Sakhr AX-500
This page was last modified 18:21, 9 June 2021 by Mars2000you. Based on work by Gdx and Rderooy and others.

Contents

Description

Computer

Sakhr Computers was a Kuwaiti company (Al Alamiah co.) that was selling MSX computers imported from Japan in all of the Arab world. These MSX were localized and rebranded for some Arabic markets.

The AX-500 is the Yamaha YIS-805/256 localised by Al Alamiah. The RS-232C interface, the RF output and the expansion bus have been removed. This machine has a separate Arabic QWERTY keyboard.

After booting without pressing the CTRL key, the computer will be in Arabic mode. In this mode:

  • the combination of the GRAPH key with an alphabetic key will display an MSX-BASIC instruction on the screen
  • the extra STAR key can be used in a similar way to the GRAPH key
  • some combinations can produce accented characters in stead of MSX-BASIC instructions
Brand Sakhr (Manufacturer: Yamaha)
Type AX-500
Year 1988
Region Middle East
Original price
RAM 256kB in slot 3-2
VRAM 128kB
Media MSX cartridges, DD floppy disks
Video Yamaha V9938
Audio PSG (YM2149 integrated in MSX-Engine S1985)
Chipset Yamaha S1985
Keyboard layout QWERTY/Arabic
Extras 2 720kB 3,5" floppy disk drives, reset button, Arabic BASIC, firmware (Word Processor Arabic/English, Sakhr Files, The Painter, Calendar)
Emulation ROMs dumped and emulated as the "Yamaha AX500"

Firmware

This machine comes with version 2.01 of Arabic firmware, present on all Sakhr/Al Alamiah computers.

The firmware can be skipped by pressing CTRL key while booting and until you come on the MSX-BASIC screen. By doing that, the machine will be in International mode, the Arabic characters will not be available and also you get only one drive (the A: drive) even if you have added an external diskdrive.

This firmware adds Arabic characters, new MSX-BASIC instructions (see Arabic BASIC) and 4 applications. You can choose them in the menu with the keys 1 to 4:

  • English / Arabic Word Processor
  • Sakhr Files - Arabic/English utility that requires a formatted disk in drive A
  • The Painter (Arabic version) - graphic tool in screen 5 (the original version can be found in the Yamaha YIS-805)
  • Calendar

By comparison with version 2.03, the Sakhr BASIC has been replaced by Sakhr Files

If you press key 5 when you are in the menu, you will go to MSX-BASIC.

From MSX-BASIC in Arabic mode, you can

  • go to the menu with CALL MENU or _MENU
  • launch the Word Processor with CALL SWP or _SWP
  • launch Sakhr Files with CALL SFILES or _SFILES
  • launch the Calendar with CALL CALENDAR or _CALENDAR
  • launch The Painter with CALL PAINT or _PAINT

If you are in International mode:

  • only CALL SWP or _SWP can be used, you will directly go to the English Word Processor. It's not recommended to use the other instructions without first enabling the Arabic mode.
  • you can fully enable the Arabic mode with CALL ARABIC, _ARABIC, CALL ARABON or _ARABON

Pictures

Computer

Sakhr AX-500
Sakhr AX-500 front
Sakhr AX-500 back and underside
Sakhr AX-500 underside
Sakhr AX-500 front (closeup)
Sakhr AX-500 label
Sakhr AX-500 back

Firmware

Word Processor

Arabic firmware English/Arabic Word Processor
Arabic firmware Arabic Word Processor
Arabic firmware English Word Processor

Sakhr Files

Arabic firmware Sakhr Files
Arabic firmware Sakhr Files Intro menu
Arabic firmware Sakhr Files Arabic menu
Arabic firmware Sakhr Files Arabic directory
Arabic firmware Sakhr Files English menu
Arabic firmware Sakhr Files English directory

The Painter

Arabic firmware The Painter (Arabic version)
Arabic firmware The Painter (Arabic version)

Calendar

Arabic firmware Arabic Calendar
Arabic firmware English Calendar

Specifications

The AX-500 is a MSX2 with a Z80A from Sharp (LH0080A) and an MSX-Engine S1985 from Yamaha.

Slot Map

Slot Slot
0-0 0‑1 0-2 0-3 Slot 1 Slot 2 3-0 3-1 3-2 3-3
Page C000h~FFFFh Cartridge
Slot 1
Cartridge
Slot 2
Painter
ROM
256kB
Memory
Mapper
Module
Slot
Page 8000h~BFFFh Arabic
ROM
SWP
ROM
SAKHR
FILES
Page 4000h~7FFFh Main-ROM Disk ROM
Page 0000h~3FFFh Sub-ROM

Connections

Links