SVI vs MSX

By Shinobi

Expert (69)

Shinobi's picture

09-02-2019, 00:59

Hi,

In my passion for collecting/scanning MSX books, I found several Spectravideo books, and I don't know if I should put them with the collection or not, what is the difference between SVI's and MSX, does the memory layout is the same?? BIOS, is it the same?? should system calls works from the same memory address in both?? programs written for any of them, would they work on the other?

Thanks

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By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5172)

NYYRIKKI's picture

09-02-2019, 04:28

Shinobi wrote:

what is the difference between SVI's and MSX, does the memory layout is the same??

No

Quote:

BIOS, is it the same??

No

Quote:

should system calls works from the same memory address in both??

No

Quote:

programs written for any of them, would they work on the other?

No

Quote:
I could also continue...
Are the cartridge / cassette / joystick connectors same. -> No.
Is the cassette storage format same. -> No
etc.

After saying that they are anyway close relatives as SVI-3x8 computers can be seen as fore father of MSX standard. These are the computers that Nishi saw and came up with the plan that we now know as MSX. Technically they are not considerably closer than Colecovision or Memotech. When MSX standard was ready, Spectravideo also later released MSX compatible computers. (SVI-7x8 series)

The SV-BASIC in these SVI-3x8 computers is very close to MSX-BASIC. At least on this part of world when they released BASIC programs on magazines, it was a common habit to mention the few changes needed for SVI next to MSX listing or other way around.

Back in the 80's there was also a "crack" of MSX-BASIC floating around that you could load on your SVI. This made the computer 100% BASIC compatible. Many MSX games were also ported to this system. There was also official MSX adapter that you could plug in to back of a computer, but that was practically no good for anything AFAIK. (Allowed to use 16K main RAM etc.) Now later I have also written a program to run 16/32K MSX ROM-files on SVI-machines... but on the other hand I've ported that program for Memotech as well.

From the wiki you can find quite a bit more information about these computers:
https://www.msx.org/wiki/Category:SVI-3x8

I've also explained the BIOS and hardware stuff with details here:
https://www.msx.org/wiki/Category:SVI-3x8_Programming

One more link, but be warned... Technical details on this site are sometimes complete nonsense, but there are anyway good manuals to download and MOST of the information is ok.
http://samdal.com/spectravideo.htm

By Shinobi

Expert (69)

Shinobi's picture

09-02-2019, 12:59

Thank you very much, very detailed info.

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