MSX History Book

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By Maggoo

Paragon (1194)

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17-05-2012, 21:50

There are many books available covering the early days of personal computers history, the "behind the scene" history of the different manufacturers (Atari, Commodore, Apple, even Sinclair), software developers (Books like "Racing the beam" or "the ultimate history of video games") or biographies of the key people that played a role in what the computer industry is today (Steve Jobs, Jack Tramiel, Bill Gates just to name a few).

Oddly nothing seem to be available to cover the history of the MSX and the people that played a key role in its development (Nishi, Gates, there are probably many others).

There are few mentions of the MSX in other Books. The book "Bill Gates" by Jonathan Gatlin briefly mentions Nishi and the MSX but it's nothing more than a few lines.

Wouldn't it be great to have a complete book dedicated to the MSX history with interviews and stories about how the MSX became what we know? I think the MSX deserve to have its story told.

Does anyone know if anything of that nature has ever been published? I know there is nothing available in English but perhaps something has been done in Japan and could be translated ?

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By cklayman

Champion (297)

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17-05-2012, 22:13

There is a book called 'The MSX standard: The new computers' by Robert Chapman Wood. It is not a book on MSX history but there is quite a bit of history-related information there. If I remember correctly the book mentions the origins of MSX in Spectravideo computers, goes over what manufacturers plan (the book was written around 1983) to do in the future and even has a personal humorous profile of Nishi. That's as close as I ever came to reading MSX history in a book.

By Maggoo

Paragon (1194)

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17-05-2012, 22:30

Interesting, thanks for the information. I'll try to find a copy of it.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

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17-05-2012, 22:35

Perhaps we, the community, can combine forces and make such a book? It would be a great way to celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary of MSX. Added to that, a lot of useful information for the wiki - and great anekdotes - might pop up. A book like this could also better mark MSX's role in computer history.

Although I haven't spoken to the rest of the lads yet, the MRC Foundation might play a role in actually getting the book published for an affordable price.

By Maggoo

Paragon (1194)

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17-05-2012, 22:41

Snout: That would be great, I don't think a single person can write such a book, but perhaps as a team effort? That would require to track down many people and interview them and cross check references...

Regarding publishing, yes it may be difficult to find a publisher for such a book with perhaps a limited audience but publishing it as an eBook could also be an option..

By MsxKun

Paladin (899)

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17-05-2012, 22:44

There are some nice places in the web to publish books, like lulu.com Nishi

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9757)

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17-05-2012, 22:47

Maggoo, one person can write such a book, or at least should rewrite/edit all entries if multiple people contribute with content.

By Maggoo

Paragon (1194)

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17-05-2012, 22:56

Wolf_ : Are you volunteering ? ;-)

By Manuel

Ascended (15445)

Manuel's picture

17-05-2012, 23:20

A book about MSX history written in 1983 will have some missing pieces Tongue

Still, I'd like to have that book and read it Smile I've seen it before on web sites, but never got a copy.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

17-05-2012, 23:21

@Maggoo: Could be, the topic of creating a book has popped up among the admins multiple times before, and I'm a writer anyway. The only reason there's no book yet is because I can't do the source content all on my own, so it'd have to be a kinda large scale project where multiple people contribute some content. Also, such a project is so big that it's the typical project you talk about, and then don't talk about for the next half year. It's a bit like wanting to create that epic RPG.. and then five years on you still have nothing.. ^_^

By cklayman

Champion (297)

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17-05-2012, 23:55

I actually have a question about MSX history. The book I mentioned says that MSX originated when Nishi spoke to the Spectravideo people. Basically Nishi wanted a computer for the masses and Spectravideo already had a design. Then Nishi convinced some Japanese manufacturers to produce a computer following Spectravideo's specifications and the MSX standard was born. On the other hand www.msxpro.com claims that first prototype of an MSX computer was designed by some professor and even shows a photo of the prototype. Which story is correct? Could it be that both are right?

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