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About CatPix

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  1. If you say the MSX is subpart, obviously you haven't been checking enough. Metal Gear is subpar? Was there anything like Vampire Killer (Castlevania) on the C64 or Atari 8 bits or even the ST/AMiga? What about Psycho World? Or just aobut most fine ports of other games on it?
  2. By definition, dry caps can't leak; ceramic cap doesn't contain anything that can leak in any way. The white stuff you see is simply glue used to stabilize components : vibration from the mains (60 or 50 htz) will break solder joints, so glueing the bigger components reduce the stress on the soldering points. In fact you can see on your picture that it's the big black component that was glued, not that capacitor. That being said, it doesn't hurt to replace electrolytic caps on your power supply.
  3. From my experience, repros from AliExpress are all over the place. My copy of Zelda Minish cap looks stunningly genuine (except the cart shell is translucent green, which is cool and pretty Zelda esque but was never a thing). I ordered Super GnG and Super Metroid on SNES. The shells are certainly not original but they looks solid enough; sticker reproductions is low quality and weird (one looks like a mismatch of the US and Euro one). I got Majora's Mask on N64, boxed. While the cart itself is very good, the box is cheap, made of thin cardboard, and the manual repro is a joke, glossy paper with poorly, blurry reproductions of parts of the originam manual. The worst I got were 2 Megadrive games (admitedly, they were sold for cheap) which came boxed. The boxes themselves, while not up to Sega standards, are decent and useable. The cover reproduction is decent. If you look close, you can still tell it's laser-printed, but it's certainly better than what I could have done myself - and it's glossy paper. The carts, on the other hand... One of the shell snapped in half when I tried to remove it FROM THE BOX. Yes, it's that bad. The plastic is weirdly matte and nothing like regular carts, and most importantly, they are slightly too thick and hardly fit in the console. And the sticker reproduction is just passable. Overall... As I said, it's all over the place. Generally, I found out that GB repros are the best, probably because they have been manufacturing the shells for decades and the stickers being smaller, the smuding of poor scanners and cheap laser printers isn't as noticeable. Let's not forget that AliExpress is not a monolithic entity but a front-end for various shops, so there is no central quality check, and due to the very illegal nature of those repros, there are no shops that stay long enough to establish an aspect of reliability and quality.
  4. As for the original post, MSX were used in professionnal setups, mostly MS2 and TurboR in Japan. In Europe there were mostly game machines. In the US and elsewhere, Yamaha sold them as MIDI machines (the only source of "American" MSX2, tho given they are Yamaha sound tools they are more expensive than importing a MSX2 from Europe (MSX2 from Philips are still largely under the 100€ mark if you find someone in the Netherland to get it for you) or Japan. Yamaha also exported several MSX and MSX2 as educative computers, most notably in the Middle East and even more famously in USSR (KYBT and KYBT2). So yes, the MSX are powerful gaming machine but also saw serious use; though as with other computers, especially 8 bits (except maybe for the C64) those uses are largely forgotten. Yamaha CX5M The most famous example : Sony MSX2.. on MIR. Yes, the Soviet Space Station. According to a forum "In France during the late 80's, begining of 90 The "Sncf" (national train company) was equiped with Msx2 Sony (certainly HB-F900F). Some other Sony Msx2 were found in some "Edf" offices ( French national electric company) , one was seen in a nuclear power plant (office !). Some "Gendarmerie" (Police departments) were equiped with philips Msx2 computers." Yamaha AX350 with Arabic support. Yamaha YIS503 III, KYBT2, used in Soviet schools (with a master computer being a more evolved Yamaha YIS 805) MSX2 were also used in video editing to overlay text over images, or different video feeds. As for the legacy, MSX appeared on the market in 1983. The last MSX Turbo-R was made in 1993. While it's a lifespan very comparable with other famous 8 bits, it's the only one that received considerable support and upgrades with full backward compatibility (save for Turbo-R machines dropping tape support - but not MSX1 compatibility) which kept MSX fan interested. A MSX3 should have been released in 1993, but Panasonic was, by then, the only company remaining interested, and they dropped the MSX3 in favor of the 3DO. Oh well.
