JOric

Comments, problems, suggestions about Oric emulators (Euphoric, Mess, Amoric, etc...) it's the right place to ask. And don't hesitate to give your tips and tricks that help using these emulations in the best possible way on your favorite operating system.
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iss
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Re: JOric

Post by iss » Sat May 12, 2018 9:24 am

NekoNoNiaow wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:51 am
... make sure that the BASIC really is an MS derivative.
The answer is in old posts.
Try the short BASIC program there, it's fun ;).

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NekoNoNiaow
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Re: JOric

Post by NekoNoNiaow » Sun May 13, 2018 4:57 am

iss wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:24 am
NekoNoNiaow wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 2:51 am
... make sure that the BASIC really is an MS derivative.
The answer is in old posts.
Try the short BASIC program there, it's fun ;).
Read the article and tested the program it in CLK and indeed, this is pretty damning. ;)

So it is clear that the BASIC was stolen from Microsoft (MS) by Tangerine, which means that the current owners are (technically) liable for copyright infringement for the BASIC part. However, as the article mentions, MS never wrote any machine specific code so the kernel of the ORIC system still had to be written by Tangerine (or anyone they subcontracted it to (or stole it from! :D)) which means that they would still have a valid claim on the kernel part of the ROM.

This said, after so many years I would expect MS to let it go since they certainly have no interest in spending time figuring out who it is who owns the rights to Tangerine property and should be sued. ;)

As I said before, it is likely worth contacting them, at least for the BASIC license. ;)

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Re: JOric

Post by dreamseal » Sun May 13, 2018 11:40 am

There appears to be a slightly different story in the article below with regards to the BASIC ROM:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/2 ... ld/?page=4

to quote that article:
Paul Johnson reveals that Tangerine was not merely an early licensee of Microsoft Basic, but that it also owned an OEM licence allowing it to sub-license the code, which it did, to OPI. Both Johnson and Paul Kaufman recall that Microsoft’s code, supplied as source files on a floppy, contained many bugs which OPI’s software team had to fix. The glitches were duly reported back to Microsoft, which ignored them until Barry Muncaster threatened to withhold future instalments of the licence fee. “After that, we got a letter from Paul Allen telling us ‘Bill was on the case’,” recalls Johnson
Sounds from the above that the Oric BASIC was properly licensed. This seems to contradict what I've read in the following Oric story:

http://oric.free.fr/STORY/chapter3.html
According to Paul Kaufman, however, there was a more simple reason. Tangerine had held a Microsoft licence for their BASIC. Oric did not bother to obtain their own licence, doubtless saving money, but forcing them to keep very quiet about the ROM code
Interesting. Anyone know what really happened? We know that its definitely of Microsoft origin due to the hidden Microsoft message discussed in earlier posts, so I guess the question then is whether this story of the sub-licensing is accurate and whether that was fully legal.

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Re: JOric

Post by ThomH » Mon May 14, 2018 5:18 pm

I'm actually a bit confused about that second quote as it seems to imply that Tangerine was a company and that 'Oric' was another company rather than a product of Tangerine, which held a BASIC licence.

The Register's version sounds a lot more plausible: 1983 isn't just the launch year of the Oric, it's also the year when both the MSX and the IBM XT were first sold, and each includes Microsoft BASIC in ROM. Different processors, and it sounds like IBM weren't particularly enthused about it, but clearly Microsoft was still actively licensing BASIC for new machines.

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Re: JOric

Post by Chema » Mon May 14, 2018 10:32 pm

Indeed, but it does not print any message such as Microsoft BASIC nor it states anywhere on the manual that the BASIC is from Microsoft. In fact the routine which was called to display the easter egg (the hidden message) was removed from the ROM, but not the message itself.

In addition, the license to the Microtan 65 appears here, but no mention to the Oric https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft ... ter_makers

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Re: JOric

Post by ThomH » Mon May 14, 2018 11:35 pm

I can't speak as to the manuals but the Commodores identify themselves as running Commodore BASIC, and although the Apple version of Microsoft BASIC is often called 'Applesoft', nothing identifying is printed at all. So I'm not sure the absence of the word Microsoft necessarily means anything.

It'd be interesting to know which machines retain the Easter egg though. That's suspicious.

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Re: JOric

Post by NekoNoNiaow » Tue May 15, 2018 2:40 am

After reflexion I came to the conclusion that Oric and/or Tangerine probably had a valid license from Microsoft (MS).

After all, the very reason for the existence of this easter egg was to detect potential license violations after Commodore played dirty (but legally) with the license they obtained from MS for the Commodore BASIC. So, it seems very reasonable to assume that MS did test every BASIC shipped with any computer at that time, after all, that would have taken them only a few hours of work: order a computer, unpack it, type the easter egg and check the result, possibly followed by a search in the ROM in case the corresponding code had been removed but not the data. =

Spending a few hours of work is a very small expense especially if that allows you to detect a license violation which can allow you to claim hundred of thousands of dollars for infringement.

