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MSX demowatchers - what config do you have?

category: general [glöplog]
I just bought a MSX2-computer, and I've started coding a bit. Of course I aim to produce yet another boring demo with the same tired effects you have seen from me on ten other platforms before! :)

Now, my guess on how Pouet users will approach this demo is:

* 97% will ignore it
* 2.5% will watch the youtube video
* 0.45% will fire up an MSX emulator
* 0.05% will run it on an actual MSX computer

As I am one of those weirdos who have tons of old computers hooked up at home, I want to cater especially to others like me that are in that last percentage!

So people who actually own an MSX-compatible computer - what config do you have?

I am guessing that MSX2 is rather uncommon, and while the configurable palette would make for some nicer looking stuff, I think that is out?
But for example how much mem do you have? Should I aim for lowest common MSX standard 16kb RAM/16kb VRAM or can one assume that most have 64kb RAM?
added on the 2008-10-01 13:41:45 by Sdw Sdw
MSX1 with 16k VRAM and 64k RAM and a diskdrive should be enough
added on the 2008-10-01 13:48:43 by britelite britelite
VLC, XBMC, Media Player Classic, mplayer2 and Quicktime Pro (yes, bought. You may now laugh) :)
added on the 2008-10-01 14:48:22 by kb_ kb_
to have the nec shuffle is almost impossible...
added on the 2008-10-01 14:51:49 by 24 24
sdw: MSX1 (Spectravideo 738
added on the 2008-10-01 14:58:33 by evil evil
msx1, disk drive, 64k ram
added on the 2008-10-01 16:48:53 by dodke dodke
@Sdw: actually, what I think you should do is to ignore "effects coding" and do something complitely different. Use the platfrom to its full potential, don't just spend your time replicating what everyone else has done.

The MSX has unique features, yes, but I'd like to see a demo that just ignores the hardware masturbation aspect and uses the technical possibilities as a medium, not as the "show" itself.

Then again, techno-wanking has its place in the scene, and I've done a few productions like that myself. Thus, I'm mostly just incriminating myself... :)
added on the 2008-10-01 17:49:46 by visy visy
visy: I guess you referencing to the boring/tired references I used in the original post. Of course I was just writing that because I usually (OK, probably rightfully...) get comments like that sometimes.
The thing is though, that I _LOVE_ doing those 'boring' effects, especially on a new platform. I really don't care that if it has been done before or not, I do it because I think it is fun. Last night when I got the good old radial plasma going on the MSX, I was like 'Oh yeah, that's the stuff'! :D

I guess I'm not in tune with those more 'artsy' people that go 'Ohh.. I want to express this or that emotion/political message/whatever with a demo'.
I just want to code and make colorful pixels move on the screen! :)
Not saying that the other approach is bad, it's just not for me.

Going a bit off topic, though, back to the MSX love!
added on the 2008-10-01 18:12:23 by Sdw Sdw
MSX2 machines are in fact rather common. Most European MSX2 machines have 128k RAM / 128k VRAM.

Most Japanese MSX2 and MSX2+ machines only have 64k RAM.

My main (most used) machine is a MSX turbo R (FS-A1ST upgraded to 512k RAM)

But, MSX1 64k and diskdrive is fine by me ;)

(btw: 16k RAM is nowhere near enough to run MSX-DOS, you need 64k for that)
added on the 2008-10-01 20:02:36 by Haohmaru Haohmaru
How much mem does MSXDOS steal? That is, if I aim for a 64kb computer, how big can the .COM file be?
added on the 2008-10-01 20:55:44 by Sdw Sdw
There's even a MSX1 with 8k of RAM from SONY but it's rather rare, i haven't noticed any demos running in less than 64k so go for it, i have the same MSX as yours except the drive is only 360k, but as i'm too lazy to turn it on and make disks transfers i mostly use bluemsx.

