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Franklin Ace 1000: Got one, now what?


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I got my hands on this compute recently from a friend who shares interests in old computers.  He is not an Apple guy, and while he knows I am not, either, he knows that I frequent places like this and could help get it a good home.


I am told it powered up just fine and something displayed on the screen, but I have yet to test it, myself.  I hope to do some sometime this week.


This thread is not to push it or sell it, but rather because I know just posting about odd computers is bait for nostalgic discussion, and I am interested in what people know about the machine.  Once I get it tested I will post up in the marketplace someone to give it a home.


It looks like it has the floppy controller, but that should be in slot 6, right?  Anything special or not about this computer?





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I have an Ace 1200. It worked fine when I powered it up--it was NOS--then after being powered off for a week, I flipped it on,and the drives didn't work. Something in the custom drive controller failed by literally being off. 


I have sadly found very little in the way of diagnostics aid for it, and the 1200 has slot 6 blocked, as the on-board hardware uses its I/O to run the internal drives. 


Placing a card in Slot 6 on the 1200, after removing to slot blocking pin, causes it to crash to monitor.


The 1000 though, is basically a ][+ clone. Usually these had 64K of RAM, a Franklin disk controller, with options for a Videx clone, Z80, and some other stuff. The 1200 comes standard with a Z80 card, a language card in slot 0, and a Videx clone in Slot 3. 


I have a spare Franklin Videx card, that I mean to test, but because I can't boot from slot 6, I also cannot load CP/M. (CP/M won't boot from Slot 7--Franklin call these 'J6' and 'J7', rather than slots.)


I would be curious if the Ace 1000 does anything odd is you put the disk card in Slot 6. You can use normal Disk II drives with it, although the official drives are Franklin Ace-10 models. The Franklin Videx clone card is pretty much designed to work on the Franklin alone. It might work on the 1000, and if I find mo better use for it, I will make it available to you for your 1000. (I pulled it from a 1000 or 1200, 35 years ago.)


All that said, it is unusual to see one of these without any of the other Franklin expansion accessories. 


For normal accessories, a Softcard, a language card/RAM card for a ][+, a serial card, and an 80 column card were the standard sort of kit for the system. Actually, parallel cards were more common on Franklin systems, but a serial card is immediately more useful. WHat version of FBASIC does this boot into? My 1200 boots into v6.0. 

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