Meadowlark: Sheffield based computer consultancy

Software tools we use:

Assembly language

Assembly language programs, if well written, execute faster, use fewer resources, and exploit the hardware platform more efficiently than any other programming language.

The assembly language programmer, programs with a small set of mnemonics, which the assembler converts directly into machine code. The latter is directly executed by the processor. There is no interpretation or compilation needed, and the code is as fast (or slow) as the skill of the programmer allows.

Assembly language is tighly bound to the processor on which it runs, and explains the advantage and disadvantage of the language. That of portability, or lack of it.

Assembly language programs are less portable than any other programming language, but the benefit is that speed of execution is maximised.

There are three circumstances where assembly language might be the obvious choice.

  • When execution speed must be maximised
  • When code size must be minimised
  • When efficient exploitation of the architecture of the processor must be achieved.
  • Typically you are likely to be using software written in assembly language when you use hardware with a tiny motherboard and chip with some simple single function. As the item becomes more sophisticated and versatile, it becomes more likely that assembly language will not be used.

    Assembly language programming became far less common as processors became more and more powerful, and programming tasks became more and more challenging in other ways.

    What you can expect from computer hardware in the future?

    1. Smaller faster, cheaper, lighter computers for the desktop.  They will be no larger than a DVD drive.  They will be silent, and run free software, and much of this will be web based.  They will use solid state disks, and large quantities of cheap memory.

    2. More powerful mobile phones will largely replace traditional PCs.  The screens of mobiles will occupy as much of the phone as physicallly possible.  "Soft buttons will have largely replaced mechanical buttons in top of the range phones.

    3. Sophisticated screen display technology will be available that will allow us to use bigger computer monitors in smaller less likely workplaces.

    4. Micro-factories: places of work no bigger than a loft extension, where budding entrepreneurs labour in their free time "printing" products with 3D printers and selling their wares by the internet.