Category Archives: Hardware

Multi-review: MSX Memory Mapper, MEGA-MAPPER and MEMORY SAMURAI (Part 2 of 2)

Posted by in Hardware,MSX,Retro,Reviews,Technology | July 18, 2016

The previous part of this post ended with a few quick words about the MEMORY SAMURAI. Let’s continue where we left.

MEMORY SAMURAI by Classic PC & Game Rescue Committee

MEMORY SAMURAI / Classic PC & Game Rescue Committee

MEMORY SAMURAI / Classic PC & Game Rescue Committee (click to enlarge)

ManufacturerClassic PC & Game Rescue Committe

The MEMORY SAMURAI arrives in a clear vinyl bag including the cartridge and a paper sheet with instructions. It’s nice enough, though a box would have been much better.

Keep reading below for the full review.

Read more ›

Multi-review: MSX Memory Mapper, MEGA-MAPPER and MEMORY SAMURAI (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by in Hardware,MSX,Retro,Reviews,Technology | July 13, 2016


How do you even review a memory expansion cartridge? Usually you just plug it into a cartridge slot, turn on the computer, and that’s all: your MSX computer now has more memory. There isn’t really much else to say, or at least there wasn’t, until now.

In this review we’re going to see two traditional MSX memory expansions (Repro Factory‘s MSX Memory Mapper and 8bits4ever!‘s MEGA-MAPPER), plus a very special new arrival: Classic PC & Game Rescue Committee’s MEMORY SAMURAI, which brings an astonishing 16MB of memory to our MSX computers.

I’ve never seen so much memory in an MSX computer before, much less know what to do with it. It is awesome nonetheless.

Keep reading, because there’s a lot to talk about.

Read more ›

Review: 8bits4ever’s FDC-600 floppy disk controller

Posted by in Hardware,MSX,Retro,Technology | February 12, 2016

Last December as the year was about to end I received 8bits4ever‘s FDC-600 floppy disk controller for MSX computers and Tweeted about it:

The plan was to go buy a floppy drive and a couple of cables and write a review immediately after the New Year vacation, but I focused on other things for a while.

It has taken a while, but here’s the review.

Read more ›

Retro event in Akihabara: MyCOM Infinite PRO-68K

Posted by in Culture,Gadgets,Hardware,Japan,MSX,Retro,Technology | November 23, 2015

Yesterday I attended MyCOM Infinite PRO-68K, a small event about retro computers at the conference floor of the Akihabara UDX building.

I arrived a little bit after 1pm, in the middle of a talk by Mr. Mikito Ichikawa, president of Mindware.

Mr. Ichikawa during his talk (Click to enlarge)

Mr. Ichikawa during his talk (Click to enlarge)

The lights were dimmed during the talk, so I waited until it ended before visiting the stands.

Read more ›

Update on the DRIVER TEST hardware

Posted by in Gadgets,Hardware,MSX,Retro,Technology | November 21, 2015

You may remember that last May I wrote about the Spanish government using MSX computers in their coordination tests to obtain a driver’s license.

Shortly after publishing that article a user on Facebook wrote to let us know that in some locations (such as his city) these machines are still in operation. However, he was unable to send any photos.

Recently another user from Spain (Valkyr on went to renew his driver’s license and found out that the examination center in his city is still using an MSX computer: a Mitsubishi ML-G1. Valkyr was kind enough to take some photos. These were taken on November 6th, 2015:

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

Who knows how many of these are still in operation!

Tecnobytes MSX Ethernet Cartridge and InterNestor Lite review (part 2)

Posted by in Gadgets,Hardware,How-to,MSX,Retro,Technology | October 18, 2015

This is the second part of this post. We continue from the point where the previous part ended: looking at the network applications developed by Konamiman.

FTP.COM: File Transfer Protocol

Yes, an FTP client for MSX! You can now connect to FTP servers on the Internet and download files directly to the MSX, without having to download them to a PC or a Mac first and then copy to the MSX via removable media.

FTP.COM is very easy to use. It accepts the standard commands to interact with FTP. You can also set the environment variables FTP_USER, FTP_PASSWORD and FTP_ACCOUNT and use these as the defaults when connecting to servers.

