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M > MSX  > MSX 1   


In the early 80's, there were a lot of home computers. A Japanese company called ASCII corporation (directed by Kay Nishi) decided to create an industry standard for home computers: MSX was born. MSX means Machines with Software eXchangeability. This is the true and only meaning, stop spreading the word about another explanation please.

The new standard was based on an existing computer: The Spectravideo SV 318 which can be considered as a beta version of MSX1 computers. Microsoft designed then MSX1 computers and the first version of the OS: MSX DOS 1 (which looks like early versions of MS-DOS).

Almost every Japanese and Korean computer companies made their own MSX computers (except maybe NEC). Bill Gates was then very confident about the future of the MSX standard.

Spectravideo (one of the MSX companies) made an 80 column card and adapted CP/M for the MSX.

A lot of programs (especially a lot of games from Sega, Konami, Taito, ASCII, etc.) and hardware were developed for this standard. Despite all its qualities, the MSX family didn't have great success in USA. However it was pretty well known in Europe (particularly in the Netherlands and France), in South America (Brazil specifically) and Russia (then the USSR). This standard was replaced in 1985 by MSX 2.

Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


Adding to that, my mother actually owned an MSX as a teenager. There were a lot of edutainment titles, and the MSX it seems was marketed primarily with an educational slant, and a games system and work computer second. Eventually the company (Al-Alamiah) began creating MS-DOS computers, but there''s barely any information I can find about those.

Thursday 18th March 2021
Omar (Dubai, UAE)

The MSX was also very popular in west asian and north african Arabian countries. It was also especially popular in gulf countries with KSA based al-Alamiah reprogramming translating the OS to Arabic. al-Alamiah also developed and published several Arabic applications and video games.

Monday 22nd June 2015

Hi all.

Believe it or not, I became a fan of programming and computers after using one of those around 1985. They where hooked to black $ white CRT TV sets and the programs in MSX Basic recorded in music cassets.

That was in Cuba and were the first computers introduced at high schools along with 8086/8088 Ltels with 256 KB RAM (for the teachers). Damn, I''m so old...

Thursday 30th May 2013


TYPE  Home Computer
YEAR  1983
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Microsoft Extended Basic (MSX Basic V1.0)
KEYBOARD  At least 70 keys (including 5 F-keys with 10 functions and 4 arrow keys)
CPU  Zilog Z80A
SPEED  3.58 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  Video chip must be compatible with the Texas Instruments TMS 9918/A or TMS 9928/A (Japan : 60 Hz) or TMS 9929/A (Europe : 50 Hz)
RAM  At least 8 KB (most machines had 64kB built in)
TEXT MODES  Mode 0 : 40 x 24
Mode 1 : 32 x 24
GRAPHIC MODES  Mode 2 : 256 x 192 with 16 colors (Hires mode)
Mode 3 : 64 x 48 with 16 colors (Multi colour mode)
32 sprites
SOUND  General Instruments AY-3-8910 Programmable Sound Generator
3 channels, 8 octaves
I/O PORTS  Joystick socket (1 or 2), Cardridge slot (1 or 2), Tape-recorder plug (1200/2400 bauds), RGB video output, Centronics interface

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