Another federversal generation poll. Please boost.

I am from the /x/ generation:

@mawr @drwho lol. Ikr? I'm not entirely sure what the first command does, but given I grew up with TRS-80 CoCo's Extended BASIC, I can at least guess the gist of it.

@KitsuneAlicia @mawr @drwho if I recall, that's a command for a c64? It tells the interpreter to load whatever program comes up first while looking at a specific part of the tape (that's the 8,1 part I think)

@Nine @mawr @drwho Right. I had a feeling that was the case. My TRS-80 had a tape drive, but I generally preferred using the floppy drives, so I only ever learned the basics for tape loading.

@drwho @KitsuneAlicia @mawr \o/ I got it right! Even though I never ever used a c64 and instead had a spectrum!

@drwho @KitsuneAlicia @mawr less colours then the c64, allegedly they had better games but I dunno. Tbh none of the games back then were nearly as good as everyone likes to think, but there were some serious gems. The C64 is basically superior in pretty much every way, from what I've seen, but I still have a soft spot for the speccy, its AY chip in the 128k models, and some of the design tricks both hardware and software.

@Nine @KitsuneAlicia @mawr I recall a couple of games for the C64 (Jet Set Willy II, Saboteur) were ported from the Spectrum. Did they play largely the same as they did there?

@drwho @KitsuneAlicia @mawr (the joysticks for the speccy though could fuck right off. They were awful, pricy, fragile pieces of crap, very uncomfortable, and most kempston interface microswitch joysticks were "styled" after arcade sticks... But in the worst, most uncomfortable, most unresponsive ways.)

@Nine @KitsuneAlicia @mawr The speccy didn't have the same joystick ports as the C64?

@drwho @KitsuneAlicia @mawr I think it did have the same 9 pin sockets but the default "Interface 2" joysticks were garbage and most replacement ones weren't much better either. Cheetah made some okay ones but even they had flimsy shafts at the base, and given the propensity for joystick waggling games, well...

@KitsuneAlicia @mawr "Load the first file in the block allocation map from device #8 (the first floppy drive by default), look at the first two bytes of the executable, and pull it into memory starting at that memory address."

I played around with TRS-80's only a little bit in school. The elementary school I went to had VIC-20's and C-64's.

@drwho my parents got me a stuffed animal "Y2K bug" when I was three as a joke and I would run around holding it up and telling people my parents just met "Look, it's Y2K bug!". I didn't learn that the Y2K bug wasn't originally my stuffed animal until I was 11.

I'm more an #MSX rather than #C64 user, so LOAD "*",8,1 would be BLOAD "CAS:<filename>",R for me. ;)

@FiXato I've heard of MSX's but only seen what look like renders of them. Never read about them in any books growing up.

What were they like?

@drwho not that different from the #C64 I guess, though what was the biggest difference I guess, is that #MSX is a standard, rather than a specific brand/model.
Where a #Commodore64 was always a #Commodore, an MSX model could be made by #Philips, #Sony, #Sanyo, #Panasonic, #Canon, #Mitsubishi, etc.
Each of them having the same minimum specs, but differing in style, build quality, peripherals, more RAM, extra soundchips, etc, but all with the promise of being able to run the same software.

of course, since for instance Western models tended to have more RAM than the Japanese, you still ended up with software written for Western models, and thus failing to load on those with insufficient memory, but with RAM extension cartridges that doesn't necessarily have to be an issue.
Same with models that have different memory bank layouts, and thus badly written software that needed a POKE to run. But imho those were outliers.

personally I grew up with an #MSX2 though, which most notably had a better graphics chip and IIRC a bit better #PSG sound-chip than the #MSX1. We had a #Philips #NMS8250 to be precise, which had 128kB RAM and 128kB Video RAM, and ran most of the software available. While I wouldn't mind adding an MSX2+ or even MSX #turboR to my collection, the software that requires the improved specs, is limited.

I used it for all sorts of things though, not just games (though that was my major usage).

@drwho many of my elementary school reports and essays were written on it using the text editor #HomeOffice2, and covers and greetings cards were laid out in the #DesktopPublishing (though it perhaps was more of a #printshop tool) programme #DynamicPublisher, and printed of a dot matrix printer (first a thermal printer, later we upgraded to an ink ribbon one).
I also loved drawing in #DesignerPlus, even though results weren't that great. ;)

it's a machine I have fond memories of though.
Playing games helped me learn English at an early age, and it definitely is part of why I like RPGs a lot (even though it's been a while since I really sat down to play one...)
While I didn't really do coding on the machine, I did start learning PHP, HTML and CSS because of it, as I wanted to make my own website and later on forum dedicated to MSX, which for a while was actually quite popular.

Anyway, that's prob enough rambling. ;)

oh, and if you want to have a look at what some of the #MSX software looked like, feel free to browse my #YouTube channel:

This playlist should contain solely #MSX1 #homebrew games:

Whereas contains all sorts of MSX and MSX2 software, some of which recorded by other YouTubers.

I could be mistaken, but wasn't one of the MSX standards the basis for the Sega Master System? The specs seem too close to not be a coincidence.

