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bob1200xl

1450XLD Sales Literature

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I was sifting through some Atari papers and I found this. Anybody seen this before? It looks like a page out of the marketing manual. There were a number of s/w and h/w pages for other products, also. (1010, 1020, 1030...)

 

Bob

 

 

1450xldsales.jpg

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I'm sure I've seen that before, but I don't remember where.  It's frustrating that they were far enough along with the product to have marketing materials ready to go!

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Posted (edited)

So, is B&W the original version? I assume it is but...BLAH. Atari sales literature was always so impressive. 

Edited by Justin Payne

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Sugarland said:

Don't think I've seen it before, thanks.  Was the TRS-80 an inspiration for this design?

The 1450XLD? Sticking a floppy drive on top of a 1200XL was more likely the inspiration. It also had a 300 baud modem and voice synthesiser but by that time 300 baud was outdated and several other systems had voice synthesis. It was a great idea a bit too late IMO. Still, back in the day it was very desirable. 

Edited by Justin Payne
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The most intriguing thing to me about a 1450XLD's "Double Sided-Dual Density" disk drive was that it was going to be interfaced via PBI, and would read the second side as D2:. The hardware would actually have to read and write the 2nd side tracks BACKWARDS to maintain "flippy" compatibility with the 810 and 1050... This would have required whole track buffering I think. There were previous topics about someone who was able to operate one using a recovered disk drive ROM dump at some point and reported on it's dissapointingly slow performance for a PBI device...

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Weird that they'd go to such lengths rather than just make it a straightforward double-capacity drive.  Is there a published/leaked document that describes the behavior?

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Yeah I've seen that, we had it in a leaflet / mini booklet we got from Atari, I remember it so well, I tried prebooking one with my lot Maplin just based on that, was love at first sight...

 

Sadly never to be...

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So, is this why the 1200XL's case was so huge to begin with?  Because it was directly based on the floor plan of the XLD integrated floppy disk drive design and not because it actually needed all of that extra architecture?  Or was the 1200XL actually designed in order to look like it was twice the machine of its intended marketing sister, the 600XL?  Because the latter is what I've always thought.  So which actually was the horse and which was the cart?

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The 1200XL came first, clearly. It was “merely” a single-board 800 and laid out as such - there’s very little wasted space on the board, to be honest. Yea, you could shrink it (see, eg, the later XL’s) but compared to the 800 it’s a marvel of efficiency. 
 

Rather, I think the 1400/1450XL designers were like, “Hmm, that gives us room to put stuff on top ...” 

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I wonder if at least some of the thinking behind the 1200xl design was to make it resemble a typewriter, which most people were familiar with.  I have weird fantasies about a 1200xl with a built-in print mechanism (like the 2027) recessed into the white space on top.  That would have been an awesome combo- type up your homework in atariwriter, slip in a sheet of paper and tuk-a-tuk-a-tuk...!

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7 hours ago, jamm said:

Weird that they'd go to such lengths rather than just make it a straightforward double-capacity drive.  Is there a published/leaked document that describes the behavior?

Hmm... I need to dig further in searches to find the specific references to 'reverse side compatibility' ... Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly. Anyhow, here's some interesting links I came up by searching with for now:

 

Hand drawn schematic of the 1450 disk drive circuit:
https://atariage.com/forums/topic/264832-need-help-with-1450xl-parallel-disk-drive-schematic/?do=findComment&comment=3749073

 

 

Pictures of a wire wrap prototype, and ROM dump, and some first hand experience booting it with a PBI device driver later in the thread:
https://atariage.com/forums/topic/233760-1450xld-testing-help-needed-perhaps-somebody-knows/?tab=comments#comment-3153309

 

 

1450XL Integral Disk Drive Specification:
https://atariage.com/forums/topic/78380-1450xld-disk-drive-handler-source/?tab=comments#comment-956259

 

 

Interesting excerpts:

 The integral disk drive is capable of operating in
two "size" modes. For the sake of clarity within
this document, these modes will be referred to as
"large" and "small" mode. The "large" mode addres-
ses the disk as a single logical entity, with two
physical sides. The "small" mode addresses the disk
as two logical entities, one per physical side of
the disk.
 SECTOR NUMBER (DAUX1 [$030A] & DAUX2 [$030B])
- Disk sector number to be read or to be
written. These parameters are set up by the
handler and contain the least significant byte
in DAUX1 and the most significant byte in
DAUX2. The range of sector numbers shall be
1-720, single density; 1-1040, double density,
"small" mode; or 1-2080, double density,
"large" mode.

