By David E Mentley
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Additional resources for ABCs of Atari computers
It could also be used for player/missile data or alternate character sets. Unfortunately, most commercial software does not support Bank Switching. The Mosaic 64K RAM Select board allows this technique. BASIC - BASIC is the most universally used computer language for beginners. It is easy to write short utility programs in BASIC. Atari BASIC is available on an 8K ROM cartridge for the 400, 800, and 1200 models and is built into the XL series computers. BASIC is a programming language which is entered through memory location $AOOO (40969 decimal).
BAN K SE LECT ME M ORY - An extra4K of RAM can be addressed without modifications to the operating system of the 400 and 800 Atari computers. This 4K block starts at $COOO and is used by the Operating System in the XL series. This means that 52K of memory can be addressed in a contiguous block. By installing a board with 16K of memory in addition to the regular 48K in a 400 or 800, the extra 4K can be BANK SELECTED. Since it can be switched on by writing to a special location, the4K block of 32 BASIC memory can be switched in and out by a technique called BANK SWITCHING.
Conveniently, two bytes will serve as an address for each of the bytes. Since each byte can have one of 256 values, two bytes will address 256 X 256 bytes or 65,636 bytes. A two byte address is represented in a format such as FF FF. The leftmost part is called the high byte or MSB (most significant byte). The rightmost byte is the the low byte or LSB (least significant byte). To get the decimal value, the MSB must be multiplied by 256 and added to the LSB. This is commonly done to find the value of an address stored in two locations.
ABCs of Atari computers by David E Mentley