Anti-MSX Revival

By Grauw

Enlighted (7840)

Grauw's picture

05-01-2003, 23:27

At first I responded to this in the first newsposting's reaction field. However I think real discussion might be more appropriately done here.

First of all, the site linked to in the first article with 'Say no to MSXPLAYer' logo's is of absolutely *NO* value to me. I will even refuse to reply on its contents. It is just a blatant offense towards Ginseng, seeing the URL where it is located ('ginsengsux'). I will not listen to people with such attitudes. Thinking of the fact that they are the kind of people associating with this anti-revival movement makes me already very negative and biased against it in advance.

As for the rest, the msx-all site. It looks cool, pretty design (although far from standards compliant), and the actual site's contents seem interesting. Bummer it's got such a bad attitude towards MSX-Association. Imho info-sites like this one shouldn't be expressing its creators' personal thoughts. If you wanna create a protest-site, create it, if you wanna create an info-site, create it, but don't combine both. One is information, other is personal opinion, and those don't go well together. I am glad http://www.msx.org at least is unbiased towards things.

About the manifest, I think there should be a little faith in the MSX Association. They are trying to revive things, and that is a good thing. Ofcourse it is on a commercial basis, but you can't do no such thing without one. About the usage of the MSX logo, there is nothing really wrong with it and such rules are common practice. On top of that, these rules really aren't restricting. Actually, if they hadn't issued such a thing I'd be more surprised and started doubting their dedication and professionalism towards the revival project. And as a plus they also offer you a good download location of an 'official' MSX logo.

It is a mistake to think that the MSX community has kept MSX alive, and that ASCII/MSX-Association somehow 'owes' us or something. The MSX community is nice, but it has done nothing special which is of any real benefit to MSX-Association. The people who used to have an MSX and to which the MSX-Association tries to appeal to with its MSX-player didn't partake in that community. You way overestimate the influence of the 'MSX community', which is so few in numbers. Most people will care shit about it, the thing they care about that this nice little computer which they used to have as one of their first suddenly gets sort-of revived again, which brings back nostalgic memories, and hopefully lets them wish to own a modern version of it again.

Furthermore, the MSX community has not right to 'claim' MSX for their own after ASCII 'abandoned' MSX. The members of this 'community' enjoyed their hobby and even spent some money on it even after MSX 'died', that's nice and all but means nothing, why do you wish respect for that? That sounds like 'I suffered for years but finally I can eat the fruits of my effort' or something?? That's pathetic!! If it was that horrible to you, and not worth its time, money and effort, why did you do it then??

And what else do I read, MSX-Association should develop with the MSX community's consent? What a joke! First of all, the MSX community has such different opinions on everything, if the MSX community would EVER control the development of new standards nothing would be developed at all!!! The MSX people currently working on a 'new MSX' can't even be brought to work together on one single standard design!! And you want those people to decide, instead of the professionals at MSX-Association, who made MSX the way it is now??

Also, secondly, how are you going to select the people? Who will decide which MSX-user is old-skool enough or put enough effort in the community and who's not? If they would choose me for example, and no less important, I would accept (because it will require a lot more of my time than it currently does, being a hobby, and I'd ofcourse expect to be paid for that much effort, but then in what way does that make me any different from the MSX-Association's professionals?), I agree on most steps they've taken so far. That could be considered the opinion of the community, but if others disagree, it won't be the community's opinion anymore?? Then what am I, are you saying I am no part of this community??? What makes you think the community *has* an opinion at all? Basically you're not saying that MSX-Association should follow the community's opinion, but yours! That's quite egocentric, but alas if that is what you want, sure, just don't say the community does.

More about the 'community'. You cannot say it 'grew'. The MSX community has diminished. Always. The only difference now is that with the internet, it has become easier to communicate, so that it *seems* bigger. It currently actually is so small I am surprised ASCII even pays attention to our opinions. Nishi even came to Tilburg to give a speech to 50-odd people!!

