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From: raymoon@ms1.dgsys.com (Raymond Moon)
Subject: x86 Assembly Language FAQ - A86 and D86
Summary: This section of the FAQ contains x86 asm info specific to the Eric Isaacson's shareware A86 assembler and D86 debugger.
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Subject: 1. Introduction and Intent

go General Section for Details
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Subject: 2. Table of Contents

1.  Introduction And Intent
2.  Table Of Contents
3.  What is A86 Assembler and Where Can I Get It
4.  Structuring Assembly Language in A86
5.  A386/D386 Availability
6.  A86 Source Code Site
7.  Eric Isaacson's A86 Assembler and D86 Debugger Web Page
8.  A86 Tutorial
9.  Acknowledgments

[General][MASM][TASM][A86/D86]
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Subject: 3. What is A86 Assembler and Where Can I Get It

3.1  A86 ASSEMBLER - A86V402.ZIP

The A86 is Eric Isaacson's shareware assembler.  The latest version is 4.02
and support up to the 286 instruction set.  This assembler does not support
the extended registers and instructions introduced with the 386 processor. 
This assembler accepts assembly language source files, and transforms them
directly into either: (1) .COM files executable under MS-DOS, starting at
offset 0100 within a code segment; (2) .OBJ files suitable for feeding to a
linker; or (3) object files starting at offset 0, suitable for copying to
ROMs.  A86 is a full featured program designed to be as closely compatible
to the standard Intel/IBM assembly language as possible.

Some of A86's features are:
* Assembly speed
* Ease of use
* Support modular programming even in .COM files
* Support very large programming projects
* Full featured macro capability
* Support for math coprocessor instructions
* Supported by its own debugger, D86

New features of version 4.02 are:
* INCLUDE file support
* listings
* no limit on size of source files
* forward references in complex expressions
* END operand
* default ORG END in DATA SEGMENT

3.2  D86 DEBUGGER - D86V402.ZIP

The D86 is Eric Isaacson's shareware debugger.  The latest version is 4.02. 
D86 is a screen-oriented debugger that facilitates the troubleshooting of
faulty computer programs written for the IBM-PC and all compatibles.  D86
can freeze the state of a program so that the values of registers, flags,
and memory can be investigated.  The program's execution can be monitored
by stepping it one instruction or procedure at a time; or starting the
program running, telling D86 to stop it when it reaches certain locations. 
D86 recognizes the symbol-table output of the A86 assembler, creating a
symbolic disassembly of a A86 program, and allowing referenced to locations
and variables by name.

Some of D86's features are:
* Values of registers, flags and stack top are displayed at a fixed
    location on the screen.
* Support for viewing memory contents in a variety of types including
    complicated structures.
* Support for displaying math coprocessor registers

New features of version 4.02 are:
* Keystroke scripts
* macro keys
* Undo command
* file copy and delete

3.3  OTHER FILES

A86CNVRT.ZIP

This file contains information on converting MASM files into A86 files. 
The information is dated and a better source is Chapter 12 of the A86
documentation.

D86BIOS4.ZIP

If your computer does not have an IBM-compatible BIOS, this file will help
getting D86, the debugger, to work with your BIOS.

3.4  FILE AVAILABILITY

All files are available from SimTel

    ftp://ftp.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/msdos/asmutl


    mget ?86*                   For all files
        or
    mget ?86v402.zip            or the basic A86 and D86 files

Contributor: Raymond Moon, raymoon@moonware.dgsys.com
Last changed: 4 Nov 95

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Subject: 4. Structuring Assembly Language in A86

John Barnes has converted the macros from Kurt Schindler's "Structure:  The
Complete Toolkit for Structuring Assembly Language Programs."  John Barnes
warns that the every macro has not been proofed and tested completely. 

These macros are available from SimTel.

    ftp://ftp.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/msdos/asmutl/struca86.zip

Contributor: Raymond Moon, raymoon@moonware.dgsys.com
Last changed: 8 Jan 95 

Return to the Table Of Contents
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Subject: 5. A386/D386 Availability

I have received the following information about A386/D386 availability from
the author, Mr.Eric Isaacson:

A preliminary version of A386+D386 currently is shipping on the registered
A86+D86 disk.  The A386 implements the entire 386/486/Pentium instruction
set, including 32-bit registers, 32-bit expression arithmetic, and 32-bit
memory indexing.  The only major feature not yet implemented is segments of
type USE32 (i.e., flat mode).  There is not any schedule date for
completing that last feature.

Note that the A86-only registered disk does not have A386. the A386 disk is
available for $80 to get A386 ($82 overseas, $84 in Indiana).  The printed
manual that covers everything is an additional $10 ($15 overseas, $10.50 in
Indiana).

If you already have registered A86+D86, the A386 disk is available for the
normal update service fee of $10 ($12 overseas, $10.50 in Indiana).  If A86
but not D86 is registered, the A386 disk is available for $40 ($42 overseas
or Indiana).  Again, the printed manual is extra.

Contributor: Raymond Moon, raymoon@moonware.dgsys.com
Last changed: 20 May 95 

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Subject: 6. A86 Source Code Site

The only A86 Source code site is Simtel and its mirrors.  The following two
files are available there:

colrboot.zip
    Writes a boot sector to floppies which displays color text if user
    tries to boot from the disk.  Works with non-system disks through BIOS. 
    The display is NOT a file.  Choice of many displays.  Can boot from C
    drive etc.  Useful A86 boot sector source code included.

kwikhelp.zip
    Lets you create your own TSR screens easily and quickly.  Includes A86
    source code.

Contributor: Ray Moon, raymoon@moonware.dgsys.com
Last changed: 20 Dec 96

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Subject: 7. Eric Isaacson's A86 Assembler and D86 Debugger Web Page

7.1 A86/D86 WEB PAGE

Eric Isaacson has his own web page for the A86 Assembler and the D86
Debugger.  The URL is:
    http://eji.com/a86/index.htm
The topics of this page are:
    Overview of A86
    Overview of D86
    A86 and D86 Features
    A386 and D386 Status
    Downloading A86 and D86

7.2 GETTING A86 AND D86 STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSES MOUTH

As indicated above, you can get the A86 assembler and D86 Debugger right
from the author's web site.  The URLs are:

    For A86:    http://eji.com/a86.zip
    For D86:    http://eji.com/d86.zip

Contributor: Raymond Moon, raymoon@moonware.dgsys.com
Last changed: 16 Apr 96

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Subject: 8. A86 Tutorial

Homer Tilton has written a simple tutorial on A86 using DEBUG as the
debugger.  It is available from:

  http://www6.zdnet.com/cgi-bin/texis/swlib/hotfiles/info.html?fcode=000804

Contributor: Raymond Moon, raymoon@moonware.dgsys.com
Last changed: 31 Aug 97

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Subject: 9. Acknowledgments

I would like to acknowledge all the people who have assisted me or any of
the contributors.  For their time and effort, this FAQ is a better product.

John Krueger and Gary Smith

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