MSX's historical position

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By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8255)

[D-Tail]'s picture

14-04-2005, 13:31

Mmh, I haven't seen real answers to my question so far. What kind of role played MSX in ICT-history? - I'm wondering about this, since almost no-one remembers it. You know, it was industrialised here in NL as well, by Philips even! What the whole point is, MSX was claimed to be 'a standard': One could run Sony software on a Philips machine (please don't post about poke-1's here Wink), but the premise is right there.
Since something special was claimed to the system, MSX must have had some historical influence. Aside from that, I wonder why almost no-one recalls it. Study books always speak about 'Intel' and 'AMD' for all that matter, because they're quite popular today. And when they talk history, it's Intel's history (8088 CPU, etc). Very nearly always, it's about the IBM, not the technology that co-existed at the time and which was more popular: Motorola 6502, 650x0 (Amiga, for example), or MSX. Zilog's Z80 CPU is often mentioned as an Intel 8080 descendant, but MSX is never referred to as a computer standard. What's the reason of this?

By Jazzy

Champion (471)

Jazzy's picture

14-04-2005, 14:00

Let's make my opinion a bit more clear.

MSX was not the huge commercial succes, it was even limited to some local markets (Japan, The Netherlands, some countries in South America, etc.). This is an important factor why I think the role that MSX played was limited.

Secondly, there were other developments in the marked wich happened on a much larger scale. This is the reason that I named some of those events in my earlier post. It was already a couple of years ago that IBM's PC was launched and in 1984 was the first 'PC-clone' a huge succes. And we all know where that was going.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9918)

wolf_'s picture

14-04-2005, 14:01

jazzy: yeah nice 'n stuff .. however, it didn't prevent the amiga to become a popular home-computer after '85.., it also didn't prevent the c64 to become more known than the msx. So that list is nice, but it doesn't tell anything at all. Esp. when considering that PC's and Mac's were seriously expensive back then, not comparible to cheap home/game-computers.

d-tail: msx played no role in general. It did play a role a bit in NL because of Philips/Sony, and it played a role in Japan ofcourse, but not with numbers that are an important factor in ICT history. And I think it's the choice of hardware-components that's to blame.

By Jazzy

Champion (471)

Jazzy's picture

14-04-2005, 14:25

jazzy: yeah nice 'n stuff .. however, it didn't prevent the amiga to become a popular home-computer after '85.., it also didn't prevent the c64 to become more known than the msx.And that is what I said in my first point: MSX was not the commercial succes what Commodore, Tandy TRS-80, Sinclairs and others were. So to make influence in a rural computerperiod you had to be big and MSX wasn't.

With the list of imortant events I just want to show that much larger things were happening in those days. Things we sometimes tend to forget because we like to think that MSX was the most important thing. SmileEsp. when considering that PC's and Mac's were seriously expensive back then, not comparible to cheap home/game-computers.MSX was not that cheap either in those early days. In 1985 my father bought an Goldstar FC-200, High Fidelity 14" color monitor, Sanyo datarecorder and two Arcade joysticks for about 5000 Dutch guilders.

By Samor

Prophet (2121)

Samor's picture

14-04-2005, 17:41

I think that was mainly because of the monitor though...
IIRC in 1986 ot 1987 the philips nms8250 was roughly 1600 guilders....

By Sonic_aka_T

Enlighted (4130)

Sonic_aka_T's picture

14-04-2005, 18:40

Yeah, I remember my parents paid a boat-load too... The 'state-of-the-art' NMS8245 was so darn expensive they didn't want to shell out the cash for a color monitor, so I was stuck with one of those Philips green-monochrome thingies... ^_^

By Samor

Prophet (2121)

Samor's picture

14-04-2005, 19:12

I was lucky. My dad got us a proper philips monitor from his work. He said it was green...and we tought so until we hit that particular button on the front panel; that was a pleasant surprise ^_^

By Manuel

Ascended (18387)

Manuel's picture

14-04-2005, 20:04

Wasn't Unix the very first OS for 8080/8088/8086?

Are you mad!?? Wink
What are you thinking here?

Actually, what do you mean?
A: there was no other OS for 8080/8088/8086 than UNIX when those chips came out.
B: UNIX was originally written for 8080/8088/8086.

I guess you mean A. But I'm quite sure that UNIX vendors at that time were not interested at all in 8080 and stuff. No, UNIX was never ported to these architectures at all, even! Unless you count Minix, but that's an educational OS. Actually, BSDI is the first UNIX for the Intel architecture and dates from 1991.
UNIX is an OS for servers and mainframes, originally written for the DEC PDP-11/20 in 1970. See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNIX

CP/M is the main operating system for the 8080 machines, same as for its follower the Z80 :)
For the 8088 and 8086 mostly CP/M and several DOS clones were used.

By gargamel

Expert (101)

gargamel's picture

14-04-2005, 21:46

I was just remembering using SCO's XENIX on an IBM PS/2.

"Microsoft purchased a license for UNIX 7th Edition from AT&T in 1979"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenix

But I agree with the fact that the PC was dominated by MS/PC-DOS, although some were running for example CP/M-86. DRI had their success with CP/M-80 running on 8080/Z80.

By Ivan

Ascended (9302)

Ivan's picture

15-04-2005, 00:02

Facts of MSX:

-One of the first homecomputer systems that used 3,5 drives.
-Backward compatibility.
-Cartridge based; like NES or SMS (and it is a computer, of course).
-Huge amount of devices due to its exchangeability.

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