FGC company history ?

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Symoon
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FGC company history ?

Post by Symoon » Sun Aug 23, 2015 3:57 pm

Hi all, does anyone around know a bit about FGC history?
I got this strange tape which looks home-made, and has apparently no title:
IMG_FGC.JPG
BUT its content is very strange: very small programs, one being "Mark's first program" and only a few lignes long (listed as "MARK1" on the tape).
It's recorded in fast speed, above slow speed recordings.
The box only has a paper sticked to it, "FGC with compliments". Not a card, it's printed in colour but on paper.
Also it says "ORIC 1/ATMOS Specialist" so it's not in the very early Oric life time.
The 1st program is a tables test one, and there's a FGC tape called Tables Test (made by Mellowsoft) which is waaaay more elaborate.

The question is: home-made thing, early demo or something else? Has anyone ever seen this?
Thanks!

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by Dbug » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:00 pm

First time I heard of these :)

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by Symoon » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:05 pm

I'd go for a home-made personal tape.
I managed to identify two of the listed programs as Projectiles ans Geoff Phillips' "Colours".
This plus "Mark's first program"...

At least we know now what FGC stands for ;)

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by robcook » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:48 pm

Wasn't this the same company also named HGC? They changed name from HGC to FGC or vice versa, if I'm remembering them correctly. The H stood for Home, instead of F for Financial. Also released Bucaneer, Fly For Your Life, Maze Rally and others.

Or have I just made all that up? My memory is a little squiffy.

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by Symoon » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:48 am

No idea about HGC, I didn't find any company of that name in my transfers, but I'm not a specialist of what happenend in the UK !
The titles you mentionnened were released by FGC indeed.

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by dave3622 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:20 pm

robcook wrote:Wasn't this the same company also named HGC? They changed name from HGC to FGC or vice versa, if I'm remembering them correctly. The H stood for Home, instead of F for Financial. Also released Bucaneer, Fly For Your Life, Maze Rally and others.

Or have I just made all that up? My memory is a little squiffy.
I had some tapes years ago with the HGC logo and I believe what you say is correct. I think they distributed older Oric games by other publishers under this label. I'm sure I had tapes of Zorgon's Revenge, The Hellion and Lone Raider amongst others with this company's logo on the cassette.

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by Steve M » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:01 pm

FGC was a company owned by Ken Smalldon with partner Ian Kirkham. I think they were originally set up to provide business software. I have a note on headed paper saying " we specialise in investment software from Spectrum to IBM PC. Hence the name!"
They focused on Oric software.
The company was sold to Allan Whitaker at some point and I'm not sure if it was then or earlier that the name change came about, but it was to reflect the more common software of home computers.
Alan knew a bit about programming and wrote articles for OUM. He started on a series reprinting Geoff Phillips book with Alan's code written for DOS based systems.
I think his article was called Oric Enthusiasts, and he used his page to tell people about what new titles he had available. They sold some hardware, like the speach synth, until stocks dried up.
IIRC HGC handled the distribution of Sedoric which was shareware, I think, at that time. Paid users got subsequent updates.

HGC had a generic cassette label which they used to release Tansoft etc titles(EDIT: not sure about the Tansoft titles - the tapes I can find aren't Tansoft.). It is red and black featuring an Atmos on the cover. Some titles are printed on the spine but some are hand-written.

They also released some new titles - I forget the titles now.
I think eventually OUM took over what remaining software they had - or at least they were given permission to distribute what titles HGC had. OUM became the main software distributor so ended up taking on software that was originally from Your Oric, HGC and its own Mirage software house.

Have a look through OUM for more details.
Last edited by Steve M on Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by Steve M » Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:26 pm

Found some of the titles FGC/HGC released.
Buccaneer, Chuckford, Fly For Your Life, Football, FGC Utilities, Safe Stop/ Auto Stop, Goldmine, Winter Games, Wordworth, Starwind, Maze Rally, Snake Venom, The Last Warrior, League Champions, Indiana Jones.

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by Steve M » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:49 pm

Here's some pics.
It's interesting the Alistair Way tape says copyright IJK software. I'm not aware of IJK ever releasing Alistair's games.
Most of the titles here are new releases (in their day), but some like Can You Spell and Oricomms were previously released.
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P1200844b.jpg
P1200842b.jpg
P1200838b.jpg

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by iss » Sun Sep 13, 2015 3:53 pm

Wow! Nice collection, Steve!
I see ORICOMMS - is it possible to share it? In oric.org are interesting comments from the author, but no download yet...

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by Symoon » Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:08 pm

Thanks for the sorty, and the pics Steve!
Very interesting indeed.
Never heared of Starwind!

And great collection indeed.
Still available to help for transfers if needed ;)

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by Steve M » Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:06 pm

Oricomms was updated, I think, when people seemed interested in bulletin boards. The disk users had to make a cable with a socket between the disk interface and computer so they could plug in the modem.

I have several of the disk version of Oricomms, but I don't think the tape version is there.

I will need to get my old PC running Win98 to convert such things.

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by iss » Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:42 pm

Oricomms (Atcomms) disk version is OK too. I just want to try it with Oricutron's ACIA emulation.
Thanks in advance.

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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by Steve M » Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:11 pm

Yes, but I can't convert without my PC running.

However, it seems to be one I converted already. I thought I had sent this to the author previously.(?)

I'm not sure if the updated version I was thinking of was Oricall. That one was popular back in the early nineties.
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ORICALL.DSK
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ORICOMMS.DSK
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Re: FGC company history ?

Post by Steve M » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:32 am

Symoon wrote:Hi all, does anyone around know a bit about FGC history?
I got this strange tape which looks home-made, and has apparently no title:
BUT its content is very strange: very small programs, one being "Mark's first program" and only a few lignes long (listed as "MARK1" on the tape).
It's recorded in fast speed, above slow speed recordings.
The box only has a paper sticked to it, "FGC with compliments". Not a card, it's printed in colour but on paper.
Also it says "ORIC 1/ATMOS Specialist" so it's not in the very early Oric life time.
The 1st program is a tables test one, and there's a FGC tape called Tables Test (made by Mellowsoft) which is waaaay more elaborate.

The question is: home-made thing, early demo or something else? Has anyone ever seen this?
Thanks!
Looking at the other Mellowsoft titles there are other simple maths programs for children. I have the Can You Count and Can You Spell from FGC, but they have the usual inlay. Either it is a copy of one of the other titles, (Play Maths or Launch PAck?), or it may be a compilation, but it does look likely to be Mellowsoft in origin. The FGC logo is the same as Ken Smalldon's business letterhead but without a proper inlay I would guess it is a promotional item.

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