@vertigo I'm not sure if it's actually based on it, or if they were just a logical hardware choice at the time.
I mean, #Sega's #SG1000 the #SegaMasterSystem is based on, was released in Japan in July of 1983, whereas the #MSX was announced by #ASCIICorporation and #Microsoft in June of that same year, so that would not leave much development time…
#Spectravideo's #SV328 is said ( to be what the prototype MSX was based on though. The thing with the MSX standard 1/?

@vertigo @drwho
is that it was designed to work with off-the-shelf parts, probably so it would be easier for multiple manufacturers to develop their systems according to it, and then get licensed by #ASCII / #Nishi's #MSXLicensingCorporation. Of course, this didn't stop #SpectraVideo from using the #MSX in their marketing promotions for the #SV328, even though it wasn't an MSX, nor was it actually compatible (most notably lacking the BIOS); people had to convert titles to run on it. 2/?

@vertigo @drwho
It's also not the only system with similar hardware. #Colecovision for instance (for which there is an emulator on the #MSX2) and the #Memotech MTX, shared similarities, but weren't compatible.
Since #ZXSpectrum shared the same CPU and its graphics were similar to one of the MSX's screen modes, its games were also often (lazily) ported, leading some to believe the MSX suffered from the same colour/attribute clashing... 3/3

@vertigo @drwho oh, worth noting is that #MSX games have been hacked to run on the #SegaMasterSystem:

There's also a converter/adapter that allows you to run MSX cartridges on the #Sega #GameGear:

There's also #Supersoniqs' #Franky and #PlaySoniq carts, which provide the MSX with the VDP and sound-chips of the #SMS2 (and in the case of the latter, also #SID) to convert & play those #MasterSystem games on your MSX:

@FiXato @drwho Thanks for this; I didn't realize I was seeing convergent evolution, especially with the two platforms being unveiled in the same year only a few months apart.

@vertigo well, granted, the actual Master System wasn't released till 1985 I think, so it might still be influenced by the MSX, though it's more likely it's just iterations on their previous systems such as the SG-1000.

The Memotech MTX512 is a criminally underrated system. So powerful - the BBC B+ of Z80 machines! Shame hardly anyone bought them...
@vertigo @drwho

@drwho @FiXato

The MSX is a platform that I wish I got to experience.

Such cool design.

@thegibson it's a shame it only got popular in certain regions, such as the #Netherlands, #Spain, #Japan, #SaudiArabia and #Brazil. I think only #Yamaha introduced an #MSX model into the #USA, and that one was mostly aimed at music production, iirc.

@FiXato What was it marketed as? A personal productivity machine? A gaming machine?

@drwho I was born in the same year as the standard itself, so I mostly have to rely on my childhood memories and advertising I saw later, but I think it was a bit of everything.
Some people, #Dutch techguru #ChrietTitulaer for instance, saw it as the machine of the future, with visions of home automation even.
With the #Dutch system #Girotel by the #Postbank, it was even used for #teleBanking / #onlineBanking:
There were also programmes for doing your taxes, offline. 1/2

There were also home office applications such as #Philips #HomeOffice2 for managing your contacts (which theoretically could be dialed for you by modem), which can also be tied into personalised mailings, calendar, spreadsheets, graphs, word processor, etc.
In my elementary school we also had several, along with some #edutainment software such as a helicopter game to learn and practise where certain places/countries were.
So, all in all quite varied. 2/2

@FiXato Fascinating!

What was the OS like? DOS like? Commodore like?

@drwho in that aspect the #MSX was similar to the #Commodore I guess, as by default it ran #Microsoft's #MSXBASIC which was used to load programmes from disk and data cassette, or to programme your own in it.
However, software could also be loaded from cartridge, and other operating systems could also be loaded from disk, with MS's #MSXDOS ( and (not to be confused with MS-DOS) probably the most popular alternative. As well as CP/M Plus.

there were also some more #Windows like things, such as Ease, but those were more like frontends to #MSXDOS and application launchers / home office suites.

Examples of more modern #homebrew OSes for the #MSX include #SymbOS (which started on #Amstrad #CPC afaik) and IIRC programmes written for that can be run on any #Z80 system that runs SymbOS.
Another I believe would be @EtchedPixels's #Fuzix.

@FiXato @EtchedPixels SymbOS looks really cool. A pre-emptively multitasking microkernel designed for the Z80.

@FiXato @drwho Fuzix on MSX needs a lot of love and reworking.
SymbOS is neat - kind of an 8bit AmigaOS in feel

we had an MSX one, cannot remember which brand, though

@drwho indeed so (and the Acorn Archimedes, I think an RPi with RISCOS would also work with it). There were other options as to what could be done with the !BOOT file (such as loading it into memory, running it as machine code or *EXEC which would sent it into the keyboard buffer as if the commands were typed (like a very early form of shell script)

@randynose Commodore.. Atari.. PCjr was still around... IBM PC and PC XT. Timesharing systems were still the new hotness as services, as I recall.

@randynose I was thinking more of the companies that'd basically sell accounts and rent processor time on old-school mainframes to run batch jobs. Sort of like how Project Gutenberg was said to have begun.

@randynose I was just a kid back then - just had a C64 but I did a fair amount of reading at the library.

@drwho Load,8,1 and nintendo are far apart with some overlap, but win95 and Y2K were very close together with lots of overlap.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.