Bazix have just updated their website, adding detailed information and pictures of the new One Chip MSX we reported about earlier. People who don't want to miss out on the first batch of One Chip MSX computers distributed outside Japan by Bazix are encouraged to join a One Chip MSX newsletter, via which an announcement will be sent as soon as the first orders can be taken.

With regards to the specifications, Bazix reveal that the SD/MMC card slot on the One Chip MSX is a hot-swappable and FAT16 compatible - working exactly like a harddisk connected to a MegaSCSI interface. This means that the famous disk image emulation tool 'EP' can be used on the One Chip MSX as well. The site furthermore reveals the VGA connector on the One Chip MSX can be used - with the appropriate cable - to produce an RGB-SCART compatible output as well, allowing One Chip MSX owners to connect a traditional MSX monitor or TV.

There also is a downside, as the extra config ROM which was announced earlier apparently did not make it to the final One Chip MSX. This means that if an update of the FPGA core fails or otherwise results in a configuration from which the FPGA core can not be updated the only way to bring the One Chip MSX back to life is to restore its default configuration by using a 10 or 40-pin JTAG cable - which can be obtained for about $50,-.

www.msx.org/filesfolder/onechipmsx.gif

Time for a complete overview of the default specifications currently known:

  • MSX2 with 256kB RAM
  • Kanji support
  • MSX-DOS2 support
  • PS/2 connection
  • 2 MSX joystick ports
  • 2 MSX cartridge slots (with the 12V pins connected properly)
  • MegaSCSI implemented to addres the SD/MMC card slot
  • SD/MMC flashcard slot with native FAT16 support in MSX-DOS2
  • MSX-MUSIC
  • SCC+
  • Composite and SVHS TV output
  • VGA monitor output (which can be used as an RGB-SCART compatible output as well)
  • 2 cinch audio outputs
  • FPGA I/O pin (40 pins and 10 pins)
  • 2 USB ports
  • 32MB SDRAM

The heart of the One Chip MSX is an Altera Cyclone EP1C12Q240C8 FPGA chip. The One Chip MSX will be sold together with extensive manuals and software (including VHDL examples) for development purposes.

Next week, the One Chip MSX will be demonstrated during the Tokyo Game Show. We expect more details on the One Chip MSX - and perhaps even more information on when this new MSX computer can be ordered at D4E in Japan and Bazix outside Japan. We will keep you posted!

Relevant link: One Chip MSX website at Bazix

Comments (46)

By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8232)

[D-Tail]'s picture

17-09-2006, 22:35

Great news indeed!VGA monitor output (which can be used as an RGB-SCART compatible output as well)This part I do not understand -- VGA and SCART are two completely different signals, aight? 31kHz vs. 15kHz and that kind of stuff? How's that possible then?

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

17-09-2006, 22:40

...by sending out a 15kHz @ the VGA port, perhaps? ^_^

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

17-09-2006, 22:56

What kind of cable(s) will be delivered with the OCM since I assume that little ones are capable of making such a cable

By Edwin

Paragon (1182)

Edwin's picture

18-09-2006, 00:34

It's really too bad that the restore feature isn't in there. That would have been excellent for a learning board. Would it be possible to recreate that feature in code? With that I mean a short piece of VHDL that is activated by a jumper that would read a configuration from the SD card and program it. As long as any configuration would have that piece in there, it would be able to restore itself. Maybe an fpga wiz can say if this is doable.

By iamweasel2

Hero (516)

iamweasel2's picture

18-09-2006, 01:09

I agree, too bad that the extra config won't be available. If MSXA's reply to msx users that complain about missing features is "add yourself everything you wanted in OCM in the first place", how can they release OCM without the restore option? How can they expect someone to develop vhdl code or even try someone else's code knowing that if they screw up, they won't have an easy way to restore the default config? Or will they package with OCM the cable needed to allow people restore the default config just in case something goes wrong?

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

18-09-2006, 04:46

@weasel: I hardly think it's fair to say MSXA didn't take our requests serious... The pretty much implemented all the feature requests there were, even the relatively expensive 12v+ one. Having said that, it is indeed a pity the restore option won't be available... makes tinkering with your OCM a tad more hazardous. I heard the cable is something you can make yourself for about 5 eurii tho, so those of us who want to experiment can do so without having to buy 'the real thing' for 00dles of cash.

