Held in Paris, France on the 19th January 2002
Review by Romuald
Romuald's favorite link : www.oric.org
What! You were not there. Shame on you!
As usual, the 'Club Europe Oric' Meet took place in Paris on January 19th.
Officially beginning at 2:00 pm, the meeting was preceded by a lunch near
the meeting place.
There were less people than it used to be at the CEO, but it was the
most motivated ones. The Britons seem to have the same problem with Rhetoric
meets. Nevertheless it was a great pleasure to see other oricians and
some guy with a T-shirt from the Alternative Party (held recently in Helsinki).
Guess who? Jonathan Bristow himself (aka Twilighte).
Jonathan Bristow presents his new projects
Here, no loud playing band and after a quick report of the year elapsed,
we went to the most interesting part, the projects...
After Fabrice Francès' portable oric at the last oric meeting,
it was hard to compete on the hardware news.
Talk a while with other oricians and sooner or later you will hear about
problems concerning the reliability of the oric microdisk units. Name
it, they do it, and voila, a solution is soon at hand. At the meeting
a new floppy disk controller prototype made by Thierry was shown. It's
not yet fully working. Still based on the 1793 floppy disk controller,
the project aims at being easy-to-do for everybody - yes everybody - not
only electronic gurus but even newbies will be able to make it.
The new floppy disk controller prototype
Fabrice Francès was not present but his hard drive interface is
still a work in progress. His latest release of Euphoric takes his new
project into account. I also heard of a new cart for the telestrat but...
The meeting is also an opportunity to have your oric fixed by specialists.
But more important, it's also an opportunity to learn things on your machine.
Thierry and Jean fixed an Oric Telestrat. Thierry explained to a new telestrat
owner the way the stratos mainboards were modified to become telestrat.
Thierry is fixing a Telestrat
Interested? Ok, it's nothing really special (but I did not hear everything):
some straps and 2 or 3 pcbs added to adapt to the French standards. What
is interesting concerning those mods is that -eg, the pcbs are grounded
through the screws which were grounded on the telestrat mainboard. So
for those who came out to unscrew it and did not put it back the right
way it would lead to ground problem.
Another point of interest is related to the memory chips. The stratos
mainboard memory area, even before being modified to be a telestrat, is
filled with 4164 chips. Look into your Atmos, they're the same. But near
from the cartridge port you can see a line of solder joint with nothing
in it. Originally it was intended to support special RAM. By the time
the stratos mainboard went into production, they were some spares 4164
but they had planned to replace those cumbersome and expensive chips by
less expensive ones which would be fitted in that memory slot (or directly
soldered on the board) near the cartridge port.
You have a telestrat and you can't read your disks? You think your disk
unit is dead? Maybe not. It might be a problem with your telestrat itself.
As a matter of fact one, common problem is that near the cart trapdoor
is a small metal clip (tab) which sometimes falls and then creates a shortcut
with some pins of the floppy disk controller chip which is placed just
below. Nice design
3.5" floppy from a PC and 3" box from
an apple II
Hardware is a thing but there are also some news concerning the software.
Remember that guy with the Alternative Party t-shirt? Yes Sir, Jonathan
'Twilighte' Bristow was there and apart from explaining some stuff concerning
his projects, he also showed some of his work in progress. First of all
I've got to tell you that his oric version of Times of Lore really kicks
ass. A huge map, a very nice design, some details not yet implemented
but gee... A demo
version is available on the internet, go and see it... Times of Lore
intro and storybook are also great piece of computing and illustrate his
focus on the details. Official site of the game is http://tol.oric.org/
Times of Lore screenshots
We've also seen the new Sonix version, Sonix 4 which allows one to use
the Oric 3 channels + a virtual channel to play samples, sounds, music...
R-Type on the Oric? Not yet, but as soon as Times of Lore is finished,
it will be one of Jon's numerous projects.
We also had the Vip3
demo running for those who still hadn't seen it, but who could now say
he had never seen it: scrollers, rotozoom, interference... And there was
also a nice demo from Twilighte. A lot can be done with the oric, the
problem is that there is not that much coders around so come and join
the Defence Force demo group...
Vip3 demo screenshots
What the Oric also needs is some new games, and a lot of people at the
meeting confessed that they had some projects which were not finished
because of a lack of time or programming skills.
Jim Cuomo talking with Jonathan Bristow
There was also another very interesting guest at the meeting: Jim Cuomo.
That guy was using the oric to create music and graphics while playing
along with his saxophone in the 80's. He also presented music/theatre
events then with orics... A demo was planned but unfortunately due to
some problems it was not possible. Nevertheless, Jim intends to use one
of his oric picture as the cover of his next music CD which will also
include two songs in which the oric was used.
84' french review about Jim Cuomo's work
I was then offered to go out with André, Jede and Jon but I had
to leave, you know how wives can be... Next time maybe...
See you at the next CEO meeting and help the oric community by subscribing
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