1.5) What is the Atari 600XL?

Introduced in June 1983 alongside the 800XL, 1400XL (never shipped), and
1450XLD (never shipped), and shipped that fall, the Atari 600XL was the low-
end machine that would replace the Atari 400 while maintaining compatibility
with the earlier model.

The 600XL/800XL include most of the features of the 1200XL, minus the 4
Function keys, the 2 LED lights, and the "ATARI" logo screen.  But both the
600XL and 800XL have the Atari BASIC language built-in.  In addition, these
two systems offer the Parallel Bus Interface (PBI), providing fast parallel
access to the heart of the computer. 

Available current on the +5V/Ready line (pin 10) on the SIO port of the
600XL/800XL matches that on the 400/800, restoring compatibility with SIO
peripherals designed to draw power from that line which would not work on the
1200XL.

The 600XL contains 16KiB RAM.  The Atari 1064 Memory Module expands the 600XL
from 16KiB to 64KiB RAM.

System initialization types supported:
- Atari BASIC: Turn on computer with no cartridge inserted and no powered
   disk drive #1.
- Self Test program: Hold down [OPTION] while turning on the computer with no
   cartridge inserted and no powered disk drive #1.
- Cartridge: Turn on computer with cartridge inserted. (disables BASIC)
- Cassette boot: (boot cassette may or may not require BASIC or cartridge)
    1. - With BASIC or with cartridge (cartridge disables BASIC):
           Hold down [START] while turning on the computer.
       - With no cartridge and without BASIC:
           Hold down both [START] and [OPTION] while turning on the computer.
       (system buzzer sounds)
    2. Press [PLAY] on the program recorder with boot cassette inserted.
    3. Press [RETURN] on the computer.
- Disk boot: (boot disk may or may not require BASIC or cartridge inserted)
    - With BASIC or with cartridge (cartridge disables BASIC):
        Turn on computer with boot disk inserted in powered disk drive #1.
    - With no cartridge and without BASIC:
        Hold down [OPTION] while turning on computer with boot disk inserted
        in powered disk drive #1.

Box: "Feature For Feature, Your Best Value"

Versions of the Atari 600XL:
  o  Domestic version for NTSC M television (North America)
     - 6502 MPU (Atari SALLY), C014806
     - ANTIC NTSC 'E' version, C021697
        - Possibly some early units incorrectly shipped with ANTIC NTSC
          version C012296, see Tech Tip 20, 8/17/83.
     - GTIA NTSC version, C014805
     - 14KiB Operating System ROM: XL OS Rev.1, C062024
     - Atari BASIC Rev. B (8KiB ROM), C060302
     - No Monitor port
     - Switch Box jack for RF output for TV
     - Channel switch on back of computer selects TV output RF channel: 2 or 3
     - TV Switch Box and TV connecting cable both supplied with computer
  o  PAL versions for PAL B/G television (Europe) or PAL I television (UK)
     - 6502 MPU (Atari SALLY), C014806
     - ANTIC PAL 'B' version, C021698
        - First 24,000 units incorrectly shipped with ANTIC PAL 'A' version
          C014887, see Tech Tip 20, 8/17/83
     - GTIA PAL version, C014889
     - 14KiB Operating System ROM: XL OS Rev.1, C062024
     - Atari BASIC Rev. B (8KiB ROM), C060302
     - Monitor port is Atari 5-pin
        - Lacks the luminance video signal on pin 1
        - Lacks the chrominance video signal on pin 5
     - T.V. jack for RF output for TV
     - No TV RF Channel select switch
     - TV output: RF channel 4 (PAL B version) or 36 (PAL G/PAL I versions).
        - Rare variant: RF channel 3 (PAL B Finland version)
     - RF Cable for TV connection supplied with computer
  o  SECAM version (France)  ("Pauline")
     - Announced by Atari, Inc. but never shipped

Rare variations of the 600XL:
  o  Some late-model 600XLs were sold with 64KiB RAM.  These may have only
appeared in Canada.  The box had a round gold foil sticker reading:
"64k Memory -- Now with a full 64k of memory built-in."

5 different types of 600XL/800XL keyboards were nicely documented by Beetle
here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/105170-600800xl-keyboard-variants/

Manuals:
- The Atari 600XL Home Computer Owner's Guide C061530 (21 pages)
- Atari Computer 600XL C061946 (international; 61 pages)
- Atari Computer 600XL and Atari Computer 800XL Connection Instructions for
   PAL TV Systems C061947 (international)
- Atari Computer 600XL Connection Instructions for NTSC TV Systems C062228
   (international)
- Atari 600XL Computer Field Service Manual FD100610 REV.1 October 1983

The 600XL was made by Chelco Sound (Hong Kong) Limited from July to November
1983 (early NTSC units with 7YJ serial numbers), by Atari-Wong Co. in Hong
Kong from September 1983 to April 1984 (most NTSC/PAL units), and by Atari
Taiwan Manufacturing Corp. in July 1984 (rare late PAL units).

The Atari 600XL was utilized by Exidy as an embedded system in their
Max-A-Flex coin-operated arcade conversion system (configurable to play:
Astro Chase, Boulder Dash, Bristles, or Flip and Flop).
(See MyAtari Magazine, January 2003.)
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