By iamweasel2

Hero (516)

iamweasel2's picture

18-09-2006, 05:57

Sonic: I'm aware of the fact that some of our demands found their way to the OCM. But there are still issues, like code licensing, and now the restore option. The way I see it, both have a big (negative) impact on the sucess of OCM. In order to have a new improved MSX, OCM users need to make their own extensions to VHDL code, and those extensions should be spread among the users. I don't see this happening with these two problems to overcome. I wouldn't try to use new OCM softwares that changes the VHDL without the restore option, after all, if something goes wrong and the OCM doesn't boot anymore, I would need this cable, that doesn't seem to be included in the package. Unless, of course, the cable is included in the package...

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

18-09-2006, 06:51

It will be nice to hear exact prices for cables , OCM update cable between 5 and 40 euro . But what about a svhs cable or vga-scart.
That are simply no standard cables. So for restoring a cable and for get picture a cable !

By tfh

Paragon (1732)

tfh's picture

18-09-2006, 08:14

@iamweasel,
I don't think the impact will be very huge on the succes. Most people interested in a OCM will only want to have it as a gadget. Most people simply don't program VHDL at all, and thus also won't be very much interested in the licensing.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

18-09-2006, 12:40

Q: What cables will be delivered with the OCM?
A: Just the 5V adapter. (and a 110V/220V plug)

Q: How do I make the VGA->SCART cable?
A: With the signal already being 15kHz, it's only a matter of pinouts (just like with the turboR DIN -> SCART cable). Although I'm not completely sure if the pinout is the same, have a look over here...

Q: Under what license will the VHDL source be distributed?
A: This will be announced soon! The license will allow non-commercial re-distribution of altered OCM VHDL. Exact details follow.

Q: How expensive is a JTAG cable?
A: That depends. As Sonic stated, if you make one yourself it could be done very cheaply. If you buy one at Altera it's a whopping 150 dollars. With a bit of googling 25 to 40 dollars seem to be the ordinary prices, depending on whether you want to connect it to USB or Parallel port, design etc.

Q: Are we going to miss the restore function?
A: Yes, a bit. For beginning VHDL coders, the feature certainly would have been nice. The VHDL development environment does come with a simulator though which should indicate problems before you even actually put the OCM into the VHDL. People who are serious about developing upgrades for the OCM are also likely to be willing to create, buy or already have the cable needed to restore their OCM if they mock up. As long as the upgrades they distribute are properly tested, end-users are not likely to run into problems.

Both Bazix and MSXA plan to offer OCM upgrades for download on their websites. You can at least be sure that the upgrades offered there have been properly tested. I don't think MRC would offer non-tested upgrades for download either.

Yesterday I thought of a restore solution similar to the solution of Edwin. If it's possible to make some kind of tiny-OCM-restore-at-boot-computer in VHDL, a simple text-only interface which loads a pre-defined file from SD/MMC and programs it into the OCM it might be sufficient to run that tiny-computer before the 'actual' computer starts. "Press [DEL] to enter rescue mode". I'm not sure whether this is possible or not (not an VHDL expert yet) and the downside is that this tiny rescue computer would have to be included in all code you put into the OCM in order to make it actually work, but it might be a nice solution.

Sunrise: the SVHS cable is a standard cable, nothing special about it...

By HansO

Paladin (672)

HansO's picture

18-09-2006, 13:21

It is S-Video, not S-VHS. S-VHS is a type of VHS recorder that is always equipped with S-Video in- and outputs. S-Video describes signal - separated Y intensity and C encoded color signal - and connector type, 4 pin mini DIN.
Whether the S-video output of the OCM shows color outside of US, Japan and the rest of the NTSC world, depends on how sophisticated the tv/monitor is. The OCM has NTSC output (mediocre, NTSC is Never The Same Color) and most tv sets in Europe accept PAL color encoding and some, more recent types, also NTSC. turboR owners outside Japan know all about this!
S-Video cables are cheap and widely available.
RGB/Scart beats S-video in all quality aspects and is free of the NTSC/PAL encoding complications.

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

18-09-2006, 21:29

That is really not the issue.
I react for people who cannot make those two cables , so I would strongly recommend to deliver at least one of those directly
So nothing more than a suggestion. I foresee otherwise a lot of people becoming a little helpless.
And if you gonna ask someone to make around 250 cables , would be nuts !

By Yobi

Master (144)

Yobi's picture

18-09-2006, 22:38

@snout,
How do you make +12V or -12V out of +5V power supply? Question

By Rataplan

Master (214)

Rataplan's picture

18-09-2006, 22:57

probably by using inverters somewhere. Iverters can be used to cranck up DC to a higher voltage. Compare it to the CFL light tubes that are used with casemods often. They connect to the 12V DC output from your pc's power supply, and the inverter 'transforms' that into about 650Volts. I think the same technique is used here (but not at 650V LOL!)

