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Expo 99 in Bordeaux
Old computers & videogames exposition 2005
Pianeta Amiga 2001
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Untitled Document

CEO ORIC MEET
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.


Telestrat motherboard

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 to the CEO magazine...

Romuald

Related links:
Club Europe Oric magazine
www.oric.org
Defence-Force
Twilighte's website



  
       
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