  5. Yep to understand MSX, you have to realize that MSX is both a line of standards and also a series of evolving machines... not sure how to express that, but, for most people, "MSX" mean "MSX 1, 2, 2+ and Turbo-R" machines. And let's be fair most people into MSX have at least a MSX2 machine, which is on some levels more powerful than a Famicom (basic one). MSX are also famous for being extremely flexible; they are easily turned into Frankein-monsteriffic machines - the reason is that MSX designers knew that their original machine was "lacking" and left the inner ROM "open" to being upgraded by expansion carts - making integration of updates easier and more streamlined than with other systems. It's also worth nothing it was one of the only 80's computer that got consequent VRAM (128Ko of VRAM on MSX2, expandable to 192Ko) It's also (In Europe) the only 8 bits computer that had 3"1/2 floppies as a de facto standard (on MSX2) allowing for large games and saves. MSX being a standard, there are several machines with various styles, options, etc... but at core are compatible with software, making MSX very versatile machines. MSX is also famous for being the "Konami machine" with loads of games that would later get on Famicom/Nes debuting on MSX (Mostly, MSX2). Cart games were common and allowed for expanded sound capabilities; for several games on floppies, external "sound cards" did the same : plug your sound cartridge, play your floppy game. It's what make the MSX line different from the likes of Atari 8 bits, C64 or Spectrum : versability and extreme compatibility.
  6. Though, there was also how they could negociate the costs. Nintendo managed to convince Ricoh to cut the price of their 65C02 CPU by HALF by saying they would order a crazy amount (If I recall, basically about a year worth of Ricoh's CPU production). I doubt MB did that much, but getting a 15% cut for the more expensive CPU may have been a better strategy than a 10% cut on the cheaper one.
  7. If I remember how the games are made, well the CPU is probably the biggest costly component. If I remember correctly, the 8021 is a microcontroller (a stepped-down microprocessor) with included ROm and RAM, so to make a cartridge game, it was advantageous as you didn't needed costly extra ROM and RAM, and also made PCB much simpler to design... basically just a straight connection to the console board, nothing else. So choosing cheper chip was the only way to cut cost down on the cart making, really.
  8. Rayman (French game), is probably one of those "everybody knows it" game. Angry Birds is a Finnish game. For gamres with a bit of knowledge, Alone in the Dark ,and Another World (two French games) That's absolutely untrue. In fact, gaming in Japan is mostly on computers, even in this day of smartphones. The thing is that easily 90% of those games never leave Japan and are absolutely unknow in the West.
  9. NTSC-J, U, PAL B/G, PAL-I, etc... are video standards defining the RF signal. Because some regions have adopted a connector standard unlike the others, there is usually an understanding that NSTC-U (USA) and NTSC-J (Japan) are going to use a F connector, and PAL/SECAM systems are going to use the Beiling-Lee (or FM, as it's also found on some FM antenna) connector, but there isn't any requirement about this. The most likely explanation is that your hardware was made in China for the Chinese market; China officially use PAL-D and the FM connector, but in reality there are lots of NTSC hardware in China due to them picking up whatever they can/want from their own factories, including NTSC hardware.
  10. If it's soldered to the board with pins, then I smell a cold joint. An easy fix (which, if it does no good, won't do any bad either) is to reflow the solder joints. Its beginner's level unless the access to cramped or blocked by other parts.
  11. Colecovision is kinda "between two seats" when it come to generations. The OP asked for a second console after the Atari 2600. Intellivision and Videopac have the same "flavor". The Colecovision is kind of the "middle gen" (kind of how the PC-Engine is the "cross between the 8 bits and the 16 bits generation". Also, the Colecovision is flaky (albeit fixable with standard parts) and prices are all over the place - at least in Europe; I haven't seen a single loose Colecovision game sold for under40€ lately, and acquiring a loose Colecovision system for under 80€ is a pipe dream. Those are two reasons to recommande a Videopac or an Intellivision over the Colecovision (or over the Astrocade and Channel F) both are machines that have that distinct 2nd gen flair, and remain affordable and straightforward to use.
  12. What are the games? I hope one of them is KC Munchkin. I think, with his random maze generator and that "chase the dot" mechanism, that it's one of the most inspired Pac-Man clones. Two small changes that make it so much more fun than most Pac-Man clones or variants. Even if the random generator can result in unfairly hard mazes or pretty easy ones... each maze is a new challenge. KC Crazy Chase is fun, but mostly if you get The Voice! else... it's a bit meh, due to the maze layout never changing.
  13. The only way for a discrete logic game to be lost (an not undumped) would be for the schematics to be lost, for each and every game board to be lost, and possibly for the game board to use a specially made logic chip (à la Pong-on-a-chip) with no infos on it.
  14. Make sense, discrete logic mean that graphics and gameplay are generated directly from electrical signals. It's digital, yes, but in the most crude form (0 and 1, but as : voltage is on, voltage is off, not bits). You can't dump such a game, that would be like trying to "dump a tube radio". But considering it lost because you can't dump it is crazy. Pong can't be dumped, it's discrete logic. Is it lost? I would make a distinction (whenever you learn about it) because it could spark interest for some people to recreate the game in software (there are VERY powerful electronic software out there, able to recreate discrete logic hardware) and for ROM-based games, either encourage people to look for them, solutions to dump existing know copies, or pressure greedy assholes to dump their copies.
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