History of Apple Clones: Franklin Ace 1200
In 1983, an American company Franklin Computer Corp, shows an operating Franklin Ace 1200 Apple II compatible home computer for US$2200. It was the improved and upgraded version of the Franklin Ace 1000 computer unveiled in 1982 (the Ace 1000 came with built-in dual drives and the CP/M Softcard as standard features). These were the first legal Apple II clone.
The Franklin Ace 1200 was discontinued in 1984, but in one year there were tens of thousands of units manufactured in the US.
Processor: MOS/Commodore 6502
Speed: 1 MHz.
Storage: 2 5.25″ floppy drives.
Expansion: 7 slots.
Bus: Apple II compatible.
Video:Built in video, various resolutions to 320x192x16 color. Composite monitor or RF Modulator to TV supported.
I/O: Parallel, Serial.
OS: Apple DOS, ProDOS, CP/M.
Keyboard: Full Stsroke 71 keys.
Text Modes: 40×24.
Graphic Modes: 40 x 48 / 208 x 160 / 280 x 192.
Voice: 1 voice – built-in speaker.
Size:46 (W) x 50 (D) x 20.5 (H) cm.
Accessories: Joystick, composite video, 8 Apple II compatible slots.
Power Supply: Built-in switching power supply unit.
Peripherals: Apple II extensions.
This computer was the device which allowed many youngster to discover computer games, such as Computer Quarterback, Oregon Trail, Zork, Burger Time, and best of all the original Castle Wolfenstein. And its working software WordStar served many purposes, among them you could learn BASIC with it.
In September 1983, Franklin lost a trial against Apple for counterfeiting ROM software from Apple II and II+. Moreover the Apple IIe, launched some time later with 2 special keys allowed to distinguish between true Apple and compatible machines. However, Franklin Cumputer Corporation still produced Apple II and PC compatible computers (ACE-500, ACE-2000, PC-8000) for about two years before devoting them to pocket translators.