The Oric-1 was a British-designed and built machine, which was released in 1983. The computer was based on a 1 MHz 6502A CPU. The Oric-1 was available in 16K or 48K RAM variants, for £99.95 and £169.95 respectively, matching the available models of the popular ZX Spectrum and undercutting the price of the 48K Spectrum by a few pounds. Both Oric-1 versions had a 16K ROM containing the operating system and a modified BASIC interpreter.
Oric was the name used by Tangerine Computer Systems for a series of home computers, including the original Oric-1, its successor the Oric Atmos, the later unreleased Oric Stratos/IQ164 and the model born out of that, the Oric Telestrat.
With the success of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Tangerine's backers had suggested a home computer and Tangerine formed Oric Products International Ltd to develop and release the Oric-1 in 1983. The Oric is said to be named after the computer, Orac, in the BBC science-fiction series Blake's Seven, according to the December 1982 edition of Practical Computing.
The Oric-1 improved somewhat over the Spectrum with a chiclet keyboard design replacing the Spectrum's renowned "dead flesh" one. In addition the Oric had a true sound chip, the programmable GI 8912, and two graphical modes handled by a semi-custom ASIC (ULA) which also managed the interface between the processor and memory. The two modes were a LORES text only mode (though the character set could be redefined to produce graphics) with 28 rows of 40 characters and a HIRES mode with 200 rows of 240 pixels above three lines of text.
Like the Spectrum, the Oric-1 suffered from attribute clash—albeit to a lesser degree in HIRES mode, when a single row of pixels could be coloured differently from the one below in contrast to the Spectrum, which applied foreground and background colour in 8 x 8 pixel blocks. As it was meant for the home market, it had a built in television RF modulator as well as RGB output and was meant to work with a basic audio tape recorder to save and load data.
According to Oric, about 160,000 Oric-1s were sold in the UK in 1983 with another 50,000 sold in France (where it was the top-selling machine that year).
For further details of the Tangerine company and our Tangerine Microtan 65 click HERE.
Paul Kaufman sent us this link, he is also featured in the article http://oric.free.fr/STORY/chapter1.html
Manufacturer: Oric International
Date: 1st January 1983
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