1. Not old. Vintage. :)

What's new Pussycat too?

Discussion in 'SIG: General Chat' started by M.D.Baker, May 4, 2020.

  1. by Andy Barr
    Andy Barr

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    Absolutely intriguing, Matt.

    I cannot wait to see this project come to fruition...I said fruition there, Paul, not come all over Matt's handkerchief etc... oh dear, I didn't realise it was that kind of forum...I'll get me coat/flasher's grubby rain mac...
     
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  2. by Vyper68
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    Latest computer to land here at Farrell HQ is this MSX machine a Toshiba HX-22 which is the later model after the HX-10. This one comes with a built-in RS232C interface, SCART RGB and a second cartridge slot.

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  3. by nysavant
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    Nice looking machine Richie. Is it working or needing some TLC? My mate has an MSX on a chip system in his shop just now but think that goes for a pretty penny!
     
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  4. by Vyper68
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    It was sold as having a black and white RF output but the SCART and composite are fine so I think the PAL encoder is okay after all - everything else works fine.
     
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  5. by Vyper68
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    It came from the Netherlands where the MSX was very popular.... but they must have imported it from the U.K. so it’s come back home.
     
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  6. by Andy Barr
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    Bootiful, Rich, really bootiful.

    Please let us see what it can do with a few pics of it in action and possibly a short film clip perhaps?

    It really does look to be in absolutely great nick and offering so many I/Os / expansion possibilities.

    Very well done in capturing this little beaut and bringing her back home.
     
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  7. by M.D.Baker
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    Lovely machine Rich, congrats!
     
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  8. by Vyper68
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    Thanks mate,
    The display processor is a Texas Instruments TMS9929A which is the PAL version of the TMS9918 which is in a few computers like the TI-99/4A, MTX512, Colecovision, Einstein. 16 Colours, 32 Single colour sprites ( max 5 on a row ) On a MSX the is 16KB dedicated RAM on top of the 64KB for the Z80 to access. It was a prescient decision in 1983 given today’s modern graphics cards with dedicated ram on the card for the GPU to access.
    The sound is from the 40 Pin version of the AY chip, the 8910. So if you have heard a Speccy 128 or Amstrad CPC you have an idea of the sound.
    I will try and knock up a video next week to show it running :)
     
  9. by Graham
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    I've always fancied an MTX computer, so i'll be intrested in how you find it works. Glad it's all working, as I don't think Toshiba were ever very good about releasing circuit diagrams, perhaps this has changed over the years ..
     
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  10. by Andy Barr
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    Retroshack have a little vid here for anyone else who maybe is a MSX noob like me... Today, at Retroshack we're looking at the MSX Standard and the Toshiba HX-10...

     
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  11. by Vyper68
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    There was a point in the early 90’s when I owned a MTX512. I think I bought it from an advertisement in MicroMart. Back then you couldn’t give them away and it wasn’t too expensive. So thinking back now it was an interesting machine, the case was extruded aluminium with end plates fixed by little Allen key bolts. If you removed the end plates the case hinged open to reveal the PCB. The keyboard was very good, like a black version of the old C64 breadbins keyboard.
    The main problem back then was a chronic lack of software. There was a few conversions of spectrum games like Manic Miner and Panic but not a massive amount. The display was pretty much identical to the MSX which given it’s using the same VDP is not surprising. I don’t think the MTX had dedicated VRAM for the video chip but it’s been so long since I owned one I cannot remember.
    So once my curiosity was satisfied it went into the cupboard and stayed there until I sold it a year or two later. It was a really nice machine but once Memotech went under it was doomed, like so many other computer companies.
     
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  12. by Vyper68
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    I am now bidding on a Panasonic FS-A1F MSX2 computer on Yahoo Japan so I’ll let you all know how that goes :facepalm:
    If that doesn’t work out then I’m looking at some PC Engine Core Grafx consoles :)
     
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  13. by Andy Barr
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    Onwards and upwards, Rich!

    Hey, a certain parcel has arrived (to go with a similar fab arrival from Graham which I've partly unboxed).

    Apols for the delay in feeding back but we have 2 tons of wooden decking here being assembled.

    I will update on the Oric arrivals any day now, chaps, and once more - massive thanks to Rich and Graham for all their time, effort and expertise they've put in to making these old retro relics good to go again.

    You fellas rock.

