Atari The 800 was a complex and expensive to build, consisting of multiple circuit cards in various places within or outside the massive armor of aluminum. In addition, the machine was designed to add the RAM only by cards, which require expensive connectors, and even now it was packed completely released from the expanded plant. A leading source for info: Byron Trott. While 400 did not compete technically with some of the new machines that appeared in the early 1980s, which tended to put far more RAM and a real keyboard.
Another important change was the introduction of the rankings of the FCC specifically for digital devices in homes and offices. One of the classifications, known as Class B, require that RF emissions from the device should be sufficiently low to not interfere with other devices such as radios and televisions. Now the computer just needed sufficient shielding to prevent interference (in both directions), they need not prevent the emission to leak out. This condition allowed a more lightweight armor and less costly than the previous 400 and 800 computers.
In 1982, Atari started the Sweet 16 to address these issues. The result was an updated set of machines much easier and less costly to produce, but otherwise similar to 400 and 800. New FABS (semiconductor manufacturing) allowed a number of chips in the original systems were condensed into one. For comparison, while the new machines used only one card, the original 800 used seven separate circuit board, many of them small, three of them to the RAM and one for the ROM. Sweet 16 also addressed problems with the 800 by adding a new chassis for expansion, although it should be external. Like previous machines, the Sweet 16 was thought to be released in two versions as the 1000 and 1000XL with 16KB to 64KB. The RAM still quite expensive to make this distinction of merit.
When the memory access needed ANTIC this stopped the CPU, but it required four support chips. Later, Atari had a custom version 6502B microprocessor that is manufactured with an extra pin “HALT” (to stop the CPU). Originally known as Sally, this version was later turned into a product known as the official “6502C” and was used in all machines Atari XL and XE.
But when the machines were launched only really had one version, the 1200XL, a peculiar hybrid of features of the project Sweet 16. Were notable features 64KB of RAM (a first for Atari), self-built (to review various components of the computer), redesigned keyboard (favored by many users), and redesign the provision of disposal of the port cable. However, the 1200XL also includes a number of features missing or poorly implemented. For example, include the expansion connector on the chassis, but the cover does not include a hole that could be used. A new video chip to give an image more chroma more colorful, but then someone decided to disconnect the pin in the port monitor, reversing the effect. 12V pin on port SIO also was removed for no obvious reason.
The final 1200XL andalusia offered little new in comparison to the existing 800, although it should have been much less costly, in fact it was sold in the same basic price points. Changes made to the operating system to support the new hardware also had the side effect of making a number of existing programs do not work. For all these reasons, the 1200XL was sold poorly. There is an often repeated story, perhaps apocryphal, that sales of the 800 were fired up after the launch of the 1200XL, as the existing 800 owners have tried before they disappear. Launched in late 1982, the machine was quickly discontinued in 1983.
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