Hello...!

In this forum you can write about anything that does not fit in other forums.
This includes generic Oric talkings and things that are totaly unrelated but want to share with people here :)
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JonB
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Hello...!

Post by JonB » Tue May 14, 2013 9:15 pm

Hi

My name is Jon and I am a recent Oric user. I used to sell the Oric 1 in a small computer shop in Hereford long ago (well, we didn't sell many as most people wanted Spectrums) and I recall how nasty the little calculator style keys were.

However, I do like the look of the Atmos, and last week I scored one on eBay for the princely sum of £19 plus postage. It has no power supply or manuals, just the machine. The first thing I tried was to plug a ZX Spectrum power supply as it is 9v unregulated, then I noticed an odd burning smell. It was the onboard regulator, which got very hot indeed, and probably fried. Silly me, I didn't realise that Uncle Clive has the plug the wrong way round with -ve on the tip.

I figured it was all toast, but then I took a look at the circuit diagrams and board. By shorting out two pins on the regulator I could feed it with a 5v supply, which I have lying about with a matching power plug. This time I double checked the polarity... Sure enough, it leapt into life, and I was soon ZAP PING SHOOT and EXPLODE-ing to my heart's content. Bit of a crappy picture, though, so out with the soldering iron again. I made up an RGB cable (none of these odd external boxes, transistors or additional power supplies needed) and now I have the most lucid, rock steady picture of all my 8 bit micros (I have a good collection here!).

Anyway, I am now looking over the online resources for the little Atmos, with a mind to doing some machine code. Looking forward to chatting with other Oric users!

Regards

JonB

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Chema
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Re: Hello...!

Post by Chema » Tue May 14, 2013 10:10 pm

Hi JonB and welcome to DF.

Nice story. Great you did not fry your Atmos :)

About the RGB cable I also made my own, though I need to feed it with 5v to tell the TV to switch to RGB mode.

Cheers

JonB
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Re: Hello...!

Post by JonB » Wed May 15, 2013 6:40 am

I connected the sync line to the blanking line and that did the trick. Must be my TV. Maybe it is more sensitive on the blanking line...

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Dbug
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Re: Hello...!

Post by Dbug » Wed May 15, 2013 5:07 pm

Hi, and welcome indeed :)
It's really a low traffic forum, but when questions are being asked people generally answer the same or next day :)

There's a number of people here who can help if you have any questions for developing on the Oric, you have mostly the choice between BASIC, C and assembly code.

Any idea on what you would like to program?

JonB
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Re: Hello...!

Post by JonB » Wed May 15, 2013 9:02 pm

Head over Heels

:D

But I mostly want to understand 6502 assembly code. I have used Z80, BASIC, FORTRAN, C, C++ all in professional developer roles, in real time and business applications, so I think I can suss it out.

First off, though, I need a decent assembler / monitor, because I want to do it on the actual Atmos. It's all about the experience! Any suggestions?

Next off, I need something better than a tape deck for loading and saving. What's best or most used? Where can I get one? Ideally, something using SD cards that's FAT compatible...
Last edited by JonB on Wed May 15, 2013 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dbug
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Re: Hello...!

Post by Dbug » Wed May 15, 2013 9:13 pm

You can take a look at these two things:
- The OSDK, the most commonly used development system on the Oric http://osdk.defence-force.org/
- The SVN repository, with the source code of a number of games and demos http://miniserve.defence-force.org/svn/public/oric/

None of that is perfect, but that's a good base :)

JonB
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Re: Hello...!

Post by JonB » Wed May 15, 2013 9:18 pm

It's a X compiler!

Down with it! Heretics! Etc!

Ha ha!

I see an isomorphic engine on there. Nice.. But takes all the fun out of what I'm trying to do. I would like to see if I can work that one out for myself!

What's the best tool chain for assembly dev on the Atmos?

What about disk drives or SD cards? I can't rely on tape.

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Chema
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Re: Hello...!

Post by Chema » Wed May 15, 2013 10:12 pm

There are monitors and debuggers available indeed, but I am not sure about their potential. I once tested one and it was quite tricky to use, or I did not have the insight about 6502 code I have today. I am sure there are some assemblers too. You should check in Oric.org, but don't expect something like MONS and GENS on the speccy!

About an alternate way for loading programs, well, you are not the only one wishing for that. The best thing would be a disk, of course, but they are very very difficult to find. Something emulating a DD using SD cards, such as HxC, are available, but you still need the disk controller, so again stuck there. We have been dreaming for a replacement for years with no real result... Yet.

A possibility would be using a computer to save and load wav files. It should be more reliable and there are tools for ultra fast loading.

Oh, and I am the author of the isometric engine, which was the basis for the Space 1999 game. From today's perspective I think several things should have been done differently, so I encourage you to create your own engine indeed!

Good luck!

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ibisum
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Re: Hello...!

Post by ibisum » Thu May 16, 2013 9:59 am

Welcome Jon! Always great to have another Oric user.

And yes : you'll have to find a disk drive for your Atmos, somehow. They're out there! :)

JonB
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Re: Hello...!

Post by JonB » Thu May 16, 2013 7:13 pm

Chema wrote:Oh, and I am the author of the isometric engine, which was the basis for the Space 1999 game. From today's perspective I think several things should have been done differently, so I encourage you to create your own engine indeed!
Oh, well done! I hope to ascend the slippery slope of isomorphic goodness but I fear my algorithm isn't good enough. Yet...

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kenneth
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Re: Hello...!

Post by kenneth » Sat May 18, 2013 11:26 am

Welcome on board JonB :wink:

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