Use msx floppies on PC

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By Briqunullus

Master (200)

Briqunullus's picture

21-10-2020, 19:19

Matt512 wrote:

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.

Before I read here that external drives may not read MSX Disks, I just went ahead and bought one from Aliexpress. It works fine. It can read 720K floppies without problems in Windows. And to make images of 360K floppies I use My Floppy Drive Image Tool with the /360 option (for version 1.01, scroll down on the page).

By Manuel

Ascended (17075)

Manuel's picture

21-10-2020, 20:45

Hi Rudolf, great to get your response here Smile

Lex Lechz wrote:

For common users (in my opinion) even Catapult (coded in Python instead of C/C++) can be extended to be more convenient.

The usual Catapult that is shipped in the Windows installer is coded in C++ and it's a very old program that only gets some maintenance. It's not actively being worked on.

We have worked a while on a Python based Catapult, but, except from some updates I did last year, it is also not very active. Also because it's hard to compile for Windows in a way that it is easier to use and install. Still, that program is a lot better than the original Catapult, IMHO.

Lex Lechz wrote:

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.

Hah, that's interesting. Actually, these Catapults were purely meant as an external GUI for openMSX and originate from the time there was no OSD menu. The idea is that the GUI is enough to do all the settings, so command line options seem superfluous. But openMSX itself does have a lot of command line options. You can literally make it do anything you want from the command line.
Isn't it then much easier to directly use openMSX instead? Don't forget that it also has a built in OSD menu, which is still being actively expanded. Yes, I do take feature requests for that very seriously.

By turbor

Champion (451)

turbor's picture

21-10-2020, 21:13

Lex Lechz wrote:

BTW: I'm the developer of RuMSX and Disk-Manager.

I think most people on this forum will recognize your name. And given the download site for RuMSX I think all other RuMSX users would have figured that one out also Wink

Lex Lechz wrote:

About floppy-support:
...
This is because physical floppy drives are a rarity and Floppies are loosing quality over years, Disk-archives are a requirement.

I fully agree. And correct disk preservation is a hard thing to do. That's why openMSX also supports the dmk format. Since this format is capable of also storing all the extra info that was used by copy protections on MSX. This way you can preserve the game/software in a working and unaltered state.
For those interested, some of those copy protection tricks are discussed here: https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/software-and-gaming/about...

Lex Lechz wrote:

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.

Frankly, why would you do this? openMSX itself has all those things already available, even the HD images.
For instance I used to emulate my own MSX2 on my old PC (*) with following command.
openmsx -machine Philips_NMS_8245 -ext mbstereo -ext ram512k -diska /dev/fd0
And then you can connect Catapult to this running machine (but I don't think there is a CLI command for that in catapult :D )
So IMHO your wrapper could launch openMSX and then connect a new catapult to this. Please feel free to alter catapult for this ;)

Also note, that last thing '/dev/fd0' is the name for the first floppydrive on MSX. So on Linux you can use the diskdrive directly and there is no difference for the emulator between a dsk-file or a real floppy.
Apparently on Windows you need some extra trickery in your code for this? And IIRC the trickery changes between each version of windows?

*: I tried to get that PC revived this week to make an answer video but the HD has died and didn't spin up anymore, it made a terrible clicking noise :(

By Manuel

Ascended (17075)

Manuel's picture

21-10-2020, 21:12

msx4ever,com wrote:

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'm sure it is possible, but as I explained earlier, by default openMSX isn't set up to do that. But it doesn't mean openMSX cannot be tweaked a bit to do that. Except for using real floppy disks, of course. That's in some cases possible, but quite limited in openMSX. As I said before, if you find that very important, then openMSX is not suitable for you.

Still, I do not think it's fair you say openMSX isn't an MSX emulator because of that...

Quote:

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.

That's how you used it.I, for instance, used tapes until 1993.

Quote:

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?

If you plan to set up PC's for other people anyway to experience MSX, you can set it up for them. (Using disk images, in case of openMSX.)

Quote:

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's not related to Windows. It's related to the fact that we do not have the rights distribute system ROM files with openMSX, which means you get the C-BIOS machine by default.
But if you take care of that, you can do exactly this. You can drop ROM or DSK or tape images on openMSX and it will load them for you. Or drop them on the openMSX icon. Whatever you like.

Quote:

Without illegal software there is no use for openMSX Why not use that roms too

That's not true. You can dump your own system ROMs and your own cartridges or disks. And use these in openMSX to emulate your own MSX computer and software. And that would be legal in many countries.

Quote:

The link you mention, does not say that there are 150 different standards only a few differences between some machines.

No one talked about 150 different standards. We just explained that the goal of openMSX was to emulate all different MSX computers. And with that also the standards.

Quote:

After installing openMSX, clicking on the icon should start openMSX. .
Nothing happens for the normal user of windows.

No, something happens: the emulator starts C-BIOS MSX2+. For reasons that were explained before.

