What do I mean by clones?
I'm always talking about computers, of course, a clone is a computer "similar" to another.
In the history of the personal computer I believe that the first clones produced were those of the Apple II.
But why are clones made since the original already exists?
It is only a problem of money, in practice all the costs of design, study and development are borne by the original manufacturer, the imitator does nothing but copy what already exists, no idea, no innovation.
Obviously it is illegal, but made the law found the deception.
First of all, why are the Apple II clones, but not the Commodore 64? At least I'm not aware of it.
A feature of the Apple II is that it was made with absolutely standard components and easily available on the market. A precise choice of his designer, Steve Wozniack, who probably still had in mind the world of hobbyists.
The Commodore 64 instead has many components made at home and therefore not freely available.
So the key word is "open architecture", we have a computer made with standard components and there are expansion slots to insert cards of any kind.
The cards made by Apple are counted on the fingers, Apple itself encourages hardware manufacturers to make expansions for their computer.
This has brought so many manufacturers of expansions, joysticks, accessories and more.
Given this, and given the success of the Apple II, many, many then have also started to produce computers "similar", even we Italians have produced the Lemon II.
But Apple did not oppose, did not do anything?
Of course, he opened up many causes of plagiarism, but I do not seen any major successes.
In practice, the only copyrighted part was the ROM with the language and system routines. Making ROMs not the same, but similar and working, in the same way, was very easy, so there was nothing to do.
The next model, the Macintosh, will be much more protected.
Another example of clones?
The most famous of all, the IBM Personal Computer, better known as the PC.
First of all, let's stop and let's applaud IBM for choosing the name: clap, clap, clap.
Let's see a bit, the PC is made with standard components, easily available on the market, like the Apple II.
It has expansion slots like the Apple II. It also has ports for the cassette recorder.
In short, the PC designers, all external to IBM to tell the truth, have taken the successful computer of the moment, have analyzed it, have understood its strengths and came out with their idea.
But evidently beyond the good have also taken the bad one, after a while, the first clones begin to emerge, the first battles of IBM, but here too nothing to do.
The IBM will then try to go out with the PS/2 series, where everything is proprietary and therefore you can not copy anything! But in the long run, we can say that they lost the war.
And so history repeats itself, many more starts to produce PC clones, practically all of them.
Today, IBM no longer makes PCs and we all use clones, I no longer know what the original is, I buy HP or Dell or Lenovo or something else, but they are all the same stuff.
In reality, there is another type of clone. I'm thinking the clones made in the eastern countries. The late '70s and' 80s the countries of the east do not have access to the above standard components and therefore if they have to build it, but even here it is more convenient and quick to take a computer west overthrow it like a sock and then reproduce it in the home. In Eastern Europe, however, there are not only clones of the expensive Apple II, but there are many clones of the cheapest Sinclair ZX Spectrum.
These clones bring the countries of the East to produce their CPU (compatible with 6502 and Z80), which will then be the basis for computers designed and designed entirely in their home.
The production of clones forms the basis of the Eastern European electronics industry.
Let me know what you think in the comments.