The PC's Soviet?

From: Doug Spence <>
Date: Wed Apr 22 03:41:36 1998

On Wed, 15 Apr 1998, Joe wrote:

> >Also seem to recall
> >an article on the soviet Apple ][ clone of the time (CPU on a large
> >daughterboard, pirated ROM, cost approx US $20,000)
> I remember that article. The entire motherboard was pirated! Not just
> the ROM. The tops of the ICs had been ground off to hide the fact that they
> were US made parts.

How do we know that the $20,000 wasn't the cost of shipping the pirate
motherboards to the Soviet Union from Canada, via Cuba? ;)

Was it not the same in the States, with regards to Apple clones, as it was
in Canada in the early 80s? My own family bought an Apple clone from one
of the bigger (and perhaps more 'reputable'?) Apple cloners in the area.
The ROMs were slightly modified (different name on bootup) and the power
connector on the motherboard was changed, but otherwise I think the
machine was identical to an Apple ][+. And the manuals were bound
photocopies of Apple's manuals with the copyright messages missing (but
the holes for the original ring binding clearly visible). They even sold
bare motherboards, language card boards you could populate yourself, etc.

I still use the photocopied "Apple ][ Reference Manual" I got with the
clone, even though I've now got an original one stashed away somewhere.

There were all kinds of small Apple cloners around, with various Apple
variety and fruit names ("Granny Smith", "McIntosh", "Pear", etc.). The
only obvious differences between most of these machines and an actual
Apple ][+ was the lack of the Apple logo, and usually the presence of
lower case display (though not necessarily the shift-key mod, which my
machine lacks). Some had additional stuff, though, like function keys and
slightly differently shaped cases. Or maybe a different colour of

Maybe I should start collecting Apple clones, seeing as I see them more
frequently than actual Apples (clones were more affordable).

So the Soviets pirated the Apple ][, who didn't?

A shame about the price, though. Why pirate the Apple if your clone is
going to be even MORE expensive than the real thing?

BTW, my clone fell ill a while ago, and I've replaced it with a genuine
Apple //e (the clone is back in its original box). Thanks to
depreciation, the //e was *much* less expensive than the clone was. And
it even had an additional 256K RAM card in it (now populated up to 512K).

Too bad the //e won't work with any of my Z80 cards. :/

> Joe

Doug Spence
Received on Wed Apr 22 1998 - 03:41:36 BST

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