I've been scanning a few Oric articles from the popular computer magazines. I have a series of articles about graphics that were in the Personal Computer News micropeadia pages. I have part 1, 3, 4 and 5. But no part 2. IU have these from three different people and none have part 2.
I've found the mag online - it's PCN April 29th 1983. They mention part 2 of the graphics article but it isn't there in the scan.
I'll have a look through my motley mag collection, Steve, though it very much looks like it's a helluva rarity!
Talking of mags, in a copy of Oric User Monthly I've been reading recently, our very own Vyper (aka Richie) gets a couple of memorable mentions...
ABOVE: Just check out that Telestrat / Stratos beast
ABOVE: Our very own fab Mr Farrell gets a name-check in Oric User Monthly - the "Brain" reference later on clearly refers to Vyper too - he's been the brains behind every upgrade my retro micros have enjoyed of late!
ABOVE: There's no stopping our Richie and his wealth of riches - how generous - offering his old Dragon to the Oric cause as a prize - the Sixty Four version too - not the common or garden 32, I'll have you know.
I imagine you and Steve (Muso) - and the rest of the lads involved with the OUM mag - must have enjoyed some very good times and known close camraderie etc at the meets and keeping the Oric alive during the era of the 16-bits and PC invasion.
Good on you fellas - here you are TWENTY SIXyears later (from the date of this particular issue) STILL DOING THE SAME!
I should've known as I've never seen that front cover before with the Aquarius in the foreground and the Atari arcade machine ASTEROIDS in the background (which is this month's Atari Sector monthly competition game, by the way - do you play Atari, Steve?!)
Anyway, I don't know why but this cover caught my eye of Texas Toni tempting us with her T.I...
I trust this will compensate you in some small way, Muso!!??
The OUM days were fun. I'd just about given up on Orics when I went to college and Ally persuaded me to look out for an Atmos, which I'd wanted. It was the end of the 8-bit reign and people were selling things off and buying consoles, PCs or Amigas. So I managed to get my hands on an Atmos and along with it came the address for OUM, so I joined up.
A couple of years later I managed to get down to one of the OUM meets - 1991, I think where Richie and the gang were. I was a little shy of chatting to folk I hadn't met before, which I regret now. I also had to return to Oxford so we didn't witness the afters party. (All the guys like Bristow, Jim Groom, Matt Coates, Jon Haworth, Allan Whittaker, Dr Ray McLaughlin, Peter Bragg etc etc were there, along with CEO representation of Jean Boileau and Laurence Chiccerini, who produced the Enlgish version of the CEO mag at the time. I talked to some , of course, but I didn't know who everyone was so didn't really chat with Jonathan and others. )
I also had to return to Oxford so we didn't witness the afters party.
I think at that one I picked up a collection of Théoric mags and old CEOs which introduced me to all the unknown (to me) French software. It kind of blew my mind a bit and confirmed my suspicions that the Oric was capable of running decent software. The French seemed a step ahead so far as programming was concerned and some of the software still looks pretty good today.
I keep meaning to plug the Old Atari in. For me the ST had it all. I wanted an Oric with all the extras they promised and full colour graphics and sprites and everything, and the Atari ST has all that. I never really got into programming on the ST though. I have a couple or 3 of the 8-bit Ataris, but haven't used them much - partly due to a lack of software (in my collection.) They have some pretty good capabilities. I've also got the Atari7800 console bought new from a big Asda in Edinburgh that seemed to specialise in selling off end-of-the-line computers. I remember then selling off Texas TI99/4a too. I nearly got one - but I was a skint student. Then I have the Lynx II and Jaguar, of course. For some reason this reminds me of the car sticker mentioned in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy which read, 'My other car is also a Porsche.'
So, yeah, my other computer is an Atari ST. (Oh, I've got a Mega as well. Is that the right name? The one with the separate keyboard.)
I had no Idea I had given that Dragon 64 away as a raffle prize. It was not worth as much then as it is now, and I had several other 8-Bits in the cupboard. There was a Lynx-96K, Sam Coupe and Jupiter Ace. They are all gone now hopefully still being used somewhere.
It would be nice to get a copy of that OUM 8bitbaz
I remember driving down to Aylesbury in my Fiat Uno ( took about Six hours ) and stayed at Dave D's gaff. JB had brought his latest offering, he got a bit miffed when I said it looked like Exolon on the Spectrum. I was a bit young and green back then and emotional intelligence was not a strong point, so I didn't pick up on him being annoyed plus I had been drinking ( I cannot shut up when I've had a drink - making up for not saying much when sober ). It soon passed though and we were all laughing. Then we all went down to the Meet the next day, good times.
I have seen the old "Brain" Kidd mistyped in one or two other editions, Rich, but I think you are due that moniker regardless, mate.
Of course, I'll make sure you get a copy of said OUM.
Enjoyed reading both Steve's & Richie's recollections of those now far-off days... clearly golden memories for you fellas and I just wish I could have got my ass along at that time but I know that, by then, I had "gone over to the dark side" by then I was piddling about with an Amiga A500 and then on to a 486DX PC...with a massive 2mb RAM!
