Kick Assembler Intro - Part One

When I was young, I had a Commodore 64, just like a few million other kids. Learning Basic on the C64 was my first step into a career that I now still have 25+ years later.

One thing I wish I had spent more time on, was learning Assembly, or Machine Language code more on the C64.

Back then, it was quite difficult to code, compile and run code in a short amount of time, and I did not have the patience to do it. And to make things worse, it was very hard to find help. There were books, but they were not always very helpful. Plus, I had no money to buy any of the really good books I wanted.

Well, here I am, thirty years later, and I am ready to take those next steps, and I wanted to share my experience with others along the way.

The tools for developing for the C64 are amazing. In addition, you can have a very fast workflow by running your assembled code on a Emulator.

I have been playing around with a number of compilers (assemblers) the last few weeks, and I have discovered that the one I like the best is one called Kick Assembler. It is very robust compared to others I have looked at, and even though I am not an "expert" when it comes to these things I feel very comfortable using it, and the documentation on the website is fantastic.

It uses java, is quite fast, is extensible, and well documents. All things that I like.

It also provides many nice features like data structures, functions, macros and, more importantly, scoping and namespacing.

I will be writing a series of posts dedicated to learning and using the Kick Assembler, and I hope it helps other people getting started with it too.

The plan is to create an article every week or two on how to use the Kick Assembler. It will not be a course on teaching Assembler, although some of that will happen anyway.

See you soon.


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