So, in all likelihood, MS knew that the Oric computers were using their BASIC.
And thus, the fact they did not sue meant that either Oric/Tangerine (OTG) had a valid license or they did not have a valid license but ended up coming to an agreement of some sort with MS once this had been discovered and reported my MS to them.

The logical conclusion would thus be that the ROMs are the whole property of OTG and whichever company ended up owning them as a result of OTG's bankruptcy/liquidation. And thus, we probably do not have to worry about MS: only the current owners of GTO's ROMs really need to be contacted.

(Of course, contacting MS would not hurt, if they care to answer I suspect they would confirm the hypothesis I just laid down here.)

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Re: JOric

Post by ThomH » Tue May 15, 2018 2:58 pm

NekoNoNiaow wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:40 am
(Of course, contacting MS would not hurt, if they care to answer I suspect they would confirm the hypothesis I just laid down here.)
Not to mention that owning a licence does not necessarily mean owning a licence in perpetuity, or owning an assignable licence. Just as with PC-DOS, Microsoft may have licensed the Oric BASIC to Tangerine and its descendants for shipment with the Oric but for a limited time and/or with Microsoft being the sole party able to sell new licences and/or with any other condition.

I'm mindful that, as well as reselling PC-DOS as MS-DOS they also famously resold the Apple II version of Microsoft BASIC to Laser so that the Laser Apple II hardware clones could ship with essentially the same firmware.

I would guess that somebody like Ed Fries, who was at Microsoft from the mid-'80s through until after the original XBox launch and has a blog dedicated to retrogaming, might be a point of contact?

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Re: JOric

Post by NekoNoNiaow » Wed May 16, 2018 4:01 am

ThomH wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:58 pm
[...] Microsoft may have licensed the Oric BASIC to Tangerine and its descendants for shipment with the Oric but for a limited time and/or with Microsoft being the sole party able to sell new licences and/or with any other condition.
[...]
I would guess that somebody like Ed Fries, who was at Microsoft from the mid-'80s through until after the original XBox launch and has a blog dedicated to retrogaming, might be a point of contact?
Good point, contacting MS would definitely be safer.
Now the question becomes is who contacts them. ;)

Regarding Ed Fries I guess either DBug or myself could try leverage the fact that we currently work in a very close industry to him and on products that he is likely to know and possibly to have played and see if this attack angle gives result.

So DBug, do you want to try it? ;)

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Re: JOric

Post by Dbug » Thu May 17, 2018 10:24 am

Guess it does not hurt trying.
Even if it fails, at least you get plausible deniability: You tried your best :)

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Re: JOric

Post by ThomH » Wed May 30, 2018 3:15 pm

I don't know that it's helpful necessarily, but something surprising I learnt yesterday in my ongoing efforts in Apple II land: the most recent officially licensed Apple II clone was launched in 1996 (!), and as well as the stuff licensed from Apple it included a properly-licensed version of Microsoft's BASIC. So there are employees with first-hand experience of this stuff from only twenty years ago, rather than 35.

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Re: JOric

Post by NekoNoNiaow » Thu May 31, 2018 1:13 am

ThomH wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 3:15 pm
I don't know that it's helpful necessarily, but something surprising I learnt yesterday in my ongoing efforts in Apple II land: the most recent officially licensed Apple II clone was launched in 1996 (!), and as well as the stuff licensed from Apple it included a properly-licensed version of Microsoft's BASIC. So there are employees with first-hand experience of this stuff from only twenty years ago, rather than 35.
Interesting. You are now officially in charge of finding these ex Tiger employees. ;)

Also interesting from the page you linked:
Upon his return to Apple, Steve Jobs cancelled all programs that licensed the MacOS and Apple II technologies.
I own and use Apple computers but I am always surprised by how close minded Steve Jobs could be. I can understand not licensing the Mac OS to fend off the threat of Mac clones at the time but cutting the license of completely obsolete Apple II technology was just pure unnecessary spite.

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Re: JOric

Post by dreamseal » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:16 pm

A little bit off the topic we've been recently discussing, but still relevant to JOric, I was wondering how many of you use an Android phone, and what make, model and Android OS version it is. I personally use a Oneplus One, which is still on Android 6. So a bit behind the latest, but still going strong. No reason to upgrade really. But it does mean I'm testing on technology that's a bit behind, which probably has its good and bad sides. I do have access to a few other budget Android phones, including a Doogee X20 on Android 7, and a couple of low spec Kitkat phones.

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Re: JOric

Post by Chema » Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:13 pm

I use a Huawei P8 Lite on Android 6. Never thought about emulating with it!

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Re: JOric

Post by ThomH » Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:28 pm

I don't really use either, but I have both a 2013 Nexus 7 and a Nexus 5X, should anything I could do with either be useful. Also I might still have BlueStacks installed on my older Mac, but quite possibly not.

I seriously considered a Pixel C when it was heavily discounted but figured it'd just be one more thing. Nevertheless I keep being strongly tempted by the new Chromebooks that can run Android software: I figure they'd probably be ideal as emulation machines.

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