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ApolloBoy

Simple 1200XL question

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Forgive me if this has been asked before, but is the compatibility of the 1200XL the same as that as the rest of the XL and XE range?

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Forgive me if this has been asked before, but is the compatibility of the 1200XL the same as that as the rest of the XL and XE range?

 

No.

 

I would describe it as "in-between" an 800 and an 800XL. It will run most of the software that runs on an 800XL. And most 1200XL's can be made pretty much 100% compatible with the 800XL with fairly simple mods. Check out the Atarimax site for installation docs of the 32-in-1 OS and the internal flash MyIDE. Both of these installations show the 800XL OS compatibility changes. But without another quite difficult mod, there is no PBI. Also check out the PBI mod at http://www.retrobits.net/atari/pbi.shtml

This mod includes the steps of adding the 800XL OS and built-in BASIC. Of course, you're still stuck with 64K. A 256K mod can also be done on the 1200XL's, but if using Drams, it's another fairly intensive mod.

 

For most folks, I would argue that the 800XL is a better choice. And the 130XE certainly has "the most bang for the buck" as-is from the factory.

 

-Larry

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1200xl is very easy to bring up to XL spec (if you dont want PBI and can live with the worst video quality of any 8bit Atari)

 

I would suggest a 32-in-1 mod from Atarimax, but you can add BASIC and the XL/XE OS fairly simply iirc.

Some of the mods can be found at the bottom of THIS page from the Atari museum.

Atarimax also sell 256K and 512K RAM upgrades although they are not listed on the site. The 256K is one wire to solder and a chip swap (1200xl s are fully socketed)

 

If you are serious about buying one, be sure to check and double check the keyboard as they are the weakest link !

Edited by mimo

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Forgive me if this has been asked before, but is the compatibility of the 1200XL the same as that as the rest of the XL and XE range?

 

No.

 

I would describe it as "in-between" an 800 and an 800XL. It will run most of the software that runs on an 800XL. And most 1200XL's can be made pretty much 100% compatible with the 800XL with fairly simple mods. Check out the Atarimax site for installation docs of the 32-in-1 OS and the internal flash MyIDE. Both of these installations show the 800XL OS compatibility changes. But without another quite difficult mod, there is no PBI. Also check out the PBI mod at http://www.retrobits.net/atari/pbi.shtml

This mod includes the steps of adding the 800XL OS and built-in BASIC. Of course, you're still stuck with 64K. A 256K mod can also be done on the 1200XL's, but if using Drams, it's another fairly intensive mod.

 

For most folks, I would argue that the 800XL is a better choice. And the 130XE certainly has "the most bang for the buck" as-is from the factory.

 

-Larry

 

Well I'm mainly interested in cartridge games (and little to no interest in mods) so none of that's real important to me. Are there any carts that won't run on a 1200XL but will run on any other XL/XE?

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Well I'm mainly interested in cartridge games (and little to no interest in mods) so none of that's real important to me. Are there any carts that won't run on a 1200XL but will run on any other XL/XE?

 

You're going to have 3 problems:

 

1. Not all carts will work - for example Flight Sim II detects the 1200XL as a 400/800 and refuses to run.

 

2. Not all carts will fit - notably the Parker Bros carts wont fit into the recesssed 1200XL cartridge port.

 

3. The video sucks. The 1200XL has the worst picture of any Atari machine.

 

 

All of the above are easy to fix if you are ok with a little modding. As mentioned earlier the Bob Woolley PBI mod shows how to swap the OS and MMU chips for the 800XL ones and creates essentially an 800XL in a 1200XL case. The video problems can be fixed by applying the Clearpic 2002 mod plus the S-Video chroma fix, and even the cartridge port issue can be fixed by removing some of the plastic surround from the cartridge port guide.

 

For all that effort you get the coolest looking machine Atari made with the best keyboard you will ever touch. With the Clearpic and S-Video chroma mods the video is the best possible from an NTSC machine.

 

If only you could convert these things to output a true PAL picture.....

 

 

Hope that helps.

 

Graham.

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1. Not all carts will work - for example Flight Sim II detects the 1200XL as a 400/800 and refuses to run.

 

Hm, could that have something to do with the bankswitching scheme used in the XE carts?

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No. The bank switching in the carts is all the same. I would imagine that FSII just checks some code in the OS and doesn't 'see' an 800XL.

 

I prefer the 1200XL, but they are not your best choice if you are not willing to upgrade them.

 

 

Bob

 

 

1. Not all carts will work - for example Flight Sim II detects the 1200XL as a 400/800 and refuses to run.

 

Hm, could that have something to do with the bankswitching scheme used in the XE carts?

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No. The bank switching in the carts is all the same. I would imagine that FSII just checks some code in the OS and doesn't 'see' an 800XL.

 

I prefer the 1200XL, but they are not your best choice if you are not willing to upgrade them.

 

 

Bob

 

 

Well I checked my un-modded 1200XL and it does run FS II on cartridge just fine. So from my collection of about 60 cartridges I cant any that wont run on the 1200XL.

 

Sorry for the confusion.

 

Graham

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No. The bank switching in the carts is all the same. I would imagine that FSII just checks some code in the OS and doesn't 'see' an 800XL.

 

I prefer the 1200XL, but they are not your best choice if you are not willing to upgrade them.

 

 

Bob

 

 

Well I checked my un-modded 1200XL and it does run FS II on cartridge just fine. So from my collection of about 60 cartridges I cant any that wont run on the 1200XL.

 

Sorry for the confusion.

 

Graham

 

Ah, that's good to hear. Maybe you were thinking of the disk version?

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The disk version is troublesome. You'll get "Sytem Error" at XXXX (Some hex #). Even with the real disk, which I have. Another person also gets the same type of error with an ATR version in the Holmes archive. We both have modded 1200xl's so thats odd.

 

Thing is, I think you have the option to retry, you'll eventually get into the cockpit if you keep retrying.

 

Charlie

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