By Pat

Expert (66)

Pat's picture

18-09-2006, 23:19

>How do you make +12V or -12V out of +5V power supply?
Ever heard of Switched Mode Power Supplies (SMPS), with this you can create +12V easily from +5V. Just google for step-up or buck convertor and have fun...

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

19-09-2006, 00:07

dunno, apart from the RGB cable these are all pretty much standard cables. I don't see a point in jacking up the price by including cables you might not even use anyhow since I expect quite some people will be hooking their OCM up to a VGA monitor. I suppose Bazix could/should allow people to order any cable people might want along with their OCM though. If that's somehow not possible, I'm sure some MSX hardware-folks will be kind enough to make those cables for us, much like they did in the times of the good-old turboR.

By Sousuke

Master (177)

Sousuke's picture

19-09-2006, 01:33

Well it's really a pity that the fallback-config couldn't find it's way to the OCM... Sad
But at least there should be another way to do it. Edwin already made a good suggestion IMO.

As the OCM's really a great platform to learn/play VHDL with. I have to learn VHDL atm, it would really come in handy. Wink

Most people simply don't program VHDL at allJust think of some demos/games/... using newly introduced features. Then you are forced to reprogram the OCM.
(perhaps MRC could start a new poll soon, asking how many ppl would *actively* make modifications or develop for OCM)

The VHDL development environment does come with a simulator though which should indicate problems before you even actually put the OCM into the VHDL. People who are serious about developing upgrades for the OCM are also likely to be willing to create, buy or already have the cable needed to restore their OCM if they mock up.Experts will (more likely) avoid "hazardous" code, and/or already have a cable, I agree - but as a beginner I honestly wouldn't dare to rewrite the OCM w/o the restore function. Shocked!

As long as the upgrades they distribute are properly tested, end-users are not likely to run into problems.And as long as the power supply doesn't get cut Tongue

Will there be a OCM-modding database provided (by Bazix?)? So the developers & freaks among us can send their upgrades to and where it gets verified then. Smile

And uhmm snout... when can I order it? *drool* Big smile Tongue Big smile Wink

By Vampier

Prophet (2288)

Vampier's picture

19-09-2006, 08:13

I check the price of a Wii and I check the prices previous mentioned... since the WII supports MSX games and a WHOLE lot more I think the choice is clear for me. If I want to program I'd do it on my PC not on outdated hardware (even if it's state of the art)

correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the MSX support in the WII the ultimate show stopper for the OCM?

By msd

Paragon (1372)

msd's picture

19-09-2006, 09:29

@vampier: The wii wil just be an emulator. No different than openMSX or blueMSX. That also doesn't stop the ocm.

By nerlaska

Master (166)

nerlaska's picture

19-09-2006, 22:22

how will works the cassette interface in this One MSX?
May be .. ROM will be patched for writing directly in SD Card?

By erikmaas

Resident (61)

erikmaas's picture

20-09-2006, 00:00

About the restore/fall-back function: You have to know that during configuring an FPGA, the FPGA will not 'execute' its configuration.

A "load default configuration by pressing [DEL]" could download a new BIOS image on the fly, as this is not part of the FPGA configuration. Re-configuring the configuration device would only be possible if the design is stable enough. (which can be bad due to timing, bus-conflicts, etc. only because of adding this nice small feature like a blinking LED)

But having more configurations would be possible, because an FPGA normally has a few configuration methods:

* Configure using JTAG (For that you can use the 'byteblaster' cable)
* Download using serial configuration (like EPC4)
* Parallel download (Flash-ROM, EPROM, SRAM)

A device like an EPC4 is rather expensive, but easy for layout and configuring. This is the configuration method mentioned at the Bazix site.

Using a parallel configuration device would give the posibility to select a configuration by pulling up/down an address line which is not used by the configuration pins. (most I/O pins will tri-state during configuration, a few I/O pins will act like address, data and control lines during configuration)
Flash memory and SRAM would be suitable for that, but I did not see SRAM, nor do I remember seing flash-memory. SDRAM is not suitable for configuration... So, that leaves out any methods suitable for re-configuration. (Given that it would be possible to re-trigger the FPGA configuration with parallel configuration)

Maybe someone (snout?) can answer the following questions:
* Is there is any flash-memory available?
* Is the MSX-BIOS etc. loaded from the EPC4? (transfer from left over space of the EPC4 to SDRAM)
* Is it possible to pre-release the schematics of the one chip MSX, so all our technical questions can be answered before actually buying/receiving one?

