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Pretty obsure C64 item garned more attention that I had hoped..

Worblehat

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Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
33
Location
Victoria BC Canada
Ah, the Spartan ... I first heard of the Spartan a few months ago. The Mechanical Engineering dept. at the university where I work was cleaning out a storage closet and came across a couple of boxes of what they thought were "Apple II cards". And they were right, kind of. After a bit of research I figured out they were CPU cards for the Mimic Spartan. Not quite sure how they wound up there, but as Mimic Systems was based in our fair city (Victoria, BC) one can see how some of their bits & pieces might have come our way. I don't think the cards are good for much as most are in rough shape, but I'm holding onto them anyway as relics of our local computing history.

spartan.jpg
 

snuci

Veteran Member
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Nov 22, 2012
Messages
1,344
Location
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Very nice. At long last I found a Mimic Spartan that interestingly enough was supposed to arrive yesterday but it didn't Should be here Monday. I have no idea what's inside as I only seen the box and the actual unit. I've been looking for one for a while for my Canadian vintage computing website as Mimic Systems does have an interesting history.

Glad you are hanging onto them Worblehat. Hopefully I will have the CPU card and the other accessories that came with it. You should also check if you have the DOS card that was supposed to go into the 1541 disk drive. I think it may have been optional for some of the Mimic Spartans.
 

Eudimorphodon

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I have no idea, I know carrington vanston has mentioned it on the RCR podcast a few times, but agreed, i've never seen it. But then, until now, i'd never seen this Spartan thing either.

The C64 is nothing without its Commodore-specific proprietary ASICS (literally, outside of the memory chips that’s the entire machine) and I have never heard of anyone making a hardware compatible clone of it before the C64-in-a-joystick era. If someone made a C64 compatibility add-on for the Apple II they would have probably spent more buying the parts from Commodore than they were selling the whole machine for.

A PET compatibility kludge I *might* buy as existing, maybe.
 

VERAULT

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Connecticut, USA
Does anyone know if a DOS/8088 system was ever made for the C64? I have been looking for a DOS 8088 assembly for my kaypro for years, but since its a two board system you only ever find one or the other and I am not risking high prices on incomplete parts.
 

Eudimorphodon

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There were 8088 expansion options for the CBM-II Commodore 8-bits but I don't remember ever hearing of one for the C64. It seems like it would be a hard sell, frankly; you can *kind* of see where there'd be a market for an 8088 expansion board for a "Business Machine"-priced 8-bit (there were several for the Apple II, for instance) but the C64 would realistically be cheaper than any 8088 board that could be even remotely PC compatible.

Of course, an idea being silly was no barrier to some people. I imagine it'd be pretty trivial to make the equivalent of this for the C64.
 

ngtwolf

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Apr 6, 2018
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If someone made a C64 compatibility add-on for the Apple II they would have probably spent more buying the parts from Commodore than they were selling the whole machine for

Makes sense. Although this Spartan sold for $599, which in 1985 was more than you'd pay for an Apple II+ (which is what it was a clone of). I'm talking about the system only, not crt/etc. So technically this Spartan doesn't make much sense in that regard either.
 

VERAULT

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There were 8088 expansion options for the CBM-II Commodore 8-bits but I don't remember ever hearing of one for the C64. It seems like it would be a hard sell, frankly; you can *kind* of see where there'd be a market for an 8088 expansion board for a "Business Machine"-priced 8-bit (there were several for the Apple II, for instance) but the C64 would realistically be cheaper than any 8088 board that could be even remotely PC compatible.

Of course, an idea being silly was no barrier to some people. I imagine it'd be pretty trivial to make the equivalent of this for the C64.

Hell If I could get an 8088 board for my PET 2001 I would.
 

ngtwolf

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Los Angeles, CA
Sold for over $1200.00 Didnt see that happening.

I saw that, but it makes sense actually. It has never been on ebay before as far as I can tell, and it doesn't seem like anyone has seen them in the wild really, so if you're a collector then you'd absolutely be bidding on this one because you probably would never get a chance again.
 

VERAULT

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Jan 30, 2012
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Yeah that why my thinking. I may have gone as high as 5 to 6 hundred but no more. Its complete in box with everything and it seems unused. I'm sure we wont see one again. I wonder if we know who bought it.
 

snuci

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Nov 22, 2012
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Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
There have been two on eBay that I could find before this one.

- 2017 - sold for $517 that was entitled "Commadore 64 Spartan computer" (I'm surprised it got hat high as nobody would have been able to find it and it was a Canadian auction as well)
- 2014 - sold for $1357 and looked complete. Another Canadian auction.

In the condition this was in, $1183 was pretty good. Wasn't me but I do have a Spartan that is missing the internal CPU card (makes it useless) and all of the other accessories. The hunt for those continues.
 

tipc

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Jan 16, 2005
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Principality of Xeon W-2140B the Great State of Ce
Not a particularly obscure item. That is to anyone who read just a few copies of Compute! back in the day. It took a long time for them to actually release it as I recall. Was largely viewed as vaporware. I actually was?'t aware of it's physical existence until I saw one on ebay some moons ago. If you lovethe look of a c64 breadbin you'll love the Spartan likewise. Apple II compatibility doesn't interest me personally all that much. As such I regard it as a curio.
 
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