Tatung Einstein 256

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Van mars2000you

Enlighted (6260)

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19-11-2012, 22:09

When you read this :

"The Einstein 256 employs the latest technology. In order to get all these "goodies" into a sensible size, TATUNG have used a custom micro chip, designed by the Telford Team and manufactured by HITACHI. This chip handles the memory, I/O decoding and interrupt logic. 256K DRAM is used, organised as 64K x 4 bits. The V9938 video display processor runs at an incredible 21 Mhz! The disc controller is a Western Digital single chip controller, WD177OPH. The ubiquitous 8251A provides the serial interface, whilst the Z80 CTC provides the timing functions."

the question arises : how to compare with turboR ? Question

Van jltursan

Prophet (2619)

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19-11-2012, 22:45

Who compares it with the TurboR?. It's simply a bizarre MSX2 clone.

There're no native Einstein 256 games or software. AFAIK, just a BASIC demo in the system disk. It shares the software catalog with its brother TC-01 and all of the software is mostly present in the MSX1 catalog, being the vast majority british productions converted also for this machine (the weirdest piece of software is the Konami's games disk pack that appears in the video).
An good original game?, maybe "Time Trap" a nice "Roland in time" clone. About tools, it has a great BBC Basic version and an excellent DOS (XTAL DOS) and framework.

Van Manuel

Ascended (18864)

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19-11-2012, 23:25

What a failure! Like having an MSX2 with only MSX1 software! Crazy

Van MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

afbeelding van MäSäXi

20-11-2012, 11:33

I will list here some games which were not published on MSX1. Not all games are MSX1 ports, there are Spectrum games too, like Dragon´s Lair and others. Some games are conversions of famous games, like Escape from Merlin 8 (Buck Rogers and Zoom909 clone, graphics are different and game does not have as much colour as MSX1 conversions had), they are not MSX1 ports. Some games are ports with alternate name, like DISCO DAN, which is not the Spectrum game by the same name, but MSX1 game Hot Shoe. Elite´s screenshots were too bright to see correctly, but Elite must be Spectrum port, since Torus did Spectrum conversion.


DRUID (Spectrum port of british hit game)


THEATRE EUROPE (legendary war-strategy game)


QOGO 2 (Memotech game)

STARBASE (I think Spectrum original had other name? it was Hewson game, I think)



SPACE TRAP & TIME TRAP (conversion of Amstrad games)

MINER DICK (guess which clone?)

Space Trap and Time Trap would look good on MSX1 too, are there any theoretical hopes for porting them?

Van Jipe

Paragon (1552)

afbeelding van Jipe

20-11-2012, 11:51


The V9938 video display processor runs at an incredible 21 Mhz!

in MSX all V9938 run at 21.477MHz Wink

Van MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

afbeelding van MäSäXi

20-11-2012, 12:30

Manuel wrote:

What a failure! Like having an MSX2 with only MSX1 software! Crazy

Maybe Tatung Einstein 256 shows what MSX2 could have been, if MSX2 was sold in other parts of Europe too? Think about it, new expensive machine, which has just couple of japanese cartridges and few imported dutch games and nothing else... it is backwards compatible to MSX(1), which is a big plus, but many cassette games do not work.... (that certain "universal poke" was not universally known in the 1980s), like many games did not work on different MSX(1)s either. Imagine any average mommy+daddy of the 1980s, they will not buy a new unknown machine for their child, because it is very expensive, it has just couple of games, MSX(1) is much much cheaper, and their children must have MSX(1) already, otherwise their children will not want MSX2, but Commodore´s or Spectrum´s 128 machine instead, which both have hundreds of good compatible games (C64/Spectrum), in the 1980s parents still decided what to buy (or not to buy), maybe they could have decided to get good selling and trusted and much more cheaper Commodore 64 or Spectrum 48K. Please remember Tatung Einstein 256 was not the only one decent computer which failed, maybe importers were wise enough not to buy MSX2s.... who knows?

Van hit9918

Prophet (2923)

afbeelding van hit9918

20-11-2012, 22:03

the european MSX2 is on an office trip when it should have been on the cheap trip.
The 256k Sony brick... give me an MSX2 with 64k and without floppy for a third of the price!
I already paid major bucks for a floppy...

Homecomputer manufactors looking at the IBM PC sales... trying to "get serious" was an error. Often just makes a worse homecomputer.

Van Manuel

Ascended (18864)

afbeelding van Manuel

20-11-2012, 22:36

I mean that it's a failure in itself if *no* software was released that uses the V9938... whilst being one of the major features of the computer!

Van Maggoo

Paragon (1216)

afbeelding van Maggoo

21-11-2012, 05:08

I remember reading about that computer back in the 80ies. Never understood why a company would bother building something so close to the MSX after it was released and not make it a MSX... Having a British manufacturer and promoter of the standard would have for sure increased the chances of success inEurope ( as Philps did).

BTW it appears that it was commonly used for cross development:


Van Metalion

Paragon (1529)

afbeelding van Metalion

21-11-2012, 08:15

MäSäXi wrote:

... in the 1980s parents still decided what to buy (or not to buy) ...

Are you kidding ????

If you were 8 or 10 years old, maybe ... In 1984, I was 15 years old, and I did the market research all by myself, reading all kind of magazines. Then I decided which computer I wanted and went to tell my parents about it. No way they would have chosen a computer for me, they knew nothing about computers. And it was the same for several of my friends. They chose which computer they wanted (almost always a C64), and asked they parents about it ...

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