why a so stupid mistake?

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By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3472)

sd_snatcher's picture

14-10-2017, 22:40

I agree with most of the opinions that criticize specific aspects of the MSX VDPs or even the architecture, and when coding I also get myself thinking "this or that feature could have been much better designed".

But what I can't force myself to agree is with idealized views that state that the other architectures of the same time are perfect. Nearly every home computer/console architecture from the 80s that I checked was only "perfect" if you kept a very good distance from the details. Once you get close, all the dirty flaws start to show up.

I see idealized statements about direct VRAM access, perfect architectures, perfect sprite generators, perfect scroll capabilities, perfect soundchips that never were. I.e.: The C64 disk drive architecture is just pathetic. The machine needs another C64 inside the drive, and even with this dual CPU architecture the performance is nothing but a joke and the goddam thing doesn't even have a command to properly list the files on the disk. It uses a dirty trick to create a false BASIC listing with the contents of the drive. Seriously? I think that the MSX would have done a much better job with a dual-CPU setup.

And has anyone seen the performance of the C64 using 80 column cards? I can tell you that all those arguments about "less clocks per cycle of the CPU" and "direct VRAM access" byte the dust instantly. The MSX perform way faster, even with its many layers of abstraction of the BIOS and the BDOS.

Don't get me wrong, the C64 is a very capable little machine, as are the Amstrad CPC, the ZX-Spectrum, the NES and the SMS. All these architectures have their positive and negative aspects. It all depends on where the resources where focused. If someone just want to take the most of games and demos, it seems that many will probably be happier with a NES or a C64. But when it comes to flexibility and expansibility, the MSX is the absolute 8bit king. Exactly because of that it could incarnate in a lot of embedded designs, doing all kinds of unusual tasks. And because of that is so easy to add new extensions or change parts of the design without any fuss. This is the real MSX power.

But the main real difference I see is posture of the community. The other platform programmers have a very positive problem solving attitude and they clearly like challenges. They just take the design flaws for granted, list them amongst all other constraints they have, and start designing the best possible solution for the hardware they have.

In MSX, I sadly see a lot of complaining, a lot of fighting against the architecture (specially the VDP and the BIOS), but no real desire to take the challenge to prove that the machine is good *as it was intended*. As if the MSX was just a looser's bet.

I wonder: if another architectures feels so more appealing, why such guys don't migrate to the architectures they admire then? The MSX specs are the same for more than 30 years and no amount of complaining will change anything unless you decide to stick V9990 and OPL4 cartridges to the slot. And even those are far from perfect too.

As the CPC user Overflow said in another thead, "MSX2 could be the best 8bit platform - considering specs incl. gfx mode & 128KB VRAM etc, but... nothing!" and "stop argueing and make a demo* about it. "

By hit9918

Prophet (2905)

hit9918's picture

14-10-2017, 22:36

the long story short is the C64 has a shitload more coders
and it was finished finding out all methods already in 1992
in turrican 1990 mayhem 1992 it did get commerical retro coding

By hit9918

Prophet (2905)

hit9918's picture

14-10-2017, 22:44

to add insult to injury C64 is one thing, meanwhile the MSX has 3 VDP
not to mention the 4th VDP

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6549)

ARTRAG's picture

14-10-2017, 22:49

We were comparing VIC II and tms9918. To me the comparison is clear, if you do not see that, go and look for an oculist.
VIC II is far from perfect, but for sure it is more powerful than the poor tms9918.

By hit9918

Prophet (2905)

hit9918's picture

14-10-2017, 23:42

which one is more powerfull is not the question
the thread was the usual thing how 9918 is the trash
that "9938 suffers from compatibility with the crap 9918", all the 9918 bashing based on a false theory
that 9938 has no 9958 scroll, that 9938 dont simply index the sprite colors with the pattern index, all that stuff is not the fault of 9918.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3472)

sd_snatcher's picture

14-10-2017, 23:45

To me, just make comparisons the VDPs alone makes as much sense and is as useful as to kick a dead man's head. A dead man accomplishes nothing, and his head alone even less.

If the Vic-II is (arguably) better than the TMS9918A, what useful will come out of such conclusion? Will any problem be solved? Will the MSX VDP be replaced with the Vic-II?

I only see the possible outcomes:

1) Everyone agrees that the TMS9918A is a piece of crap and either migrate to the C64, or develop projects for yet-another-VDP cartridge that just fragment the MSX development even more/end up with less software than the V9990
2) Everyone agrees that the TMS9918A is better and nothing changes
3) The discussions polarizes more and more, and the inevitable flame wars occur given to some users tending to have an aggressive attitude, and more people will have hard feelings.

Given the statistics, I'm under the impression that the 3rd outcome is way more likely to happen.

By Pippo

Champion (509)

Pippo's picture

15-10-2017, 01:36

Please, excuse me.
I don't want to offend anyone, but I think "someone" is in the wrong forum.
Please, these ones are invited to go elsewhere.
Thank you.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6549)

ARTRAG's picture

15-10-2017, 07:56

Maybe you can feel like that, but please, do not go. Not everyone has to understand of vdp's

By Metalion

Paragon (1444)

Metalion's picture

15-10-2017, 09:40

sd_snatcher wrote:

I'm under the impression that the 3rd outcome is way more likely to happen.

I'm thinking the same thing since the first post on this thread.
Even the title itself is polarizing.

We are, as MSX users, very frustrated by the not so grand fate of our beloved 8-bit computer. And we are always looking in the C64 direction, because, secretly and deep down inside, we hate its guts ! But it serves absolutely nothing to fight the wars of the past. Let's enjoy the MSX as it is.

By hamlet

Scribe (3681)

hamlet's picture

15-10-2017, 11:13

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