LAN,networks in our MSX (May-June 2000):
The MSX was one year old and in 1984 Spectravideo developed a LAN (local area network) for MSX system, this LAN was comercial and presented in 1985 by Indescomp (in Spain) in a press release celebrated in Meliá Castilla hotel of Madrid. The president of this conference was José Luis Domínguez with a big expectation.
This LAN could connect to a maximum of 32 MSX with one requeriment, these MSX must have at least 64 Kb of RAM, the possibilities of this LAN could be increased adding a mainframe to the LAN, based on a SV-328 computer with a local network expander (added module with the next improvements: Winchester harddisk of 10 Mb, 320 Kb 5,1/4" diskdrive, centronics interface, RS232C interface, 64 Kb expansion and 80 dots card). This LAN was oriented to teach enviroments and we can assure that it was a succesful LAN because a good number of institutes installed LAN with MSX, for example the "Santa Cristina" institute of Madrid.
In the same press release it was commented the new proffesional robot development for MSX, that let us to control some machines like cassetes, televisions, videos...Apart from the possibility of extend these robots to industrial use, possibility that was never used. They told about the 16 bits future in the MSX system.
"SMART CARDS" ( July-August 2000)
Now we are using them: when you are calling in a public phone, buying cheap products, for identification purposes or renovating personal documents...now we must think about the origin of the chip cards that tends to be unified.
Where is the origin?, easy to deduce if this is a MSX page, the origin is in our loved MSX, the smart cards were tested (and used) in this system looking for the future applications, we are at the start of 1985 and the MSX innovate another time, with the collaboration of Mithsubishi plastics and Hudson Soft (Electric Soft developed another kind of smart card one year later) the Bee Card born.
The Bee Card is mainly a memory card, about its use it will be a read only memory (ROM, very extended and used in a lot of MSX games) or reusable EPROM, that lets to read/write when you want with simple software. The first Bee Card prototypes had from 64 Kb to 1 Mbyte, the Bee Card was very used in the software, in fact, in the japanese medical centres was used as a medical file storage system. The card size was only 86x54x1,8 mm and 32 pins (Electric Soft version had 38).
For using this cards with MSX, a special slot adapter was avaliable that sometimes was a gift when you purchase the Bee Card. Its applications looked infinite (as many as today it has), and the resistence tests were really curious in Japan: during 30 days the Bee Cards were inside of a back pockets, they were summerged in different acids, electric strikes and magnetic flows, it is better to forget the crash tests, really hard, but all the tests was passed because the memory was never damaged.