On a final note. MSX is still copyrighted, ASCII still owned the rights, even after so many years. If they decided to 'pick up on the project' again, to the true MSX-lover that can only be seen as a *good* thing. They are professionals, know what they're doing, and on top of that they even take the effort to listen to the Japanese and non-Japanese MSX communities' opinions. That's more than you can ever hope for from any other common commercial company. Ofcourse this 'new MSX' won't be the same as the old one, hardware-wise. Nowadays, no-one would want such a computer with its legacy limitations and restricted design dating back into the 80s, not even I!! For that, I can use my old MSX, and at the time all 'original' MSX computers have ceased to function I can always get one of those CIEL++ things from Ademir. If I (and the general public) are to spend money on a new, commercially developed device, I want it to be *cool*, have added value over the currently existing devices. So far, the specs they came up with sounded very cool indeed. They are not full-fledged promises, so if the end product turns out a little different don't accuse them of lying or anything, but the main idea is that it remains within the 'MSX spirit', and as a bonus also adds some form of backwards-compatibility.

To end this little rant of mine, I hope the MSX-Association succeeds in what they are trying to do and I give the MSX-revival all my support.

~Grauw

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By Sander

Ambassador (1836)

Sander's picture

06-01-2003, 00:07

Grauw = Wauw. To bad you threw in the towel last year.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

06-01-2003, 00:15

Note for the users who are wondering what Sander is talking about: Grauw was part of the MRC-team until a year ago. And we want him back! Smile

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

06-01-2003, 00:17

But lets get back to the anti-revival discussion. I can only agree with what Grauw said here. I like this analogy: Just because you bought a Philips matchline TV in 1986, and are still using it, doesn't mean you can tell Philips how to create HDTV Wink.

About the community - there are two things that were needed to keep the MSX community alive: Metal Gear Solid and the MSX Revival. Activity was at a VERY low level in the late nineties.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

06-01-2003, 02:55

Grauw, very nice text! I can only agree wholeheartedly. Although I do feel the (international) MSX community was starting to become more active again. The MSX Revival was not started by ASCII or MSX Association, it already started long before that!

By mth

Champion (480)

mth's picture

06-01-2003, 05:11

Let me first say that I agree with most of what Grauw wrote.

It is just a blatant offense towards Ginseng, seeing the URL where it is located ('ginsengsux'). I will not listen to people with such attitudes.

I agree that bashing people without any explanation does not do any good.

I am glad http://www.msx.org at least is unbiased towards things.

I do sense the msx.org editors are pro-revival. Not just in the forum, also in the news posts. For example the revival category logo is a happy penguin.

That said, I don't mind. MSX is something we do because we love it and an MSX site should reflect that. A purely objective MSX news site would be boring, even unnatural.

They are trying to revive things, and that is a good thing. Ofcourse it is on a commercial basis, but you can't do no such thing without one.

Is it necessarily a good thing? The way I see it, the objectives of MSX Association and of the MSX community have very little in common. As I wrote in the other forum thread, none of their products or plans are exciting to me.

This would be OK if both just exist independently of each other. I don't demand anything from the revival: if I can continue to "do my thing" without disruption, I am happy. However, the logo policy is an example of an area where the revival and community overlap. There will probably be more in the future. Overlap is not necessarily bad, but in some cases overlap can be conflict, which would be bad.

It is a mistake to think that the MSX community has kept MSX alive, and that ASCII/MSX-Association somehow 'owes' us or something.

I do think the MSX community kept MSX alive, but I agree that does not mean they owe us something. If they would be distributing after-1990 amateur software, they would. But so far, they only revived commercial software. Even if MSX had been completely dead in the 1990s, they would have been able to do the same thing they are doing now.

Furthermore, the MSX community has not right to 'claim' MSX for their own after ASCII 'abandoned' MSX.

No legal right, that's true. But I can imagine that some people feel wronged if they invested a lot of free time in a system and now the have to worry about under what conditions they can use that system's logo. What used to be a symbol of the love for their hobby is now a trademark.

And what else do I read, MSX-Association should develop with the MSX community's consent? What a joke!

I agree: they don't have to. But it is the MSX Association that is trying to get the community's consent. The USB cartridge reader plan is only relevant to people still owning MSX hardware. The Tilburg lecture and Sunday session were announced as a way to involve the MSX community. So MSX Association is actively suggesting there is a connection between them and the MSX community.

What makes you think the community *has* an opinion at all?

Agreed. The MSX community consists of many different people with many different opinions. We are not borg.

