Should we stop using retrocomputers to save them?

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Por gdx

Enlighted (5823)

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13-07-2022, 02:35

wolf_ wrote:

emulators are far more practical for daily usage and especially development. By providing a kind of extra layer of functionality, they allow things an MSX can't do.

It's not true. We put a cartridge in the MSX and we play directly. We must start a PC to launch an emulator and finally be able to use it. In many cases, the MSX is more practical. There is no problem with a key that does not fit or is unusable for example. For development, an emulator is often more practical but not always. If you are developing new hardware or if you need hardware that is not emulated, the emulator will be useless. This has happened to me several times. In short, it depends on your hardware, usage and our installation. If you take your MSX out of the closet to use it, it's sure to be less practical.

Por Grauw

Ascended (10633)

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13-07-2022, 10:49

gdx wrote:

For development, an emulator is often more practical but not always. If you are developing new hardware or if you need hardware that is not emulated, the emulator will be useless. This has happened to me several times.

I will point out a little inconsistency with your quote here (that I disagreed with) :).

"and we don't have to test often on a real MSX" [so it is not inconvenient to lengthen the boot time]

Por gdx

Enlighted (5823)

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13-07-2022, 12:59

Where is inconsistency? I just temper wolf_'s words because emulators are not always more practical. There are plenty of cases where a real MSX is better. I also said it's not annoying to extend the boot time by ONE SECOND (because it's not much and the MSX boot time is already not long). I wouldn't say the same if it was several seconds added.

Por wolf_

Ambassador_ (10032)

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13-07-2022, 13:23

Usually the PC is already running, so starting the emulator is a matter of seconds. The same discussion occurs in the synth community, in these endless hardware vs software discussions, where the hardware-fanatics yell 'you first have to switch on the PC, then load a DAW, then load the synth'. Usually this is not the reality.

Either way, the point I wanted to make was more a philosophical one. It was about using a higher level system to do things for a lower level system that the lower level system itself can't do. When anyone uses bpm2msx, that person is doing the exact same thing; using photoshop or whatever tool to make an image, not assuming any limitations, then have bmp2msx reduce it to MSX-formats. With merely an MSX and for example Age, no-one would attempt making such images.

Por gdx

Enlighted (5823)

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13-07-2022, 13:27

wolf_ wrote:

Usually the PC is already running

Not at my house.

Por sdsnatcher73

Prophet (3660)

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13-07-2022, 13:42

An MSX is also a Personal Computer Wink

Por Micha

Expert (70)

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13-07-2022, 15:21

sdsnatcher73 wrote:

An MSX is also a Personal Computer Wink

I prefer homecomputer !

Por Pokun

Resident (53)

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13-07-2022, 16:33

retro69 wrote:

the experience is only complete if you have the look and feel from the original hardware. One aspect that otherwise you lose completely for example is using the original keyboard. Every model has a different one, which feels different, sounds different, and even the layout is different - this can go to the extreme: try using a ZX Spectrum ! I also think that it is easier to raise interest in retrocomputing by actively using the original hardware. When I showed my VG-8235 on a general (non-MSX-specific) retrocomputing event in March here in Germany a lot of people have shown interest in the computer. I do not think that it would have been the same if I had used an FPGA or an emulator.

Keyboards are a very good point, modern MSX clones typically uses IBM-PC keyboards or at least use a very similar layout instead of a more typical MSX layout. I guess modern keycaps are all made with the IBM-PC layout in mind so doing things like swapping CONTROL and SHIFT might not work so easily on a newly designed keyboard unless you manufacture the keycaps yourself.

Por ducasp

Hero (608)

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13-07-2022, 20:36

These days there are a lot of people trying to tell you what you should do. Do what make you happy as long as it is not illegal and do not harm others... There is absolutely no conflict using something you own, or keeping it behind a glass cage, whatever feel best for you.

Por Haze

Master (148)

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14-07-2022, 10:45

For events and at the museum we absolutely use 100% original hardware. A lot of time and effort goes into the maintenance of these, but it's a key factor for attendees and visitors. The feel and behavior of genuine machines are part of the nostalgic experience or a major draw for those who didn't grow up with them.

At home however, I personally prefer the various MSX FPGA implementations. Perhaps I wouldn't have around the time of the launch of the OCM, but nowadays I feel there is a high enough compatibility level while they still allow me to use my most played games or favorite peripherals. New units are reasonably available (outside of the current chip shortage), there's active development and most importantly they have a smaller footprint, ideal for on the desk. I have one Philips MSX hooked up, for event related testing, but due to limited space I keep the rest of my machines in storage. I would love to have more hooked up permanently and on display, but currently that's simply not feasible. My games and carts are within reach however, so if I want a quick go or an intense play session, the SX1Mini+ is right there!

So no, I will not stop using real machines even with all the effort involved in keeping them running for many years to come! However, depending on your situation, you might prefer FPGAs or emulators merely for convenience rather than trying to save original hardware.

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