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1200XL-specific demos / software?

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Found out last night that, at some point early next year, the contents of the storage unit I have on the other side of the country will be able to be moved to where we actually live.

 

One of the items still in storage is a 1200XL, which was passed down to me shortly before it went into storage. I never had one of these growing up since they weren't available where we lived, but was always sort of intrigued by them. Unfortunately, I never really had a chance to play with it before it went into storage, so I'm still fairly clueless about their capabilities beyond what I've read about them.

 

Anyway, on to the actual question: are there any demos or other software worth checking out that illustrate any of the 1200XL's pecularities compared to the other XL/XE (or 400/800) machines? 1200XL-specific bugs, weird behaviours, capabilities, etc. are all on the cards as are BASIC or assembly listings. Basically, I'd like to get a feel for what makes it what it is.

 

Hopefully it's survived the last decade without developing any issues - thankfully, it's in a climate-controlled unit (along with the rest of my Atari stuff), so chances are decent that it still works.

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Chances are pretty good that it still works. Chances are also very good that the keyboard will need repair. If it has never been fixed prior to storage, there is a little 1\4" by 2" piece of tape that is sandwiched between the mylar and PCB on the keyboard that has oxidized the carbon conductive material and causes an "open" (no continuity) resulting in keys not reliably registering. As far as uniqueness from the 600/800XL the main things are;

 

CONS

1) A rev 10 OS that has compatibility issues that will prevent it from running several titles. Not just old OSb (400/800) titles, but some newer ones as well.

 

2) Unless you replace R63 with a wire or 0 ohm resistor, you can't run peripherals that require power from the SIO port (like SIO2SD).

 

PROS

1) The highest quality keyboard Atari ever produced. Typing on a 1200XL is a pleasure. The four function keys (F1-F4) are unique to the 1200XL. They can be cursor keys (default) not needing to hold the CTRL key to move the cursor. They also can be end of line, beginning of line, top of screen and bottom of screen. You can lock the keyboard, turn off the display (speeds up computation by ~25%) and to my knowledge, the only Atari that has a key to switch to the international character set.

 

2) Fantastic build quality. All chips have sockets, the main board is of very good quality. I've had dozens of 1200XLs pass through my hands and only once have I found a mainboard that needed troubleshooting to get right. I can't say the same for the 400 and 800.

 

3) It's a beautiful looking machine! The aesthetics of the 1200XL are just cool.

 

Atari built this machine to retail for $899 in 1983. The selection of materials and components reflect that. When the Commodore 64 came out and the price wars started, it was the end of "quality" built low end computers. Now it was a race to the bottom. How cheap can we make it? The 600/800XL was the answer and followed by the even cheaper made XE line. This was the last well made, high quality computer Atari made for the 8-bit line. So, if you have to fix yours, please do so, and you will be rewarded with the best 8-bit 6502 that Atari made.

Edited by ACML
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As it doesn't really have any special programming features that later machines lack, I wouldn't expect there to be any "made for 1200XL" software. Until the world had noticed that the 1200XL had arrived and software and books got "400/800/1200XL" stickers it was pretty much gone again and replaced by the 800XL.

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I always use a diode and fuse on the that, nothing back feeds the computer and if some pos add on messes up or the wires break and touch like the low quality sio2sd builds that float around the atari is protected..

Edited by _The Doctor__

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The only specifics to 1200XL only are the function keys, status LEDs and a jumper which forces it to powerup to Self Test (?)

 

The OS in all XL/XE caters for the first 2, not sure about the third.

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I always use a diode and fuse on the that, nothing back feeds the computer and if some pos add on messes up or the wires break and touch like the low quality sio2sd builds that float around the atari is protected..

What type of diode?

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I always use a diode and fuse on the that, nothing back feeds the computer and if some pos add on messes up or the wires break and touch like the low quality sio2sd builds that float around the atari is protected..

That's a good idea. I'm going to go back and change all mine.

Edited by yorgle

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a 1N582x (3A) usually will suffice.. I always pick a low forward voltage drop fast reverse response diode that can handle up to the rated power supply amperage then choose a fuse that is rated at the power supply minus the normal draw as measured by my meter since I have modified my Atari's for industrial applications over the years the draw can vary a good deal. for most people a 1 or 1.25 amp fuse should be fine.

 

since these cost next to nothing and I always had tons of them laying around... this essentially meant 'free' for me :)

 

I do know a good number of people who used 1n4007's back in the day... I didn't like the forward voltage drop though (.7) as opposed to other diodes with (.15) to (.47) forward drops as I don't like current limiting devices on the SIO chain. Any very low or ultra low forward drop diode with fast reverse response with a common break down voltage of 20 30 or 40 volts will do...

 

Having added protection to both the 5 and 12 on the SIO and add whichever one that is missing back in to all my Atari's... No one likes it when adding their alien group voice box or other such device to their Atari only to find it doesn't get power! :)

 

I think maybe I am too technically minded in my explanations but that should cover all ensuing questions.... or not :)

Edited by _The Doctor__

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As it doesn't really have any special programming features that later machines lack, I wouldn't expect there to be any "made for 1200XL" software. Until the world had noticed that the 1200XL had arrived and software and books got "400/800/1200XL" stickers it was pretty much gone again and replaced by the 800XL.

 

Yeah, I see your point. I should have probably picked a better title for the thread.

 

What I'm really after is anything that shows off the 1200XL's unique features - or bugs. Granted, it's not really all that far off from other XL-series machines, but from what I've read it does have its own quirks.

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There's probably something out there that sequences the LEDs.

 

If a count from 0 to 3 in binary floats your boat, then go for it. But really, the big attractions of the 1200XL have already been mentioned, it's left lacking compared to later machines in most other areas.

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Has anybody ever made an executable of the 1200XL's initial color scrolling ATARI screen?

Edited by Brentarian

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I believe this is what you are looking for:

Wow - they didn't even disable the keyboard, press a key and the rainbow jumps :)

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