FLAX: New Flash cartridge

by [D-Tail] on 30-06-2008, 23:06
Topic: Hardware
Languages:

On the MadriSX 25th anniversary event, held last Saturday June 28th, Matra showcased FLAX. FLAX is a new type of Flash cartridge for your MSX, a device to which you can upload a (game) ROM image. It has the following features:

  • 1024kB Flash ROM
  • 8kB ASCII mapper
  • Enable/disable button

All this, plus case and packaging will cost you only € 25,-. It will be on sale very soon through Matra and Bitwise.

Relevant link: Matra

Comments (18)

By Manuel

Ascended (15686)

Manuel's picture

30-06-2008, 23:35

Yikes, that's quite a lot cheaper than the MegaFlashROMSCC. How can it be? Is the SCC that expensive?

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

01-07-2008, 00:59

I really hope its not another AMD based flash cart. With an intel strata based flash cart I can make a nice loader for PC that uses the Game Reader, but a bug (?) in the Game Reader makes random access writes too slow to be practical (takes 1 hour to flash a MegaFlashRomSCC cart ! ). So please, please, not another AMD flash based cart Tongue

By SLotman

Paragon (1214)

SLotman's picture

01-07-2008, 03:11

AMD or Intel, I don't care... another nice surprise from Matra, after the "shockwares" Smile

Go, Matra, go!!! Smile

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

01-07-2008, 06:56

I didn't mean to sound negative, but the thing is that with the right technology, a flash cart can go from good to great. What I don't like with the flash carts I have is that they need to be flashed from the MSX which pretty much means transferring files from the PC to the MSX using floppy which means I need to have a floppy on my PC which I don't have anymore Sad So for cross development AMD flash based carts aren't that great.

But sure, its nice to see a a new cheap flash cart although I prefer to pay for the right stuff if needed.

By cesco

Champion (453)

cesco's picture

01-07-2008, 08:40

I'd love to see a cartridge with a SD card slot-in... you could stuff a SD card from your own computer, and then insert it into the cartridge. A small firmware in the cartridge could show up a game selector, that could let you choose which game you want to play...

That would be totally awesome LOL!

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

pitpan's picture

01-07-2008, 08:53

I guess that Padial's SD/MMC adapter already has this feature. Wink

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

pitpan's picture

01-07-2008, 09:07

@dvik:

Believe it or not, I upload the games to the MegaFlashSCC using a plain MSX1 and the cassette interface. It doesn't take that long. For example, NEMESIS takes about 1 minute Wink

By Huey

Prophet (2644)

Huey's picture

01-07-2008, 09:54

@pitpan: I hope there is some phun in your remark. 1 minute wait time when crossdeveloping is killingTongue

Stupid question: So only 8kb mappers are supported?

By pitpan

Prophet (3131)

pitpan's picture

01-07-2008, 10:24

Well, 1 minute time is OK if you're developing such a game as NEMESIS, I guess Wink

By Tanni

Hero (556)

Tanni's picture

01-07-2008, 14:45

@ dvik

What I don't like with the flash carts I have is that they need to be flashed from the MSX which pretty much means transferring files from the PC to the MSX using floppy which means I need to have a floppy on my PC which I don't have anymore

Have your read my posting on blueMSX-website?

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

01-07-2008, 17:58

@pitpan: Flashing an AMD based cart with the game reader is really that slow. The problem seems to be a combination of the program sequence of AMD flashes (4 writes to different addresses per byte programmed), and that the game reader USB implementation has some issues with random access.

I have an ESE cartridge (battery backed ram I believe) that unfortunately broke. That one could be flashed in less than a second using the game reader, very convenient for cross development Smile

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

01-07-2008, 17:59

@tanni: I'm not sure what post you're referring to. Can you post a link?

By Latok

msx guru (3671)

Latok's picture

01-07-2008, 17:59

8kb ASCII Mapper. Does this mean not all ROM-files will work inside this flash cartridge?

By [D-Tail]

Ascended (8232)

[D-Tail]'s picture

01-07-2008, 22:42

8kb ASCII Mapper. Does this mean not all ROM-files will work inside this flash cartridge?I have been told that there are some programs that fix mapper problems, i.e. force the game in the 8kB ASCII format. As far as I know most ROMs work fine with the ASCII 8kB mapper.

By Manuel

Ascended (15686)

Manuel's picture

01-07-2008, 23:09

Tanni: sounds like an USB version of the openMSX cd, which is a live cd which boots with openMSX. You can even reburn it with a load of software added to it Smile

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

01-07-2008, 23:28

blueMSX supports both read only execution with separate location for save states and configs (in My Documents or something) and the 'portable' standard that basically is an USB version that doesn't pollute the host PC with any files.

I haven't run either of these in a while so I'm not sure what state the support is in, but at one time the emulator conformed to some type of standard for USB apps.

By hap

Paragon (2020)

hap's picture

04-07-2008, 21:03

dvik: get a nowind device Smile
- usbhost: PC -> MSX Nowind, instantly
- OPF: MSX Nowind -> MegaFlashROM SCC, matter of seconds with disk access delay basically gone