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In Praise Of Jeff Duntemann … An Ode To Fun, Easy-To-Read Programming Books

Posted by kristobaldude on February 19, 2011

02/19/11

Jeff Duntemann

Jeff Duntemann

Around 1998 I was working as an Electronics Engineer at a local slaughterhouse called IBP (now owned by Tyson Chicken) and it was there in the meager collection of reference books available that I discovered the book “Assembly Language Step-By-Step“, by Jeff Duntemann.  I was blown away.  Though it has been over 10 years since I read this book, if I

Assembly Language Step By Step, 1992 ed.

Assembly Language Step By Step, 1992 ed.

remember correctly, the way Mr. Duntemann explained these weighty technical concepts was by analogizing a great quest, like Homer‘s Oddyssey or the Wizard of Oz.  I would like to get ahold of this book again so I can re-read it with new eyes.

The author has a great writing style that is accessible to everyone – much akin to Isaac Asimov‘s non-fiction work.

Most are familiar with Asimov’s science ficition books (I Robot & Foundation trilogy being his most famous), but did you know that Asimov was also a very technically competent and prolific writer on everthing from the Bible to modern (40’s to 60’s era) science?  If you have not experienced Asimov’s flowing an easy-going prose I suggest checking out Isaac Asimov’s Guide to Earth and Space, Asimov’s Chronology of the World, and (my favorite) the out-of-print Asimov On Numbers.

If you are familiar with Asimov’s science “explanation” works, or the show “Connections” by James Burke then you already have some idea of the writing style of Jeff Duntemann.

Asimov on Numbers

Asimov on Numbers

Although assembly language as a prolific and practical programming system is practically obsolete at the time of this writing, I would still recommend Assembly Language Step by Step as an interesting read and one worth having in your collection.

~ Kristobaldude

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