The random ramblings of a French programmer living in Norway...
2019
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  The Oriclopedia
Tue 3rd December 2019   
This is now December, and I decided to take a break with the Oriclopedia videos, so this is a small summary of what was published this year.

The idea

My original aim with the Oriclopedia videos was to fill the Oric visibility problem on the internet.

The machine never had a cult following like the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum or the Amiga, and as a result never had enough people to both maintain the machines, write emulators, talk about it in forums, publish new games, etc... so the Oric world kind of stayed in its own bubble.

You can see now and then videos appearing now and then, mostly in the form of 3 to 5 minutes of somebody's hands connecting something into something else to demonstrate a cool hardware or software hack that only make sense for the people already knowing about the subject.

With Oriclopedia, I decided to take the opposite approach, with some vulgarisation videos, each one covering a very specific topic, with hopefully enough unique content to make everybody learn something new.

But this takes time, energy, money, so I need a break!

Here is the list of Oriclopedia videos published in 2019, by chronological order: Hopefully the content has gotten better over time, at least it's what I tried!

Tansoft

This first video was about Tangerine and Tansoft, this choice was made because after all my website is called Defence-Force.

It's often good to have a point of reference when looking at things you don't know, and Tansoft gives us a good base on which to evaluate the rest of the software library for the machine.


The Oric Family

Then I thought that maybe alternative between software and hardware would be a good idea, so I decided to show the various models of Oric computer, from the Oric 1 to the Telestrat, including the clones such as the Pravetz 8D and the various local variants.


Loriciels

Since I was alternating between Software and Hardware, why not also alternate between countries.

We had Tansoft (England) before, so now it was time for Loriciels, the largest French software publisher on the machine.

Some of the most famous programs were their adventure games L'Aigle d'Or1, Le Diamant de l'île Maudite2 and Le Secret du Tombeau3.


The Oric MCP40

Since I've always been a fan of the Oric MCP40 (40 columns Multi-Color-Printer), I decided to have a full episode to present it, including software tricks to make it print text with different characters sets.


IJK Software

It is simply impossible to speak about Oric software without mentioning IJK Software.

One of the most famous British Oric game developer and publisher, it is the British equivalent of Loriciels and has released some of the most memorable games for the machine: Xenon I4, Zorgon's Revenge, Damsel in Distress, Don't Press The Letter Q, Probe 3, Ghost Gobbler, and many more.


Cable Management

For all it's prettyness, the Oric Atmos always had this annoying problem with the ungodly ammount of cables and powerbricks required to get it running properly on a modern color television set.

In this video I present some alternatives to legacy cables, and point out some things to be careful about if you don't want to brick your computer.


Ere Informatique

ERE Informatique always had awesome looking tapes with an intriguing mix of shiny metal robots and real world artwork. They are also behind the Gasoline Software brand used to release games at a budget price.


The Oric Microdisc

So far I only presented tape based games, but it would be unfair to ignore the fact that the Oric computer had a perfectly working floppy disk drive system.

The fact it was priced way above the price of the machine5 did not help, but when you had one it changed your life!


Severn Software

Severn Software, like Ere Informatique also had some super pretty tape inlays, unfortunately most of the games are not up to the expectations set by the packaging!


What's next?

I'm definitely not out of ideas for future videos, I've been thinking about making videos about the following themas:
  • Erebus and Cumulus (SD Card based hardware)
  • Black and Red hardware (A typical Atmos owner fetish)
  • No Man's Land (A French software publisher)
  • PSS (A British software publisher)
  • Single hit wonders (The Hobbit, Manic Miner, ...)
  • Twilighte games (by the prolific Jonathan Bristow)
  • Oric related magazines (Theoric, Oric User, ...)
  • Peripherals (speech synthesizer, joystick interfaces, ...)
  • Oric Books

if there are any topic you'd like to see covered, or if you are wondering about specific things, just ask6!



1. The Golden Eagle
2. The Cursed Island Diamond
3. The Secret of the Tomb
4. Not to be mistaken with the Bitmap Brother's game on the Atari and Amiga
5. And required expensive 3" CF2 floppies
6. I'm on Twitter @DefenceForceOrg, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DefenceForceOrg/, plus there's the Defence-Force forum
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