The white MSX turboR
Story by Wolfgang Borrmann
From 1988 to 1995 I was in the MSX group CCT Munich. CCT Munich was an active MSX group in Germany busy with video editing and later with the MSX turboR. When the MSX turboR A1ST of Panasonic appeared in 1990/1991 on the Japanese market, we imported several to Germany. We were persuaded basically by the technique of the MSX turboR and became enthousiast.
However, the turboR had a big problem: it was a Japanese computer: 110 V of mains voltage, videonorm is NTSC, Japanese manuals and Japanese software.
Therefore the computer was not suitable for for MSX users in Germany.But new MSX users were very important, because the number of MSX users in Germany, since in 1988 the last MSX manufacturer stopped, moved down rapidly.
An MSX businessman requested me in 1991, how we can adapt this computer to the German market:
* The mains voltage transformer had to be exchanged, which is expensive or one can use an external 220 V to 110 V converter.
* The German sign character can be loaded about software and now the keyboard had to be marked with German signs.
* German manuals as a substitute for the Japanese ones
* English software as a substitute for the Japanese ones.
The conversion was possible, however the cost were too high and the project was stopped.
Nevertheless, I have adapted two of these computers in 1991. Thus there is a white one and a blue MSX turboR with a German keyboard.
In 1991 we have presented the white MSX turboR on some fairs (Augsburg, Munich, Neu-Ulm). The next two pictures show the article in the german MSX magazine MSX Contact.
Questions and answers on the white turboR
Q: What kind of turboR is this?
A: Basically it is a Panasonic MSX Turbo R A1ST with inside 512 KB USERRAM (not 256!).
Q: Did this MSX tR have KANJI-ROM?
A: Yes this is a normal MSX turboR FS-A1ST.
Q: Was the case painted or was it specially made?
A: The case was varnished 2 times (Transpartent and ivory-white) The keyboard had to be removed the Japanese signs and the German sign sentence must go according to DIN keyboard are marked. For example, the international keyboard is in the format QWERTY, but the German one must go in QWERTZ are changed. The German umlauts also must be visible on the keyboard.
Q:Was the software on disks translated to English?
A: So far we it to translated ones could the software was translated. None of us could in Japanese. Here only by the everlasting testing etc. we collected experience and slowly translated the software. Partly if own software was also used.
Q:Did this computer have English version of MSX-View?
A: We had only the ST version and as the GT came out the project was already stopped. The MSX-View of the GT was translated into the English one, however, not from our group.
Q:Does someone have ROM dump of this machine or translated disks anymore?
A: Rom is in the original, Here nothing was changed. The German keyboard driver is loaded from Disk in MSX DOS 2.3 and remains during the application in the memory. No matter whether in -MSX-BASIC or in an application, e.g., TED. The German sign sentence remains actively.
Q:Did this computer have PAL composite output?
A: Unfortunately, PAL was not realized.
Q:Did this computer have Kanji-led?
A: It has a LED for KANJI.
Q:Was also the LED names translated?
A: I had a plastic template into English (POWER, CAPS, KANA, PAUSE, TURBO, FFD in USE). In color it had the same design like from Panasonic. It could be exchanged. However, on the photo the orginal by Panasonic is shown.
Q:Is there a name for the key on left side of space?
A:The key was not covered at that time.
Videosplit is a program to aid in video editing on the NMS8280 by Wolfgang Borrmann. Videosplit was developed up to version 0,66 (November, 1994) by me. Unfortunately, on dissolving the MSX market in Germany there also was no Interresse in this software. MSX trader X-Soft gone away in 1994 slowly also from MSX and went to the PC. Nevertheless, Videosplit would be an interesting program:
– Hardware: NMS 8280 or MSX2 with Videogenlock with at least 128 KB of USERS RAM/128 KB VRAM
– Pull-Down steered software with the MSX mouse.
– Screens and Scrolling can be called about a direct mode
– Scroll editor (3 speeds, Y axis freely eligible, ASCII texts could be taken over from other word processing systems (z.b. TED)
– New sign sentences can be provided to themselves by means of Big Eddi (product by Manuel Uhl CCT) relatively fast.
– More than 30 videowipes incl. animation wipes.
– Supports the VDP 9958 (also without ROM MSX2+).
The version 0.66 has not progressed yet so far. However, many functions like Scrolling, animations already function. Maybe still there comes the time and I will still develop Videosplit (in English version). Videosplit also runs on the emulator blueMSX. Of course on the emulator without Superimposing or Genlock. For the original NMS 8280 the result looks better (with Imposing or Genlock)
The HB-900P in space
In the MIR spacestation a Sony HB-900P is visible. Here are some screenshots made by Wolfgang of a video and the program Videobench: