THE ATARI 1400XL COMPUTER SYSTEM

Codename: N/A




Technical Documents


Atari 1400XL Product Spec

(938K Adobe PDF)

 

Detailed confidential document on the design and feature specifications for the 1400XL Computer System
Atari Speech Handler ERS
(715K Adobe 3.0 PDF)

Detailed confidential document on the device handler program to control the speech sythesiser in the Atari 1400 and 1450 computer systems

 

Atari 1400/1450 Modem
(1.1MB Adobe 3.0 PDF)
Detailed confidential technical documentation of the design and implementation of the internal Parallel Bus Interface modem in the Atari 1400/1450 computers

 

Atari 1400 Telecommunicator
(957K Adobe 3.0 PDF)
Detail confidential technical document detailed the design and implementation of the Atari 1400 Telecommunicator modem cartridge for use with the Voltrax SC01 Speech Synthesiser chip (1450XLD's used SC02 chip, not compatible)

 

Atari 1400XL PAL's

(1.5mb Adobe PDF)

Detailed document containing the PAL chip decoding and the Equations for the 1400XL PAL A, B and C chips.

 

In an effort to preserve the ROM code to
 any of Atari's unreleased and sometimes
one of a kind products, the actual
code is being put up onto the site for
all to study, examine and preserve.

 
Atari 1400XL Stand ALone Test ROM
Atari 1400XL Telecommunicator Talking
Terminal Program ROM

 


    The Atari 600XL and 800XL were both welcomed by the Atari computer community, but they were hungering for more.   They wanted something new and different.    Atari decided it was time to add some new bells and whistles to help make its computer standout from the compeition.    Atari began its "NEXT GENERATION" of home computer systems with the all new Atari 1400XL home computer system.   This system featured all the standard features of the Atari 800XL, but also included several new enhancements.   The first was the inclusion of the new custom chip called FREDDY which handled bank switching functions more efficently then the standard set of TTL chips that were being used in the 600XL and 800XL computers which didn't allow the unique memory management feature of the FREDDIE.

    The FREDDIE allowed the ANTIC chip to access separate memory from the regular 64K of the XL system which meant that the system could display more colors and more complex displays of graphics without sacrificing the memory available for the programs to run.   The next new enhancement was the inclusion of a SC-01 speech synthesizer chip and modifications to the OS to allow for a V: handler for VOICE.   Included with the new system was a cartridge called The 1400XL Telecommunicator which utitlized the voice synthesizer to announce changes in the configuration of the terminal program such as baud rate, line feeds, wrap around and so on.   The last feature which was given away by the note of the cartridge was a built-in 300 BAUD modem.   This is my option was a bad decision.  Atari had the right idea in seeing that tele-computing was definitely the way of the future, but was still playing the "We'll sell them a closed box and if they want more features next year they'll have to run out a buy a whole new one".   What Atari should have done was make the modem a slide in module which could have been removed and replaced with a 300-1200 modem or faster as time went by or simply added a built-in RS-232c port to allow users to plug in their own choice of modems such as the ever popular Hayes modems.    As a point of interest to collectors; the original 1400XL's that were made have motherboards which actually say 1400 on them, later on Atari opted to create a universal 1400/1450 motherboard called the 1450XL which has a power connector and PBI daughter-card connector on it for the addition of disk drives.   The idea was to make 1 single motherboard for both the 1400XL and for the 1450XLD's which would have the daughter card installed with a disk drive.    The best non-enhancement was the fact that Atari went back to using the Atari 1200XL type casing again along with that wonderful keyboard.    The 1400XL was truly what the 1200Xl should have been from the beginning.
 
 

Note:   For those collectors who have been able to obtain a 1400XL or 1450XLD computer and have wondered why their system is missing the labels on them, the reason for this according to a source at the old Atari Store stated:   People were pulling systems out of the garbage from Atari, bringing them back to the store and requesting refunds, Atari got wind of this and decided to have the labels removed on all "XL" merchandise, not just the 1400's and 1450's  that was to be thrown out or sold so that it could not be brought back for refunds.