Open MSX configuration - Catapult

By Ramon Zarat

Supporter (1)

Ramon Zarat's picture

04-07-2016, 04:24

Hi.

OpenMSX project seems awesome. And by "seems", I mean I read about its potential, read the user manual, read the documentation and then hit a wall trying to configure it. I'm here to validate if it's OpenMSX "fault", or just me that is too stupid to understand. I'm 45, grew up with a VIC-20, a C64, an Amiga 500, then A1200 to finally jump to PC. I have been using emulators since 1997 and have been collecting them all since. It's a very rare instance for me to be mystified by an emulator, to the point I feel compelled to hit the forum to ask questions.

So, here we go:

Is it possible, after what I've read, that natively, OpenMSX only have a crude command line interface "console" to interact with? That if you want a proper GUI interface to configures all its intricacies, or even just easily load a floppy, you must use Catapult as some sort of frontend? And that Catapult is not provided pre-compiled, only the source is available?

If the answers are yes, yes and yes, may I ask why OpenMSX is, to my knowledge, one of the only emulator in the known universe to do that? What possible advantages are there to put more complicated steps between the product and its end users? What would OpenMSX lose by doing what 99.9% of all other emulators does, which is to provide and integrated GUI? Is there some voodoo black magic involved that prevent the developers from doing this? It's even mentioned in Catapult manual that Catapult is "optional"! How a GUI can possibly be optional in 2016??? The number of console commands and settings is absolutely mind boggling and a real pain to use! Finally, who does 99.9% of the hard work coding a GUI and then leave it uncompiled, when we know that vast majority of end users are unable to compile stuff?

The last time I was confronted to something similar was an obscure half DOS half Windows ZX spectrum emulator from 1999... So I'm sure there must be a very good reason to do this that way. It's just that this reason completely eludes me. Please, tell me I'm completely wrong, that there is a GUI, no compilation required, and therefor, I'm stupid. I'd rather have that as an answer than to be forced to come to the conclusion that if it's not me, then it's OpenMSX that have no clue of the word "usability"...

This is Google definition is the word "usability:

Usability is the ease of use and learnability of a human-made object. In software engineering, usability is the degree to which a software can be used by specified consumers to achieve quantified objectives with ****effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction**** in a quantified context of use.

If I'm right (and again I sincerely hope I'm not), it is my opinion that OpenMSX is so unusable in its present form as to be completely useless and leave no choice but to use BlueMSX for the rest of my life. This is so unfortunate, considering how awesome OpenMSX "seemed" to be on paper.

Regards,
Ramon

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By eisbaer23

Supporter (11)

eisbaer23's picture

04-07-2016, 08:02

You should find a compiled Catapult inside the archive.
try opening the Catapult\bin directory once unzipped or directly from your archive manager.
take off your clothes and Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

By rogermm

Master (130)

rogermm's picture

04-07-2016, 16:01

In my(developer) opinion the openmsx beaty is on internal design(source code/architecture). The C++ source code is clean and is easy to branch(There are several abstractions, use last C++ standards, hosted on github, easy to compile...) it. If you want improve your C++ software developments skills just read the openmsx souce code! Look my ARM simulator project integrated with openmsx: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEIdZhM_kcA

The TCL script engine on openmsx is very powerfull and I don't know other emulator even on other platform that do this. In my opinion Openmsx is more like a advanced UNIX OS design than a Windows OS design. I love UNIX! I hate Windows! And of course most Windows users hate UNIX :)

By Manuel

Ascended (15979)

Manuel's picture

04-07-2016, 22:51

Ramon, on which OS are you trying to use openMSX?
Also, have you tried the built in OSD menu?