Category Archives: Fun

Game review: Uwol, Quest For Money (MSX2)

Posted by in Fun,Games,MSX,Retro,Reviews,software,Technology | June 19, 2016


Back in 2009 the Spanish group Mojon Twins released Uwol, Quest For Money for the Spectrum 128K and made the full game and source code freely available for download. Later, in 2010, Shiru released a Sega Genesis port based on Mojon Twins’ code.

Now (June 2016) Imanok releases an MSX2 version. This is the one this review is about.

Uwol, Quest For Money - MSX2 title screen (click to enlarge)

Uwol, Quest For Money – MSX2 title screen (click to enlarge)

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8bitkick Kickstarter campaign funded

Posted by in Fun,Gadgets,MSX,Photography,Retro | December 2, 2015


8bitkick is a deck of 42 printed cards featuring photos of retro computers (and also a Raspberry Pi that got thrown into the mix because it’s cute). In order to create the product a Kickstarter campaign started with a funding goal of $750.

The campaign ended a few hours ago. The amount raised? $12,233. About 16 times the amount needed. Looks like there are a few of us (retro computer enthusiasts) out there.

Oh, I forgot to mention: one of the cards features the Ferrari of 8-bit computers: a red Sony HB-101:


You may have seen this photo somewhere before. :-)

All cards will be freely available for download after they’ve been produced.

Relevant link:

Let me explain with a quick diagram…

Posted by in Culture,Fun,Japan,Pets | September 12, 2015

Today I took Yuki to the vet for her vaccination. I always take her to the Nomura Veterinary Clinic in Nakano because this doctor is especialized in exotic pets. Not just ferrets, but all kind of animals that other doctors wouldn’t even dare to touch. Almost everybody in Tokyo who owns a ferret brings his to this clinic.


As an example, one day I saw a man come to Dr. Nomura with his 5-6 marmosets on his back . Click to enlarge.

Dr. Nomura’s clinic is a bit far from home, so I can’t just take Yuki and bring her there. I have to put her in her carrier cage and either take the train (inconvenient) or a taxi. We took a taxi today.


Yuki relaxing in her carrier on the taxi to the vet.

Every time you take your pet to Dr. Nomura he does a checkup to check that your little furry (or scaly, if you’re bringing a snake) is healthy. Usually there are no problems and your pet gets a vaccine or some other medication, and then you pay and go home.

Today it was a bit different…

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A rarely seen MSX computer

Posted by in Fun,Hardware,MSX,Retro,Technology | May 27, 2015

This is an interesting find. Let me give you some background first:

In order to get your driver’s license in Spain you need to pass a test called psicotécnico. This test is designed to ensure that your hand-eye coordination and response times are normal. When I took the test many years ago, it consisted on a computer attached to a couple of foot switches and a couple of handles. On the screen there were a couple of bars that you could move horizontally independently from each other using the handles. The screen kept scrolling down simulating a couple of roads, and your mission was to keep both bars inside the road at all times.

The Spanish government ordered these systems exclusively from a company called ASDE (and they still do).

What’s interesting is that the computer they used was an MSX2. When I took the test they had a Philips NMS8245, but it seems that they also used computers from Sony. Everybody who got a driver’s license in Spain in the 80-90s had to go and play with this MSX.

Today somebody on Facebook found this: there’s one of these units for sale, complete with the controllers and software (a cartridge screwed into the top slot):




Nowadays these machines aren’t in use anymore. They’ve been replaced with a newer system, but it seems that the controllers are basically still the same:


The new Driver-Test set. Probably running on a custom-built PC.

Here’s a video of a test in progress. The MSX version was exactly the same:

Seeing this machine brought back some nice memories. :-)

Update: a friend on Facebook reports that these MSX are still in use in some examination centers.

18 meter tall, 30 meter long dinosaur spotted in Shinjuku

Posted by in Fun,Japan,MSX,Retro | January 17, 2015

Well, this actually happened almost thirty years ago, and it wasn’t a real dinosaur.

For years I’d been hearing about the dinosaur that Mr. Kazuhiko Nishi planted in the middle of Shinjuku to commemorate one million MSX computers sold. However, I never saw any real, detailed information about this, so I kept it inside the “Unverified stories that may or may not be true” drawer inside my brain.

Recently, while reading old MSX Magazines I came across a report about this event, so here’s a report on the report.


MSX Dinosaur Land (MSX Magazine, February 1986). Click to enlarge

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Posted by in Fun,Gadgets,Hardware,Japan,MSX,Retro,Technology | January 15, 2015

Today I had to go to Akihabara for work and something caught my attention in an electronics shop not far from the station:


What’s is this sorcery!!?? MSX cartridges? Sound boards??

In the background there was playing one of Salamander‘s themes, with perfect timing and perfect instruments. Initially I thought this was a custom-built MSX computers, but it wasn’t.

Keep reading for the details.

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MATRIX: Quest for Deliverance (MSX game)

Posted by in Fun,Games,MSX,Retro | December 31, 2014

Here’s a game for MSX2 computers that I released on October 1994. It was never released commercially, but I gave copies to friends. I’m now releasing it to the public domain.

The game is just another Breakout / Arkanoid clone. It has great FM-PAC / Music Module music composed by Carlos García. I’m guilty of all the coding and graphics.

It runs fine on the openMSX emulator, but at least on my computer (a 2010 Mac Pro) the timings aren’t correct and the music breaks up a bit. You will need to run the emulator with both the fmpac ROM and the mbstereo extension to be able to listen to the music.

Download the disk image here (now public domain): (206 KB)

Thanks RCastillo for recovering this!






Computer ads from the 80s are hilarious

Posted by in Fun,Japan,MSX,Non-important,Retro,Stupidity | December 13, 2014

“Imagine how much more fun we would be having if we plugged it in!”

MSX Magazine (Japan), November 1984 issue

MSX Magazine (Japan), November 1984 issue

Relearning MSX #1 – Introduction

Posted by in Fun,Hardware,How-to,MSX,Retro,Technology | December 11, 2014

This article has moved to MSX Center.

Click here to visit the new URL.

Ben & Jerry’s awesome event in Tokyo Midtown, now with Oculus Rift!

Posted by in Fun,Hardware,Technology,Virtual Reality,Work | March 15, 2014

If you live in Tokyo get your ass off the couch and head for Tokyo Midtown now and get some delicious free ice-cream.

Ben & Jerry’s is celebrating an event in the basement of the Tokyo Midtown Galleria. Here you can enjoy free ice-cream, have your photo printed in a tub of the delicious thing, sit and relax while you eat under a (fake) tree…

Ben & Jerry at Midtown

…and also become a happy cow in a virtual reality experience using the Oculus Rift:

Ben & Jerry's Oculus Rift

So where and when is this happening? Here you go:

Tokyo Midtown Galleria B1F
Saturday, March 15th 11am-8pm
Sunday, March 16th 11am-7pm

The even was put together by our company, Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo. Keep reading for the fun details.

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