Another federversal generation poll. Please boost.

I am from the /x/ generation:


I'm more an rather than user, so LOAD "*",8,1 would be BLOAD "CAS:<filename>",R for me. ;)

@FiXato I've heard of MSX's but only seen what look like renders of them. Never read about them in any books growing up.

What were they like?

@drwho not that different from the I guess, though what was the biggest difference I guess, is that is a standard, rather than a specific brand/model.
Where a was always a , an MSX model could be made by , , , , , , etc.
Each of them having the same minimum specs, but differing in style, build quality, peripherals, more RAM, extra soundchips, etc, but all with the promise of being able to run the same software.

of course, since for instance Western models tended to have more RAM than the Japanese, you still ended up with software written for Western models, and thus failing to load on those with insufficient memory, but with RAM extension cartridges that doesn't necessarily have to be an issue.
Same with models that have different memory bank layouts, and thus badly written software that needed a POKE to run. But imho those were outliers.

personally I grew up with an though, which most notably had a better graphics chip and IIRC a bit better sound-chip than the . We had a to be precise, which had 128kB RAM and 128kB Video RAM, and ran most of the software available. While I wouldn't mind adding an MSX2+ or even MSX to my collection, the software that requires the improved specs, is limited.

I used it for all sorts of things though, not just games (though that was my major usage).

@drwho many of my elementary school reports and essays were written on it using the text editor , and covers and greetings cards were laid out in the (though it perhaps was more of a tool) programme , and printed of a dot matrix printer (first a thermal printer, later we upgraded to an ink ribbon one).
I also loved drawing in , even though results weren't that great. ;)

it's a machine I have fond memories of though.
Playing games helped me learn English at an early age, and it definitely is part of why I like RPGs a lot (even though it's been a while since I really sat down to play one...)
While I didn't really do coding on the machine, I did start learning PHP, HTML and CSS because of it, as I wanted to make my own website and later on forum dedicated to MSX, which for a while was actually quite popular.

Anyway, that's prob enough rambling. ;)

oh, and if you want to have a look at what some of the software looked like, feel free to browse my channel:

This playlist should contain solely games:

Whereas contains all sorts of MSX and MSX2 software, some of which recorded by other YouTubers.

I could be mistaken, but wasn't one of the MSX standards the basis for the Sega Master System? The specs seem too close to not be a coincidence.

@vertigo I'm not sure if it's actually based on it, or if they were just a logical hardware choice at the time.
I mean, 's the is based on, was released in Japan in July of 1983, whereas the was announced by and in June of that same year, so that would not leave much development time…
's is said ( to be what the prototype MSX was based on though. The thing with the MSX standard 1/?

@vertigo @drwho
is that it was designed to work with off-the-shelf parts, probably so it would be easier for multiple manufacturers to develop their systems according to it, and then get licensed by / 's . Of course, this didn't stop from using the in their marketing promotions for the , even though it wasn't an MSX, nor was it actually compatible (most notably lacking the BIOS); people had to convert titles to run on it. 2/?

@vertigo @drwho
It's also not the only system with similar hardware. for instance (for which there is an emulator on the ) and the MTX, shared similarities, but weren't compatible.
Since shared the same CPU and its graphics were similar to one of the MSX's screen modes, its games were also often (lazily) ported, leading some to believe the MSX suffered from the same colour/attribute clashing... 3/3

@vertigo @drwho oh, worth noting is that games have been hacked to run on the :

There's also a converter/adapter that allows you to run MSX cartridges on the :

There's also ' and carts, which provide the MSX with the VDP and sound-chips of the (and in the case of the latter, also ) to convert & play those games on your MSX:

@FiXato @drwho Thanks for this; I didn't realize I was seeing convergent evolution, especially with the two platforms being unveiled in the same year only a few months apart.

@vertigo well, granted, the actual Master System wasn't released till 1985 I think, so it might still be influenced by the MSX, though it's more likely it's just iterations on their previous systems such as the SG-1000.

The Memotech MTX512 is a criminally underrated system. So powerful - the BBC B+ of Z80 machines! Shame hardly anyone bought them...
@vertigo @drwho

@drwho @FiXato

The MSX is a platform that I wish I got to experience.

Such cool design.

@thegibson it's a shame it only got popular in certain regions, such as the , , , and . I think only introduced an model into the , and that one was mostly aimed at music production, iirc.

@FiXato What was it marketed as? A personal productivity machine? A gaming machine?

@drwho I was born in the same year as the standard itself, so I mostly have to rely on my childhood memories and advertising I saw later, but I think it was a bit of everything.
Some people, techguru for instance, saw it as the machine of the future, with visions of home automation even.
With the system by the , it was even used for / :
There were also programmes for doing your taxes, offline. 1/2

There were also home office applications such as for managing your contacts (which theoretically could be dialed for you by modem), which can also be tied into personalised mailings, calendar, spreadsheets, graphs, word processor, etc.
In my elementary school we also had several, along with some software such as a helicopter game to learn and practise where certain places/countries were.
So, all in all quite varied. 2/2

@FiXato Fascinating!

What was the OS like? DOS like? Commodore like?

@drwho in that aspect the was similar to the I guess, as by default it ran 's which was used to load programmes from disk and data cassette, or to programme your own in it.
However, software could also be loaded from cartridge, and other operating systems could also be loaded from disk, with MS's ( and (not to be confused with MS-DOS) probably the most popular alternative. As well as CP/M Plus.

there were also some more like things, such as Ease, but those were more like frontends to and application launchers / home office suites.

Examples of more modern OSes for the include (which started on afaik) and IIRC programmes written for that can be run on any system that runs SymbOS.
Another I believe would be @EtchedPixels's .

@FiXato @EtchedPixels SymbOS looks really cool. A pre-emptively multitasking microkernel designed for the Z80.

@FiXato @drwho Fuzix on MSX needs a lot of love and reworking.
SymbOS is neat - kind of an 8bit AmigaOS in feel

we had an MSX one, cannot remember which brand, though

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!