MSXDOS is only good if you plan to load files between parts, otherwise you don't need msxdos at all (and it probably have to be kept resident in the memory). Just use a native .bin file starting at an address as low as 0x0 with msx-o-mizer which will remap the memory and give you access to the while 64k without any hassle, it can load and depack files of about 50k (depending on the packed file size).
added on the 2008-10-02 03:30:14 by hitchhikr hitchhikr
I'll have to look into msx-o-mizer!

I thought that distrubting by MSXDOS .dsk with an autoexec that starts the demo would be the easiest way for both emulator users and users of the real thing. However if there is much space to be won by going with a .BIN instead, it might be better.
added on the 2008-10-02 17:49:46 by Sdw Sdw
You don't need MSXDOS for that, just have a AUTOEXEC.BAS on the disk containing something like: 10 BLOAD"<yourfile>",R (must be created within the BASIC interpreter and saved on a .dsk).

To create .dsk files from command line use a tool called wrdsk.
added on the 2008-10-02 18:46:01 by hitchhikr hitchhikr
Here is wrdsk and a .bas file which loads "intro.bin" at startup:

added on the 2008-10-02 18:52:26 by hitchhikr hitchhikr

I belong to that 0.05% MSX tR A1GT, MSX-Audio, MoonSound, GFX9000, CF/ATA-IDE. SCC, SCSI, CD-ROM etc. etc.

How much mem does MSXDOS steal? That is, if I aim for a 64kb computer, how big can the .COM file be?

It depends of MSX-DOS version, number of drives, number of harddisk interfaces etc. I would recommend to keep the size at about 50kb to be on safe side. If you need more space, load in between.

added on the 2008-10-03 00:37:17 by NYYRIKKI NYYRIKKI
MSX1 with 16k VRAM and 64k RAM and a diskdrive (Sony HitBit) here.
added on the 2008-10-03 12:14:03 by mermaid mermaid
@NYYRIKKI: Make that 0.07% as I also have a turbo R with Moonsound, GFX9000, CF/ATA-IDE, etc ;)
added on the 2008-10-03 18:14:04 by Haohmaru Haohmaru

Oh I already mentioned that. Hope the weekend starts soon :p
added on the 2008-10-03 18:14:37 by Haohmaru Haohmaru
I have a 1chip MSX now (MSX 2+). :-) I just watched Bandwagon's Riyadh in its full glory.
added on the 2008-10-03 19:55:56 by mstuomel mstuomel
The 1chipMSX is a MSX2+ now? Which PLD update are you using?
added on the 2008-10-03 20:05:52 by Haohmaru Haohmaru
Thank you hitchhik, that basic-autoload thing could come in handy.
But if NYYRIKKI is right, I have quite a bit to go until I hit the limit for the .com file.

added on the 2008-10-04 00:54:40 by Sdw Sdw
bandwagon made some fckn cool things on msx which made me think what is this? you try beat those then!
added on the 2008-10-04 04:00:11 by loaderror loaderror
microsoft microsoft , always microsoft fans ?
added on the 2008-10-04 10:35:32 by 24 24
loaderror: I don't think I can compete with Bandwagon, I am more on the 'yes! I managed to set the graphics mode correctly using the VDP'-level now! :P

added on the 2008-10-04 10:58:18 by Sdw Sdw
Here's a page where I collected some demo-related tools for MSX. Personally I'm all happy with MSX1 64k/16k/PSG, since it's more limited than MSX2. And anyways MSX2 gives you not much more than better colors and copper-style tricks. The hires modes aren't really easy for the slow Z80 and the awful port-based VRAM writes.

In my collection there are a couple of SVI-728s and a HitBit disc drive (and if someone has extra drives for MSX1 let me know), one SVI-738 and a Philips 8245 MSX2 with 128k/128k. It's useful to have a 738 or MSX2 for testing to ensure the MSX1 stuff works on the new VDP too -- emulators are too forgiving on the timings. Next I'll have to check out which MSX2 prods work on the Philips.
added on the 2008-10-04 11:10:22 by Marq Marq


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