Code Self Study Forum

Learn Assembly Language by Making Games for the Atari 2600

I want to watch this as soon as the price drops to $10-12. If anyone is interested, we could take two days (like a Monday and Tuesday) and go through the videos as quickly as possible at a cafe (and/or remotely).

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More resources:

Seen on this wasm emulator repo:

It looks like he’s writing WebAssembly with AssemblyScript (TypeScript).

“AssemblyScript compiles a strict subset of TypeScript (a typed superset of JavaScript) to WebAssembly using Binaryen”

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Wow, color me intrigued. I’ve got so much on my plate right now. I’ll get back to you after the second Algorithm’s class in 12 or so weeks.

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Sounds good. I think a few people are interested. It’s on sale for $12.99 at the moment, but I might wait for a better sale ($10-12), since I’m not in a rush. I do best with those Udemy courses if I put aside a few days and force myself to speed-watch them at 1.5-2x playback speed.

Browsing around on that site is dangerous. :money_with_wings:

I had put it in the cart and they tried to upsell me on this one:
Edit: unfortunately, it looks like it requires Excel, because it uses VBA. :disappointed:

Then they started recommended these.

I saw that the instructor also has two free courses.

Also some other courses on his site:

Don’t try to resist…

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We should try to make ET. :slight_smile:


That would be fun. :slight_smile:

It looks like there were 526 games originally.

It’s hard. I keep checking the price, but it’s still $13. :grin:

It went up to $125 and then down to $13 again, so I’m going to skip it for now. :weary:
(If they do a better sale later, I’ll pick it up then.)

I don’t think Udemy completely understands their users. The difference between $9.99 and $12.99 isn’t just a few dollars. Some of us use Udemy more like an intermittent subscription service, and a $3 difference is really more like a $50 difference, because it’s a series of ongoing purchases. I don’t subscribe to Netflix/Prime/Hulu/TV or similar services — just programming videos.

If they had kept the prices low, with regular $9.99 sales, they probably would have extracted a few hundred extra dollars out of me, but now I make fewer impulse buys there.

I’d switch to Coursera, edX, or a book before I start paying $12.99 per course. It’s really hit or miss with Udemy and not worth paying that much. The 30-day money back guarantee isn’t really compelling, because sometimes it takes me a year between purchase and when I watch a course.

The Udemy prices dropped to $11.99 today so I bought the Atari 2600 course and the Design a CPU course.

The CPU course uses Excel VBA in some sections, but I have a Windows 8 desktop computer at home so I can use that.

The recommended text for the Design a CPU book is here:

(another $10 for the optional ebook)

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I wonder how similar the Design a CPU course is to nand2tetris. Looks like it uses Logisim, which seems fun to learn and play with. At one point I was thinking of implementing some of the nand2tetris problems in Logisim. Maybe I still will …
Anyway, would love to hear how that course goes.


I just got thru the first couple lectures - converting binary, decimal, hexidecimal back and forth, then how the chips are laid out and what they represent. If you did nand2tetris, you’ll have a big advantage. I started that course, but got hung up on the first part designing the first set of gates. I should give that another go, I know I didn’t read all the resources, but still, think I need a little help from someone that has designed a few to get going.

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This exactly describes my experience with nand2tetris. The standard procedure for me is
(1) Struggle through a bit, but then get hung up on something and quit, usually for many months.
(2) Get inspired to return to things, but have to review from the start. However, so far this has let me make it past each previous sticking point. Then I get back to step (1), a little further down the road.

I’ve decided that the nand2tetris book is just not great for self-study, even though it’s recommended on teachyourselfcs. The simulation software, though greatly appreciated, gives error messages that tell me little more than my attempt didn’t work. Having a teacher or anyone who’s worked through things before take a look at my code would be a huge help. And all those sticking points in step (1) end up being not huge fixes, but only in retrospect. On my own, they stall me for months. Even just a hint from someone more experienced would save so much time.

So anyway, if you ever return to nand2tetris, I’d be glad to help out in the chapters I’ve covered. This would probably inspire me enough for another iteration of step (2). I left off at the start of Chapter 9, so I’m close to finishing, but just haven’t been motivated to make that final push.

Finally, I should add that I’m really glad I’ve struggled through as much of nand2tetris as I have. The things I’ve learned in there come up so often in other things I read/study. Nonetheless, this hasn’t been enough motivation to get me to finish the damn thing. :slight_smile:


Ha Dan! I thought I was the only one, I think I gave it three shots, but just getting past making one of the 2nd or 3rd gates had me stumped. I figured I just had to brute force it, or maybe make a Python script to figure it out, but then I wouldn’t learn anything.

I even remembered I had one of these as a kid: 100 in 1 electronics kit, and I remembered making some physical gates like XOR, etc., but had zero clue what they were for at the time. So now that I knew, I looked for the manual online and couldn’t come up with one, so I actually bought one on Ebay, but it didn’t help, lol.

I did love on Coursera how the one guy keeps saying, “Just like in 3rd grade…”, haha, I think I had that electronics kit at least in 3rd grade, but again, had zero clue what that stuff was for.

Anyway, I appreciate the offer for some help, I will try again in the near future, maybe doing this atari course first will start the fire again. I can tell already, it’s going to take more than 11 hours just to watch the videos. Hopefully, at least, I’ll know what a subroutine is finally, as my mom and dad keep talking about those, currenlty, I just figure it’s an old school term for a function.


Dave I had that kit, the Tandy version from Radio Shack.


I had one of those electronics kits too, though I think mine might have been 50 in 1. My memory of playing with it was dutifully following the instructions to build various projects, but not having the slightest idea what the different components did, nor why they should be connected in the way they were.

Yeah, let me know if you try nand2tetris again Dave, and I will do the same. In the mean time, hope the Atari class goes well.

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Well, yeah. I worked for Radio Shack part-time for about… four years so of course I had their toys in this space. I took an 8086 programming course from the City Colleges of Chicago extension in which you soldered together a Heathkit programmer and then do assembly language the hard way (flipping eight switches up/down and then pressing the submit button).

I remember writing TSRs (Terminate and Stay Resident) a long time ago. And I worked through a book by Peter Norton with assembly language code to read/write directly to the file system at its lowest level.

Fast-forward, I bought the “Raspberry Pi Assembly Language Programming” book from Apress the week that was published. I’m probably the only person submitting errata for it. :laugh: I’ve been porting the 32-bit ARMv7 over to 64-bit ARMv8 slowly… since there’s really nobody out here in the wild doing this yet. I’ve got some code to toggle GPIO pins in assembly if anyone needs something like that.


6 posts were split to a new topic: 3D Graphics Programming from Scratch

The instructor sent out an email today:

I have revisited the entire 6502 Assembly course and added some extra useful parts that will enhance the final project:

  • Lectures on missiles and missile collision
  • Lectures on creating and using assembler macros
  • Lectures on adding audio and TIA audio registers
  • Extra quizzes between lectures

Here’s another interesting idea:

“Famicom Party – Making NES Games in Assembly”

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