For me as an asm coder it is important to know this because I can't rely on C routines.
ASM and C/C++ are both important tools, if you want to program the Prizm (as well as the fx-9860 series). I daresay it is not possible to avoid either of them. Of course you have to decide carefully, which of both is the appropriate tool in a certain situation. Though, mostly it will be C. Anyhow the next version of the miniSDK will accept assembler-source-modules as well.
What I think we need is a long explanation of how insight exactly works
INSIGHT is a C-program. Therefore a pre-condition to understand INSIGHT is the knowledge of C. I am sorry not to have a better message. But myhap it is not this bad, if you should decide to learn C.
and syscalls. An explanation from the ground up would be very helpful
I tried to explain the use of syscalls from out of assembler here:http://www.omnimaga.org/index.php?topic=5610.msg124495#msg124495
...Last time I checked the VRAM-DMAC was still undocumented.
I documented the VRAM-DMAC-syscalls 0x025F and 0x0260 the first time in the HTMLHELP-file of miniSDK version 1.03.