The PC's Soviet?

From: Doug Spence <>
Date: Wed Apr 29 02:50:20 1998

On Wed, 22 Apr 1998, Joe wrote:

> >Was it not the same in the States, with regards to Apple clones, as it was
> >in Canada in the early 80s?
> Sure it was. The Franklins were probably the best known Apple rip-offs
> ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H er ah, clones. At least until Apple sued them and
> Franklin had to actually design their own machines.

I've never actually seen a Franklin. Most people around here had
"Microcom" machines. Those machines alone are more common at garage sales
and thrift shops than real Apples. It's also the brand that I owned back
in the 80s. Most other brands that I used to see in shops or at peoples
houses have completely disappeared off the map. A friend of a friend had
a really funky looking one that I wish I could remember the name of.

At least 90% of the Apple clones I see are Microcom machines. They had a
large store a couple of towns over from where I live, and even real Apple
owners used to shop there for peripherals and expansion boards and
software. I think most people went to them because they were pretty big
and stable. I actually went back to them in 1987 to get my ][+ repaired.
They were becoming quite big in the PC clone market by that time, and my
father tried to talk me into buying a Microcom PC instead of an Amiga. I
still have their PC clone brochures lying around somewhere.

I think they opened up another store or two closer to the downtown core of
Montreal, but they were eventually shut down by the RCMP. Or so goes the
rumour. Because of their "Software Evaluation Club". I'll have to check
with a friend who used their software piracy services, but I've inherited
some disks with "CLUB 6502" stickers on them which might be from Microcom.

> >So the Soviets pirated the Apple ][, who didn't?
> But you missed the point. No other >COUNTRY< tried to pass off a pirated
> machine as their own. In fact, most cloners (pirates?) bragged about their
> similarity to the original machine, the Soviets claimed that their machine
> was an original design. To top it all off, they didn't even have the good
> sense to change the copywrite notice!

Yeah, OK, that's pretty bad. :) Some companies claimed compatability that
wasn't there, though. But those weren't straight clones. (The Video
Technologies Ltd. Laser 3000 isn't exactly 100% Apple compatible. :) )

> >Maybe I should start collecting Apple clones, seeing as I see them more
> >frequently than actual Apples (clones were more affordable).
> That would probably be a pretty big collection just by itself!

It sure would be!

If I saw a McIntosh today, I'd grab it!

> Joe

Doug Spence
Received on Wed Apr 29 1998 - 02:50:20 BST

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