Oss 2003

by MSX Resource Center on 31-01-2003, 20:05

What's the best way to start a new year?! To organize an MSX fair and get all those Dutch and Belgian MSX freaks at one place. That's what MSX NBNO must have thought and that's exactly what they've done.

On the 25th of january 2003, Oss was the place to be. And of course, the msx.org crew checked the fair out. With us, we brought 67 original MSX games, ready to be sold to the MSX in crowd. We arrived at the venue right before the start of the fair. All the booths were situated in one room. We think this is the way every MSX fair should be. We all know that MSX fairs don't catch that much attention anymore. If you divide the booths and visitors over several rooms, the way both Bussum and Tilburg are doing, you take away a part of the interaction between the few booths and visitors who do mind coming to such meetings.
Anyway, MSX NBNO has found the right venue to organize a modern MSX fair and when inside, it was nice to look around and spot the longtime msx friends we all have become over the years.

Of course, MSX NBNO was there with a nice Triplex network. Triplex is some kind of Tetris clone and was originally designed to test the MIDI interface of the Music Module. Thanks to the apparent network capabilities of the MIDI interface, one could play Triplex against other MSX friends.
Besides this network, MSX NBNO of course sold their software and manuals and even had a lot of free MSX stuff, like plastic MSX bags and old MSX magazines.
Jaap Hoogendijk has quite a record in the MSX society. He organized the famous Zandvoort MSX fairs back in the early 90s. Het kept doing this until two years ago, even when the fair moved to Bussum. Only last year, TNI took over the organization of the Bussum MSX fair. Jaap still likes to go to other MSX fairs and he enjoys us every time with the best Manga videos, videogames and other console gadgets.

Other regulars we see at almost every fair are Sunrise and Deltasoft. They both sold there 'backcatalogue' which in case of Sunrise mainly consists of hardware such as CompactFlash ATA-IDE interfaces, Moonsound and GFX9000, while Deltasoft has an extensive software collection.
Bas Kornalijnslijper from MCWF was present to give visitors technical hardware advice or to sell them that diskdrive they've been searching for for some time now. There was more activity though. R-soft was supposed to demonstrate the progression on their network project, there seemed to be some problems though, the demonstration was cancelled. We've understood that 2 members of R-soft left the team and the remaining members continue their MSX work under the name 'Bitwise'. The MSX-Xpress booth was very crowdy all day. We don't know what they were demonstrating but they sure did know how to get that MSX spirit high!

Then there was of course our own msx.org booth. As we stated above, we had 67 MSX games for sale and though the amount of visitors was not that high, the interest in the MSX games was huge and at the end of the day, we sold a large part of the games already. We had more to show to the public than just games. As we reported earlier, we brought with us both the ASCII MSX Magazine and the Fun! MSX Emulator & Games magazine. We've noticed that many visitors took their time to go through the pages of both magazines. One could see the surprise on their faces. It is still incredible that in the
year 2003 there have appeared 2 glossy magazines about this almost 20 years old computer system.

Last but not least, msx.org gave extensive demonstrations of the beta version of Meridian v3.0. This latest version of a MIDI sequencer, made by Michiel de Vries, supports the OPL4 in full extent. Both the FM and the WAVE part of the OPL4 can be controlled. It isn't possible to play standard midifiles yet, though, hopefully, in Tilburg, it is.

Over the day, a lot of things were happening. People exchanged a lot of information. Sunrise told interesting things about their future plans on creating an ethernet card for MSX with an eZ80 processor, Manuel Bilderbeek was busy with a next version of the openmsx emulator and we had nice talks with people we had never met before. For example, Frits Hilderink, the creator of the MSX emulator NLMSX, told us interesting stuff about his emulator activities. Other famous MSX-ers as Maarten ter Huurne and Alex Wulms were also present and were available for nice MSX chats.
Time blew away very fast and before we knew it, it was 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Every year, the organization organizes a dinner for the die hard MSX-er, the msx.org crew though decided to call it a day and so we left the fair in search of some Mexican restaurant in the towncentre of Oss.
For some of the msx.org crew, this was the first Oss fair they went to. We had a great time and we will definitely be back next year. Until then!