Ichigo Jam Raspberry Pi style MSX computer

By G_G

Rookie (19)

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06-04-2014, 21:46

I couldn't see any mention of this in the forum, so apologies if anyone has posted about it before.

I spotted this Ichigo Jam project, which appears to be similar to a Raspberry Pi, but running what sounds like MSX basic, running at 48Mhz.

There are a couple of Japanese articles about it, but here are the Google Translate versions:



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By zPasi

Champion (499)

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09-04-2014, 12:18

Well, it's not MSX nor Raspberry Pi, but otherways interesting project, maybe...

Looks more like an ARM-based Arduino with tv-output. If Google translates the story correctly, the board was developed for elementary school children, for teaching them some basic (or BASIC) programming. They don't want to give Raspberrys to children because they don't want to let them go to the net without net security child filters.

By G_G

Rookie (19)

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09-04-2014, 20:56

Thanks zPasi. I thought it looked interesting. Maybe the BASIC is developed from MSX BASIC eg an extended version. I wish I could at least read some Japanese. Sometimes I just get the drift of it via Google Translate.

By balloon

Supporter (2)

balloon's picture

25-02-2015, 12:24

I am sorry that I do reply to slightly old post.
I am Japanese MSX information site manager and user of IchigoJam.

IchigoJam does not have a full function of MSX.
but developer(Taisuke Fukuno a.k.a. @daisukef) of IchigoJam is a user of MSX.
The developer adopted BASIC in IchigoJam under the influence of MSX.

The MSX user seeing this may mind IchigoJam:

english reference (IchigoJam official site):

english how to make (IchigoJam official site):

The Japanese IchigoJam user knew this reaction recently.
We are ready to expand English information to help everybody.

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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25-02-2015, 23:02

zPasi wrote:

Looks more like an ARM-based Arduino with tv-output.

More like a poor man's Raspberry Pi... LOL! Says it's based on an LPC1114, which is an up to ~50 MHz ARM Cortex-M0 with 32KB flash and a few KB's RAM. As for the video output, somebody ripped a page from the Sinclair ZX81's design book. ;-)

Just for teaching kids a bit about "what's a computer", "write a small program" etc, yes this should do. But apart from the very first steps in that process, a poor choice with Raspberry Pi's out there, (educational) software available for that, and the vast community around it.


They don't want to give Raspberrys to children because they don't want to let them go to the net without net security child filters.

That has "I'M STUPID!" written all over it:

"Our school's IT guys are imbeciles"
"Kids are supposed to take these home, and we don't trust these kid's parents to keep an eye on what their kids are doing"
"Let's ignore many kids these days (even young ones) already have an internet-capable smartphone in their pocket"
"Never mind that perhaps 1 or 2 years down the line, somebody will drop a tablet / laptop on these kids, to access study material online"

Educators these days seem really, really clueless sometimes... (sigh)

By yzi

Champion (444)

yzi's picture

26-02-2015, 22:26

I totally understand the "netlessness". Keeping things simple has benefits. Being a button press and two seconds away from games and entertainment at all times, is an unnecessary distraction. My guitars don't have internet connectivity, games, and "apps". My pencils don't have that crap. My beer cans don't have that crap. I have forks, knives and plates that cannot be used for sending tweets. It may be hard to believe, but I have an actual soldering iron that cannot be used for watching p0rn, it is really only useful for soldering. I feel so clueless and stupid.

By G_G

Rookie (19)

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27-02-2015, 10:23

Thanks for the reply balloon. Thanks also for the links to the proper English translations.

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1563)

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27-02-2015, 15:10

yzi wrote:

I totally understand the "netlessness". Keeping things simple has benefits.

That argument I happen to agree with. But you're missing the point:

If you don't want school kids to have internet access with their RPi, it's simple. For starters, get a Model A or A+, which doesn't have an RJ45 network connector. Or don't provide anything you could plug it into.
That leaves USB Wi-Fi dongles. Wi-Fi is short range, so if a school uses regular security (proper encryption + strong password required) on whatever Wi-Fi networks they have up, that means no connection even if you bring in a Wi-Fi dongle. And similar to mobile phone use in classrooms: if a teacher catches a kid using a Wi-Fi dongle to surf the web (if that wasn't allowed): seize it, and kids will quickly learn that's a no-no.

Hardware not used, doesn't get in the way. RPi built-in peripherals that aren't used, will just sit there & do nothing. If you feel a full-blown Linux OS is too much / too complex, just hand out SD cards with a tiny OS like what this Ichigo Jam dude was writing. Both are ARM-based, the Raspberry Pi (1) uses a non-Cortex ARM cpu so (from a programmer's perspective) it may even be simpler than the cpu on that $2 microcontroller.

All this is what I meant with "Our school's IT guys are imbeciles". And once kids leave the classroom / playground, then -in general- it's not a school's business anymore what they're up to. Enter parents etc.