Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Oric-1 - 30 Years old this week

30 years ago, home computing was in it's infancy. With the Sinclair Spectrum less than a year old and not much competition from rival companies, the playing field was wide open for competitors to eat up a share of the market, assuming they had a product which could deliver.

But not only did the product and it's performance have to be comparable, it also had to be at an affordable price for the home user.  This is where Tangerine Computer Systems stepped in, who were asked by a number of their financial backer to develop a competitor to the Spectrum, a device which would be called the Oric-1. They formed a new company called Oric Productions International Ltd to develop the product.

On paper the Oric was slightly more appealing in almost every respect. Just like the Spectrum, there were 2 models to choose from - the 16KB or the 48KB, which were priced at £129 and £169 respectively, meaning that they were very slightly cheaper than the Spectrum computers.

The performance, reliability, sounds and graphics were also consider by some, to be a slight improvement. And as with the Spectrum and most other home computers of the time, data was loaded onto it via a tape machine which would be an external device, attached by a cable.

Initially the Oric-1 was a success, although they did not sell as many units as they would have liked. Regardless, the company went on to manufacture newer models until a series of unfortunate events led the company to stop production in 1987.

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