Retro Computers - Oric Atmos - Retro Computer

Oric AtmosOric Atmos
Oh what an 'Atmos'phere, I love a party with a happy Atmosphere!

The Oric Atmos was a British computer that superceded the Oric 1. Like it's predecessor, it gained some level of popularity in Europe during the early to mid eighties.

Still manufactured as a direct competitor to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, it had a better keyboard than the Oric 1 and the pesky problems in the ROM had been ironed out. It was by far less cool looking though, the black and orange combo keyboard just didn't cut the mustard aesthetically and always reminded me of Texas Instruments Speak 'n Spell. (I'm sure many of you remember those.)

The problems loading programs (ok, mainly computer games!) from cassette were still present though, which could really put a crimp on your day. There was nowt more annoying than not being able to load your favourite arcade game.

As was becoming the norm, the machine came in both a 16K and 48K version, although the 16k version was not upgradeable, which in hindsight was a blunder of monumental proportions. It goes without saying that not many of the 16K models were sold. This small amount of memory could not support many computer games by 1984 and by this time your average punter demanded more memory. 16K? Pah!

Tangerine basic was installed on the machine, which was actually created by Microsoft and was an upgrade to the Basic used on the Oric 1. The peripherals that had been promised for it's predecessor (including a Modem, 3.5" floppy disk drive and printer) were also released for the Atmos late in 1984.

The machine was popular in France - the French models incorporated a scart power supply which tidied up the Oric cable problemthat I am sure some of you will remember (a cable for the machine, one for the cassette deck, one for the TV and one for anyother attached peripherals!) The national grid nearly went into meltdown when you powered up one of these baby's.

The Oric Atmos was a decent machine that never really managed to take off in the UK. It lived through 1984 and 1985 before fading into obscurity as it gave way to the popular (and classic games machines) ZX Spectrum and the Commodore 64.

It's worth a sideways glance. A decent retro computer.

We recommend trying to pick up one of these machines.
Look at computers for sale online or even locally.

If you don't want to get hold of the real hardware then try and download an emulator and
download those classic games. Alternatively you could try and play them online.

MANUFACTURER: Oric / Tangerine
MACHINE TYPE: 8-bit Home Micro
RELEASE YEAR: February 1984
BUILT IN LANGUAGE(S): Tangerine BASIC (created by Microsoft)
KEYBOARD: QWERTY mechanical keyboard with 58 keys
CPU: 6502A
SPEED: 1 mHz
RAM: 16 KB or 48 KB
ROM: 16 KB
TEXT MODES: 40 chars x 28 lines
GRAPHIC MODES: 240 x 200 (+ 3 text lines)
SOUND: Programmable Sound Generator AY-3-8912 (from General Instruments) 3 voices, 8 octaves + white noise
SIZE / WEIGHT: 28 (W) x 17,5 (D) x 5,5 (H) cm
I/O PORTS: Decent enough. Power supply, Expansion port, Printer/Centronics port, Tape-recorder DIN plug, RGB video out, RF TV out
POWER SUPPLY: External PSU 9V 600 mA
PERIPHERALS: 3'' floppy disc unit, 4 colour printer-plotter
PRICE: £170

Retro Computers and classic games