Use msx floppies on PC

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By Thom

Hero (655)

Thom's picture

20-10-2020, 19:16

msx4ever,com][quote wrote:

So, openMSX is NOT a MSX emulator, but openMSX is a collection of 150 emulators.
It has a Philips nms 8250 emulator and a Sony HB-75 emulator, etc, etc.

OpenMSX is amazing, isn't it Smile

You're clearly very passionate about this subject, which is alright. I used to use RuMSX some decades ago and liked it. I also liked BrMSX, NLMSX and ParaMSX back in the days. Then came BlueMSX and OpenMSX. Today, I mostly use OpenMSX and WebMSX, because they fully suit my needs. But: I still use the diskmanager tool made by RuMSX's author.

By Manuel

Ascended (17064)

Manuel's picture

20-10-2020, 19:18

msx4ever,com wrote:
Quote:

openMSX emulates beyond the standard. As I wrote at the top, it emulates specific MSX machines. There are many differences between machines that are not in the standard. They matter. They determine whether MSX software actually runs correctly on machine A and not on machine B, although both are of the same standard.

Note that there are a few generic MSX machines that come with openMSX, which are not modeled after a real MSX model. This is more like what you get by default on RuMSX.

So, openMSX is NOT a MSX emulator, but openMSX is a collection of 150 emulators.
It has a Philips nms 8250 emulator and a Sony HB-75 emulator, etc, etc.

Indeed! And all these emulated machines behave a lot like the real corresponding machines. Even if the real machine is not entirely according to the standard or has other special features or quirks.

But as I wrote, we also included a few generic fantasy machines that are still according to the MSX standard. This is more like what RuMSX does by default.

With openMSX you can even create your own MSX machines. The same is also possible with blueMSX and RuMSX.

By Manuel

Ascended (17064)

Manuel's picture

20-10-2020, 19:25

msx4ever,com wrote:
Quote:

The reason that you get C-BIOS MSX2+ by default in openMSX, is because of legal reasons. We, as openMSX team, are not allowed to distributed the ROM files that are inside MSX machines, because we do not own the copyright and we did not get permission from Microsoft. Apparently the author of RuMSX did get permission, or (more likely) he doesn't care.

There are many MSX emulators besides RuMSX that have MSX system ROM to start with.
Now that you mention it, openMSX is the only one that I know that hasn't But I know only a dozen.

And none of them got permission for that, as far as I know. That means it's illegal. openMSX is not only for Windows, but it's also included in several Linux distributions for example. These are quite strict regarding including binary code without sources. C-BIOS comes with source code included and allows everyone to use it freely. That's why it's the only system ROM included with openMSX. On all platforms openMSX runs on.

By mcolom

Master (152)

mcolom's picture

20-10-2020, 20:26

Manuel wrote:

That's why it's the only system ROM included with openMSX. On all platforms openMSX runs on.

And it doesn't correspond to openmsx or other emulators to include them, but to preservation platforms such as archive.org and others.
It's a pity we don't always have the source code of the ROMs, but I don't think that companies would refuse to give permission to preserve the binarie for this purposes. I guess the problem is that when asking their layers about something that requires legal work, by default the answer will be' no' (=better safe than sorry!)

By turbor

Champion (451)

turbor's picture

20-10-2020, 23:31

msx4ever,com wrote:

A original MSX game is made according to the MSX standard. A standard is there so that a developer does not have to make 150 different versions. But only ONE. If it is according the standard, you need only ONE machine to test it on.
If a game only works on one specific machine, it is junk.

This is clearly not true. Most of the examples mentioned on https://www.msx.org/wiki/MSX_compatibility_problems are a consequence of this. A lot of the English developers during the MSX1 period ported spectrum games to MSX and tested on one or more machines that they had access to. None of those had expanded slot 0 configs, so if you have a machine that does this you're screwed.

An other example: the standard doesn't say anything about the stack location so they looked at the value of the machines they had available and assumed this would be the case on all other machines. Later machines like most MSX2 machines had diskdrives so a part of the memory was now being used for disk routines. This of course causes those softwares to fail.

msx4ever,com wrote:

If it is made for MSX1, it works on every MSX1 machine and all above.

Again, this is not true. Zaxxon for instance would have worked on all MSX1 machines that were produced when the game came out. Programmed according to the standard and following all the documentation for the TMS9xxx chip. Nobody could predict the extra registers in the VDP on MSX2, so while perfectly working on all MSX1's it will not work on MSX2 unless you patch the code.

msx4ever,com wrote:

A developer makes only one version. Test it on one and it's okay. Sometimes there was a little misstake, but with one poke in the menu it works for all MSX computers and not for only the Philips NMS 8245

No, Brain will not work on non japanese machines due to differences in the charset. Mind you, differences allowed by the standard!
So while brain is created by ASCII, the inventors of the standard nonetheless, it is even plagued by this. Being a japanese company they probably only tested it on a dozen or so japanese machines.