Another question:
* Is the one chip MSX RoHS compliant? That means: is the soldering done without lead?

Because of european environment regulations any new electronic equipment since the 1st of july 2006 must have been produced without lead.
I do not know if the japanese have the same regulations at this time.

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

20-09-2006, 00:31

how will works the cassette interface in this One MSX?
May be .. ROM will be patched for writing directly in SD Card?
There is a VHDL modification which allows you to use the right audio output as the cassette input. Only the autostart option some datarecorders have won't work with that, so you'd have to press play yourself. BIOS patching is another option indeed, I'd much prefer the use of .cas files to using an actual datarecorder. In any case though, I won't be using either option. Tongue

By timbr

Resident (43)

timbr's picture

22-09-2006, 09:02


Maybe someone (snout?) can answer the following questions:
* Is there is any flash-memory available?
* Is the MSX-BIOS etc. loaded from the EPC4? (transfer from left over space of the EPC4 to SDRAM)
* Is it possible to pre-release the schematics of the one chip MSX, so all our technical questions can be answered before actually buying/receiving one?

Good questions. Especially the schematics would be nice to see.

My proposal regarding the configuration issue:

- On power on a minimal configuration is loaded (no MSX) with only a Z80, Flash, SRAM, SD-Card IF.
- This thing looks in the root of the SD-Card if there is a configuration file (system.hex).
- If it finds this configuration file, it loads it into the SRAM.
- If not, it copies the default configuration from Flash to SRAM.
- It signals a CPLD to reconfigure the FPGA out of SRAM.
- When the MSX is running it can also signal the CPLD to reconfigure out of SRAM making it possible to reload the gateware from MSX-DOS without having to reprogram any Flash.

In this way it is possible to develop new gateware by just putting a file on an SD-Card. The default configuration can safely be updated by reprogramming the flash because if anything goes wrong, you just have to put an SD-Card with a valid 'system.hex' on it into the OCM and it starts again.

Because all of this needs some support from hardware (CPLD, Flash, SRAM connected in the right way),
I have very little hope this is possible with the hardware as it is going to be selled now.
I hope at least it will be possible to make an add-on board that makes this possible (without having to modify the OCM). I'm planning to develop such a board and hopefully can produce and sell the thing with the help of some people (Sunrise, Bazix, ...)

By Manuel

Ascended (15458)

Manuel's picture

22-09-2006, 09:21

Why don't you send an e-mail to Bazix with this proposal? It might not be too late to get this kind of stuff in. Or maybe for version 2.

By timbr

Resident (43)

timbr's picture

22-09-2006, 12:49

I'll do that. But indeed I'm affraid it's too late now. I assumed the designers of this board made some usable update mechanism because they always stated that it is also meant to 'play with vhdl'. But apparently this was a bad assumtion.

In my (possibly realistic) dreams the following happens:
- The OCM is selled at least 5000 pieces.
- Someone releases the extension board (I am willing to help) and sell it for about 100 pieces, we call it OCM+ or something.
- Because a reasonable amount of people (100) have this OCM+, some nice things will be developed (like a NES game loarder, C64 'emulator' that can be started from MSX-DOS)
- Because of this, a lot more people gets interested and buy the extension board (1000+).
- There are 1000+ potential developers for cool things with this thing.

Or better, but not realistic I'm afraid, the designers add some components making all of this possible from start.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (5470)

mars2000you's picture

22-09-2006, 14:01

What about a multi-platform OCM+ in the same approach than blueMSX ? I mean all Z80-based machines that are very close to MSX : SVI318/328, ColecoVision, ColecoAdam, Sega SG-1000, SC-3000, SF-7000, MarkIII and Sega Master System. It should be simply fantastic ! Cool

By Tanni

Hero (556)

Tanni's picture

22-09-2006, 15:46

This would be a great idea, mars!

By timbr

Resident (43)

timbr's picture

22-09-2006, 15:58

Yes! That's what I try to say. When the OCM is capable of changing it's configuration by switching a SD-Card, or even runtime, it is a great platform to build every old 8-bit computer (maybe even some 16-bit ones) with it.

