W: Questions for interview with Dutch Philips ex-employee

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By Manuel

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30-07-2020, 14:48

Nothing happening at the moment due to holidays.

By mfeingol

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31-07-2020, 02:47

Since he was software manager at the time... I'm curious how he landed Opera Soft (a Spanish games company) to write Ease.

By Manuel

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31-07-2020, 09:22

He worked at the Dutch sales office, so he wasn't much involved in development choices....

By mohai

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01-08-2020, 18:14

mfeingol wrote:

Since he was software manager at the time... I'm curious how he landed Opera Soft (a Spanish games company) to write Ease.

I know that one.
Philips gave them (for free, as far as I know), a PDMS. A development system for several computer systems.
In return, Opera should develop Ease / EGOS for then, along with MSX versions of their games.
That is the reason why the very first games from Opera, were exclusive MSX versions, and some MSX2.
Over the years, Opera chnged to the regular (some of them not too bad) conversions from Spectrum.

By mfeingol

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01-08-2020, 19:20

Thanks, @mohai, that's very interesting.

So PDMS system enabled Opera to develop native MSX and MSX2 games, but not in a way they could reuse the code for other platforms?

By Sandy Brand

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02-08-2020, 11:15

Hmm, what is this PDMS system you refer to? I tried googling to see if I could find any hardware/software specs but found nothing.

By T.R.

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02-08-2020, 14:12

I'd like to know too. It's mentioned in the links below but without any real details.

https://www.soloretro.com/entrevistas/entrevista-a-opera-sof...
https://trastero.speccy.org/2012/Exterminator/Exterminator.htm

Update: PMDS appears refer to the PM4421 "Philips Microcomputer Development System" or perhaps some other model from that series. Some traces of information can be found online, for example here:

https://www.scss.tcd.ie/SCSSTreasuresCatalog/hardware/TCD-SC...

This system looks similar to a development system from -if I remember correctly- Motorola, that was used by Konami for development of MSX games.

It is interesting that development of MSX software was done with these systems. It appears like the MSX platform was not advanced enough for the development of software for MSX. Lack of good IDE's, debuggers, mass storage, etc.

By T.R.

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02-08-2020, 15:31

More information about Opera soft, PMDS and MSX:

https://www.msxblog.es/los-comienzos-de-opera-soft-y-su-rela...

By Sandy Brand

Master (178)

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02-08-2020, 17:42

Thanks for the link!

So this PMDS system was some seriously impressive hardware back then: Motorola 68000 processor, 20MB of hard drive, 256MB of RAM, etc. with a worth of 42k+ Euros in today's money (the article actually quoted a wrong conversion value).

That starts so shed some light on how people were able to produce software on these machines at the high quality standards that they did.

I always wondered how they did it. Because even today, with an emulator and debuggerm I run into bugs that are so obscure or hard to track down that I always wondered if I would have been able to do the same back in the day with just a standard MSX machine. Smile

By Metalion

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02-08-2020, 18:50

T.R. wrote:

This system looks similar to a development system from -if I remember correctly- Motorola, that was used by Konami for development of MSX games.

No, it was an HP system. The HP 64000.
https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/general-discussion/konami...

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