More about the 'community'. You cannot say it 'grew'. The MSX community has diminished. Always. The only difference now is that with the internet, it has become easier to communicate, so that it *seems* bigger.

It didn't grow in size. It did grow closer. Skills also grew.

Five years ago there were no news sites like this one, no extensive game info databases, no emulators that could run demos.

Ten years ago when visiting a fair, everyone was thinking "oh no, it's smaller than last year, again". Nowadays people know it will be small and there will be hardly any releases. Still they come and have fun.

It currently actually is so small I am surprised ASCII even pays attention to our opinions. Nishi even came to Tilburg to give a speech to 50-odd people!!

I think Nishi came of his own initiative, ASCII had very little to do with it. The number of people was higher than 50, I think closer to 100. There were quite a few chairs there and also people standing.

On a final note. MSX is still copyrighted, ASCII still owned the rights, even after so many years.

Trademarked, not copyrighted. And someone could have challenged that trademark for non-use, but no-one did. No-one thought it would ever be used again.

They are not full-fledged promises, so if the end product turns out a little different don't accuse them of lying or anything, but the main idea is that it remains within the 'MSX spirit', and as a bonus also adds some form of backwards-compatibility.

If it has any kind of hardware backwards compatibility, it will be unnecessarily expensive, making it less likely to be a success. If it has all compatibility in software (emulation), it can try to compete with all other devices out there. However, I have a PC (for concentrated work), a PS2 (for relaxing) and a Sharp Zaurus (for in the train). All three of them could run an MSX emulator. MSX Association would have to produce a machine that is remarkable in it's own right for me to consider buying it.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

06-01-2003, 06:41

I feel sorry for those who really can't see the huge positive effects the MSX revival can have to the whole community! A lot of potential new developers will be introduced or reintroduced to MSX.

The MSX Magazine contains articles about programming, and Nishi has expressed the importance of ease of programming. This is one of the things the new MSX will stand out in, that unlike current computers/handhelds it can be programmed just like the current MSX.

Even companies like Konami, Compile, Bit2, Falcom might become interested in MSX again! Creating MSX games is relatively cheap, it can be done by a small team in a relatively short timespan, and there are few extra costs. Also MSX games are small, small enough to be transferred via GPRS/UMTS mobile phone networks.

If anything, the MSX community will GROW because of the MSX Revival. And again, the MSX Revival is not something done by ASCII and MSX Association, it is caused by the MSX community! If it were not for the MSX community, Nishi wouldn't have gotten the idea to return to MSX.

We are all responsible for this... For all these 10 years we have prayed for commercial interest in MSX and now that it's here you are ignoring or even fighting it?!

mth wrote:

But I can imagine that some people feel wronged if they invested a lot of free time in a system and now the have to worry about under what conditions they can use that system's logo. What used to be a symbol of the love for their hobby is now a trademark.

It has always been a trademark.

Trademarked, not copyrighted. And someone could have challenged that trademark for non-use, but no-one did. No-one thought it would ever be used again.

MSX is copyrighted. The BIOS is copyrighted, the BASIC is copyrighted, the system design is copyrighted, etc. Everything about your MSX is copyrighted and/or trademarked. It has never been any different.

And the trademark was in use. By all of us! We made products corresponding to ASCII's property, thus keeping its trademark alive.

If it has any kind of hardware backwards compatibility, it will be unnecessarily expensive, making it less likely to be a success.

Hardware compatibility will probably be realised in FPGA. So-called 'softer hardware' is the key to the new MSX. Also, a high-speed Z80 makes a nice I/O co-processor (a la PSX-PS2 compatibility), the possiblities of compatibility are legion.

By mth

Champion (480)

mth's picture

06-01-2003, 09:02

>>But I can imagine that some people feel wronged if they invested a lot of free time in a system and now the have to worry about under what conditions they can use that system's logo. What used to be a symbol of the love for their hobby is now a trademark.<<

It has always been a trademark.

Legally yes, but it was not used commercially. Feelings and formalisms do not follow the same rules.

MSX is copyrighted. The BIOS is copyrighted, the BASIC is copyrighted, the system design is copyrighted, etc. Everything about your MSX is copyrighted and/or trademarked. It has never been any different.

Microsoft's MSX BIOS is copyrighted. But anyone is free to write a new implementation of the same spec. Look at C-BIOS for example.

