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If you ever got email from me, and I was using this signature:
-- Jaakko.Hyvatti@iki.fi http://www.iki.fi/hyvatti/ +358 40 5011222 echo 'movl $36,%eax;int $128;movl $0,%ebx;movl $1,%eax;int $128'|as -o/bin/sync..you might have wondered what it is. And maybe you tried it in Linux and it did not work.
It is the shortest way to compile a common unix system program /bin/sync, and it creates a binary of 48 or 52 bytes, about the shortest you can make a functional aout binary without much work. It worked back then when the binary format of linux programs was 'aout'. The object file created by the assembler was directly executable without linking with ld. Nowdays you need to either find an old aout assembler, or you must link the ELF object file with ld. The resulting binary with ld is several hundred bytes though.