 

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So basically the double sided double density mode is double sided 1050 density mode. sigh.

 

I seriously want to bitch slap the people involved with the disk drives in the 1982 to 1984 time frame for skimping on 128 bytes of SRAM. 

 

-Thom

 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, bob1200xl said:

I was sifting through some Atari papers and I found this. Anybody seen this before? It looks like a page out of the marketing manual. There were a number of s/w and h/w pages for other products, also. (1010, 1020, 1030...)

 

Bob

 

 

1450xldsales.jpg

 

It seems the 1450XLD suffered from the well-known "Little too much, a little late..." syndrome.

 

Its inherent design is, in essence, that of a "keyboard-computer". That is, a frame / chassis where the keyboard and main unit are fused into a mono-block case.

 

The problem with this design is that (simply put) it is NOT scalable. And the 1450 XLD clearly shows us why: when you start adding "stuff" to the seemingly ample surfaces of the case (but still not having a HD inside, yet), you invariably end-up in an oversized behemoth, that becomes quite difficult to handle, especially in office-desk space (where something of this nature would make sense). We already had examples of this (Commodore's PET, just look at that thing!). In other words, you cannot effectively compete with designs such as IBM/PC 5150, where you have a separate keyboard and separate case, where you can locate each element wherever you wish can, and load inside memory, HD, floppies, expansion cards, etc., with pretty much just two (2) plain power cords and one monitor cable (!)

 

It seems that the 1400XL was as far as you can go with the Keyboard-concept design, and even so the 800 will still be a better choice for office HW, since (internally) it is much more modular, with an integrated expansion bay, and more manageable growth potential (assuming denser components), while still being a keyboard-computer. That's why many folks working with 800s (and expansions like 80-col cards.) complained quite a bit with the 1200XL at the office, and never really paid attention to it.

 

For the above reasons, I believe the 1450XLD would have been, most likely, another marketing flop for Atari, while the 1400XL (with maybe 128 or 256 KBytes of RAM) would have kept it going, for a little longer (and more profitable). Also, Atari should have dropped the 1050 design altogether (large, power-hungry, noisy, etc.) and leap-frog it with a more compact, powerful one like the IndusGT, coming with CP/M standard, if possible). But all these should have happened by 1982-1983, instead of 1984+.

 

My 0,02c

 

Edited by Faicuai
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2 hours ago, yorgle said:

I wonder if at least some of the thinking behind the 1200xl design was to make it resemble a typewriter, which most people were familiar with.  I have weird fantasies about a 1200xl with a built-in print mechanism (like the 2027) recessed into the white space on top.  That would have been an awesome combo- type up your homework in atariwriter, slip in a sheet of paper and tuk-a-tuk-a-tuk...!

The 1200XL has almost the same footprint as an 800, so it's really a very sleek, modern re-interpretation of the 800 and completely makes sense in my eyes without the need for alternate design theories.

 

The big change that happened by the time the 600XL and 800XL came around was that Commodore jumped in with a price war that forced some significant cost-cutting measures.  The 1200XL was designed with a price target of around $1,000.  The 600XL and 800XL had to be sold into a market where the C64 was selling for $300 and then half that by late 1983.  Although the drastic price cuts made home computers really affordable, it also meant that many companies dropped out of the market (e.g. T.I.) and a machine engineered like the 1200XL could no longer exist - unless it happened to move upmarket where IBM and Apple dominated.

 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, jamm said:

The 1200XL has almost the same footprint as an 800, so it's really a very sleek, modern re-interpretation of the 800 and completely makes sense in my eyes without the need for alternate design theories.

 

The big change that happened by the time the 600XL and 800XL came around was that Commodore jumped in with a price war that forced some significant cost-cutting measures.  The 1200XL was designed with a price target of around $1,000.  The 600XL and 800XL had to be sold into a market where the C64 was selling for $300 and then half that by late 1983.  Although the drastic price cuts made home computers really affordable, it also meant that many companies dropped out of the market (e.g. T.I.) and a machine engineered like the 1200XL could no longer exist - unless it happened to move upmarket where IBM and Apple dominated.

 

Unfortunately, the 1200XL is chopped-down version of the 800.

