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xzerix

Atari Keyboards around the world?

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Hi Guys,

 

I stumbled across a thread on the ATARIMAX product forum where someone has a Swedish/Scandinavian keyboard layout on their Atari 800XL, and it got me to thinking...

 

How did users of Ataris where AZERTY or QWERTZ keyboards are the norm cope? Did they get different keyboards? or have to put up with QWERTY? I've seen a QWERTZ keyboard where the Z and the Y were swapped from their "usual" places and a wiring job done on the underside of the keyboard to "swap" the keys?

 

Or were sets of stickers/replacement BIOSes (e.g. for Czech, Polish, Hebrew) an after-market thing?

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All the A8 I got (from UK, France and Germany) have a qwerty keyboard.

On ST/TT/Falcon, however, I have a collection of keyboards... Azerty, Qwerty, Qwertz German, and Qwerty swiss.

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I think I saw an 800 with an azerty keyboard on the web a little while ago. There is also the Arabic xe keyboard

Edited by mimo

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Damn.

This means my quest is not over ! :)

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I think it was thorsten_guenther who told me about an Arabic 800 XL with arabic keyboard layout.

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So does this mean the screen editor had to be altered, to display from right to left for the arabic script? In addition to a new ROM charset?

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Fairly sure the proto Arabic XE was the only 8-bitter with a different keyboard and even then it's still standard Qwerty re the main chset.

 

The beauty of the XL OS is that there's a pointer to the key definition table held in Ram, so you could do almost any layout you wanted and can alter the layout in software. Of course in the modern age it'd be just easier to use a flashable OS.

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I learned "speed typing" on typewriters before I got the 800 and thanks to the 800 I can now "switch" between QWERTY and QWERTZ with ease ;) I remember designing my own Umlaut characters so I could write school papers correctly although I can't remember how I typed them.

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