My favourite MSX is the Philips NMS8250. -- It’s got the perfect form factor, it fits under my monitor and I always have it on my desk in front of me. I’ve got a Moonsound, Music Module, FM-PAC and a MegaFlashRom (MFR) for the SCC. I love the different sound chips for the MSX.

But the 8250, no matter how wonderful, has one big fat problem: The audio mixer is broken by design. As soon as another sound cartridge is used, the PSG sound fades to inaudible. Even original Konami SCC cartridges sound wrong. So when I want to play a game or enjoy a music demo, I need to pull out another MSX which is obviously pretty inconvenient.

Recently I heard about the GR8NET. Initially I was curious about its network capabilities, but soon I found out it also comes with MSX-AUDIO, MSX-MUSIC, SCC and PSG on board. Plus all of these are connected directly to a LINE-OUT plug. With this cartridge the 8250 mixer is completely bypassed and I can finally enjoy the MSX that’s on my desk and connected to my speakers.

It only arrived some days ago and I’m still learning how to use it. It’s not the easiest device to use out of the box, so hopefully this guide will help new users (or existing users that keep their GR8NET in a drawer) make the most of it.

Full story


Z80 coding is fun! And frustrating! But mostly fun. Really nice to revisit what I used to do when I was a teenager, rummaging around the MSX trying to get it to do things much faster than what could be achieved in BASIC.

Nowadays with all the external tools, cross-compilers and vast amounts of information on the internet, it's so much easier than it was back in '85. That said, it was quite the culture shock to be responsible for every cycle, every interrupt, each letter printed to screen takes a ton of code. But this bare-bones coding is somehow very fulfilling. It gives total control over every little detail. Nice!

So Quartet. The game was originally created by PhotonStorm and Ilkke and I was lucky enough to not only get permission for the remake, but also got Ilkke to do the graphics and the sound for the MSX version!

We were just in time to make it an MSXDev'18 competition entry. This is where you can download the game for now.

Thanks to the wonderful WEBMSX online emulator you can have a quick play for yourself even without owning an MSX. Go give it a try!