    Enjoy some fresh air n sunshine and good luck with your DIY projects, guys,
     
  14. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    PC Engine Cores Richie, had you down as more of a computer person, they are pure gamer machines..

    Not saying the MSX2 does not have games, it does in heaps but you seem to more of a util person ;)
     
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  15. by Graham
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    Wow, guess you have been saving up.. I've always fancied the Memotech MTX512, purely on looks, and the way it was built, so so much better than the plastic ccased omputers of the era. It's a shame there not MSX compatiable, I do wonder if it could ever we moddified with an alternative O.S a a little hardware address change, but appreciate that would just not be the best thing to do ... , the TMS99xx Video Chip I think all have to have video RAM seperated from system RAM, but I could be wrong as I've not looked it up.
    Edit Needed 16K VRAM which could be accessed by the CPU as additional scratch RAM
    I know there was a Memotech RS128 with 128K of RAM I guess Bank switched.

    Changing back to MSX
    I know that the MSX2 computers often had or perhaps had to have larger system and Video RAM some had 256K System and 128K Video RAM I'm guessing these are much more expensive, I'd guess the same now.
    Certainly the games that were available on this platform were some of the best coin op conversions, and I think that it was Coin op games that drove the specification of both the MSX & MSX2 specifications.
    I hope we get to see some more of it online..
    Edit this is interesting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSX#Evolution

    Turns out there was MSX MSX2 MSX2+ and MSX3 or MSXTurboR
    The later two only ever released in Japan.
     
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  16. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    The Japanese do love a computer and amazing what they got out of them, the arcade ports on the 68000 series are stunning (apart from the horrible FM sound).
     
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  17. by Vyper68
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    I love, love, LOVE the PC Engine. I used to have a Core Grafx II back in the grey import era and quite a few HuCards to go with it. I always wanted a Core2Duo CD-ROM as well or SNK NeoGeo CD but never managed to get one.
    This bid with the Yahoo Japan is a test really to see how much things go for and trying to work out the fees and conversion rates. The whole £->$->¥ thing is fiddly.
     
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  18. by Vyper68
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    Thanks to G-man for the 1MB CPC RAM expansion PCB and CLPD I now have a working RAM upgrade for both my 464 and 6128. Just need to build the ROM expansion now :)
     
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  19. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    My brother has / had a PC Engine, used to borrow it just to play Gunhead....Some solid shooters on it..
     
  20. by Paul "Mclaneinc" Irvine
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    So good I bought a key for Magic Engine all those years ago
     
  21. by M.D.Baker
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    A couple of years ago I was researching all the vintage 8-bit computers to see what other 8-bits compared well to the Atari, because any I consider "less" than the Atari I would be disappointed in and not get used and end up being a collector piece collecting dust. After all my research, I decided on the computers that are "on par" with my Atari over-all,and I would use. These include: MSX, Amstradt CPC, BBC micro, Commodore 64, Coco 3 (NOT 1 or 2) and Coleco Adam. Any other 8-bits would have to have a strong nostalgia factor for me to be interested, which leaves only the ZX81, since it and the Atari were the only 8-bits I ever owned back in the day. And even the ZX81 would merely be a collector piece as it's far to primitive, even with nostalgia, to tear me away from my Atari's.

    I apologize to you Oric and Spectrum fans, I went back and forth on my decision not to bother, but I think even you know these machines are more primitive, as popular as they may have been, to those listed above.There were other "on par" 8-bit micros, but either a lack of software and support, or only for foreign markets in foreign languages and just not worth the trouble to consider.

    I don't know if I'll ever own all I would like too, for lack of money, space and time. A C64 is at the top, the rest are undecided, but I have an very strange desire for an Adam just because I'm so intrigued with it's Turbo-tape drive system in a "PC" style case with detached keyboard, for some reason. It really doesn't even have much software for it beyond Colecovision cartridges anyway. and they certainly don't use the Adam's full abilities.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
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  22. by M.D.Baker
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    Apple II and TI-99/4A didn't make the grade for me either, along with the Coco 1&2 and Vic-20. I'd get an Oric Atmos or Spectrum model with a keyboard before any of them too.
     
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  23. by Graham
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    It's strange how different computers are attractive or not to different people, I for instance don't really have any interest in the C64, and I don't really know why, as it's certainly well supported, and you can build one from scratch if you so wanted, just doesn’t appeal. Spectrum's I've somewhere about, one I think is an original may even be a 16K, the other is in a plastic square case guessing a Plus. no idea if they work or not, at one point I did use a Spectrum to send slow speed Morse code, this was keying a very powerful transmitter to bounce radio signals off the moon. I also remember being involved with one being used to control a Amateur TV repeater based on the Enfield civic centre. I'm guessing it's still there but haven’t checked in many years.

