De MSX is een homecomputer uit vroegere tijden, echter er zijn gelukkig nog steeds een aantal personen die zich vol op bezig houden met de ontwikkeling van de MSX en ook met de verschillende emulators voor dit platform. De emulator openMSX draait op verschillende besturingssystemen, onder andere Linux, Mac OS X en Windows, en richt zich volgens de ontwikkelaars op de perfectie van spelervaring. Versie 0.6.0 is sinds enkele dagen beschikbaar met de volgende aankondiging:
After a long time, a fresh release which brings a lot of internal improvements and some long standing new features as well.
The biggest change for the user is the fact that we removed the SDLLo renderer and that we split the scalers into a separate "scale_factor" (controls the zoom) and "scale_algorithm" (controls the look) setting. A factor of 1 replaces the SDLLo render and as a bonus we also added a factor of 3! The latter also makes more exotic scalers possible, like the new RGBTriplet one, which tries to emulate a low res Trinitron (Aperture Grille) monitor. Also, the existing scaler algorithms have been implemented for scale_factor 3. Note that currently the GL renderer only supports scale_factor 2; if you want the new scale factors, use the SDL renderer.
Mac OS X Tiger users will be happy to know that this release will compile cleanly on their systems, because openMSX can be compiled with GCC 4.x now. Also some problems specific to big endian CPU's (like the Power PC in most Macs) were fixed.
In the sound department we made big quality improvement for DAC devices, like the turboR PCM and the Konami DAC which can be found in the Hai no Majutsushi and Synthesizer products.
Note that in this release several incompatible changes to openMSX commands were made. First of all, the cassetteplayer subcommands have changed, because we added the possibility to save to cassette now as well. To learn the new subcommands, use "help cassetteplayer". Also the keyjoystick settings are incompatibly changed, which means your old bindings will be lost. Finally the already mentioned renderer and scaler settings have changed, so you will have to re-select your favourite scaler.
New or improved emulator features:
MSX device support:
- Printer logger and SRAM are flushed at regular intervals now, so if openMSX or your PC crashes, it is less likely you will lose data.
- Settings that have their default value are not saved anymore, which will make future upgrades easier (new defaults are automatically picked up).
- Added support for a second keyjoystick.
- More extensive debugging, including conditional break points.
- Apart from communication via stdio, communication via sockets is now enabled. This means you can connect to openMSX at run time! This will be used by a debugger that is in development.
- V9990: speed improvements, enabled scalers, scanline and blur.
- Reorganisation of renderers and scalers (including new ones), see above.
- Screenshot command has a -prefix option, useful in combination with the new "guess_title" script: give meaningful names to your screenshot.
- New "fullspeedwhenloading" setting. When enabled, openMSX automatically switches to maximum speed when the MSX is loading from disk or tape.
- New "autoruncassettes" setting. When enabled and you specify a CAS image on the command line or in Catapult, openMSX will automatically type the required loading instruction in MSX-BASIC.
- Finally implemented a work around for the CAPS LOCK problem.
Build system, packaging, documentation:
- Internal CAS to WAV conversion produces now 5520 baud WAVs, for faster loading.
- Implemented saving to cassette (see above).
- Implementation of SCREEN6 border and background stripes.
- Implemented support for 192kB VRAM (now default in the Boosted_MSX2_EN machine).
- Implemented support for ADVRAM: use extension "advram-p" for machines in which slot 0 is not expanded (most MSXes) and use extension "advram-s" for machines in which slot 0 is expanded (such as turbo Rs).
- Sound quality improvement of DAC devices (see above).
- Implemented TurboR hardware pause and hardware PCM mute.
- Implemented "magic key" joystickport dongle.
And of course the usual various bug fixes.
- Compile fixes for GCC 4.x.
- Support for FreeBSD 6.
In "doc/manual/index.html" you can find a set of HTML manuals for openMSX. Make sure you read this if you haven't used openMSX before, but also to learn more about the new and changed features.
Known issues / caveats:
- Emulation is not perfect yet. See the bug tracker on sourceforge.net for known bugs.
- Until we reach version 1.0.0, file formats can change in an incompatible way without backwards compatibility. This happened between 0.4.0 and 0.5.0, for example. Keep this in mind if you create machine descriptions, ROM database entries etc.
- openMSX is confirmed to run on the following operating systems: Linux, Win32, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD; on x86, x86-64, Sparc and PPC CPU's. Running on other operating systems (wherever SDL runs) or CPU's should be possible, but may require some modifications to the build system. If you are compiling on a new platform, please share your experiences (see below for contact info), so we can make openMSX more portable.
- CPU and graphics performance varies a lot, depending on the openMSX settings and the MSX hardware and software you're emulating. Some things run fine on a 200MHz machine, others are slow on a 2GHz machine. For performance tuning tips, see the Setup Guide.