Tilburg fair 2000: a report
Big computer meeting 2000
For me, the meeting actually started a few days earlier. As soon as I heard from the Japanese Kuniji Ikeda that he was planning to visit Tilburg with some fellow MSX-freaks this year, I immediately invited him to spend a day with me in Hoorn. Civilized, as Japanese are, he accepted my offer and promised to ‘keep me informed’. This half word was of course enough for me and I made my plans to calmly visit the fair on Saturday.
To my great surprise I received a mail from Ikeda the Wednesday previous to the fair in which he wrote that he would arrive Thursday at Schiphol. He asked whether Rieks Warendorp Torringa would also be there; since I didn’t speak Japanese and he actually didn’t speak English either. ‘We’re with four persons’, he also wrote.
PPI drum system
Since none of the Japanese spoke English, I had to contact Rieks as soon as possible. The only thing I knew about him was that he studied Japanese in Leiden and also lived in Groningen. That’s all. Fortunately, there was someone on the Undernet’s #msx channel who could provide me with his telephone number. I directly got to speak to Rieks and it appeared that he also had been informed of the visit of the Japanese. He would even collect them from the airport together with Robert Vroemisse.
Ultimately we decided Rieks would go to Hoorn with our Japanese friends to get acquainted and pick up Ikeda’s drum system.
The suitcases they brought were crammed more with MSX-stuff than with clothes. They for example brought an enormous load of original software with them, including Salamander with an original MSX Salamander telephone-card, the MSX2 version of King’s Valley II, Space Manbow, Hydlide 3 MSX2-version and much more. Despite of my pleads they insisted to put the games on for auction at the fair. Hence this happened. A number of MSX users have been made very happy with it.
Furthermore, the Japanese sold original MSX2+-computers and a MSX turbo R FS A1ST. They also brought nice MSX-merchandise with them like Snatcher Collection Cards. Last but not least everybody could read the letter Kazuhiko Nishi himself wrote to all European MSX users. It seems ASCII still takes MSX seriously.
Fortunately, the fair had more to offer than what Ikeda & co. had brought. The Japanese influence however still remained. A few Dutch clubs have contacted Japanese MSX users and this resulted in a growing offer of Japanese software.
MSX-NBNO has been known for its contacts with the far east. For some time, they publish the Japanese NV-magazine on the Dutch market. This diskmagazine is released once a month and is edited by Syntax from Japan. The creators of XSW-magazine also had a couple of new Japanese games: CosmoGang De Puzzle, a nice Tetris-clone and Dead Or Live, a beat ‘em up game a bit alike Fighter’s Ragnarök.
The Japanese booth-keepers were housed in a seperate room. There also was Ghost selling his game ‘Morning Star’. I especially noted the shoot ‘em up’s very nice packing.
Fortunately the Dutch softwareproducers also showed their best side. At Sunrise for MSX the first part of Umax’s new RPG could be bought: ‘Realms of Adventure’. Sunrise also presented ‘Pentaro Odyssey 2’, a new platformgame of Spanish make. DeltaSoft came up with ‘Find It’, a nice puzzlegame, greatly inspired on the great Playstation success ‘Metal Gear Solid’. Sargon sold ‘Randar II’, entirely translated to English, TeddyWareZ impressed with their ‘SCC Blaffer NT’ and their new music-disk ‘Tunez II’ and Compjoetania TNG had another update for ‘Compass’.
The meeting was also very interesting for hardwarefreaks. Leonardo Padial Ortiz, from Spain, demonstrated his ‘LPE-Z380 cartridge’ with the 32 bits Zilog Z380-processor. Sunrise for MSX still had some GFX9000s for sale, as well as the nessecary IDE and RS232-interfaces, which were available as seperate cartridges as well as integrated ones. Compjoetania TNG showed that MP3-files can not only be replayed on pcs. There was a prototype of a hardware MP3-decoder controlled by an MSX.
Of course the necessary devices and printer ribbons could also be found at the fair. Bas Kornalijnslijper of MSX Club West-Friesland once again brought an impressive amount of hardware with him and this time also some fancy ‘gadgets’ for the Playstation.
More pictures can be found on FUNet.