By Tanni

Hero (556)

Tanni's picture

22-09-2006, 16:04

Concerning the restore funtionality: I assumed that these functionality will be present in the new OCM, because it was said that it shall be for learnig VHDL and play around with reconfigurable devices, too. This is the great idea behind the OCM, this is why it could be more than a retrocomputer. If it will lack, it would be very disappointing. It was a mistake right form the start of MSX -- and maybe other homecomputers as well -- not to start with a convenient minimal system configuration. For the first MSX computers this would have been e. g. 64KB of memory as minimal configuration right form the beginning. Maybe this was one of the reasons for the success of the C64. Without restore-function, the OCM is like the ZX81 which also lacks a reset button. But here, the Z80 inside was permanent, so you just need to tear off the power supply and after reconnecting it, the system rebooted.

If you want people to buy, use, learn something, nowerdays, you must make it convenient to apply. We aren't back in the eighties these days!

By Tanni

Hero (556)

Tanni's picture

22-09-2006, 16:11

Timbr, do you know if somebody already contacted other people still engaged with 8-bit-computers on that issue? If we could come up with a lot of people from other systems interested in the OCM for their beloved 8-bit-system, maybe we also can get the reset functionality. Simulation, as snout mentioned, is one thing, convenience it the better one. But reconfiguration on SD-card would be wonderful.

By timbr

Resident (43)

timbr's picture

22-09-2006, 17:57

I don't have personal connections with those people, but there allready are complete vhdl sources available on the net of the C64 (c-one project) and the Amstrad CPC (Turbo CPC). I think it will be relatively easy to port them to the OCM.
I also know that some guy called Kevin is making a FPGA implementation of the NES, but the sources are not on the net. I don't know if he will be interested in porting it to the OCM, or releasing the sources to let someone else do it.

By Alex

Master (205)

Alex's picture

09-10-2006, 22:59

If you are serious about developing your own VHDL design, then you will want to buy the byteblaster cable, to connect your PC directly to the EPC device in the OCM. Reason is that in practice, like with any development project, you will go through many test iterations (synthesize, re-program the OCM, re-start the OCM and test the result). Re-programming directly from the altera software through the byte-blaster is *significantly* more convenient then re-programming via a dump that you transfer via the SD card. Simply because of that convenience and the time-gain you will be tempted to buy or build the cable eventually.

If you are not a VHDL developer but simply want to install the *stable* upgrade that was created, tested and released by somebody else, then you do not need the cable. You download the upgrade once, put it on your SD card and then install it into the OCM. In such case, the transfer via SD Card approach is more convenient, as it prevents you from having to install the altera software on your PC and learn how to use it (which would be a pre-requisite to transfer the data through the cable).

Taking these points into consideration, I can understand that MSX Association has made the choice to drop the restore option from the current design, to find the right balance between cost and features.

By iamweasel2

Hero (516)

iamweasel2's picture

10-10-2006, 14:18

I fail to see why would such option would be so expensive. But if it is, they could have said the price and asked if the customers are willing to pay the extra price. I know I would, maybe others would prefer to have this option as well. For the same reason I would prefer spend some more euros if there was an option to buy an OCM with a bigger FPGA. Some market research could only benefit MSXA and their customers...

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9760)

wolf_'s picture

10-10-2006, 17:54

eek, dunno about that bigger FPGA option (if anything like that could be).. I think it's extremely important that everyone has the same config-potential! Or you'll end up with a split scene again... one group has the OCM, the other group has the OCM+, the + users can't make generic games with + potential because there are non+ users. We've seen this often enough already on MSX. Tongue

By iamweasel2

Hero (516)

iamweasel2's picture

10-10-2006, 18:34

Well, some people have MSX1, others MSX2, MSX2+, Turbo-R... I think we already know how to live with the problem you are worried about. Smile But let's forget about a bigger FPGA, since it's not gonna happen. The problem is the restore option, it would be nice to know why we can't have it... I don't remember seeing an answer to this question.

By arnold_m

Master (173)

arnold_m's picture

11-10-2006, 23:55

I think the decision to drop the restore option comes from the idea that you can divide the (potential) OCM-buyers into two groups:
* Serious VHDL developers who will prefer and may already own a jtag-cable, and
* "ordinary users", who will only ever install *stable* upgrades into their OCM's.

The curious users who want to give VHDL developing a try, must make a decision: Get a cable that will end up collecting dust if VHDL turns out too difficult, or miss out on the very thing that distinguishes the OCM from an ordinary MSX2 with some extensions, possibly by simply not buying the OCM.
The division above suggests that developing in VHDL is only for serious developers and I'm afraid that will further discourage the curious users from getting their own cables.