As far as I know, it is simply not possible to copyright a design. You can patent a design if it is the first of a kind. You can copyright a book in which you document a design. But you cannot copyright a design.

And the trademark was in use. By all of us! We made products corresponding to ASCII's property, thus keeping its trademark alive.

None of the amateur groups made deals with ASCII about using the MSX trademark, so it doesn't count as use. In fact, not taking action against others using a trademarked term can be a reason to lose the trademark. That's one of the reasons why many companies are so rigorously defending them.

Hardware compatibility will probably be realised in FPGA. So-called 'softer hardware' is the key to the new MSX.

I serously doubt the whole FPGA thing be interesting commercially. I mean, today's high end PDAs can play Divx movies using their main CPU (320x240 resolution on a 200MHz Arm). The next generation can probably do that at 640x480. The typical home user does not need more than that.

Also, a high-speed Z80 makes a nice I/O co-processor (a la PSX-PS2 compatibility), the possiblities of compatibility are legion.

The computation intensive parts of emulation are VDP and sound emulation, not the Z80. There is no point in using a hardware Z80 for compatibility reasons. Ofcourse an extra chip is always nice to have. But cost is essential in the embedded world (they actually worry about things costing 1 euro extra), so if you don't actually need it, you should leave it out.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

06-01-2003, 12:25

Let me first say that I agree with most of what Grauw wrote.

I think most of us do.

I do sense the msx.org editors are pro-revival. Not just in the forum, also in the news posts. For example the revival category logo is a happy penguin.

Well, on the news posts we're trying to be objective. We'll never add "I think this sucks" or something to a news post. Being objective is the reason we posted about the Logo policy, and is the reason we posted about the manifest. That happy penguin? Well... he's supposed to look like someone who is probably very happy at this moment Wink

As I wrote in the other forum thread, none of their products or plans are exciting to me.

I did it many times, but still I'd like to point out once again that it's unusual for a company to reveal so much of their plans in these early stages already. As we had the latest updates on the one-chip plans at the end of 2001, I think many things could have changed already. However, the basic combination of 4 plans that are quite interesting on their own already is imho quite revolutionary. Besides, the PSX comes close but after the MSX I have never seen a computer, PDA, etc. whatever that captures the MSX spirit. I have a bit of hope that the one-chipper WILL give me the same pleasure as the MSX. Smile

I do think the MSX community kept MSX alive, but I agree that does not mean they owe us something. If they would be distributing after-1990 amateur software, they would.

Not really true at all. Technically, the community was still alive in 1992, and very close to stone dead in 1996. (this is no disrespect of the people who were still developing for MSX or using MSX at the time. I was one of them. Wink) Especially in the Netherlands. The release of Metal Gear Solid was the first thing that reminded the MSX community to their system, and got them 'back on the track'. The MSX Revival has IMHO only contributed to more activity so far.

But so far, they only revived commercial software.

On the MSX Magazine CD-ROMS is quite some software developed by Japanese amateurs. So they already revived amateur software as well.

I agree: they don't have to. But it is the MSX Association that is trying to get the community's consent.

They have been trying to reach and communicate with the community many times before. Not only language is a problem, also the general attitude of a lot of people. I have not seen any people who have doubts about the MSX Revival say "this is what the MSX Association SHOULD do however". Tell me, if you were the MSX Association. What would you do? Smile

By chaos

Paladin (806)

chaos's picture

06-01-2003, 19:01

Hey Grauw, great text

and I can only agree with it.

We've got nothing to lose, and we should just be glad something is commercialy done with MSX again!

I'm sure that without the revival MSX will be forgotten very soon: No more fairs/meetings, no new hard/software, no community, except for some emu-users.

Maybe this will happen anyway... but what if not, tnx to the Revival!?

So just thing positively, and support it.

and if you really don't like what's happening, just ignore it.. You won't notice a thing

but please don't ruin it for the believers/supporters.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

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09-01-2003, 12:18

I just remembered threads on the International MSX Mailinglist right after the MSX Revivalists had asked us to come up with a name for the official MSX Emulator. Several names were submitted and they are all printed in the MSX Magazine 2003. This proves that the MSX Association does appreciate the opinion of the MSX Community.

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