a resource editor that comes with the LCC-Win32 package (see above in the C compiler section). It can be used standalone. You can download it separately from http://www.objectcentral.com/.

Strannik resource editor. The Strannik Pascal/Modula/C compiler and IDE also has a resource editor. Recently translated from Russian. See link from http://www.goosee.com/menuetos/.

AsmEdit resource editor. This is part of the AsmEdit IDE. Can be used standalone. http://asmedit.massmind.org/
Symantec resource editor. This is a standalone resource editor, very nice. A commercial product, but now seems to be free, as Hutch is offering it for download at http://www.movsd.com/download/nre.exe
Open Watcom WDE, WRE. Nice little resource editor, dialog editor and image editor. Very similar to the Microsoft products: I wonder if the source code was originally licenced from Microsoft? The total Open Watcom package is about 60M, and if this is too much for you to download, these editors can be downloaded separately -- they are in a file called "cm_ide_nt.zip". http://www.openwatcom.org/




Free nmake.exe from Microsoft. http://www.hutch.ukshells.co.uk/iczelion/files/nmake15.exe Also see Microsoft Help/Reference sites, below.



Free Microsoft Win32 debugger. http://www.microsoft.com/msdownload/platformsdk/windbg.htm
I don't know why, but I never got this to work properly. I think GoBug is much better (below). 


Free GoBug symbolic debugger: http://www.godevtool.com/.
Jeremy Gordon has developed an excellent free symbolic debugger, that works with executables generated by MASM and Microsoft's LINK, plus others. Go to his site to download "GoBug". To see a make file with switches set to generate symbol information within the executable: bugx.mak. GoBug makes a nice companion to my winmasm toolset. Currently only for Win9x/Me.


Free Borland Turbo Debugger: http://www.borland.com/bcppbuilder/freecompiler.
This only works with the Borland TASM and TLINK. It doesn't understand the symbols generated with Microsoft MASM and LINK. 

GRDB debugger. Like MS DEBUG, but better. Supports Pentiums instructions and 32-bit code.



ALINK. Free link program. http://alink.home.dhs.org/ and http://anthonyw.cjb.net/


Microsoft linker, see Help/Reference sites, below.

Resource compiler


GoRC. Free resource compiler from Jeremy Gordon. http://www.godevtool.com/


Microsoft RC, see Help/Reference sites, below.

Open Watcom RC. http://www.openwatcom.org/

Hex editor


Free hex editor XVI32: http://www.chmaas.handshake.de/delphi/freeware/xvi32/xvi32.htm


Reference sites


Win32 API reference (a big Windows help file). ftp://ftp.borland.com/pub/delphi/techpubs/delphi2/win32.zip


Microsoft device development kit (DDK). This also has MASM/LINK/NMAKE/RC. http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/ddk/ddk98.htm


 MASM docs. http://www.sxlist.com/techref/language/masms.htm

Intel reference manuals. These cover the Pentium architecture, instruction set, programming.

Microsoft Macroassembler reference. Long URL!



Asm FAQ, by Ray Moon. http://www2.dgsys.com/~raymoon/moonware.html, download: http://www.www2.dgsys.com/~raymoon/faq/asmfaq.zip



Hugo Perez's Assembly language tutor. 16-bit coding. http://thsun1.jinr.ru/~alvladim/man/asm.html


Win32 assembly beginner tutor. http://www.opferman.net/Tutorials/win32.shtml ---LINK BROKEN


The art of assembly language (online book). http://webster.cs.ucr.edu/Page_asm/ArtOfAsm.html 


University of Guadalajara tutorial. http://udgftp.cencar.udg.mx/ingles/tutor/Assembler.html


Paul Carter's 32-bit asm programming tutorial. (using NASM). http://www.drpaulcarter.com/pcasm/

Win32 - GNU C: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Towers/6162/win32/ ---LINK BROKEN

Assembly tutorial. Excellent site, currently only 16-bit coding, though author says he will be covering 32-bit. http://www.xs4all.nl/~smit/asm01001.htm

A selection of interesting asm tutorials. http://www.free2code.net/tutorials/asm

Henry Takeuchi's Win32 Programming for x86 Assembly Language Programmers. Win32 TASM. http://www.eskimo.com/~htak/win32asm/index.html

Stefan Johansen's asm tutorial. 16-bit, A86 or NASM. http://www.theophys.kth.se/~stefan/

Learn Microsoft assembler in a day. Online book by Stephen Cunningham. 16-bit coding. http://yanorel.pcupdate.easyspace.com/masm/ewtoc.html

Assembly tutorials. Lots of chapters in zip form. http://www.phys.uu.nl/~takken/Assembly.htm. Also,
How to use assembly language in Borland C++ Builder. http://www.phys.uu.nl/%7Etakken/AsmBuilder.htm

Bill's Win32asm tutorials. http://billwin32asm.massmind.org.