That was quite a coincidence having the address of OUM thrown in with your Atmos, Steve - I don't think I knew anything about their existence up to about 5-6 years ago, so there'a another reason why I would've missed any meets in the 90s!
You mention some great guys and honourable names there within Oric circles (ovals?!) - the great and the good, if you like of the Oric World - I wonder how many are still on the go now? Sadly, as we all know, Jonathan has passed away and if there was ever a true genius (and he most clearly deserves that over-used label) programmer for our humble micro, then Mr B was he.
The work he produced to make the Oric RISE well above what many thought it was capable of will always remain a testament to his brilliance.
What the heck were you thinking of, Richie, telling him his latest creation looked like some scrab for the Speccy??!!
You couldn't mek it up, lads!!
Hey, I've got a Fiat 500 - if you've still got yours, mate, we could weld them together and make a "proper" car!!
Pretty generous giving away a Dragon 64, even then. I'll have the next one !!! (Can't find our Dragon 32. All the software etc is still there. )
I think we had to drive down from Edinburgh to my Mum's in Cumbria. Then we drove down to my brother at Oxford, then across from Oxford to Aylesbury. So it was quite a trek, which is why I didn't go more often.
OUM didn't start until Oric collapsed, I think. They used to advertise occasionally in Micro Mart, I think. (Or maybe it was Exchange & Mart?) Brian Kidd was the contact point as he was membership secretary, I think. I assumed he was the guy running OUM, so I was a bit confused at the start. He offered me some 3.5" disks of software as I'd been talkign about getting a disk drive - but I didn't have anything yet so I sent them back to him. (I actually used Ally's 286 PC to copy the disks. I didn't know if it would work, but it chugged through them. When I did get the disk interface they loaded up !!!)
OUM became a rallying point for Oric owners that still had an interest. They produced their own software, which was a big plus. Rob Cook, of course, in those days starting off things. Somehow or other they got hold of one or two unreleased titles like Insect Insanity from John Marshall, (I think). Other magazines like Your Oric closed and people gravitated over to OUM. 'Archimedes' translated some French software for Your Oric and I think that was made available through OUM. Alan Whittaker had taken FGC which specialised in Oric and he rebranded it HGC. They had a lot of new software like Starwind, Galactosmash, Snake Venom, Grendel. He started writing articles under the name Oric Enthusiast that appeared in OUM and there was a series updating Geoff Phillips book with the newer DOS commands. Alan was also the distributor for Sedoric which was shareware in those days. You paid to register then got updates for free.
They had not only software but also Steve Hopps had computers, software and the Cumana disk interfaces available which he built by hand from the remaining stock OPEL had taken on. They'd bought up remaining tapes from Tansoft when they closed.
Along with all this you had a few knowledgeable guys writing serious articles. Peter Bragg did his Machine Code articles and Jon Haworth had started the epic task of doing a side by side comparison of the ROM disassemblies V1 and V1.1
Dave d**k was the glue that bound it all together. He was quite encouraging if you showed an interest and he answered a lot of queries and pondered other questions to get people involved. He was very good at communicating with folk and we would ring up each other quite a lot asking each other about how a piece of software worked, or what software could be used for a certain task. It was all heady stuff for me as I'd thought the Oric was capable of good things but not seen software available, apart from mail order. I tried to contribute as much as I could whether it was just writing in with ideas or trying to come up with articles. I didn't have much programming skills or any expertise so wrote whatever rubbish I could. And the reason I could write the articles was Dave sorted me the disk system and advised me to get Easytext from the CEO, (I think) and got me a printer cable so I could use the Star dot matrix thing. So I wrote letters on my Oric and wrote articles for college and typed things into a database which I could then print out. I was really using the Oric as it was intended, as an all-round computer - all thanks to OUM, really.
My/Our Fiat Uno was a 45 Fire ( 1.0ltr ) called H224 UPY or Happy as we called it has long since moved on. It was like a baked bean can on wheels but was a better car than our old B Reg Uno 55s which had a whining gearbox that could let go at any minute
Yep, Steve Hopps built my old Cumana interface with Dave acting as a broker Sedoric is a really nice DOS and it's a shame it was not widely known about outside of Oric circles.
The Dragon 64 was completely boxed as well and in excellent condition too.
To answer Steve first - as you know, they covered a reasonably wide "spectrum" of machines from week to week but they don't seem to have always covered every machine, every week - and here lies the problem with an Oric omission during that week 2, Steve. What a bummer, when you've been waiting so long for some positive news from that particular week's coverage... sorry, fella.
Vyper and Cercamon - my pleasure, lads...
Coming right up.
ABOVE: Vyper Rich, if the photo isn't showing the text clearly enough and needs re-scanning, just let me know - not the best effort, I know... apols in advance.
ABOVE: looks like the VIC got 2 articles - at the Oric's expense - let me know if again, you need these re-scanning for better detail, Cercamon.