The Yamaha CX5M Music Computer
By James Grahame
I was digging around in my basement yesterday and came across a box of forgotten music gear from the 1980s. The most exciting discovery was my old Yamaha CX5M MSX-compatible music computer. Released in 1984, this little beast offered a built-in FM synthesizer and MIDI IN/OUT ports. It also includes Microsoft Extended BASIC for programming. Methinks I'll have to dust it off, power it up, and hack up a few strange little MIDI mangling synthesizer programs.
MSX computers were all the rage in Japan in the mid-1980s. They were based on a common reference design and ran MSX-DOS -- an early command-line based operating system from Microsoft. The BASIC programming language was embedded in ROM and all MSX machines featured at least 32K of memory and a 3.58MHz Zilog Z80 microprocessor.