Turbo Assembler

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"TASM" redirects here. For other uses, see Tasm (disambiguation).
Turbo Assembler
Developer(s) Borland
Stable release 5.0
Operating system DOS, Windows
Type Assembler
License Proprietary
Website Archive of official webpage

Turbo Assembler (TASM) is an assembler package developed by Borland which runs on and produces code for 16- or 32-bit x86 MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows. It can be used with Borland's high-level language compilers, such as Turbo Pascal, Turbo Basic, Turbo C and Turbo C++. The Turbo Assembler package is bundled with the Turbo Linker, and is interoperable with the Turbo Debugger. TASM can assemble MASM source using its MASM mode and has an ideal mode with a few enhancements. Object-oriented programming has been supported since version 3.0. The latest version of Turbo Assembler is 5.0, with files dated 1996 and patches up to 2002; it is still supplied with Delphi and C++Builder.

As of October 2014, Borland Turbo Assembler 5.0 has been verified to still be sold officially (at least on eBay). The package content contains three 3.5-inch diskettes and three small books. For learning how to write in assembly language using Borland Turbo Assembler 5.0 further resources such as knowledge of MS-DOS interrupts are needed. Microsoft Windows programming in Borland Turbo Assembler 5.0 is complex. It is suggested that this resource be used more for MS-DOS developments than Microsoft Windows. It has been verified to produce 16-bit and 32-bit applications successfully.

There are three books packaged with the official Borland Turbo Assembler [Copyright (c) 1988, 1995 Borland International, Inc. All rights reserved.]. The first book you should read is the least confusing of the three: Borland Turbo Assembler User's Guide. The second book which is not necessary most of the time if you learn to program one step at a time is Borland Turbo Debugger User's Guide. Last is probably the most useful seeing it contains all the instructions of assembly language, Borland Turbo Assembler Quick Reference; The third book even has instructions also known as opcodes for math co-processors. However, programming in Borland Turbo Assembler is very difficult without another language as a wrapper. Borland Turbo C 2.01 has been verified as a solid base for implementing Borland Turbo Assembler. Please note that even though Borland Turbo Assembler 5.0 is the Microsoft Windows version, the MS-DOS version that is included is Borland Turbo Assembler 4.1. The number just stands for either a Windows or DOS version. A wrapper language like Borland Turbo C 2.01 may still be found legally free on the internet.

If one is serious about programming purchasing Borland Turbo Assembler also should include a registration card that allows the registered owner complete distribution rights to their own produced assembly programs. It is important to keep all the materials as a backup although it seems a person can do without some of the materials. For instance, everything works together as a whole to help a person program in assembly.

An example of Borland Turbo Assembly Language that says a simple 'Merry Christmas!' seems like a lot however Borland Turbo Assembler gives precise control over your machine. This would be a MS-DOS version of Borland Turbo Assembler 4.1:

model small
mymessage DB 'Merry Christmas!',0
mov bx, SEG mymessage
mov es, bx
mov si, OFFSET mymessage
mov bx, 0
mov DL, es:[si+bx]
cmp DL, 0
je ending
mov ah, 2
push bx
push si
push es
int 21h
pop es
pop si
pop bx
inc bx
jmp fetchcharacter
mov ah, 04ch
mov al, 0
int 21h

Lazy Assembler[1] is a freeware assembler not associated with Borland which is compatible with TASM ideal mode but with support for newer instructions not supported by TASM: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3 (PNI), SSE4 (MNI), 3DNow!Pro. It was last updated to version 0.56 on 6 August 2007; the website is no longer available, but the program is available for download.[2]

See also[edit]


  • Swan, Tom (1989). Mastering Turbo Assembler. Carmel, Indiana: Howard W. Sams & Company, Hayden Books division of Macmillan Computer Publishing. ISBN 0-672-48435-8. 2nd Edition, 1995 ISBN 0-672-30526-7.

External links[edit]