The original Japanese cartridge version of metal gear is even hardcoded to only work on Japanese machines, no amount of poking in a menu will fix this.

And therefore it is nice that some emulators allow you to pick a specific machine if you want to run some of this oddly behaving programs.

By gdx

Prophet (3814)

gdx's picture

21-10-2020, 02:50

msx4ever,com wrote:

There are not 150 standards and games are not made in 150 different flavors

You are wrong. Even 150 is insufficient. All these machines at hand is a godsend for developers and for the nostalgic. It also helps determine what minimum configuration is needed to run a game without manual, see how our game behaves on a foreign MSX (Arabic, Korean, etc). And there are still plenty of reasons ...

msx4ever,com wrote:

Some rom and dsk files are enhanced versions of the real thing and that is why they don not work on a real MSX
That are games for a non excisting msx 4
Sometimes roms and dsk files are altered to work on a particular version emulator and that is the reason they do not work on a real MSX. Not the rom and dsk should have been latered, the emulator is wrong.
With the right loader and or menu program it does not matter Sony or Philips... it will work
There are plenty dsk and rom files free on the internet. If it doesn't work on the real thing, delete it.

Give a temporary link to an example so I can check if you're telling the truth.
I have never seen this. I only saw the opposite once, a game that has been modified not to run on the emulators. This is possible on fmsx (and fmsx based emulators) because the developer had the bad idea to add instructions to the Z80 to perform special functions.

msx4ever,com wrote:

A original MSX game is made according to the MSX standard.

You don't seem to know it, but between theory and practice there are often differences and sometimes very big differences. We don't live in a perfect world! Wink

By Lex Lechz

Supporter (8)

Lex Lechz's picture

21-10-2020, 17:02

This is an interesting discussion and collection of opinions ;-)
So I'll explain some things and add some more stuff.
BTW: I'm the developer of RuMSX and Disk-Manager.

Since early MSX times I prefered clean MSX software, that can be executed on every MSX-Computer (as far as possible). Pokes for different memory-layouts, MSX1-Software that did not even run on MSX2-Machines. ... I've seen all. And I'm still a fan of Software which runs on real MSX-Computers as well as Emulations. Which does not mean that emulations can't be extended to add more features ;-)
The openMSX Debug-Interface and RuMSX Host-Interface are some examples for this.

About floppy-support:
I'll try to keep Disk-Manager and RuMSX in sync. with available features (such as support for additional disk-formats). Due to different release-cycles differences are possible. Anyway: RuMSX supports floppy-drives just for convenience. Disk-Manager plays the lead-role in this area. This is because physical floppy drives are a rarity and Floppies are loosing quality over years, Disk-archives are a requirement.
BTW: Disk-Manager v0.17 fixes an issue, which may have caused copies of 360KB disks being incorrect. To be exact: irreversibly corrupted. The error was caused by the Windows interpretation of Single-Sided disks and can therefore now be configured (Default: fix active).

About ROM-licenses:
I agree that openMSX should not deliver real ROM-images due to legal reasons. But: similar to other common emulations pre-built configurations can be published separately by any author ;-)
For RuMSX I've chosen a different way: I've contacted Microsoft as well as ASCII - and I've got no response from any of these companies. Some time later Microsoft re-used the abbrevation MSX for "MicroSoft eXchange". Some time later the MSX Licensing Corporation appeared on stage - and disappeared in meantime. As long as no-one of these companies is caring I'll deliver the ROMs with RuMSX.
Note: as far as I know Texas Instruments is the only manufacturer, which requests license fees for I'ts TI-99/4A ROMs and forces the removal of illegally spread copies.

About openMSX usage:
For common users (in my opinion) even Catapult (coded in Python instead of C/C++) can be extended to be more convenient. Especially accepting command-line parameters for Disk-, ROM- and Tape-images (maybe CD-ROM and HardDisk-images too) would be very helpful. I'm thinking about this for a longer time (because I'm working on a project, which is intended to support multiple emulations, not even MSX). I've tried to create a tiny wrapper around catapult, to add this feature. Unfortunately this wrapper behaves differently in different versions of Catapult. Sometimes working, sometimes error. Very strange. However: maybe one of the responsible developers may add parameter-support. So Catapult e.g. can be associated with file-extensions - or called from other tools. From my point of view this would be a great improvement.

By Matt512

Rookie (27)

Matt512's picture

21-10-2020, 17:49

Hello everyone,
please could someone give me an advise of an External USB PC Floppy Disk Drive for MSX Disks.
I don't want to buy several Drives who don't work with MSX Disk's.
Links would be helpfull.

By msx4ever,com

Resident (47)

msx4ever,com's picture

21-10-2020, 19:05

@Thom

Quote:

OpenMSX is amazing, isn't it Smile
You're clearly very passionate about this subject, which is alright. I used to use RuMSX some decades ago and liked it. I also liked BrMSX, NLMSX and ParaMSX back in the days. Then came BlueMSX and OpenMSX. Today, I mostly use OpenMSX and WebMSX, because they fully suit my needs. But: I still use the diskmanager tool made by RuMSX's author.

