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2-XL Talking Robot2-XL.net is a tribute to that popular educational toy of the late 1970s. Actually, I’m astonished that there is only one other dedicated 2-XL site — 2XLRobot.com — and only a handful of pages for this toy. Hundreds of thousands were sold between 1978 and 1981, and I expected more discussion about him. Has the personal computer so completely overshadowed 2-XL’s achievements that he is forgotten? Perhaps so.

In the mid-1980s my parents bought an Atari 400, our first family computer, and 2-XL was shelved (actually, he was given to my younger cousin who enjoyed the toy as much as I did). Later, in 1989, I purchased a Mac Plus, and the memory of 2-XL faded entirely. I imagine the same is true for others. Advances in digital technology had rendered 2-XL quaint.

In a certain sense, 2-XL was a “prototype” of things to come, an anticipation of what computers could be and perhaps should be. Because in 1978 technology had not advanced enough to place a real computer in everyone’s home, 2-XL filled the gap. It’s for this “filling of the gap” that I offer this site.

© 2013, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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