[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Apple II Box for C64

March 25th, 2013 by Benj Edwards

Mimic Systems Spartan Commodore 64 Apple II+ expansion box advertisement ad - 1985A scene from one of Benj’s recent nightmares.

Hey mime! Yeah, you! Stop stealing my $599 Mimic Spartan Apple II+ compatibility box for the Commodore 64. I need it to open up a whole new world of hardware and software.

Just for a second, imagine if I could add these features to my Commodore 64: Apple II+ hardware and software capabilities, 64K RAM expansion, four software selectable Commodore 64 cartridge slots, non-dedicated 8-bit parallel port, and standard audio cassette deck capabilities for my C-64. Yep, all of that!

The suggested retail value of comparable products offering only these capabilities is over $2,200.00*. But the Spartan gives me much, much more, mime! Oh yes. By building on my investment in my Commodore 64 — an excellent introductory computer — I create a whole new system with both C-64 an Apple II+ capabilities.

There is a whole other world out there! And if you’d just give it back, a huge selection of Apple II+ hardware and software would be mine to explore. Call toll free for the Spartan dealer nearest you.

* Burp.

[ From Compute, November 1985, p.29 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Open Discussion: Whoever posts a question first gets to decide what we’ll talk about this week.

See Also: MacCharlie’s FrankenMac (2013)

8 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Apple II Box for C64”

  1. Stan Says:

    There’s an interesting write up that thing over here: http://www.applefritter.com/node/229

    “A particularly horrifying addition was the ‘DOS Card’, an Apple II disk controller that you installed *inside* the Commodore 1541 disk drive, between the drive mechanism and the 1541 logic board. In 1541 mode, the ‘DOS Card’ simply passed signals through from the 1541 logic, but at the flick of a switch (F6, I believe) it would take over the mechanism and turn the thing into an Apple II drive”

    Apparently they shipped a few in late ’85 or ’86, even though any Apple II+ clone would be quite out of date by then. However, it would be delightful to see a 1541 drive behave like a Disk ][.

  2. Kevin Says:

    Yet another reason to hate mimes!

  3. Benj Edwards Says:

    That’s a great writeup on the Spartan, Stan. Thanks for sharing that link.

    The Disk II controller in a 1541 does sound frightfully Frankensteinian. I wonder if anyone was brave enough to install such a mod (if these things ever made it out in any significant numbers, that is).

  4. Daniel Says:

    and plug in a Commodore CP/M cartridge into this contraption and you’ve got a C64, Apple II+, and a Z80 based CP/M machine!

  5. Dar Says:

    Hmmm, I suppose Apple II had some superior business software, but otherwise why emulate it when you have a C=64?

  6. Daniel Says:

    The Apple II was widely used in schools and had lots of quality educational titles but I’m sure they could have easily been ported to the Commodore 64. As for superior business software, the only software I can think of for the Apple II that was superior is WordPerfect. Both the C64 and Apple II had GEOS available. C64 had superior gaming titles, better sound and graphics.

    I agree with you Dar, I don’t really see a point to this product. It would have been a wiser investment to purchase a Commodore 128 then to purchase one of these Mimic systems. That’s probably why this product failed.

  7. Justin M. Salvato Says:

    Never knew about this one. Wow, this is rather fascinating. Apple II capabilities on an C64…

  8. Ant Says:

    Interesting! I never knew this existed.

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