 

It is BEAUTIFUL to look at, but pretty much a dead-end street design-wise. No expandability of any kind, limited SW compatibility, no dual cart-ports (which become VERY useful with smart-carts via $D500 control registers), no expansion bays, no modular ram cards, no modular CPU card, No integrated power-supply (like Apple IIc), not even a PBI bus, and on and on.... It is on this front that I saw the 1400XL offering some hope, indeed.

 

I LOVED IT the very first day a saw it...until I started asking the right questions. I started with the 400 (missing the 800 altogether, which I always knew was the real boss), and then settled on the 800XL (with an Indus)... and STILL, it was not near the 800, in terms of its "radical" architecture, and its potential... but the 800XL ended up being better than the 1200XL, especially if it came with the beloved ALPS, true-PCB, true-mechanical keyboard.

Edited by Faicuai

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@Faicuai I love you man, but you're full of shit, on this one.

 

Speaking as someone who has had both the 800 and 1200XL:

 

* OS is mostly the same as the 800XL, even the PBI bits are actually in there. Translator addressed OS B compatibility extremely well.

* The Keyboard is comparable to the 800, and both are easily the best mechs in the entire line.

* The extra programmable function keys are extremely helpful, and I wish they had made it into the other systems.

* Lots of space inside to put internal modifications.

* The Ultimate1MB today makes the 1200XL _one of the best XLs to have, only missing PBI.

* PBI can actually be added. All the bits to support it are there in both the hardware and the software.

* With UAV, the video output is as good as my 800.

* Just snip that current limiting resistor off.

 

Currently, my 1200XL is my primary development system, I use it constantly.

 

Most of the criticisms of the 1200XL only were valid for its contemporary production run, and all were addressed. 

 

-Thom

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6 minutes ago, tschak909 said:

@Faicuai I love you man, but you're full of shit, on this one.

 

Speaking as someone who has had both the 800 and 1200XL:

 

* OS is mostly the same as the 800XL, even the PBI bits are actually in there. Translator addressed OS B compatibility extremely well.

* The Keyboard is comparable to the 800, and both are easily the best mechs in the entire line.

* The extra programmable function keys are extremely helpful, and I wish they had made it into the other systems.

* Lots of space inside to put internal modifications.

* The Ultimate1MB today makes the 1200XL _one of the best XLs to have, only missing PBI.

* PBI can actually be added. All the bits to support it are there in both the hardware and the software.

* With UAV, the video output is as good as my 800.

* Just snip that current limiting resistor off.

 

Currently, my 1200XL is my primary development system, I use it constantly.

 

Most of the criticisms of the 1200XL only were valid for its contemporary production run, and all were addressed. 

 

-Thom

Funny, all the above items on your list are only supporting the main argument.

 

Beautiful, thoughtful design... but dead on arrival. Whether we like it or not, that is the truth.

 

In any case, show me:

 

1. Picture of your 1200XL WITH shields insrtalled (including U1MB)

2. Booting Basic XE (original OSS cart) with Side's HD active (on SDX), while loading BasicXE extensions from your HD partition.

 

I will be (patiently) waiting, provided that FujiNet does not get delayed on the attempt....

 

;-)

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14 hours ago, jamm said:

I'm sure I've seen that before, but I don't remember where.  It's frustrating that they were far enough along with the product to have marketing materials ready to go!

I had a printed catalog from Atari from back then that had a page showing the "NEW"   600XL,  800XL,  1400XL and 1450XLD

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, tschak909 said:

I do not have a Basic XE, nor do I have an SIDE.

 

You really are a dick.

 

-Thom

Thank you.

 

And (proudly) a long and thick one. ;-)

Edited by Faicuai
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40 minutes ago, tschak909 said:

I do not have a Basic XE, nor do I have an SIDE.

If you ever get SIDE2, you can boot BASIC XE right off the SIDE ROM and run extensions thanks to Eric Bacher's amazing patched ROMs. Updated version will be released shortly. :)

 

It even works when the shields are not present. :D

 

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Posted (edited)

Nice ! (Another ornament to the christmas tree...)

 

Even more, why don't we try booting a meager Atari DOS 2.5 .ATR (HD) image with a simple Ultimate/SD cart (that fits nicely on 800 and 1200Xl cart ports), with any bootable cart mounted, whatsoever?

 

...C'mon guys! I know you can do it! (Although I know already you can't do your shields, other than Star Raiders...)

 

 

Edited by Faicuai

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