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The Atari 800XL (1983) was the third version of the Atari 8-bit line of computers introduced in 1983. The system contained a full 64K of memory, had all the standard VLSI chips (Antic, GTIA, Pokey, PIA) and was in a smaller and more compact design. The keyboard was good, not as good as the 1200XL keyboard, but it had a solid feel to it. The cartridge port had been move to the top centre of the system and used special metal spring loaded doors to allow the insertion and removal of ROM cartridges. This system of spring loaded doors also kept dirt and objects from falling into the cartridge slot when it was not occupied.
Overall the system is basically a cost reduced Atari 800 with a fuzzier picture. The system came with built-in diagnostics and a HELP key. The OS was still slightly incompatible with many original Atari 400/800 software titles, but Atari began to distribute a "Translator" disk which would load up a 400/800 compatible OS into memory so that the 800XL could support those programs.
The system also included built-in Atari BASIC programming language which could be disabled by holding down the OPTION key on boot-up. The other new feature of the 800XL was the new high speed Parallel Bus Interface (PBI) which would allow the 800XL to connect to the Atari 1090: XL Expansion System which was an expansion box with 5 slots in it for an assortment of expansion cards.
Serial number on computer: 72RHA AT84106630
Serial number on box: 72RHA AT8449316
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH3959. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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