With RuMSX you do not need Diskmanager or any other tool.
RuMSX can make empty dsk files, format floppies, etc.

@Manuel
I want that ordinary people and even children can use a MSX emulator just like they can use a MSX.
A MSX emulator must be able to make that possible.
A ten year old can start many games on the MSX but also on a pc with RuMSX.
That is hardly ever possible with openMSX.
I think MSX is about diskettes, that was the only way we could in the eighties.
One diskette after another in the drive, searching or just playing a game for a short time.
Yes, it can be done with blueMSX, but between disks there is a long time.
I am trying to distribute and maintain MSX, but difficult emulators can't.
Usually to children or to ordinary people with little knowledge of computers.
The question is not whether I can play a game with openMSX, but can an ordinary person or a child?
With RuMSX this is even possible on a PC with floppy disks. Just like in the eighties.

In order to use MSX, one should not have to worry and learn about the type of computer they work on.
Just turn on and play. Just like on a real MSX
openMSX for windows?
In windows you click on a icon and it starts, that is with openMSX not the case.
Not with dsk files and not with rom files.
That is not windows, it is still only for linux / unix
openMSX has no System Roms, because it is illegal.
But it is made to use illegal ROM's and dsk of games.
Without illegal software there is no use for openMSX Why not use that roms too
@turbor
The link you mention, does not say that there are 150 different standards only a few differences between some machines.
There are only a few differences between some machines and with the right poke or peek in the menu or loader a dsk file or a diskette will work on almost all machines.
Not just on one machine of the 150
If a game designer had to work for that many flavors, there would be no games.
The exception confirms the rule.
One game, zaxxon, brain or a few more does not change the rule that a game is not made for many different machines and only for ONE standard in ONE Flavor.
Almost ALL msx1 games work very nice on almost every MSX2 machine, that is a fact!
Sometimes you need a good menu or loader to make them work on almost all.
The exception confirms the rule.

@gdx
You are wrong. Even 150 is insufficient.?
A game is made for only ONE standard and does not come in 150 flavors or even more.
Did you ever see a game in 150 flavors for 150 different MSX machines?
Yes, that is stupid, there is only one for sale.
Or sometime two or thee or four... MSX1, MSX2, MSX2, TurboR
But most of the time... ONE!!!
A original MSX game is made according to the MSX standard.
A few bad games don't make that rule untrue and they work on almost ALL machines not just for one out off 150

@Lex Lechz

Quote:

This is because physical floppy drives are a rarity and Floppies are loosing quality over years.

For older people like me is MSX the same as working with physical floppies.
One after another in the drive... that is MSX for a lot older people.
On a pc clicking on one game after another is not the same as having a bin with physical floppies.
I bought a lot of floppy disks with junk on them and put usable games on them.
So I have quadrupled my stock and I sell them for a small amount or give them away.
I'm going to copy more and save more floppies from the trash.
MSX computer are too expensive in the Netherlands and they can play them on a cheap old pc with diskdrive.
There are plenty old pc's and diskdrives to get for a little amount of money... with RuMSX for free.

After installing openMSX, clicking on the icon should start openMSX. .
Nothing happens for the normal user of windows.
After installing openMSX, clicking on a dsk or rom file should be enough to start a game.
this is quite normal for Windows users.
I work for ordinary citizens and children who do not understand difficult configurations and codes that are strange to them.
A simple batch file is acrabadabra for them.
MSX is known as a simple system with an easy MSX basic language.
I am against throwing away floppies and trying to save as many of them as possible.

For me and many others, clicking files to play a game is very different from putting one floppy disk after another in the drive.
I don't see how kids in my family, siblings are going to use Catapult.
I explained RuMSX to them in a few minutes.
I do not want to think that MSX is only available for specialists with special knowledge and skills.
Or for oldies from the eighties. But also for ordinary people and children.
I save old pc's with floppiedrives and floppies and perhaps MSX for children and common people.

By msx4ever,com

Resident (47)

msx4ever,com's picture

21-10-2020, 19:11

I started this topic because I feel that openMSX and blueMSX receive excessive attention and RuMSX hardly ever.
Maybe because so many are so fond of linux / unix
I like MSX and I don't like linux and unix, so I don't like openMSX
People that I want to help using MSX do not make batch files or learn code before they can use MSX
RuMSX deserves much more attention
Many questions have complicated answers, but with RuMSX it can be done in a simple way as standard.
As I show in a number of videos on youtube,
A little less attention to openMSX and more attention to blueMSX and especially RuMSX
With RuMSX you can use diskettes as if you were working on an MSX ... see my video on youtube
Using real MSX diskettes on a PC with RuMSX

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