Typing ‘help’ at the FTP prompt will show all the available commands:

Available commands in the FTP.COM client (Click to enlarge)

Available commands in the FTP.COM client (Click to enlarge)

Read more ›

Tecnobytes MSX Ethernet Cartridge and InterNestor Lite review (part 1)

Posted by in Gadgets,Hardware,How-to,MSX,Retro,Technology | October 17, 2015

Recently I received the MSX Ethernet Cartridge from the Brazilian group Tecnobytes. This batch is already sold out, so for these of you who bought one, here’s a review of the unit and what you can do with it. The cartridge is useless without software, so I’m also explaining the InterNestor Lite TCP/IP stack and its companion suite of network applications, both developed by Néstor Soriano (Konamiman).

The review is long, so it’s split in two posts.

The hardware

This is a Konami-sized cartridge with a single Ethernet port to the right and a couple of LEDs: the amber one indicates that the cartridge is powered on, and the green one indicates that there’s an Ethernet link established. It flashes during data transmission.


Tecnobytes’ MSX Ethernet Cartridge (Click to enlarge)

The Ethernet controler is a Realtek RTL8019AS, which means that the maximum speed is 10Mbps in full-duplex. This may not sound very impressive nowadays, but it is more than enough for the MSX, as we will see later. The design is based on Daniel Berdugo’s ObsoNET board.

Read more ›

FTP server running on my FS-A1GT

Posted by in Gadgets,Hardware,How-to,MSX,Retro,Technology | October 15, 2015

Yep, my MSX turbo R at home is now connected to the Internet and acting as an FTP server. It is connected to my home network using the Tecnobytes Ethernet Cartridge and running Konamiman’s ObsoFTP server over his Internestor Lite TCP/IP stack.



Feel free to play with it if you want to do some testing. It’s serving an almost empty 32MB partition on my B: disk (a CF card).

URL: (any user name and password will work) Edit: the server is offline now, but read below for a couple of interesting updates…

Read more ›

Tecnobytes’ MSX Ethernet cartridge

Posted by in Gadgets,Hardware,MSX,Retro,Technology | October 3, 2015

I finally got my Ethernet cartridge from Tecnobytes Classic Computers. It works like a charm on my FS-A1GT with the Internestor Lite TCP/IP stack and related network utilities.

Tecnobytes' MSX Ethernet on the FS-A1GT (click to enlarge)

Tecnobytes’ MSX Ethernet on the FS-A1GT (click to enlarge)

The cartridge is very well built. It has a single Ethernet port mounted on the right side of the case, with two status LEDs next to it: one for power and another for link/operation.


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The Ethernet controller supports only 10 mbps links, but that’s not a problem because the TCP/IP stack can only reach a theoretical 30 KB/s transfer speed tops. According to Konamiman, this is because Internestor Lite sends and receives a single 512 byte packet per interrupt, or every 1/60 of a second. In practice, during my tests the average speed I saw was about 8 KB/s when downloading a file from an FTP server.

Konamiman has developed several applications that work with his TCP/IP stack. They’re available in his home page. Among these there are:

  • An FTP client, to transfer files from servers on the Internet
  • An NTP client to synchronize the clock of your MSX with an Internet server
  • A basic telnet client
  • A text-based Twitter client
  • A Dropbox client
  • FTP and SMB servers, to share the files hosted in your MSX

Hopefully we’ll see support for this board in the openMSX emulator in order to do some development.


New retro shop opening in Akihabara

Posted by in Gadgets,Hardware,Japan,MSX,Retro,Technology | September 5, 2015

Good news for all retro computer users, including MSX:

A new retro shop will be opening in Akihabara during the next few weeks. The name: BEEP.

According to their still under construction website (, they’ll deal with retro computers, retro games, arcade games, and fanmade items. In the updates they’re posting on Twitter (@BEEP_akihabara) we can see that they have lots and lots of MSX-related stuff, including several piles of unopened, brand new Pioneer PX-V60 MSX computers that they’re selling for 19,800 yen each (they sell used ones for 8,000 yen).

They’re planning to open during the Japanese silver week, which is the week from September 21st to 25th. Unfortunately, that week I’ll be traveling out of the country, so I really, really hope they get a bit delayed so I can attend during the opening. :-)

Take a look at their Twitter feed: it’s worth it.

Twitter: @BEEP_akihabara


Akihabara BEEP
Nakaei Building (basement)
3-9-8 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 101-0021