Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hardware Snapshots - 2013

A choice assortment of hardware designs from 2013.

Lambo Huracan

BRD RedShift

Mac Pro

Saturday, December 14, 2013

64 bit diaries

Part 1

Wanting to be a little more educated on the 64 bit front I have been doing some research, first up is the definitive architecture manual:

  AMD64 Architecture Programmer’s Manual Volume 3

After some reading it was time to start performing some BlitzMax experiments based on building a new bmk64 tool on OSX. 

Today's hypothesis is that given x86_64 is a superset of x86 then creating a 64 bit binary in BlitzMax should be possible by tweaking output of the x86 bcc tool.

Without access to the bcc compiler source my initial plan is to see how far I can get building 64 bit binaries just by tweaking the bmk tool.

My first iteration of bmk64 hardcodes the architecture to x86_64 and modifies bmk_util.bmx to build with the correct flags to produce 64 bit binary code on OSX.

After a couple of hours I now have bmk64 makemods producing the following type of errors:
  • /blitz.mod/.bmx/blitz.bmx.release.macos.amd64.s:55:suffix or operands invalid for `push'
  • /blitz.mod/.bmx/blitz.bmx.release.macos.amd64.s:58:32-bit absolute addressing is not supported for x86-64 
  • /blitz.mod/.bmx/blitz.bmx.release.macos.amd64.s:58:cannot do signed 4 byte relocation
Modifying bcc x86 output to use the stack in 64 bit mode sounds scary, learning about the new absolute addressing modes and reloc rules sounds quite educational...


OK, not that scary. Stack usage just needs to use 64 bit register names:


And then pooh learns about the Relative Instruction Pointer mode, more commonly known as ($PC)


And then, oh no, a snag....


Part 2

After blaming a missing out.Close in fasm2as it seems bcc mistreats any -o argument. Now fasm2as is embedded in bmk64 anyways which revealed an out of bounds array error with it's op[0] so that's fixed also.

The stack frame is pretty interesting in parts, address types need 8 bytes so the temptation is just to double every offset and rename all 32 bit registers to their 64 bit counterpart, offset->offset*2 etc. but that's obviously nuts and as an academic exercise I was hoping for more cheese.

The current prelog and epilog code bcc is generating to back up esp may also be deprecated, this will be confirmed when in part 3 we park bmk64 and start hand coding our own x86_64 .s files.

thanks to we have an interesting starting point, nasm style:

 section .data

 db "shit hot!", 0x0a

 section .text

 global start

 mov rax, 0x2000004   ; system:write = 4
 mov rdi, 1           ; stdout is 1
 mov rsi, msg         ; our message
 mov rdx, eom-msg     ; and size
 syscall              ; bang!
 mov rax, 0x2000001   ; system:exit = 1
 mov rdi, 0           ; success is 0
 syscall              ; bang!

oh, and todays hypothesis is - "the less we care about yesterdays hypothesis the better"