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Jack Tramiel dies at age 83

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[quote name=Sub(Function(:))' timestamp='1334159069' post='2499653]

Here is a link to an article covering his life at Commodore




The interesting bit (for me at least) is at the end where there is a video interview with him for British TV, about the new line up of atari computers.


I've got the full episode of that program somewhere, that's Tony Bastible (RIP).

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Well to be honest look at the machines he made/wanted made when he ran Commodore and MOS


KIM1 (a first)

PET (pisses on Apple 1)

The PET was launched around the same time as the Apple ][, I'm affraid. Whereas Microsoft BASIC on the PET was by far away superior, and the 'all-in-one' PET is said to have influenced some later Apple machines, comparing the Apple 1 with the PET is a little unfair. A better comparison is between the KIM-1 and Apple 1, and the PET and Apple ][. It's very telling that they both ended up with the same BASIC anyway (more or less).

VIC20 (not that bad considering)

The VIC-20 was launched in Japan first, as the VIC-1001. A true masterstroke on Tramiel's part.

MAX (precursor to C64)

The Ultimax is basically a cost reduced C64. It was probably dropped because the VIC-20 was doing so well as an entry level machine, and, well, it had less RAM than the VIC.

C64 (worlds most succesful computer)

Commodore LCD (unreleased but read about this beautiful portable 8bit)

Plenty of machines were canned. The P500, and the P600/700 range and TOI, to name but a few.

$60 retail price Commodore 16 (rubber keys not C64/VIC cased)

Screwed Bill Gates on BASIC 2 which he used in 20m machines (one off small payment no royalties)

And basically healthy sales worldwide not just outside USA.


Now let's look at the post Tramiel Commodore....

Commodore 16 @ £149.99

The C16 was only commercially available for a year, and was made to replace the VIC-20 as an entry level computer. Commodore soon realised that the C64 made an ideal entry level machine. Lets face it, 16K just wasn't enough memory by its' launch.

Plus/4 costing more than C64 and horrible apps on rom

From Bil Herd's FB page: " Yes I am from a relatively small group in Engineering that knows what it's like to work for Jack and then work at CBM without him. I was lead engineer on the last computer "ordained" by JT, see www.c128.com/C116 for details on the last JT machine." So, was the C16/116/+4/264 really post-Tramiel or not?

Commodore LCD canned (after Tandy told them it wouldn't sell)

C128 disaster, stuck in 1mhz if you want to use 40 column mode ie games)

The C128 sold around 5,000,000 units world-wide. Hardly a distaster. The C64 compatibility was useful too.

Amiga 1000 no marketing for 12 months due to A500

Okay, so Commodore's marketting department were useless.

A500 pig ugly and 18 months project to put OS in rom (otherwise IDENTICAL to A1000)

The A500 rocks! Its' appearance is entirely subjective. And didn't the A500 have 512K as standard, whereas the A1000 had just 256K? My memory is a bit hazy here.

A500/A3000 Plus chipset (useless piece of crap update still 32 colours + same audio + same sprites/blitter

A600 LESS expandable than 1985 A1000

The A600 was supposed to be the new entry level machine, and was therefore cost-reduced. It was between this and the C65, from what I understand.

CDTV no marketing

Yes, okay... but also the first computer system to have a CD-ROM drive *as standard*, and indeed set the standard in that respect.

Commodore asked Bill Gates in and got butt screwed on 16/+4/C128 BASIC :lol:

Lost the US market.


MOS engineers gave Jack the PET, VIC20,LCD (inc glass screen world first) & C64. Nothing to do with just the 6510. VIC-II and SID were one of the best 8bit chipsets but cost peanuts because of MOS engineers and a private factory.


Finally Jack hit the ground running with the ST by pointing out how overpriced the monochrome lame ass Macintosh was, GEM is far far superior to MacOS 1 too and it was dubbed the Jackintosh. Commodore didn't even know what to do with A1000 in 85-86 and gave up trying in 86-87!

Err... I don't think anyone knew what to do with 16-bit computers in 1985. Bill Gates said - in 1989 - that Microsoft will not create a 32-bit operating system. But the Amiga in the UK and Germany (mostly) urinated all over the ST from a great height.

Truth is Commodore was doomed without Jack in charge but Jack was doomed at Atari as he spent ALL his money rescuing a company 99% bankrupt and lost the advantage of owning MOS factory and most talented engineers. This is why the ST was basically a 68000 based Commodore PET type business suited design, lack of money/engineering talent for development of rival to Amiga copper/blitter/sampled sounds.

This seems like your opinion rather than fact.

Finally from ST to STE to Falcon Atari made sensible welcomed improvements. After Amiga 1000 no improvement worth a damn happened until 1992...7 years! Think what Jack could have done with Amiga AND MOS Technologies and his millions in cash/assets free to expand HIS Commodore company.


If Jack had got the Amiga chipset when he was at Atari by late 80s Commodore would have tanked, if he hadn't bought Atari by mid 80s they would have tanked anyway. Catch 22. Result Win7/OS X on identical Intel motherboards shitfest of a choice in shops today.


Some Windowswanker or Macwanker built a time machine and went back in time and broke the MOS/JT/C= holy trinity like in Timecop.....but with less muscles and more spots ;)




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