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The Oric Atmos was a British designed and built machine and was the successor to the Oric 1.
Released in 1984, the Oric Atmos was conceived by Oric International, after being taken over by Eden Spring, who had injected 4 million pounds into the company. The major improvements over the Oric 1 were adding a true keyboard and smart new case, also installing an updated V1.1 ROM to the motherboard of the Oric, which had some unfortunate bugs in it's code. Otherwise the machine is identical to the 48K version of the Oric 1.
Soon after the Atmos was released, the modem, printer and 3-inch floppy disk drive originally promised for the Oric-1 were announced and released by the end of 1984.
At the rear, the machine has an RF socket out, an audio I/O socket, an RGB out, printer and disk drive ports, and the power socket.
Unfortunately the machine was no more reliable, with a voltage regulator that got extremely hot, and despite getting a new heat sink, it was not enough to stop it from failing. Modern use of the machine recommends a larger heat sink to be fitted underneath the motherboard. It also failed to turn around the fortunes of the brand, with stiff competition from Sinclair and Commodore, plus the newcomer Amstrad, the lack of software, especially after Tansofts liquidation meant it had little to compete in the market place.
RAM problems are common, but thankfully the chips used are still in fair supply, and anyone skilled with a soldering iron will be often successful in repairing them. Other problems were a very unreliable tape loading system.
Despite the hardware difficulties, the machine did sell reasonably well initially, especially in the Netherlands, but it was not enough to stop the parent company of Oric international Eden Spring being sold to the French Company Eureka. The company would develop, but not release the Oric Stratos, which only a few prototype machines remain. This development would eventually lead to the Oric Telestrat, which was aimed at communication users, only a few thousand were sold, and today it is another extremely rare machine.
Due to a good basic it is still popular with homebrew developers today, which still see new titles appearing regularly.
Our Oric Atmos is on display in our main gallery.
Manufacturer: Oric International
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH527. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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