There is NO REVIVAL !!!

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By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

BiFi's picture

25-07-2004, 09:14

b) all programmers propably didn´t had good / at all "inner mind of msx" Wink manualsI wish ASCII had released more detailed info on MSX architecture. Needless to say this post will get (a bit?) off-topic to the original thread though...

For example, there is little known about how (which registers have which info) and when certain hooks are called and what to save in order to keep other things working as expected. The most used hooks are the two standard interrupt hooks for device interrupt handling and VDP timing, to hook music handling on.

Everything we know (and is published) about the MSX architecture is in most cases trial-and-error based information.

Expecting a bunch of hard-evidenced counter-remarks here. Wink

By MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

MäSäXi's picture

25-07-2004, 09:16

If you mean software, good software is good software no matter was it made for MSX1 or MSX2. I think, best solution is to make software, that can support also better hardware. I mean MSX1 games, that can use MSX2 pallette, if that is available or Space Manbow type of support for MSX2+

yes, as I said, I like to see more games for MSX-1.

And I have samelike thoughts too when it comes to software which supports also better hardware. Smile

If they can do msx-1 cartridge game which supports msx-2, then one can do diskette/cassette for msx-1 limitations which supports msx-2 too, I guess.


Hero (557)

IC's picture

01-08-2004, 04:36

a) 80´s msx-1 programmers didn´t understand that their programming style causes that their prog won´t work on all msx

b) all programmers propably didn´t had good / at all "inner mind of msx" Wink manuals

c) and after programs were published, and problems started, programmers and software houses ignored whole thing... and continued like everything´s OK !

I guess you could change the name with PC...

Most progs don't work on all PC's
no-one actually understands the Cpu of intel
and program filled with bugs are spread on a daily bases these days



By pitpan

Prophet (3153)

pitpan's picture

01-08-2004, 13:31

ASCII published the MSX TECHNICAL DATABOOK, and it is pretty complete and accurate. I have two copies, one of them a rarity, published by SONY. System architecture is discussed in depth along its 340+ pages.

By Ivan

Ascended (9330)

Ivan's picture

01-08-2004, 15:11

Where did you get them?

By pitpan

Prophet (3153)

pitpan's picture

01-08-2004, 16:41

One from the U.S. (found in eBay). The other, from the Netherlands, found in a "buy and sell" page (not MSX related). I had been looking for them for years, and then, in the same week, I got two copies!

I will scan it and put on-line, but I do not know when. Very busy with Karoshi's entries to MSXdev'04.

By dhau

Paragon (1570)

dhau's picture

03-08-2004, 23:41

Please scan them soon, I'll provide OCR / proofreading services Smile

By xperroni

Expert (83)

xperroni's picture

04-08-2004, 03:27

I am as far from an "active MSX user" as a regular MRC visitor can be, but there are some thoughts I would like to share about this "revival" topic.

Like many people noted, the MSX is still a device ahead of its time: a unified productivity / entertainment platform, simple to use and develop, backed by vendor-independent standards. The closest thing we have nowadays are smartphones and PDA's, but they still lack interoperability, as each vendor designs its own, impenetrable hardware specs and proprietary development environments. As a result, the developer base, which is already relatively small, gets fragmented among far too many choices.

And there is the bloat factor: mobile developers come mostly from the PC world, where we are used to standing on top of huge, hardware-abstracting tool stacks. On the other hand, MSX developers are (if I got it right) used to coding "low-level", fast little apps. Such a community is a great advantage to devices with limited resources, which mobile gadgets still are.

I just hope ASCII will not follow japanese eletronics market "tradition" of holding on to closed specs like their life depended on it. In a world of crescent pressure for open standards, such a move could prove fatal. It's widely known that PC history was decided on favor of the IBM standard because anyone could build a compatible device, without spending a penny on royalties. MSX could do the same for this dawning era of mobile/wearable computing -- if it doesn't, someone else will do, sooner or later.

That said, how come there are no specs for the new generation MSX out yet? If it's just a matter of ASCII still not having enough money to produce it, they could at least let the developer base know what is coming. If the community was allowed to build and play with "toy" implementations of the new standards, (original, not just retro-compatible) software would be availble for it right on release.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

04-08-2004, 19:39

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, xperroni! I think you are completely right about MSX still being ahead of its time on several points. Thankfully, when Nishi announced the one chip MSX plans in 2001 he stated he aimed for an 'open' platform, encourating the users to not only passively use the system, but also to develop anything they want themselves. I think a computer that encourages creativity in a way the MSX did and still does even today can always become succesfull. Alas, there are other factors that make things slightly more difficult.

As for the specifications not being known already, I think Nishi tried to explain that in 2001 as well. Nishi is taking quite an 80s approach to developing the one chip MSX. Instead of co-operating with big companies who want an exclusive deal and short-term results he wants to create something very good first, and then license it to multiple companies (like MSX in the 80s).

Apart from that, it takes a lot of time before the funds are there to actually create the first real prototypes. If he would be setting the specs now and creating the prototype in 6 months, he would only limit himself by aiming for specs of 'today', instead of 'tomorrow'. I think the right time to set (and announce) the specs for the one chip MSX is when you are about ready to create the first prototypes. That way the one chip MSX can become as up-to-date as possible. Of course, when there is any info on specs (even rumours), we'll report about it on our frontpage Wink

By pitpan

Prophet (3153)

pitpan's picture

04-08-2004, 20:07

Reading the "MSX Technical Data Book", there are some strange facts:

-The original MSX specification says "16 KB RAM minimum". There is a separate sheet that indicates that it should be "8 KB RAM minimum". Strange! If you take in count the system RAM, then you have less that 4 KB of free RAM!

-At the end of the book there are some machine code programs, and strangely enough, they are not in Z80 assembler syntax, but in Intel 8080's format. Was the original MSX designed to use this processor instead of the Zilog Z80?

-When it comes to decoding keyboard entry, it states that the BIOS calls should be used instead of direct hardware reads. "because the i8255 won't be used in future MSXs, that will have a wireless infrared keyboard". Amazing!

Just my two cents.

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