Saturday, May 7, 2016

Only Atari Delivers...

New Atari 1200XL Ad
Antic Magazine
April 1983

Inside Front Cover

Announced at a New York City press conference on December 13, 1982, the new Atari 1200XL home computer was presented at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which ran from  January 6th to January 9th, 1983. The Atari 1200XL home computer began shipping to customers in March 1983.

The New Atari 1200XL advertisement introduced the beautiful, sleek and stylish Atari 1200XL home computer to the computing magazine reading world.  It was presented on a two page spread inside the front cover of the April 1983 issue of Antic magazine.

In issue #10 of ANALOG Computing, publisher/editor Lee Pappas gives a review and his thoughts of the Atari 1200XL home computer beginning on page 32.

There is another article, The New Computer, on the Atari 1200XL, beginning on page 11 in the February/March 1983 issue of Antic magazine.

Some notable new features and differences from the existing Atari 400/800 models were 64 KB of RAM, built-in self test, redesigned cable port layout, loss of two controller ports, and the redesigned keyboard (featuring four function keys and a HELP key).

Only Two Controller Ports - No More Four Player M.U.L.E.

In fact, many Atari aficionados believe that the Atari 1200XL home computer had the best feeling keyboard out of all of the home computers that Atari manufactured.  Over time though, the Mylar film and other parts inside the Atari 1200XL keyboard degraded and failed causing keyboard issues for long-time users.

For many years, if you wanted to repair your Atari 1200XL keyboard, you had to resort to trying to redraw the keyboard traces with a conductive ink pen such as CircuitWriter.  At some point, Bob Woolley documented the process that many users, myself included, have followed.

In March 2016, Best Electronics began shipping an upgraded replacement Mylar film and other parts so that Atari retro computer enthusiasts could repair their aging Atari 1200XL keyboards.

Unfortunately, the Atari 1200XL was priced at too high a price point compared to competitors and it also had compatibility issues with older Atari 8-bit software.  The release of the Atari 1200XL actually caused an increase in sales of the older Atari 400/800 computers.  The Atari 1200XL was not produced for long and was soon replaced by the less expensive Atari 600XL and the Atari 800XL models.

No comments:

Post a Comment