MSX Democomp?

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Par Manuel

Ascended (18747)

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29-07-2016, 23:36

Are there Russian MSX clones? I only know about official Russian MSX machines.

Par Overflow

Resident (57)

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30-07-2016, 09:20

Overflow wrote:

Beware of MSX-clone compatibility in Russia or so.

Manuel wrote:

Are there Russian MSX clones? I only know about official Russian MSX machines.

No doubt Manuel is right and I am wrong. I believe I thought about zx and their russian zx-clones. Remember I spent only 6-7 months on your platform(s) to learn and code a dentro.

I checked Pouêt: IO "(...) don't work on Russian MSX 2". No word about a clone, my mistake.

Par Marq

Champion (387)

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30-07-2016, 10:10

Probably it refers to Yamaha YIS-503 II or III, which were somewhat popular school computers in Russia. They come with a weirdo network expansion which messes up interrupt handling big time. If you remove the cartridge the machine is much more compatible.

Par maxis

Champion (512)

Portrait de maxis

30-07-2016, 11:56

Manuel wrote:

Are there Russian MSX clones? I only know about official Russian MSX machines.

Sorry for off topic...
Yes, there are. I saw at least a few ones functioning very well and I know personally the creator of a very successful product line (there were MSX-1/MSX-2 computers with excellent compatibility) .
In a few words, like early ZX Spectrum, home brewed MSX was distributed as the PCB kit through the endless network of radio/computer amateurs in USSR. I saw MSX and MSX2 models. Both were professionally designed and traced/routed by B.V. (magik on the forum zx-pk.ru).

I can kindly ask him to take some photos of the "guts" of his machine. Nevertheless the computers were built in the UKNC computer case

In a summary, machines were based on V9938 and S3527 chip. I saw also a different version of MSX-1 PCB w/o S3527 chip designed in Novosibirsk, but it had lots of chips. Also the USSR electronic industry in 1986 were not making 4464, instead there were "local" 4116, 4164 and 41256 which were very rare. All the other chips were USSR made. Nevertheless among HW amateurs in Moscow MSX somehow wasn't very popular topic before 1992-93...

You can read Egor's (msxegor) message too about -bv- , via Google translate
HERE

Par mtn

Champion (265)

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30-07-2016, 13:46

This was very interesting and new to me.

Photos would be really nice. Smile

Par tfh

Prophet (3160)

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02-08-2016, 17:31

wolf_ wrote:

My theory is that the once active Dutch MSX demoscene was verrrrrrrrrrrry oldskool, very much like:

"Hoooo boy, look, a scrolltext and a logo, and the logo even waves 16 pixels horizontally, hoooo boy! And now we can even read one hour of bullshit, and hooo boy, I'm in the greetings! No wait, these are the anti-greetings... ahwell, gonna read it all, hooo boy! Oh look, bouncing sprites... and there... a color cycling fractal!"

And I just estimate that at some point people were out of ideas on the scroll+logo concept. True, there have been a few exceptions (Unknown Reality most notably, although still somewhat post-oldskool), but the biggest stylistic changes are indeed 'foreign', and very much like demos on other systems. Baltak (Traktor), for instance, is everything the MSX 90's didn't have. Another theory would be that somehow most coders shared roughly the same age, and at some point they all went to study and moved to PC's.

I once had some friends over at my places, and they're real C64 nuts. And I showed 'm some oldskool stuff, and they were like: "Wait, what, is this that computer that has more colour choices, a separate video chip with its own memory, and a CPU that's three times faster than our 0.8 MHz CPU?"

One thing that is remarkable for me is that the oldskool MSX demos were never really 'timed' demos with a sense of storyline. As a consequence music was merely a byproduct without real synchronisation. Such demos could run forever unless you hit Escape at some point. On other systems, a demo of 5 minutes has a tune of 5 minutes. Even the classic Source of Power (ANMA), though having multiple parts and multiple stylistic sections in the music as well, wasn't really synchronised. Not at least because you could simply skip to the next part.

In a way, with all these variations of all the countless scroll 'n logo demos, you could say that we have advanced simple effects. While 'newskool' would be more like simple 'lo-fi' versions of advanced effects. Meaning that a 3d tunnel, a plasma etc. could look simple/blocky. Still the idea would be more challenging than a scroll routine and some screen splits and tons of boring texts.

That, in a nutshell is the difference in demos among systems.

And in the 90's even I liked it, that's the weird bit! It's just that I never saw anything other than my MSX, so my reference pool wasn't that big. Smile

Though I'd say that with FDD #2, we almost synced the complete demo with the music and stayed far away from the picture & scroll routine. Still nog CPU/VDP magic as you see these days, but we did focus on synchronisation between music & what was happening on the screen.

Par tvalenca

Paladin (747)

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02-08-2016, 18:15

Marq wrote:

Probably it refers to Yamaha YIS-503 II or III, which were somewhat popular school computers in Russia. They come with a weirdo network expansion which messes up interrupt handling big time. If you remove the cartridge the machine is much more compatible.

Which is nothing but a MIDI interface with a different BIOS... So, we're talking about an interrupting timer.

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9950)

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02-08-2016, 19:58

tfh wrote:

Though I'd say that with FDD #2, we almost synced the complete demo with the music and stayed far away from the picture & scroll routine.

That is right. But as a rarity among MSX demos, FDD2 plays as a story would, so it's logical that the music follows. Was there anything 'tricky' in FDD2 anyway? You know, daring code concepts 'n such?

So, I was more referring to the traditional idea of a demo; a showcase of new effects, with lots of artistic merit in both the graphics and music. A classic example on PC would be Second Reality; a showcase of effects, and you hear what you see and you see what you hear.

You know what stings and hurts like a bee? This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-Crwct7U0c
MSX has nothing near this, yet it's supposed to be the faster computer. Any coder interested in giving it a shot? Use a G9k for all I care! Also, use memory, that's cheating I'd allow. A C64 could play music from disk while loading, so for sure they didn't load it all into 64 KB.

I mean, can someone give this a shot, before we all die? :nishi:

Par tfh

Prophet (3160)

Portrait de tfh

02-08-2016, 20:32

wolf_ wrote:
tfh wrote:

Though I'd say that with FDD #2, we almost synced the complete demo with the music and stayed far away from the picture & scroll routine.

That is right. But as a rarity among MSX demos, FDD2 plays as a story would, so it's logical that the music follows. Was there anything 'tricky' in FDD2 anyway? You know, daring code concepts 'n such?

Well, yes and no. We made use of screensplits, and the part where we animated Frenzies head & skull was close to the edge of what the MSX could do, CPU & bandwith wise. But... we didn't do that to show of, so we didn't make a big deal of it.
And now, we're 25 years down the road and people have found ways to do way more with the same CPU cycles...

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