The Franklin ACE 500 was a 100% Apple IIe and Apple IIc compatible computer with a built-in 5.25" disk drive and 256 KB of RAM.
It looked pretty much like a black //c, featured all of the standard Apple ports and a better keyboard with a numeric keypad. It was also very similar to the Laser 128 in design and features.
The ACE 500 was the last Apple II compatible Franklin manufactured. Its capabilities and abilities were identical to the Ace 2000 series. The Company was sued in 1982 by Apple for copyright and patent infringement and ceased making computers in August 1983.
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The ACE 500 was a clone of the Apple //c with some interesting exras. You could use either a Composite input monitor like the Apple //c used or you could use a IBM style CGA monitor. When either monitor was in text mode, you could $ the text color on the screen (green, amber or paper white) The unit shipped in configurations of either 256k or 512k versus the 128k of the Apple //c. This allowed memory resident programs such as Appleworks to be loaded entirely into memory and still provide desk space for large documents as well as switching between documents. The keyboard are is larger with an included 10 key keypad as well as function keys that could be set to perform word processor functions in Appleworks. These functions were available on the Apple by memorizing special key combinations. The Franklin did them automaticly. Having used both machines as well as several others from both Apple and Franklin, I can state that the functionality as well as the build quality of the Franklins were superior to Apple. Apple had some nicer designs, but they could have taken a page from the Franklin play book.
Thursday 17th February 2011
Ray McAnally (USA)
Regarding the ACE500, I once picked up two or three of them that a computer repair shop was throwing out. They all worked great, and were sturdy machines - I once dropped one several feet and it still worked fine! It's worth noting, however, that the machine isn't exactly like an Apple //c as it's heavier than one, deeper than one. A better gauge would be that it's a couple inches wider and deeper than the Commodore 128. Also, the picture of the connectors is obviously of a version that I did not have - the ones I had had a standard three-pronged AC cable jack where the AC adaptor input is located in the picture.
Saturday 30th October 2004
END OF PRODUCTION
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Full stroke 90 keys with function keys and numeric keypad
256 KB expandable to 512 KB on board
40 / 80 chars. x 24 lines (monochrome)
All of the Apple IIc modes: 40 x 48 (16 col) / 80 x 48 (16 col) / 280 x 192 (6 col) / 140 x 192 (16 col) / 560 x 192 (mono)
Parallel, Serial, NTSC RGB and composite video, joystick, mouse