December 13, 1982: Atari 1200XL

Atari-1200XL

Atari-1200XL

1982 – After a decent success of the Atari 400/800 line the company noticed the console was looking a little “old”. After all, the Atari 400 actually discolors upon UV light. The 400’s non-tactile keyboard was replaced with the 800’s raised key keyboard. Still, Atari felt they needed to bring this personal computer into the 80’s.Therefore, the 1200XL was born. It was a hybrid computer – using what they called “Sweet 16” – a byte language developed by Steve Wozniak.  It was to manipulate 16-bit pointer data from an 8-bit system.

The Atari 1200XL also featured 64 KB of RAM and a redesigned cable port and keyboard layout. Unfortunately the community felt the 1200XL was poorly designed for certain ports were in the wrong place. There was also a color enhancement feature that couldn’t be used because it wasn’t connected to the monitor port.

The Atari 1200XL was $599.99

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Jeffrey Powers @geekazine

I love tech history. I enjoy how we evolved from computers that fill a room to computers we wear on our bodies. I have put a full archive of tech history together at Wikazine. You can also talk history at Google +. I am also a podcaster and V-caster at Geekazine and a Podcast Coach at How to Record Podcasts. You can also sign up for a Helpout

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  • Atari Guy

    Small error: The 1200XL doesn’t have a “redesigned cable port”, but rather a redesigned cable port *LAYOUT*.