Today in Apple history: Remember Franklin’s Apple II clone?

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Ace1200
The Franklin Ace 1200 was, in some ways, a literal copy of the Apple II.
Photo: Bugbookmuseum

Jan18January 18, 1983: Computer manufacturer Franklin Electronic Publishers announces its Franklin Ace 1200 computer, one of several Apple II clones the company made.

Franklin’s line of unauthorized Apple clones (unlike the later official clone Macs in the 1990s) becomes the center of an important legal battle, in which a U.S. court decides whether or not a company can protect its operating system by copyright.

Former employee explains how Tim Cook made Apple boring

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Life at Apple is great for Tim Cook.
Tim Cook wants to keep peace at Apple.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Tim Cook’s kinder, gentler management style is the biggest reason why 2016 was one of the most boring years for Apple in recent memory, according to a former employee of the company.

Steve Jobs was notorious for inciting conflict and competition between top employees, which him a controversial leader but also birthed some of the most iconic tech products ever (iMac, iPod and iPhone). After Cook took over, he worked to eliminate conflict within Cupertino’s walls and made employees less passionate, claims ex-Apple employee Bob Burrough.

Vintage Mac Museum steers clear of Macs that sucked

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How do you like them Apples? Adam Rosen's home is the Vintage Mac Museum.
How do you like them Apples? Adam Rosen's home is the Vintage Mac Museum.
Photo: Adam Rosen

Cult of Mac 2.0 bug Adam Rosen’s collection of vintage Macs doesn’t make him a hoarder, but he acknowledges it doesn’t make him an obvious choice for a husband, either.

In several rooms of Rosen’s Boston home you’ll find a love story nonetheless. The rooms are shrines to a high school sweetheart that matured and grew more sophisticated with time, a friendly face still aglow with “hello.”

Seize power for all your gear and gadgets [Deals]

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3 outlets and 4 USB ports make this travel-friendly power strip a comprehensive charging solution.
3 outlets and 4 USB ports make this travel-friendly power strip a comprehensive charging solution.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

The more we rely on our digital devices, the more chances there are to run out of juice at just the wrong moment. But the essential charging gadgets in this roundup can meet anyone’s thirst for power.

They include a portable, surge-protected strip with USB and standard outlets, a five-port dock that organizes your gizmos while they charge, a trio of extra-long, MFi-certified Lightning cables, and a wireless charging hub for Apple Watch and three other devices. Read on to learn more:

Today in Apple history: Mac’s ‘1984’ ad debuts in theaters

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Apple-BigBrother-1984
Before it won the Super Bowl, Apple's iconic Mac ad invaded theaters.
Photo: Chiat/Day/Apple

Jan17 January 17, 1984: A week before its famous appearance during Super Bowl XVIII, Apple’s iconic “1984” ad debuts as a pre-movie trailer in theaters.

To sell its revolutionary new Macintosh computer, Apple buys several months of ad time from theatrical ad distributor ScreenVision. The sci-fi-tinged spot gets such a favorable reaction from audiences that some theater owners continue to roll the ad after Apple’s contract comes to an end.

36 years on, you can play Bill Gates’ crappy Donkey game on Apple Watch

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Bill Gates just won the internets.
Of all Bill Gates' accomplishments, how did DONKEY hang around?
Photo: Bill Gates

Before Bill Gates was, well, Bill Gates, he was the 20-something software developer behind DONKEY.BAS, a simple yet frustratingly difficult PC game in which players drive a car along a stretch of road while avoiding donkeys.

Created in 1981 to show off the BASIC programming language on the then-new IBM PC, an updated version of the game has now been ported to Apple Watch.

2017 MacBook Pro to bring Intel Kaby Lake, 32GB of RAM

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MacBook
The next MacBook Pro will bring the power pro users require.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple will launch a new 15-inch MacBook Pro later this year powered by Intel’s next-generation Kaby Lake processors and 32GB of desktop-class RAM, according to a reliable analyst.

The latest models feature Skylake chips and up to 16GB of RAM, but many professionals have complained this just isn’t enough for a high-end notebook.

Is iPhone Apple’s most significant product to date? [Friday Night Fights]

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wood
Can you think of anything more important to Apple?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The iPhone celebrated its tenth anniversary this week, and it’s hard to imagine where Apple would be today without it. It is by far the company’s most successful product, but is it also its most significant to date?

Friday Night Fights bugApple revolutionized a number of product industries with the Mac, iPod, iTunes, and iPad — all of which have been incredibly successful at some point. It also pioneered new concepts with products like the Newton. Were any of these things more important to Apple than iPhone?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we relive our first experiences with iPhone and discuss Apple’s most significant product releases.