MSX dimensions

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بواسطة wolf_

Ambassador_ (9956)

صورة wolf_

08-02-2007, 17:39

'MSX emulator' is the wrong term I think. It doesn't emulate an MSX, it emulates generic chips. And if those chips are programmed to act like an MSX, then so be it.

So the interesting debate is not strictly about the OCM but about when something is 'real'
- does something 'real' need to be a mass-produced unique chip that can do only one thing? (e.g. an MSX engine, a TMS, a Z80, a PSG etc.)
- can something called 'real' be housed in an FPGA chip, a chip which can be reprogrammed to be anything?

بواسطة Low_Profile

Champion (425)

صورة Low_Profile

08-02-2007, 18:22

I don't care which MSX is the smallest or the biggest, as long as you remember Compjoetania got the last dimension Tongue

بواسطة Samor

Prophet (2147)

صورة Samor

08-02-2007, 18:23

'MSX emulator' is the wrong term I think. It doesn't emulate an MSX, it emulates generic chips. And if those chips are programmed to act like an MSX, then so be it.

But how is that different from other (or: 'real' Wink ) emulators?


So the interesting debate is not strictly about the OCM but about when something is 'real'
- does something 'real' need to be a mass-produced unique chip that can do only one thing? (e.g. an MSX engine, a TMS, a Z80, a PSG etc.)
- can something called 'real' be housed in an FPGA chip, a chip which can be reprogrammed to be anything?

retro devices are quite popular, and it's known there are currently many one-chip designs of old hardware around. Many of them not being reprogrammable, by the way.
For example, there are lots of so called "Famiclones", unlicensed one-chip devices that play Famicom (Japanese NES) carts.
Now, what if Nintendo would license such a device, and release it as a new NES console, with cartridge slot and all.... IMO it classifies as a genuine NES then (I've been able to play with one of those famiclones and they're rather close to the original). Accuracy plays a role, but I think to a certain degree (or you'd be able to say the MSX2 isn't an MSX either, because it doesn't run Galaxian and changes color palettes).
Is the fact the underlying chip (FGPA) is reprogrammable in the OCM's case a reason for it to suddenly not be MSX? If it was a not-reprogrammable one-chip design, would that make it more MSX?
And then there's the point of features... the OCM is quite the full-featured machine. Other devices, like the C64DTV, Atari Flashback 2 and Megadrive PlayTV (all based on 1 chip designs of the original HW) have severely butchered functionality (allthough a lot can be hacked back in by hobbyists, like cartridge slots). The Atari Flashback 2 (US release only) is perhaps the best example. It's apparantly very accurate, because, when a cartridge slot is added to it (which can be done relatively easily by enthusiasts) it plays original cartridges. It even has replicas of the original joysticks (that actually work on the old 2600 too). But it's lacking the cartridge slot by default. Would the lack of such a feature make it "not real"?

Not giving clear answers here because I don't quite know them myself... I find it interesting to discuss, though Wink

بواسطة pitpan

Prophet (3152)

صورة pitpan

08-02-2007, 19:03

It'll be the real MSX when it includes all the bugs/limitations of the original MSX. Same crashes, same shit -> same machine Wink

But as far as it is an emulation, even a hardware emulation, it can only include "documented" features/bugs. All the "undocumented/unknown" issues won't be there, because it is not using the original chips with that genuine problems.

Does this make sense for you?

بواسطة jltursan

Prophet (2619)

صورة jltursan

08-02-2007, 19:10

I've never designed a chip using VHDL; but I think that it must be done taking care with the original chip design, I mean, all the quirks that the TMS VDP are due its design; clone it and you'll have the same behaviour.
AFAIK, the OCM doesn't have a 100% replica of the MSX chips; but I'm confident that the code will be updated...

بواسطة pitpan

Prophet (3152)

صورة pitpan

08-02-2007, 19:25

And would it reproduce in a deterministic way some of the non-deterministic behaviour of the original chips? Let me doubt it. There's no room for stocastic behaviour in a FPGA chip. Good old MSX can have a crappy random number generator, but its etology is in fact quite random! LOL!

Anyway, let's go back on-topic: which is the bigger MSX ever?

Maybe it is this one. What do you think?

بواسطة Samor

Prophet (2147)

صورة Samor

08-02-2007, 19:49

It'll be the real MSX when it includes all the bugs/limitations of the original MSX. Same crashes, same shit -> same machine Wink

But as far as it is an emulation, even a hardware emulation, it can only include "documented" features/bugs. All the "undocumented/unknown" issues won't be there, because it is not using the original chips with that genuine problems.

Does this make sense for you?

yes, and I understand that POV, but even the MSX1 and MSX2 differ a bit from each other... and the C64 for example had a revision in the SID chip, and the second is not exactly the same as the first.... but both are featured in genuine C64 computers..

بواسطة dvik

Prophet (2200)

صورة dvik

08-02-2007, 20:34


The OCM is a HW emulator (albeit one with cartridge slots), but it's officially licensed and follows the MSX standard (minus the infamous cas port, that is ), so you could consider it a real MSX, besides the HW differences.

This is actually the only valid and good argument for the OCM being a real MSX. But that also applies to MSXPLAYer as well. Other than that its just an emulator.

It doesn't emulate an MSX, it emulates generic chips. And if those chips are programmed to act like an MSX, then so be it.
openMSX and blueMSX also emulate generic chips. The shortcut most emus does is that they don't emulate the bus correctly . On this point the OCM is doing a better job. The OCM also emulated the VRAM access more accurately. The OCM also runs the different devices in parallel while the PC emus need to schedule the tasks and do them one at the time in short segments. Since the PC is so fast this won't make any difference on the result though. The PC emus synchronizes the devices every time there is some inter-device communication.

But what makes the OCM not a real MSX is that you can't attach your own hw components as you can on a real MSX. A big part of the MSX standard defines how devices are put together and how to interface the bus. In this regard the OCM is as little MSX as other emus and the flexible but well specified hw structure of the MSX standard is the most important part of the MSX. So the OCM will never be a real MSX, how much people work on bug fixes and other stuff. Its simply missing the heart of the MSX and there is nothing to do about it.

Never the less, the OCM is an extremely cool emulator and its really cool that MSX-A is actually manifactuing it.

بواسطة Maggoo

Paragon (1216)

صورة Maggoo

08-02-2007, 20:41

Back on topic though, I think it's fair to not include it when talking MSX dimensions. I was also wondering if the SONY HB-700 is larger than a 8250. Smile

Doesn't matter, they can't be as big as the National FS-5500.

www.msxarchive.nl/pub/msx/photos/hardware/National_FS-5500F2.jpg
www.msxarchive.nl/pub/msx/photos/hardware/National_FS-5500_back.jpg

Now THAT is a fat baby :D

بواسطة dvik

Prophet (2200)

صورة dvik

08-02-2007, 20:43

Now THAT is a fat baby
Wow, that looks like a really robust computer. That one should last for hundreds of years.

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