I do not know much money is saved by dropping the restore option, but it costs a lot of fun, also for the "ordinary users" who will miss out on the designs that could be made by the curious users.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9760)

wolf_'s picture

12-10-2006, 00:27

The problem is that everyone needs such a cable once ppl are releasing special software for the OCM. Software that comes with its own VHDL code. It's not unthinkable that some ppl would make an MSX game, and pump-up the sprite-on-a-row limit. In this case the software auto-installs this VHDL code and could restore the old state upon the game's exit.

Sofar so good. But this custom VHDL does most probably not come with an MSXA seal. What if anything goes wrong suddenly? The end-user could be stuck with a dead OCM all of a sudden.

So therefor I think that, if an OCM user will be an active close follower of the OCM 'scene', that a cable or restore function is top-priority. Just dividing between normal users and VHDL freaks, as MSXA might have done, is actually.. uh.. like uhm.. forgetting something essential. Tongue

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9760)

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12-10-2006, 00:30

and with that .. and with today being 12 october.. can we finally pre-order now? Tongue

By Manuel

Ascended (15458)

Manuel's picture

12-10-2006, 08:57

You hit a very good point here, Wolf: I don't think it's realistic to expect that users will buy a cable and learn how to work with the software that programs the FPGA, just because they wanted to play a game that modified the VHDL... And there you lose a huge advantage of the OCM... Sad

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

12-10-2006, 23:31

Simply put: whether we like it or not, the OCM is going to be shipped in its current form, without a default-config-reset-feature. By software or cable you can put new VHDL code in it, reset the OCM, play with the new config and return to other VHDL configs by (again) software or cable.

As Alex stated, acquiring an FPGA cable for OCM-VHDL development is almost mandatory, even with a reset-to-default feature. It is up to the VHDL developers to release FPGA updates that allow switching to another config (e.g. the default) by software. Updates offered at both Bazix and MRC will - at least - always offer this possibility.

Sure, something could go wrong whilst updating the OCM by software, but there's guarantee for that and the same risk applies for any software-updateable device (BIOS update, DVD flashROM, digital TV receivers...). I'm not saying the risk isn't there, but there's no need to exaggerate this risk either.

Don't get me wrong: I would rather have had the backup-ROM and on-the-fly FPGA update functionality as well, but at the end of the day it was a matter of cost vs. benefits and a choice to be made by D4E, who are financing the production of the OCM. I for one am glad many other improvements that were suggested via -amongst others- Bazix (e.g. 2 cartridge slots with 12V, SVHS out, transparent casing and - as it looks now - 1MB memory in the MSX by default) did make it in the final design. Although not all of our wishes were granted, many of them were.

To tackle the to-default-worries some people have, I'd say one of the first bits of FPGA to be written is a tiny piece of code that loads a config from SD card if it exists, and if not runs the FPGA config as it is. If we start every other project with that piece of code, all you have to do to return to default is insert the SD with the default config on it.

By Manuel

Ascended (15458)

Manuel's picture

13-10-2006, 14:47

The latter is a possible solution, but the other things you said do not apply to the situation I described: the real force of the OCM is that you can provide a piece of hardware with your software. E.g. a game provides a piece of VHDL-hardware to play MP3 files. So, when you run the game of them, it will enhance your OCM with a MP3 replaying hardware.
On a normal MSX, you are used to press the RESET button when you want to exit the game (or start over). So, for OCM, this means that suddenly your MSX is still hardware-modified after the RESET. You can't expect ordinary users to buy a cable to fix this, or to run a program to reset the hardware modification.

However, with some kind of boot menu, in which you can restore the stuff from SD, it might be workable to have the above scenario become reality.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9760)

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13-10-2006, 16:20

I can imagine tho, that new OCM games/demos/apps wil have an exit routine, just like with PC games/demos/apps.

By Manuel

Ascended (15458)

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13-10-2006, 19:42

Yeah, but it won't be called if someone just presses the RESET button...

By wolf_

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13-10-2006, 19:47

hm, can this reset button be (re-)programmed? As in: in case the reset button is pressed some restore function does its job first..

By Manuel

Ascended (15458)

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14-10-2006, 10:41

Interesting idea: snout suggests to have some kind of auto-restore at startup, and you suggest one at reset. Maybe it can just be the same, though. As long as the reprogramming doesn't take too long...

By EdOscuro

Rookie (20)

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18-11-2006, 22:40

I really hate that it's not an MSX2+...although if they are leaving most of the gate arrays open, it might be possible to program in later. I think the world is ready for hardware scrolling, don't you?