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MSX history

Today's youngsters will find an MSX a very simple computer.
But the MSX dates back to the eighties of the last century.
There was hardly any internet yet.
The youth of that time still knew the time when there was only black and white television.
Some people still had a black and white television.
PC's ran on monogrome green or sometimes monochrome red monitor.
Nobody had a PC at home. At home they started with comodore computers, the commodore 64 and MSX computers, the MSX 1
Or with a games computer without a keyboard or input other than a cartridge.
Yes, with cassette tapes on cassette recorders / data-recorders with a nice name.
That was in the early eighties.
Then it went from beep, beep, piiiiiiiip ... beep, beep, piiiiip, until the game was loaded.
But often things didn't go well and you could start the tape over again.

But after a few years, about 1986, most people switched to a homecomputer with a disk drive.
The PC's mainly still in the office with monochrome green or monochrome red screen on a monitor.
The gameconsoles, the commodore and MSX computers ran on a small color television set... in COLOR.
That was a lot better than monochrome green or red with pc's.
Pc's and the commodore used a kind of big cardboard 5 1/4 diskettes.
The MSX never used those cardboard 5 1/4 floppy disks.
The MSX is the first computer that started with 3.5 inch floppy disks, as we still know them today.
PC's started using those hard plastic 3.5 inch floppy disks later than the MSX.
You got computer courses on a PC with a monochrome green screen and in the evening you played games at home or even did word processing in color on a television with the MSX
At home you had the 3.5 inch hard plastic disks on the MSX in color, and at class or at work you had cardboard floppy disks on a green monochrome screen.
And the other home computers also used those large cardboard floppy disks.
MSX was ahead of its time.
It wasn't until the nineties that PC's got color monitors, but courses were taught on old monochrome screens.
Still with large cardbord floppies.
Games on PCs were completely unknown and there was hardly any internet.
Game consoles with expensive games for the rich and the commodore and MSX with cheap cracked games.
PCs were very expensive and you never saw laptops at all, they were that expensive.

Even for schools, PCs were too expensive and there were many MSX computers there.
I have lots of floppy disks with software used in schools.
After the MOT (inspection of your car), data was often passed on with an MSX and modem.
You have word processing and accounting programs on MSX
PCs were just way too expensive for most people and small businesses.

Computer programming

A good reason for the frequent use of the MSX was that it was easy to program.
MSX basic is very simple but powerful.
Programming on a PC was for a programmer who has learned for it and only for businesses.
Programming on a commodore was much more difficult than on an MSX.
On a commodore you only got color and sound with peeks and pokes and a lot of difficult codes.
You won't get very far without a book next to it.
On an MSX you type ... PLAY "CDEFG" and you get a tune. With COLOR 1,9,12 you determine all the colors of your border, your background and the lines.
Sprites and print commands are also very simple. SOUND 0,150 is enough to just get sounds.
MSX basic was and is very simple and powerful, that was the reason that anyone could write a simple program.
That was not possible on a PC and not on a commodore, which is why you saw the MSX everywhere.
In the Netherlands, Elsevier was a serious newspaper and they published a magazine every year to help readers to file their tax returns.
I have an Elsevier diskette for the MSX with help for filing tax returns.
PBNA is a serious training institute in the Netherlands and I have a diskette of them with a home office 2 course on MSX
Banks, such as NMB, also issued MSX programs for the MSX on diskette. The MSX was a more important computer for citizens than the PC. Hardly anyone had a PC at home.
And again ... MSX had been using 3.5 inch floppy disks long for PCs and on color monitor or color television, while PCs worked on monochrome green or red.
Those who really wanted to could write programs in MSX-basic in a short time.
Therefore, programs for retailers and schools were very cheap for the MSX and very expensive for PCs.

The downfall of MSX

With the rise of the Internet and cheaper PCs with color monitor, the MSX became less and less popular.
Surfing the internet with an MSX could probably have saved the MSX.
But also because the MSX was never a success in America will have been an important factor.
A hard drive in or with the MSX would certainly have been a plus to a longer lifespan.
After the MSX 1 came the MSX 2 and it was still quite popular, but the MSX2+ and the Turbo R MSX came too late and you hardly see them.
Yes, I think internet capabilities could have saved the MSX.

The MSX in 2020

You still find the MSX a lot on the internet and old msx computers
still bring in a considerable amount if you sell them.
Online you can play MSX games and with an emulator you can play MSX games on the PC.
As an MSX emulator on PC I use RuMSX.
I can even put MSX diskettes in the floppy drive of the pc and I can use most of them on the pc with RuMSX.
An MSX emulator should at least be able to do that.
RuMSX is hardly mentioned and I wonder if openMSX and blueMSX, which are often mentioned,
can read and use an MSX flop.
Whether they are just as user-friendly as the MSX and RuMSX.
For several years I was too busy with other things.
It is now October 11, 2020 and I am going to investigate what is going on in the MSX field.
I've already seen that RuMSX is still doing what it did well years ago ... emulating the MSX.
Even my MSX diskettes are still doing well after years.
I hope that with this website I can make others happy with MSX
I stick as much as possible to what an MSX can do and not what an MSX can do on a PC.
An MSX on a PC, an MSX emulator, should resemble an MSX as much as possible.
So at least be able to use an MSX floppy with his floppy disk drive.
I have a PC with a floppy drive and also an external floppy drive.
So I have to be able to try the different MSX emulators.
The MSX was simple and an MSX emulator must therefore be easy to operate.
I'm ready.

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