I think the point is that if your Atari *is* expanded, can you use those expansions to emulate Apple expansions? Of course there's going to be Apple add-ons that are harder to emulate, but some things (like floppy drives and 80 column hardware) were fairly common place. As far as the Atari not being able to emulate Apple floppies yet, would it be possible read and write sectors... not from a real apple disk, but from a disk image file, something similar to an .atr file? I know Apple used minimal hardware on their drive controllers so the CPU might be trying to access non-exsistant hardware, but I'm sure this problem has been addressed by various PC emulators. I think it would even be cool to have an SIO2Apple floppy adaptor
WHat? Apple used minimal hardware on their floppy controller? Apple had their floppy controler chip on the motherboard, and actually directly controlled the drives' head steppers and bidirectional serial interface via hardware. This made apple's disk interface one of the fastest and most low-level programmable interfaces around. This is also why there is no Apple2PC disk drive emulation systems. (Actually there is one now, but its a whole PCB worth of logic, rather than just a simple serial adaptor like comparable suystems on the ATARI & C=). An SIO2Apple would likewise require quite an involved hardware/software combination.
As far as the 80 column card not being part of the standard... Heh.. I would argue that it was very much part of the standard.. If you owned a II+ or IIe without the 80 column card, you really werent going to run about half the software that was produced during most of the apple II's span of popularity. The IIc came standard with it, and so did the Laser 128. Needless to say, the IIgs had the same capabilities... I dont think Ive ever actually USED an Apple II that didnt have the 80 column card. From the time I was in elementary school in the early 80s, all the way through highschool in the late 80s, I bet I saw THOUSANDS of Apple II machines, both at school, and at friends' houses.. And I cant remember seing a single one that didnt have the 80 column card.. It was pretty much a basic requirement.. Without it, you couldnt really use any of the more useful software on the machine. Even a good percentage of the games utilized it, if not required it.. Appleworks, Applewriter, Proterm, PRODOS, and quite a few of the better games come to mind when thinking of software that required (or would absolutely SUCK without) The 80 column expansion.. In the IIe, most 80 column expansions were also coupled with an additional 64k of RAM.. The IIc came stock with both..
SO basically, what youve got is emulation of an unexpanded Apple II+... Which is quite an achievement in itself.. And I do understand that differences in the atari vs apple hardware design make it impracticale to try to emulate the "expanded" features of the IIe/IIc on the ATARI..