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Biographies: Commodore Corporation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129898D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Sep-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 15K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

IEEE Computer Society: OWNER

Abstract

Commodore Corporation, the innovative computer industry pioneer that gave the world the PET, the VIC-20, the Commodore 64, and the Amiga, finally died, possibly a suicide, in 1994 at the age of 30 after a long period of illness brought on by self-neglect. Its achievements have been largely forgotten.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1995 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Biographies: Commodore Corporation

(Image Omitted: Adapted, with permission, from "R.I.P. Commodore 1954-1994" by Tom R. Halihill, Byte, August 1994, page 252.)

Commodore Corporation, the innovative computer industry pioneer that gave the world the PET, the VIC-20, the Commodore 64, and the Amiga, finally died, possibly a suicide, in 1994 at the age of 30 after a long period of illness brought on by self-neglect. Its achievements have been largely forgotten.

Founded in 1954 as a typewriter repair service by Auschwitz survivor Jack Tramiel, Commodore followed Tramiel's power-to-the-people slogan, "Computers for the masses, not the classes," and, years before there were any PC clones, produced computers that anyone could afford. Tramiel, an aggressive businessman who seemed to love price wars, created the expectation among those in the then-tiny desktop computer market that computers should keep getting cheaper and better. In spite of the carping question "What are these toys good for?" Commodore introduced millions of well-to-do young adults to personal computing.

In 1977 the Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor), designed by Chuck Peddle, stood with the Apple II and the Tandy TRS-80 as one of the first three ready-to-run, off-the-shelf personal computers and established Commodore as a major vendor. The PET, a bargain at $795, had a built-in monitor, a tape drive, and a trapezoidal case.

The VIC-20 (1981) was the first color computer under $300. Its production hit 9,000 units per day -- a phenomenal rate then and still enviable today.

(Image Omitted: Commodore's high point was the Amiga 1000, so far ahead of its time that few appreciated it.)

The Commodore 64 (1982) is said to be the best-selling computer model of all time, with estimated sales between 1...