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The MSX basics 1

This website assumes someone with little or no knowledge of computers and MSX.
You turn on the MSX without a cartridge in a slot and without a floppy.
Then you can request and change the date and time that have been set, so that they are correct the next time.
SET DATE "10/25/15"
SET TIME "21:18:43"

Get to see what it is and set to change it.
I suppose you have little knowledge but not that you are stupid.
Choose and type one of the options above and play with it.
This is the best way to remember this.
You will probably work it out with date and time.
Otherwise you google... MSX get date or whatever you want and you'll be fine.
If you switch off the MSX these values will remain.

You could have bought an MSX and put it on and then start with a very black screen.
Then you could also think that the MSX is broken.
Perhaps these are set to color1,1,1 or color0,0,0
After... set screen and after switching off, these values were saved and you now have a black screen.
With F6 ( shift + F1 COLOR 15,4,4
you can check this
Functionkey, F1 is ... color.
Shift + F1 = F6 ... color 15, 4, 4
So with F6 you can quickly see the image and the characters again.
That is, if the screen or the MSX is not broken.
Type... set screen... Return and color 15,4,4 is saved
With color5 you only change the color of the characters.
With color,5 you change the background.
With color,,5 you change the border.
Try it a few times and you will remember it best.

If you like smaller characters you type width 80
set screen + Return and you have width 80 every time after you reboot.

I will not explain everything, you can experiment, try and google for yourself.
Then you also remember it better.

Programming in MSX-basic is very easy.
A program with ... hello world is of little use.
But if you want to quickly see what's on a number of floppies, a small program can save a lot of typing.
10 files + Returnkey
Then you already have a program and if you now switch floppies, F5 is enough to see which files are on each flop. If you want to see how much space is available on multiple diskettes, type.
10 ?dskf (0) + Returnkey
After swapping the floppy and F5 you can see how much space is left on each flop.
If you prefer to do that on the B: diskette drive, it is dskf(2)
You can combine these two ...
10 files
20 ?dskf (0)
Then you see the files for each flop and how much space is free on each flop.

This way you not only learned to program, but you also know the codes for files and dskf(0)

Floppy Disks
You have DD diskettes and HD diskettes.
HD floppy disks have a write-protect hole and a hole to indicate that it is an HD floppy disk.
MSX only uses DD diskettes, but after properly taping the second hole you can also use HD diskettes.
Then you have single sided (SS) and double sided (DS) diskettes.
You have MSX computers that can only read SS floppies and they read DS floppies not only on one side, but not at all.
DS floppies are useless for a single sided drive MSX, they cannot read and use them and only format them SS

When a floppy disk starts making noises, it's time to make a copy of it.
Make an image plus a physical copy, better be save than sorry.
After reformatting it, it can often be used again.
If a game or program doesn't work and you have a copy, deleting and putting it back to the floppy is often enough.
There is no need to throw away the flop, unless the drive makes a lot of noises or a floppy test shows multiple errors of course.
I have a floppy test program and if it gives a lot of CRC errors or seekerrors, I throw those floppies away.
With errors in the higher sectors, I use them SS.
An SS diskette has 719 sectors and a DS diskette 1439 sectors.
Of course I prefer to use floppy disks without errors, but I can tolerate a few.

What's on that disk?
So if you put a diskette in the drive with programs, you can use 'files' to see what's on it.
But if the person who put it on has not used logical names, you still know little.
Hopefully the name says something about the program.
The name is always followed by a three-character extension.
The extension often indicates in which language the program is written.
If you know in which language, you know how to start or use the program.
In general use is that a program in MSX-basic has the extension .bas and a binary program .bin
A loader is usually in basic and has the extension .ldr
There is often a loader in basic and the program consists of one or more often binary parts.
Often the binary part consists of several parts and they are numbered .000, .001, .002 etc.

You load a program in basic with ... load"name.ext
If you want to start it directly... run"name.ext
A program with the extension .ldr is usually in basic and you load and start that way.
You normally run a binary file with bload"name.bin",r
Customizing a base program loader is quick and easy.
But just in case, make a copy of the original before you change things.
Load "name.ldr
Then you type list and you see the code.
That's called the listing.
You can stop and read for a while with the Stop key.
With CTRL + Stop you can interrupt the listening completely.
You can add, insert and / or change rules.
Then you can save it with... save"name.ext
Keep that changed program and always load, change and / or run it.
It's a good idea to keep changing the name so you can always go back to the original.

You can also use the files command to see only the programs that start for example with me.
files "me *.*
Do you want to look at drive B:
files "b:

Do you want to copy everything to another floppy.
Copy "*.* To"b:
With just one drive, you will have some work, changing the diskettes.
Then it also works if you only want to transfer the me *. * Files, for example.
copy "me *. *" to: b:

If you have floppy disks that you want empty, you can format them.
I have formatted a lot of amiga diskettes for use on the MSX.
The command is then ... _format or ... call format.
Then you will be asked which drive and how many sides, that's child's play.
That way you get completely empty floppies and I test them for crc errors and only then use them.
If you hear a lot of noise when formatting, unlike usual, throw the floppy away.
Sometimes I heard so much noise that I turned off the MSX completely.
This prevents damage to the read head of the disk drive from a bad floppy disk.


I am in favor of automatically booting floppy disks, so novices don't have to worry about how to start a game or program.
On diskettes with multiple games, I created menu programs.
In the beginning by putting program names and type in the menu-program, as everyone else did.
A different menu for each diskette and if you changed something on it, the menu program had to be adjusted.
After that I wrote a program that reads the names of the diskette and the type of program itself.
MENU.BAS is the name of the latest version in English.
Made in 2020 and I will further explain this versatile menu program on this website.

What else should a novice know?
I think it has already come a long way with the above explanation.
Google also takes you very far and youtube even contains videos.
Be careful with forums, not every member of that forum is smarter than you.
There are also stupid answers in forums.
Google can direct you to an answer from 2008, which is now a wrong answer.
I have experienced that I want to have that wrong answer changed by the forum editor, but it rejects it because the answer is so old.
But Google does point to that WRONG answer.
Or a forum is totally in favor of openMSX and they don't want to admit that another better MSX emulator can do things that openMSX cannot.
RuMSX can simply emulate an MSX better than other so-called msx emulators.
An MSX mainly uses floppy disks and you have to emulate that, RuMSX does that!
RuMSX is also just as easy to use by ordinary people and even children than the MSX computer.

Good luck and if you can find a book on MSX basic you should definitely buy it if you want to program.
You can also download old magazines online as a PDF and you can use them too.

Enough information to get you started ... I think. Look to the left of this in the menu and look further on this website.

Using real MSX diskettes on a PC with RuMSX

Create a dsk file from a physical MSX diskette with RuMSX

Format a floppy disk on PC in just a few minutes with RuMSX and copy Nemesis 1 from dsk to it.