• Category Archives Apple ][
  • Apple ][
  • Computist (December 1986)


    Source: Computist – Issue Number 38 – December 1986

    Hardcore Computist, or later just Computist, was a long running Apple II magazine that was published in one form or another from 1981 until 1993. Originally, it was called Hardcore Computing. Early on, this was split into two publications, Core and Hardcore Computist. Core didn’t last very long and Hardcore Computist eventually became just computist. While it covered a variety of technical topics for the Apple II, it was best known for publishing copy protection circumvention techniques and parameters.

    The December 1986 issue of Computist includes:


    • Cyclod
    • Alternate Reality
    • Boulder Dash I & II
    • Hard Hat Mack (Revisited)
    • The Other Side


    • The Enhanced/Unenhanced IIe – Have you ever wished for a moment (perhaps when running some old software) that your Apple IIe wasn’t enhanced? With this modification to your computer, you can quickly switch between enhanced and unenhanced versions of the Apple IIe.
    • Looking into Flight Simulator’s DOS – Following our softkey for Flight Simulator v1.05, COMPUTIST presents an in depth look at the DOS behind the program.


    • Appavarex – This article details how Applesoft program text is stored in memory and presents a program that documents in what lines of a program variables are used.
    • Installing a RAM disk into DOS 3.3 – If you have a IIe with extended 80 column card, you can now have the super speed of a RAM disk with DOS 3.3.


    • Input
    • Most Wanted List
    • Readers’ Softkey & Copy Exchange

    …and more!

  • The Dark Crystal (Apple II)

    The Dark Crystal, originally titled Hi-Res Adventure #6: The Dark Crystal, was a graphic adventure game based on the movie of the same name. It was designed by Roberta Williams and published by Sierra in 1983.

    At the time it was released, it was fairly highly regarded. One review even said it was better than the movie though I would disagree with this. If you haven’t seen the movie, you should definitely do that. If you haven’t played the game, well, I could take it or leave it but I’m not really a fan of the genre anyway. If you like graphic adventures of this type then this certainly isn’t a bad one.

    The combination of platforms this was released on seems pretty unique. It was only available on the Apple II, which are where the screen shots in this post are from, and the Atari 8-bit. It seems like this game would be an easy port to other platforms and the Commodore 64 was a big seller by 1983.

    If you are interested in playing this game, then it is easy to do. You don’t have to track down an old Apple or Atari or even mess around with finding a pirated disk image and setting up an emulator. There is an official web-based recreation that can be found here: http://www.darkcrystal.com/play/

    The Dark Crystal (Apple II)


  • Franklin Ace 1000

    Vintage Franklin Ace 1000 Apple II Compatible Computer System


    The Franklin Ace line of computers were clones of the Apple II+ produced by the Franklin Computer Corporation. Ultimately, they were sued by Apple and by the time everything was resolved, Apple II compatibility wasn’t as important. Franklin wasn’t sued because of the hardware they produced but because they copied Apple’s BIOS (even the copyright notice). Early PC clone makers avoided this problem by reverse engineered IBMs BIOS for the PC instead of just copying it outright.

    The Franklin Ace 1000 was introduced in 1982. It used a MOS 64502 processor and had 64K of RAM as well as 8 Apple II compatible expansion slots. It featured near 100% compatibility with Apple II software. I’m not sure the Franklin Ace 1000 had any big advantages over the II+. My expectations are that it would have been much cheaper but it really wasn’t, at least not at introduction. The II+ was introduced in 1979 at $1195 while the Franklin Ace 1000 was introduced in 1982 at $1100. It did have 64K of RAM while the Apple II+ only originally came with 16KB. Also, the II+ needed an expansion card to reach the full 64KB. Other than these relatively small advantages, I’m not sure there was a particularly good reason to get the Franklin Ace over a real Apple II. It is possible the price of the Franklin dropped more rapidly and was a better deal later in its life.

    At the end of the day, the Franklin Ace 1000 is a neat computer to have in your collection but if I had to choose between it and an Apple II+, I would probably still pick the Apple. The Franklin just doesn’t offer enough that is better or unique to prefer it to the real deal, however it is far more rare.