I completely agree that for a user that doesn't know much about MSX this means openMSX is not easy to start with. It requires someone to help you get started. But that's the price of being legal and focusing on advanced MSX users.

So, I fully understand that you find it more difficult to explain how openMSX works for 'simple' users. But that still makes it unfair that you say that openMSX is not an MSX emulator. It's just not very suitable for your specific needs.

Quote:

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

I don't see what Linux has to do with it. But it's true that one of the other goals of openMSX was to be very portable across platforms. So yes, it's also very suitable for Linux, Android, other handhelds, Mac, etc.
It's not a reason to not like openMSX in my opinion.

I do not like Windows at all. But it doesn't mean I don't like RuMSX or blueMSX.

Quote:

People that I want to help using MSX do not make batch files or learn code before they can use MSX

You really don't need that. This was mentioned for the case where you (an expert) sets up a PC for someone who does not know MSX at all, to make it easier.

Check what these people did with openMSX: it boots almost like a real MSX (but indeed, does not support real floppy disks!):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGAJ8JtjL8c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXmj7-PmxFw

Quote:

RuMSX deserves much more attention
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

Yes, you have made your point. Enjoy RuMSX, give it all the attention you want! But please do not say wrong things about other emulators. These also do not deserve that.

By msx4ever,com

Resident (47)

msx4ever,com's picture

22-10-2020, 12:50

Quote:

msx4ever,com wrote:
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'm sure it is possible, but as I explained earlier, by default openMSX isn't set up to do that. But it doesn't mean openMSX cannot be tweaked a bit to do that. Except for using real floppy disks, of course. That's in some cases possible, but quite limited in openMSX. As I said before, if you find that very important, then openMSX is not suitable for you.

Still, I do not think it's fair you say openMSX isn't an MSX emulator because of that...

Right! A ten year old or ordinary people can't tweak openMSX. So they can't use openMSX like they can use MSX or RuMSX. That is one of the many reasons openMSX is not a MSX emulator. It a is perhaps a emulatorcollection of 150 emulators of MSX machines.... at best.
A emulator should emulate the working and use of the real thing. In openMSX a ten year old and I can't see that. openMSX is not suitable as MSX emulator. It is a project for and from linux / unix eperts and programmers, not for ordinary people.
Not for MSX... it feels a lot like linux.org instead of msx.org
Wenn I see all the penguin faces and the responses in this forum answers to questions, it feels more like linux.org than msx.org It is more for specialists than for ordinary people to use MSX
I think my contribution is valuable to make it a bit more msx.org instead of linux.org
I hope than ordinary people can find somethings on msx.org to help them with MSX instead for linux and programming.

By msx4ever,com

Resident (47)

msx4ever,com's picture

22-10-2020, 12:54

@Manuel

Quote:

Quote:
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.

That's how you used it.I, for instance, used tapes until 1993.

I used tapes only six months. For as far as I know openMSX doesn't support a datarecorder on a pc either.

By msx4ever,com

Resident (47)

msx4ever,com's picture

22-10-2020, 12:59

Manuel wrote

Quote:

Quote:
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?

If you plan to set up PC's for other people anyway to experience MSX, you can set it up for them. (Using disk images, in case of openMSX.)

With RuMSX I can sell them a pc with floppydrive and 80 diskettes with 300 games, windows and RuMSX and ten minuts instructions. What would be the reason to use openMSX instead? They do not even have to go to the internet with windows XP. Standalone like a real MSX machine. I do not have the time to learn openMSX and I see no reason for that with RuMSX

By msx4ever,com

Resident (47)

msx4ever,com's picture

22-10-2020, 13:05

@Manuel

Quote:

Quote:
Without illegal software there is no use for openMSX Why not use that roms too

That's not true. You can dump your own system ROMs and your own cartridges or disks. And use these in openMSX to emulate your own MSX computer and software. And that would be legal in many countries.

Are you serious? How many people do you think have enough cartridges and can make their own system ROM?
Are you serious? There are so few that openMSX would never have become something.
Most people own not one cartridge. It is not honest to say openMSX is a emulator for playing games they already have on a cartridge and they have a MSX computer too for yteh systems rom. You can't be serious or you thing I am stupid.

By msx4ever,com

Resident (47)

msx4ever,com's picture

22-10-2020, 13:10

@Manuel

Quote:

Quote:
The link you mention, does not say that there are 150 different standards only a few differences between some machines.

No one talked about 150 different standards. We just explained that the goal of openMSX was to emulate all different MSX computers. And with that also the standards.

It should be the other way. Not all msx computer models emulate and with that the standard, but the standard and with that all msx computers. As with all software for msx happens and is happening. No software is made for every msx computer and therefore for the standard. But the other way around ... for the standard and therefore for every computer. Otherwise, there would never have been any software created for MSX at all.

By hamlet

Scribe (3260)

hamlet's picture

22-10-2020, 13:12

I did. I do have dumped most of my computers.
Further more I ask you please to calm down and mind your words.
Thank you.

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