Booting into (Apple) DOS 3.3

by Simon St. Laurent

I freed my parent's attic of the old Franklin Ace 1000 I'd used from seventh grade through high school, hoping to get it going and play with some projects - in assembler - that seemed too difficult then. Now if only I could get it to boot into DOS...

I can't tell whether the disk drives have gone bad - I have two - or if all the disks have demagnetized. The only disk that's actually booted is an ancient A2-FS1 flight simulator, a Sopwith Camel done as lines. The one ProDOS disk I have comes up far enough to tell me that ProDOS can't be loaded - Apple started checking ROMs to avoid supporting us Franklin owners. I remember that there's a way to edit disks and add three no-ops, but as my disk editor isn't running either, that's not too helpful. Most disks produce the 'error' jamming noise, though some just spin. A few start to boot, and then crash to the monitor prompt.

The computer itself seems fine. If I hit the lovely red reset button, I get an AppleSoft prompt, and I can get into the monitor just fine. I just can't save any programs to disk, which is kind of a nuisance for the explorations I was hoping to undertake. (I was hoping to get back to Ultima IV, too.)

I guess I can try some emulators, though I doubt Apple will consider my three Macintosh purchases (SE/840AV/iMac) sufficient expiation for my Franklin Ace 1000 and happily/legally let me use their ROM images. Given the situation of my disks, maybe I need to find an old Apple anyway, and its possession would make those issues go away.

I guess it was a good idea to print out listings of all the great games I wrote back in seventh grade!

Any thoughts on booting a recalcitrant Franklin Ace 1000?


2004-06-07 13:01:04
Franklin, my dear Charlotte?
I'm sure that Apple's attitude toward support of old Franklin users is akin to Rhett Bultler's support of a Miss O'Hara. (I had a Franklin Ace 1200 with the upper and lower case letters that confused any Apple ][ software when I tried to use it.)

Two emulators are out there that are very worthwhile for Mac users.
Gerard Putter's Virtual ][ is up to version 2.6 and it has lots of geeky friendly things. Sound emulation for old Apple tape drives. The ability to "print" output sent to the printer to a text file on your Mac. And a servicable (but somewhat awkward) emulation of the Apple 2 disk drives as a folder on your Mac.
Axel Bauer's OSXII has been up to version 0.8 since the start of the year and it works well. It is a more limited emulator, but it has a very nice user experience. It's disk "drawer" is initially a bit awkward for me to get accustomed to, but it makes a lot of sense once I figured out it's logic (especially for game playing). It's a bit of a resource hog compared to Virtual II but strictly for use of old Apple software, it's very slick and tweak-free.

For both of these emulators you'll need to get Apple ROMs. Rom images from an Apple II are easy to obtain online (look at simonstl
2004-06-07 16:06:06

thanks for the pointers
I think I may still look around for an old Apple to see if what's on these disks is any good, maybe even a IIgs so I can transfer them to floppies I might be able to read on my old Quadra, but in general, emulators do seem a lot easier to find these days.

2004-07-08 09:59:47
Bootable disks

Simon -- I have and can make DOS 3.3 bootable masters. I recently reconstituted an Apple II, several Apple II+'s, and an Apple IIGS. Feel free to email me at