Franklin Ace 100
CPU:MOS 6502 @ 1.0 MHz
280 X 192, 40 X 24 text
Ports:composite video output
8 internal expansion slots
Storageexternal 143K floppy drive
with interface card
OS:Applesoft BASIC built-in
Apple DOS 3.3 on disk

The Apple II series of computers were very popular - so popular in fact, that other computer companies released "clone" computers based on the Apple design.

The Franklin Ace 100 is one such clone of the original Apple II computer.

Actually, Franklin "cheated" in making their system Apple-compatible. The Ace 100 and 1000 are almost exact copies of the Apple II - they literally copied the Apple hardware and software, stamped their name on it, and sold it as their own.

At the time, there was no legal precedent to prevent them from doing this, but almost immediately, in May 1982, Franklin was sued by Apple Computers for trademark violations.

In August of 1983, Apple Computer won a judgment against Franklin Computer as ruled by a U.S. federal appeals court judge. Franklin settled with Apple in 1984, and eventually developed their own legal BIOS.

In 1986, Franklin released two more legal Apple clones - the Franklin Ace 2000 and 500, but they were not very popular and Franklin left the computer business entirely.

Seen below are the motherboards of the Franklin Ace 100 and Apple II computers. Notice any resemblance? Except for a difference in size, you can see that the Ace is practically a duplicate of the Apple.

Franklin Ace 100

Apple II
Franklin Ace 100Apple II

While the Franklin has much in common with the Apple II, there are important differences. Some are improvements, others perhaps an attempt to avoid a legal confrontation with Apple Computers:

Feature:Franklin Ace 100Apple II
Cassette interface:not installedbuilt-in
Keyboard:both upper and lower case  upper case only  
Numeric keypad:built-innot included
System initialization:auto-boots from floppy,
Applesoft BASIC in ROM
boots to "monitor",
Integer BASIC in ROM

Related Links

  • Franklin Ace 100 from Dave's Old Computers
  • The Apple/Franklin/Laser Users Group of Spokane
  • Apple Vs Franklin Ace

  • Return to the Obsolete Technology Homepage