BOOK REVIEW #3 /Collector's Corner #6

The Companion to the Oric-1 & The Atmos Manual

by Ian Adamson

Another book review - but what’s this about Collector’s Corner ? Well this time it’s a two-in-one article as we look at a book that has different variations and will be of interest to collectors who probably aren’t aware of the difference. Let’s look at the book first :-
This is The Companion to the Oric 1 by Ian Adamson Some may begin to understand, as this is a book that was re-written to become the Atmos manual.
It must be quite a decent book then ? Yes, this is one of the best which is why it was chosen to base the Atmos manual around.
As a manual it has prety much everything you want. It takes the beginner through from plugging the Oric in, to an introduction to machine code programming.
What makes it particularly good is that information is here which was left from the original Oric-1 manual. All those code numbers and references that programmers need to get decent programs up and running are here.

ContentsWhat’s in it ? Well there are 11 chapters and 12 appendices, just like the Atmos manual - but remember this is for the Oric-1 ! It is therefore a great book if you have both computers. You can compare one against the other to see the differences.
The useful information comes where the BASIC kewords are described and the BASIC token, syntax and example program showing the usage is listed. And then in the appendices there is all the information about control codes, escape codes, ASCII codes, error messages - and so on. You now also get details on how to operate the new Oric printer/plotter. Then there is more circuit details and input/ output details and 6502 opcodes that they kept a bit quiet about in the original manual.
The Manual This then, was a great book. The people at Oric liked Ian Adamson's book that they got him to update it for the Atmos, and so it became the official Atmos Manual- ( I believe they forgot the bit about paying him for his troubles). Because fo this there is no Atmos version of 'The Companion to the Oric-1'.
Now what I never realised was there were two version of the Atmos Manual. The content is the same in both - at least I can’t find any difference !
The difference lies in the paper used to print the manual. The first - I assume - was printed on the type of paper used for novels. The second is on thin bright white paper and the book is somewhat thinner as a result. I’ve tried to scan the two to show you , but it aint too easy holding books on end over a scanner !!!
The other difference is that the first version has the logo printed up to the edge of the cover whilst the other has black around the right of the logo, with the novel version having the number ‘98765’ printed inside and the ‘bright white’ having ‘9876543’ which begs the question - is there a ‘987654’ ? Let me know if you have one of those !!!
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