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Let's Get Japanes-y MSX and X6800

facattack

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I just now noticed that "later apple'" section mentiions 68000. There was a computer in Japan called the X68000. I cn only guess that the macnines have similar processors.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X68000_EXPERT#List_of_X68000_series

sharp_x68000_1.jpg


This black model looks like the Xbox One???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_68000


Sega Genesis/Mega Drive uses the 68000 processor as its CPU
Neo Geo
Some Amiga systems use the 68000 processor as their CPU.[14]
CDTV the world's first compact disc based multimedia platform uses the 68000 processor as its CPU.[15]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_68000#Notable_systems


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-kI0urN9tI 5 mins in just about, Clive Sinclair says something about the MSX being some sort of failure. So, no MSX love in UK?
 
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barythrin

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I'm not exactly sure about the history of the MSX but would love to know more about it also. I know (or think) it was an interesting move by Microsoft to provide a universal hardware (similar to IBM clones) so that the software (their software) could run on any of the machines, so they're compatible instead of a bunch of proprietary vendor solutions with custom code bases. Personally it sounded like a good idea except they usually look like a gaming/Sinclair type machine and not very business like.

Metal Gear came out originally for the MSX. Seems to demand a collector price (common knowledge apparently). I didn't think the market did well in the US but not sure why. Seemed like Asia adopted it but again that's speculative.
 

Jack.

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Actually Sharp X68k has nothing at all to do with MSX. It was just meant to be an high-end workstation (like NeXTStation, or the PowerStack) based around a 68k [Hitachi HD68HC000, M68k, M68030]

MSX is sure an interesting platform. It was highly successful in USA, Japan, Russia, Europe (especially Spain and Portugal) and spanishlike-speaking countries, like Brazil. Also Middle East is reported to be a country of MSX-users. Actually Arabian MSX seem to be a collectible item...
I have two of them and they are very cool.
They are powerful and rugged all-rounders, especially used for gaming and business applications (!).
There were four versions:
MSX
MSX2
MSX2+
MSX Turbo-R

This site is one one of the biggest resources for MSX aficionados.
http://www.msx.org/

Yes, Metal Gear wasn't meant for NES originally, but MSX. MG1 was released in 1987 for MSX2 and later came MG2, in 1990. They both were included in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence as a bonus content, and they are still playable in the PS3 HD Collection. AFAIK original cartridges are reported to sell for between 150$ and 500$, at least by Assemblergames' members.

The asian (mostly Japan) success of MSX was due to it's roots. It's a joint venture between Microsoft Japan and ASCII Corporation, wich aimed to standardize an "open" computer architecture, meant to be developed without any proprietary chip and using a standard OS (MSX-BASIC first, and MSX-DOS later) (i have MSX-DOS source sitting onto my desktop if someone wants it). It was indeed a smart marketing move, and making MSX-DOS almost fully compatible with CP/M (there are even CP/M ports for MSX) made it an inexpensive box for office use.
 

barythrin

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Well that pic above is the x68000 which I think is different (didn't seem to run the MSX/Microsoft OS). Here are a few pics of different MSX machines if wikipedia doesn't mind the linking:
YAMAYAMA.JPG
Yamaha MSX machine

Perhaps I can only link one IMG tag per post?
 

KC9UDX

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How many computers looked like the Commodore 64 in that era? Pictured, the MSX is a small box with a keyboard attached. WOW.

You really can't credit the Commodore 64 for that. It was just a new machine in a VIC-20 case.

The TI-99/4 and the Atari 400 predate the VIC-20, and probably inspired the design. There were other such machines at the time too. Arguably, even the Apple ][ is similar.

It wasn't really until the IBM-PC (actually late XT and AT) became popular that it was considered 'normal' to have a separate keyboard and CPU case. Even then, a lot of people, even into the early 2000s, incorrectly referred to the keyboard as the 'computer' and the CPU-case as the 'hard drive'.
 

Eudimorphodon

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Arguably, even the Apple ][ is similar.

"Patient Zero" for looking like a Commodore 64 is probably 1977's TRS-80 Model I. The Mod I's keyboard/system unit is of *very* similar proportions to the VIC-20/C-64 "breadbox" case. (The TRS-80 may also be responsible for so many home computers using DIN connectors for expansion and power supply connectors. At least most later systems had the good sense to use *different* DIN connections for different functions, unlike the Model I which uses the same 5-pin DIN for video, cassette, and power, all in a row.)
 

jltursan

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If so, it was only in certain parts of the country. I sure never saw one, and never even heard of them until the late 1990s.

Nope, it wasn't successful at all. The only machine with some presence in the US market was the Yamaha CX5M and only because it was oriented to home music producers and it was cheap compared to other solutions.
Probably, apart from Japan, the biggest niche for MSX was Holland, due to the strong influence of Philips, one of the european pillars of MSX.

X68000 is another platform, you can probably compare it to the Amiga...
 

vwestlife

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You really can't credit the Commodore 64 for that. It was just a new machine in a VIC-20 case.

The TI-99/4 and the Atari 400 predate the VIC-20, and probably inspired the design. There were other such machines at the time too. Arguably, even the Apple ][ is similar.

It wasn't really until the IBM-PC (actually late XT and AT) became popular that it was considered 'normal' to have a separate keyboard and CPU case. Even then, a lot of people, even into the early 2000s, incorrectly referred to the keyboard as the 'computer' and the CPU-case as the 'hard drive'.

The Atari 800 was intentionally styled to look like an electric typewriter. That was one factor in making early home computers more approachable and accepted by consumers: make them look like a familar home appliance, not like an unfamiliar machine.

And as for MSX, it did get some publicity in the U.S. computer press, and Commodore's Jack Tramiel feared that the Japanese would take over the U.S. home computer market the same way they took over the rest of the consumer electronics industry, but ultimately that never came true. Aside from one Spectravideo model that was advertised as "MSX compatible" (but actually wasn't fully compatible) and a Yamaha "Music Computer" that was pitched to musicians, MSX basically was a total no-show in the U.S. home computer market.

And yes, I have heard people (even today) incorrectly refer to the entire system unit of a computer as the "hard drive". Kinda like how some people called video game cartridges "tapes" because they looked vaguely similar to 8-track tapes.
 

barythrin

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And yes, I have heard people (even today) incorrectly refer to the entire system unit of a computer as the "hard drive". Kinda like how some people called video game cartridges "tapes" because they looked vaguely similar to 8-track tapes.

They quickly graduate though from calling it a hard drive to a CPU. That's interesting, never though of calling an 8-track a tape although I guess inside it is and not a cartridge.
 

KC9UDX

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IIRC, we didn't stop calling them tapes until cassettes became popular. But then, they were also called cartridges, Stereo 8s, 8-track, etc.

Didn't the K-Tel commercials always say "8-Track Tape"? I can't remember.
 
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