What's FutureDisk?

What on earth is the FutureDisk?

The FutureDisk is an MSX Disk Magazine released by a non-commercial organization, based on the help of volunteers. Founded in 1992 by STUFF, FD Productions being the label releasing the issues. An MSX Disk Magazine is exactly what the name suggests. We're a Magazine about MSX computers, but instead of on paper the magazine is released on disk. Like said, it all began in 1992. A small group of MSX users decided to make an own MSX disk magazine focused on the MSX scene in Japan. The founders: Koen Dols and Dennis Lardenoye. Soon, the MSX market in Japan began to decline, so it was no longer possible to focus on this market only. It became a normal magazine as there were many at that time. An MSX Disk Magazine.

To spare you our boring history filled with wars between rival magazines, personal vendettas and a weird guy on bunny slippers selling porno CD-ROM's and XTC pills (Yes, Alex Peetoom), as the years went by we slowly became what we are today. The oldest, biggest and -by far- the best MSX Disk Magazine still alive. The FutureDisk.

A final note: in the text, there will be some references to pictures. Since you are looking at the text-only version of the FD Homepage, these are not valid. Simply ignore it...

But WHAT exactly is it?

Like said, it's a disk. A normal magazine, but then on a disk .We have our very own brand of disks, and also, every disk comes with a nice full colour label. The main part of the FutureDisk is ofcourse the texts. Compare it to any other computer magazine; hot news, game reviews, reviews of programs, info on major fairs, game hints, texts about programming, you name it. It's all there. The texts are viewed in a text routine, more about this later. Everything is neatly divided in categories, kind of like a real magazine. But, on a disk you can do more! There's music on the background, three sound chips are supported, there are sound effects, you can print a text, or just print a part of a text, there are animations in the border of the screen, and even a small scroll line informing you things like the music playing and the current status. It's just big fun on your MSX screen. Add to this that a lot is possible for a low price. And there's another advantage; software. Every FD is dressed up by loads of software, wether it is the boot-intro, the selector, or the additional software every FD has. Every FD has at least one software-extra on it, but often even more. This can be a cool demo, a utility, a small program, a promo or even a real game from time to time, but there's always something!

Here's how it looks...

OK, let's see what the average FD looks like. Unfortunately, we don't have enough space available to show you an entire FD, but this should give you a good idea of what it looks like. An FD starts with the standard FD intro, a nice song that can be played on 3 different soundchips, accompanied by a nice animation. Then, the selector boots. Here you can select the software on the disk or choose to boot the magazine. Let's focus on the magazine part. The first picture is a picture of the loading screen. This is what you'll see when you boot the magazine part, or when a text it loading. But in all fairness, you won't see much of it. For quite a while now we've been using direct sector access for loading most data. In other words, there's not much loading going on. And, you don't have to worry, there's a special option for viewing the picture.

This second picture is an example of the normal text screen we have. In this sceen the texts on the issue can be selected with a nice menu system, and the texts can be read. The texts are displayed in a nice 8*8 pixel font -allowing for 64 columns- and many other fonts, pictures and icons can be displayed. As you can see the screen is divided into three sections; there are two borders and a text field. This text field scrolls up and down under these -fixed- borders as you move your mouse, wiggle your joystick or push the buttons. All this on a high-resolution screen (screen 7) in a 32 color mode. Nice! In the borders various animations take place, this can be eyes rolling in a skull (FD#16), a hand reaching for boobs (FD#15) or text balloons spreading nonsense (FD#25). A big surprise every time you get a new FD!

But, there's more to our text routine. Only viewing texts just wouldn't be enough. There's music that can be played on 3 different chips, there are sound effects, and there's the scroll window. This scroll window supplies you with all kinds of information ranging from the release date of the issue you're reading to the song currently playing on which chipset. You're selections are displayed here and status messages are given. All this, while the text keeps scrolling, the animation goes on, the palette fades fade and the music chimes on on the background. All this on an MSX computer...

What makes the FD so special?

First of all, we're the biggest, by far. And this has a reason ofcourse. The reason being; we're the oldest and the best, by far. We have a steady release scheme. Expect a FutureDisk in your mail box around every 2 months. We provide quality. Jjust take a peek at one of our issues, and you'll see what we mean. We do extra's. Remember those 3 disks you got when we hit 25? Well, expect 6 when we hit 50... And we just plainly rule. It's simple, if you want to be updated regularly where MSX is concerned, we're the magazine you're looking for. Sure, there are alternatives, but hey, they're not nearly as good.

1998 FD-Productions, all rights reserved