    Computers I like ... Atari 8 Bits, BBC 'B', Oric Atmos and the CPC6128's and early IBM's such as the XT I have.

    I do fancy an MSX2 based computer, the Phillips ones in preference NMS8250 or better still the 8280

    Some of the makers dressed them up in what I would only call crap shaped plastic cases .. At least Richie’s HX-10 is in a nice sensible case, unlike say the Sanyo Wavy or AX range with their weird shaped cases

    In regard documentation, four of these choices are very well documented, especially so of the Atari, but the BBC would come next then the CPC .. Not sure where to put the IBM, as in effect the BIOS is well documented but DOS, isn't due to Microsoft’s hold over this..

    I guess the Oric is documented but not to the same extent, perhaps I should learn French, I maybe better off..

    I know I've had an Amiga A1200, and genlock re that TV Repeater.. I've found a few old bills for an internal IDE cable upgrade, and still have the Amiga DOS books. However it was used as a means to an end with the genlock and a paint program (deluxe paint) for overlaying video (also a video title program of some sort can't really remember much more than that.

    Of any of the later 16 Bit computers it's the only one that would be of real interest to purchase

    However I think the MSX2 Phillips 8250 would be 1st .. saying that I can’t read Japanese either !!

    More power to Richie on his endevours into reading Japanese with it's 3 different alphabets hiragana, katakana and kanji
     
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  24. by Graham
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    I'd guess
    That these would be easier for you to obtain especially the Apple ][ 's b it like BBC 'B's a national computer ..

    I may have to check my spectrums see if they work or not, I also have two working and two non working BBC B's However priority is a very upgraded 800XL at the moment
     
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  25. by M.D.Baker
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    The only 16-bit computer I'd be interested in getting again is an Amiga, but also, I'd want the expandable models like the 2000 I used to have. I've owned ST-STe's and even a Mega STe, and while I did prefer GEM and TOS over Amiga Workbench, I'm still partial to the Amiga because it's a Jay Miner machine. PC's have always been a means to an end for me and there's no interest or nostalgia in older ones either, especially the old CGA graphic models.

    One thing a computer must have to attract my attention is good graphics for it's era, but I've always been indifferent about PC's from the beginning, and even after they got VGA and better graphics. I've always preferred proprietary and unique computers, and I even hesitate a bit when it comes to MSX computers because they were a "standard" like PC's, made by many manufacturers, and for personal reasons as I have a long standing hate for Bill Gates and his business practices, but if I can overlook that to own modern Xbox systems which are essientally just Microsoft PC's, I guess I can overlook my personal bias's for an MSX as long as it's a third party brand.

    I've also mostly avoided anything made by Apple; Apple II's and Mac's in the 8/16-bit era just didn't have the graphics for me to be interested. And later Mac's were the Power PC's and no longer 68000 based, which I didn't like, so by then it was only the Falcon and later Amiga's I would have considered, had I had the money in the early 90's. I didn't, so I just skipped the whole generation and used my Atari in college and turned to proprietary consoles for my modern gaming, a cheap PC for internet and my still capable Atari 8-bit for all other application needs like finances, writing and record keeping.

    I only got ST's and an Amiga to see what I had missed out on back in the day. These days any favorite games from those systems I just play on emulators I have for my Sega Dreamcast, or for the ST games, quite a few have been ported to work on my favorite console, the Atari Jaguar.

    I do wish I'd kept the Amiga 2000 now, but getting another someday is questionable. Mainly because I'm a user and hobbiest, and not a true collector, and I have a finite amount of time, and I don't have enough timealready to enjoy the machines I already have as much as I want, so too many machines will just mean less time to enjoy each and I don't want to spend money on a machine that would mostly be collecting dust. So I'll probably end up owning only one or two more vintage micros aside from my Atari 8-bits and I've settled on a C64 as one, so I have to decide on possibly only one more, if any.

    I have decided over the last few years that I have to be pragmatic about it all, and be very grateful for, and enjoy what I already have. Also the fact that I have to build an addition onto my house or another out-building just to have room for more than what I already have. Even the C64 will have to fight for real estate, but I'll squeeze it in.
     
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