Day in Tech History

December 13: 30 Years Ago – Atari 1200XL Released


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Day in Tech History

Jeffrey Powers

Madison, WI

Description: Technology History in a Daily Podcast

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December 13: 30 Years Ago – Atari 1200XL Released

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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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