Asm Journal. http://asmjournal.freeservers.com/


Device drivers


WinRT. Device driver toolkit (commercial product). http://www.bluewatersystems.com/



TVICPORT, TVICHW32. Shareware. Direct access to memory and I/O from a 32-bit application in Windows 95/98/NT, without needing to write your own device driver. Good price. http://www.entechtaiwan.com/tools.htm  


Port I/O under Win32. Free. http://www.internals.com/



AsmIO. Asm interface add-on for the above. http://www.madwizard.org/


x86 CPU


Intel secrets home page. http://www.x86.org/



Tomi Engdahl's PC hardware page. http://www.us-epanorama.net/pc/



Intel motherboard manuals. http://www.x86.org/intel.doc/intelmotherboards.htm


Motherboard drivers. http://www.driverguide.com

More interesting x86 stuff

Windows clone


Wine (runs on Linux). http://www.winehq.com/


Reactos. http://www.reactos.com, or http://www.sid-dis.com/reactos/

Alternative OSs

MenuetOS. Open source project, tiny GUI OS for the PC. http://www.menuetos.org/ and http://www.goosee.com/menuetos/

/home pages




Assembler for PCs. All about assembly language programming on the PC. http://www.inx.de/~nkomin/html/assembe.htm


Paul Hsieh's x86 Assembler page. http://www.azillionmonkeys.com/qed/asm.html


Asm page. http://www.worldonline.nl/~jaapharm/index.html ---BROKEN


Iczelion's Win32 assembly page. http://win32asm.cjb.net/


Hutch's 32 bit MASM page. http://www.movsd.com/index.htm 


NASM page. http://www.execpc.com/~geezer/os/index.htm


Win32Nasm page. http://rs1.szif.hu/~tomcat/win32/

Jeremy Collake: http://www.collakesoftware.com/

Forums, lists


Win32asm Message Board, web-based discussion forum for Win32 assembly. Hutch is one of the moderators there along with Hiroshimator, eWayne & Ketil Olsen.

Programmer's Heaven x86 assembly language messageboard. http://www.programmersheaven.com/c/MsgBoard/wwwboard.asp?Board=1

Tek-Tips assembly language forum.

Windows source code


www.programmersheaven.com, www.sysinternals.com, www.codeproject.com, www.winprog.org, www.relisoft.com, www.torry.net.



Example asm code


There is an example application that tests the extensibility -- external control and expandability -- of the GOOFEE Diagrammer (my book Flow design for embedded systems 2nd ed. has this on the companion disk). It is written in assembly language, but whatever language you are familiar with, you should find this one readable if you know basic Windows programming and the API. It is a Win95 32-bit application. Download:

w32demo.asm source file, demo GOOFEE Diagrammer companion (Win95)
w32demo.exe the executable.


My book mostly gave example code for Windows asm programming using Borland TASM. However, all the tools for Microsoft MASM programming are now free, and I like MASM better anyhow. So, I've bundled together a complete minimal package of tools, including MASM version 6.14, linker, make, resource compiler and libraries, plus an example skeleton application. All of the tools and libraries were downloaded free from the Internet, and I've included copyright notices where appropriate -- please read them and make sure you agree with Microsoft's conditions before using the tools.


Be sure to retain the directory structure when you unzip this. It will unzip into a folder called winmasm, with various sub-folders.

Symbolic debugger:

Jeremy Gordon has developed an excellent free symbolic debugger, that works with executables generated by MASM and Microsoft's LINK. Go to his site to download "GoBug". To see a make file with switches set to generate symbol information within the executable: bugx.mak. GoBug makes a nice companion to my winmasm toolset.

Syn text editor:
I currently recommend Syn, as it is free, open source, very mature, and easily supports compilation with a make file. You can create a project, then hit the "run" button to run nmake.exe and your required make file, and have console output appear in a window inside Syn.

Open Watcom dialog and resource editors

You need a good free dialog editor to complete this download package. You use this to graphically design dialog boxes. This app will generate a ".rc" file that the resource compiler "rc.exe" can compile. I personally use Microsoft's dialog editor, but see others listed above.
You can't go wrong with the Open Watcom dialog editor, resource editor and image editor -- three applications for all your resource creation and editing needs.

 Try an utterly different tiny operating system

How to load GIF, JPG, BMP and WMF files and display them in a window (Windows 95+) MASM code.

GNU C/C++ and MASM (for Win32 programming)
Combining MASM and C files, see my GNU C and MASM page.

How to use Sphinx C--. Latest docs at the project homepage are in Russian, so I wrote my own. C-- intro page, C--doc page.

Have a look at EVE, a sophisticated Win32 GUI vector drawing application that is only 70K bytes and written in 100% assembly language: http://www.goosee.com/

(c) Copyright 2002 Barry Kauler
Main page:


NAGOA Visual Assembler

Ewayne's ASMEdit

KetilO's RadASM

Pradeepan's Visual Assembler