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Programming Languages   -   2002/04/06Viewed 187 times this month, last update: 2004/12/01

I program in quite a few languages. Here is the master list, in psudo-cronological order:
  • Assembly
  • Perl
  • HTML
  • Shell scripting
  • SQL
  • PL/SQL
  • Javascript
  • PHP
  • Java
  • C
  • C++
Programming is an Art. Yes, it is, don't argue. Some day, computers will evolve to the point where programmers, writing this archane code are no longer neccisary to have our machines do our bidding. When that day happens, some art will die. I hope I don't live to see it. Some programming is ugly. See: Spagetti code. But some is beautifull, and some can be compared to precious stones. The code below is not really pretty, it's not ugly, certainly, but it is wonderfull. It is so concise and so perfect I would call this code one of the very few "diamonds" of code I have ever written.
;The second working assembly language program written by Erik G. Burrows
;A prime number generator that is capable of finding all the prime numbers
;up to 4 billion, and uses only registers to do so, except when printing
;them, which it does in decimal.

.MODEL SMALL                          ;One Data and One Code Segment
.386                                  ;Enable 32 bit register usage
.STACK                                ;A 1k stack
.CODE                                 ;Code segment
.STARTUP                              ;Entry point
MOV EAX, 1                            ;The first number
JMP FoundPrime                        ;One is prime, print it
NewNum:                               ;Next Number
  INC   EAX                           ;Advance number 
  MOV   EBX, 1
BeginTest:                            ;Start test loop
  INC   EBX                           ;Advance divisor
  CMP   EAX, EBX                      ;Check if number = divisor
  JE    FoundPrime                    ;If so, it's prime, loop finished
  MOV   ECX, EAX                      ;Save the number
  XOR   EDX, EDX                      ;Zero high DWord of divisor
  DIV   EBX                           ;Divide number by divisor
  XCHG  EDX, ECX                      ;Prep remainder for testing 
  MOV   EAX, EDX                      ;Put number back
  JCXZ  NewNum                        ;If no renainder it's not prime
  JMP   BeginTest                     ;Next in test loop
FoundPrime:                           ;Print the prime number
  MOV   EBX, EAX                      ;Store current number
  MOV   ESI, 10                       ;Load divisor with 10
  XOR   ECX, ECX                      ;Zero digit count
NON_ZERO:                             ;Calculate digits
  XOR   EDX, EDX                      ;Zero high DWord of divisor
  DIV   ESI                           ;Divide number by divisor
  PUSH  EDX                           ;Put the digit on the stack
  INC   ECX                           ;Add one more digit to count
  OR    EAX, EAX                      ;Check for end of loop
  JNE   NON_ZERO                      ;Next digit to print
  MOV   EAX, EBX                      ;Restore the current number
WRITE_DIGIT_LOOP:                     ;Print digits
  POP   EDX                           ;Get digit in reverse order
  ADD   DL,"0"                        ;Add ascii 0 to the value
  MOV   SI, AX                        ;Store ascii value
  MOV   AH,2                          ;Function 2h
  INT   21h                           ;Print it
  MOV   AX, SI                        ;Restore the ascii value
  LOOP  WRITE_DIGIT_LOOP              ;Next digit to print
  MOV   DL, " "                       ;A space
  MOV   ECX, EAX                      ;Store the current number
  MOV   AH,2                          ;Function 2h
  INT   21h                           ;Print it
  MOV   EAX, ECX                      ;Restore the test number
  JMP   NewNum                        ;Go next number
.EXIT                                 ;Exit (never gets executed)
END                                   ;End address

Click Here to view the first 17 comments to this article!

Erik (2004-12-01): Where to start what, Linda? Programming? I suggest a class in BASIC. That's where most of us started. Or, "Learning Perl" is one of the best language introduction books I have ever read, or ever heard of. Or, if it's assembly language you want to start with (the above program is written in x86 assembly for the MASM assembler), try your local book store. I picked up the fattest book I could, and read it cover to cover.

K (2004-12-01): I guess everybody is looking for this homework ahahah. :)

Montu (2005-04-15): You good its looks very nice and simple insense of coding and how you have used the code its very impressive,, i have not yet check by computer but i know that it will works out.

Erik (2005-04-17): Thank you Montu, I hope it can be of use to you.

surinder singh kundu (2005-11-23): it was realy nice ,it helps me alot

ian nillas (2006-02-22): Please explain to me how RAM reservations and constants were important? Why it is very important in Assembly language programming?

Erik (2006-03-01): Ian, I'm not sure what you mean by RAM reservations, but constants are used in assembly programming, similarly to how they are used in any language.

dave (2006-03-11): I'm far from a assembly type guy, but couldn't you get some cheap improvements by assuming 1 and 2 are prime and neither testing even numbers nor testing with even numbers. Also perhaps only test up to n/2 rather then up to n? nice code, been a while since I've looked at any assembly, much less well organized code. almost makes me want to try some of it out again.

Erik (2006-03-11): Dave, yes, all of those would improve performance, but would make the main loop so much less pretty. :-) Besides, on a modern processor it should get to 2^32 in just a few seconds anyway.

marcos (2006-08-29): its very beatiful code, tks very much. i try in the masm32 but i cant compile. but i take the book art of assembly and im studying the code to understande your art in deep. tks

Tyler (2007-01-31): Very clear and concise code, I'm taking a MASM class at OSU right now and this is perfect, it follows our next program guidelines almost exactly. I'm not going to steal it, but definitely use it as a reference. Thanks for the great work!

Erik (2007-02-01): Wow, I'm amazed any university actually still teaches assembly! Glad I could help!

ashish (2007-03-18): thanks,bcoz of u i m able to complete myassignment

Juri (2007-03-29): This site provides very easy code in Assembly Language to generate Prime numbers then any other sites till I have searched.

cornelius (2007-07-28): this code compiles and links fine but falls over when I try to run it.

illegal instruction

Erik (2007-07-31): cornelius, it's been years and years since I compiled this code, but it ran OK under DOS. I don't know if you're trying to run it under Windows, or what affect that would have. If you're not already, try running it from the 'cmd' program, so it has a text terminal.

amenda (2007-11-24): hi Erik! i am working on a project in assembly language that calculates the number of primes in the first 2^32-1 numbers! can u help me in this plz? the anser to this is 203, 280, 221 btw! thanks !

Erik (2007-11-25): Amenda, you can start with the above program, and replace the print routine with a counter. Good luck!

;Pe (2008-05-01): I have a similar problem with generating prime numbers but for the x86 assember and I was wondering if you could help me out

Erik (2008-05-01): Pe, what problem are you having?


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