Reading: The ARM RISC Chip, A Programmer's Guide

Posted by: Jarvis Cochrane 7 years, 11 months ago

The ARM RISC Chip, A Programmer's Guide
Alex van Someren and Carol Atack
Addison-Wesley 1994

Assembly language programming has this much in common with sword swallowing, chainsaw juggling, and watching Roger Corman films: It's great that other people do it!

To say I 'read' A Programmer's Guide is actually a bit of an overstatement. I read the first chapter ('The history of the ARM CPU') with interest, skimmed the second chapter ('The ARM6 core architecture'), and only flicked through the rest of the book, pausing briefly to look at the pictures!

As a budding computer geek growing up the halcyon years of Acorn, I was always intrigued by the BBC micro, the Archimedes, the ARM, and RISC OS; so the first chapter of A Programmer's Guide inspired a certain twinge of nostalgia, and even a certain vicarious pride in the enormous success that a small, obscure British home computer company has had with its home-grown chip technology.

I maintain a token interest in the detailed inner workings of computers at the level of their gates and registers and opcodes, so I found the chapter on the high level architecture of the ARM quite interesting. It's a very clever design - elegant, efficient and compact.

I was even inspired to think that it might be fun to try writing some ARM assembly language, but, sensibly, I lay down and watched Roger Corman films till the feeling passed! ;-)

Update 2013-04-25: Added link to IMDB entry for Roger Corman.

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