While the Oric name was born with such brave hopes, we have to go back in time for a moment to chronicle the conception. It was in October 1979 that Dr. Paul Johnson and Barry Muncaster set up Tangerine Computer Systems Ltd near Cambridge, and produced the Microtan 65 computer. The name followed the contemporary trend of fruity computer companies.
In the summer of 1981 Paul Kaufman joined Tangerine, and became editor of the Tansoft Gazette on its launch that October. By early 1982 Tangerine had sold off their Tandata Prestel arm, moved to the Cambridge Science Park, and set up Tansoft as its software division.
It was from those early beginnings that the idea of a competitor in the infant home computer market grew. In April 1982 Oric Products International Ltd was incorporated, and work started immediately on the design of the Oric-1, Tangerine acting as the research and development house for the new Oric company. The original aim had been to produce an executive desktop machine which would link to Prestel and compute.
Paul Kaufman wrote a memo listing what he thought were the right features for a Microtan 2 - sound and graphics, a modulator and so forth. The result was a design in late 1981 for the Tangerine Tiger, a desktop machine with three processors - a Z80 for CP/M, a 6809 for I/O, disc and printing, and a graphics chip. In the end this design was sold off to a company called H.H. Electronics, and never was produced. The Microtan 2 plus a Prestel capability was the basis for the Oric.
At this stage they saw what Sinclair had done, and financial backers British Car Auctions wanted higher volumes from the mass market to be the target. Thus was the Oric-1 born, although the first mock-up retained its executive image with a teak and apple-green colour scheme!
The Oric-1 was announced in the August/September 1982 edition of the Tansoft Gazette, which included a priority voucher valid until the 1st November.
Oric International was launched with £1250 of capital (probably the only time it was in the black). The name, incidentally, was an anagram of the last four letters of 'micro', and had nothing to do with Aurac, the computer in the contemporary television series 'Blake's Seven'.
You can read the rest of the story in Oric - The Story So Far de Jonathan Haworth.