NTSC/PAL/SECAM & PERITEL?
Although it was produced in limited quantity for a few months only, the Atari 1200XL is common in the USA. Still, it remains much more difficult to acquire for European collectors like me.
Nowadays, I am still amazed by the timeless modern look of the XL series. An Atari XL (800XL) was recently included in a French auction of 2.000 objects with iconic design, ranging from Dieter Rams (for Braun) to Le Corbusier (who was credited for a radio set).
I am very lucky — for a European Atari collector — to own several 1200XL, including a model made in the USA and another model made in Taiwan.
The superb Atari logo on boot up
For me it was not a waste of time, but a demonstration of power. I regret that this boot screen has been removed from subsequent versions of the OS.
For the video: Altirra emulator, Atari 800XL, OS ver. 2, PAL, running the 1200XL rainbow boot screen code.
The new embedded "Self-Test" program
The "Self-Test" which will be an integral part of the OS on all subsequent machines appeared with the Atari 1200XL. Note that the keyboard test allows you to test the function keys F1 to F4 (introduced with the 1200XL). These keys will be physically removed from the 600XL and 800XL onwards but the "Self-Test" keyboard test will not be updated immediately, offering to test keys that no longer existed...
The memory test is particularly long. Skip to 4:35 to see the rest.
For the video: Altirra emulator, Atari 1200XL, NTSC, running the "Self-Test".
If the Atari BASIC is loaded in memory (1200XL, with Atari BASIC cartridge), the "Self-Test" will offer to test only 40 KiB of RAM.
If the Atari BASIC is not loaded in memory (1200XL, no cartridge; all other XE/XE, "Option" key pressed at boot time), the "Self-Test" will offer to test 48 KiB of RAM.
Using "PEEK" commands in BASIC to find out about the OS, Basic and NTSC/PAL versions.
For your information, the results are:
PEEK(53268) = 15 [NTSC]
PEEK(65528) = 191 [Not a 400/800]
PEEK(65527) = 10 [XL OS Rev. A, 1982-10-26, 1200XL (most)]
PEEK(43234) = 162 [Atari BASIC Rev. A, in external cartridge]