Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore dies

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Statik, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Statik macrumors member

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    #1
    For those who grew up in the 80s, his computers were everywhere. Like his business style or not he made a huge impact on the computer industry as we have it today.

    Back then I owned what was fondly known as a "Jackintosh", an Atari ST with a whopping 1 meg of ram and high res 13" monitor. Great computer. Way ahead of the time and awesome for anything you could throw at it. I think I'll go dig it out of storage and see if it still work.

    RIP Jack.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...y-dies-at-84/2012/04/10/gIQAJERX9S_story.html
     
  2. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #2
    Deja vu all over again!
     

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  3. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #3
    Not really. This is the thread that should have been posted; not the douche one.

    Those were the days. I wonder if kids today could handle these machines now (as far as how slow they were).
     
  4. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #4
    I started using PET computers in an after-school program at the tender age of 13 (yes, I'm old!). Eventually we got a VIC-20 at home and then later a C-64 (which I adored! ;) ). I don't know where I'd be today without Jack Tramiel.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #5
    I had a C-128D and I played tons on my friend's C-64. We also had two different Amiga 500s... I lusted after an Atari ST but then the A500 came out and it seemed a lot more fun.

    Before all that, I had a TRS-80 color computer 2. I got it when I was maybe 7. In the beginning, I didn't have a tape drive or anything for it, so I had to type really fast, because it overheated after a couple hours and crashed. :eek: Those were the days.

    On the other hand, I think it's amazing how much you can do with software design how easily now, without having to waste all your time hand-drawing windows and defining every tiny detail. The shear number of iOS developers, many of whom are really young, shows that people still care about learning how all this stuff works (and not all of them write fart apps).

    As for the other thread... ugh. I definitely feel Commodore has an important place in the story of computers. I don't know about the Anti-Steve Jobs business, but the Commodore computers were prettier than most of the Apples of their day (the IIc, I think? was relatively good looking, but I think most of the other pre-Mac Apples were ugly).
     
  6. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #6
    RIP Jack Tramiel. :(

    I remember the C64 with great affection, my first experience of a computer. It was magic back in the 1980's.
     
  7. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

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    #7
    I used a TRS-80 to work on my Masters thesis work from home with a modem to A&M's WYLBUR mainframe. Typing L to find the section in a +2,000 line code for editing sometimes made me want to shoot the TV. It was like playing Pong, but slower, as each line came up.

    BTW, you look too young to ever have used one of these things!
     
  8. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #8
    Used to fiddle the chips out the back of my C64 to skip levels in some games :D

    Sad news mixed with nostalgia :(
     
  9. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #9
    Our first family computer was the Vic 20. It never really worked that well as I was a kid and my parents were not (and still aren't) computer people. I remember loading games from tapes that would often crash. Copying pages of text to make some pixel move (which I guess was basic programming) and to hit return to find syntax error had occurred! Still this company was one of the founders of home computing for the masses. My condolences for his family and friends.
     
  10. Statik thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    Ahh, where the magazines at the time used to have a section in the back where you would type the code in line for line to write a new game. I had forgotten all about that. Brilliant stuff!
     
  11. MrMoore, Apr 11, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012

    MrMoore macrumors 6502

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    #11
    One my first computers was a Commodore 64. Ahhhh.. such memories.. :D

    RUN Magazine

    COMPUTE! Magazine.

    Typing in basic programs.

    Epyx games.

    GEOS!! (First time I saw a GUI interface)

    Q-Link (AOL before they were AOL)

    300 Baud modems!!

    Uh, did I just reveal I am old? :eek:

    Oops about the topic.

    RIP Jack! Thanks for the memories.

    (I even tried one of your Atari ST computers) :)
     
  12. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    Yes! And sometimes in Hex!
     
  14. Mal67 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Ah the memories nights typing in listings from games mags. :) Home computing and computing in general just wouldn't have been the same without Jack Tramiel. :( Commodore rocked the 8bit world :)
     
  15. uptherighttree macrumors member

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    #15
    I started on the C16 starter pack

    I still have one (and the Plus 4 version as I got given it, just not the same)

    Spent so long playing Punchy and "drawing" pictures on the Rolf Harris picture maker

    Loading times??? That's where my childhood went...waiting for bloody games to load
     
  16. cdavis11 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Family Computing Magazine - centerfolds of code.

    Before the tape or floppy drives, you had to type the basic code to create the compiler for machine language programs, then enter the hex for what seemed like hours - every time you wanted to play. Then debug...then play the lame game for 15 minutes. I can still remember how cool I thought it was to finally SAVE that code to a tape when I got a tape drive.

    300 baud modems - when you dialed into a bbs you could watch each character come in...going to 1200 baud meant a whole line of text at a time would be received!

    BBSing - WWIV BBSs and all night software downloads...aka "MOM, stay off the phone" Mom or Dad would invariably pick up the phone and your dial up connection would die...resulting in another all night download session.

    Software "rental" stores that sold the cracking software behind the counter for about $12.

    Having those 1541 floppy drives re-aligned every 6 months.

    Punching a hole in the 5.25" floppies to double your storage.

    SubLogic Flight Simulator - MS Flight Sim before it was MS Flight Sim.

    Daisy Wheel printers.
     
  17. greg555, Apr 12, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012

    greg555 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I had one of the original 8k PETs (with chicklet keys) and later used a C64 and daisy wheel typewriter (with computer interface) to write and print my Master's thesis. (I think the word processor program I used was called Paperclip. You worked in the normal 40 column text mode but it had a page preview mode that would display 80 characters per line using a really skinny 4-pixel wide font. Not quite WYSIWYG!)

    The PET is long gone but I still have the stereo receiver and turntable I bought with the proceeds from selling it. I even used the turntable a few months ago to rip the last of my albums to digital.

    In the early days of the PET there was a monthly cassette "magazine" I subscribed to named Cursor. Eventually I wrote a Star Wars type of game (mixed Basic and machine language) and sold it to them. I got $80 for the game and used it to buy an office chair (which I still have).

    So I don't have my first computer any more, which saddens me a little, but I do have some mementos from it.

    Greg
     
  18. cdavis11, Apr 12, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012

    cdavis11 macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Fond memories Greg.

    I sold my full C64 rig for an IBM XT, then traded that a couple of years later for a nice telescope. A pretty good trade at the time.
     
  19. Portaluk Guest

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    #19
    Brought back a lot of memories reading this, my first gaming experience was playing Commando on a C64 at a friends birthday when I was 9.

    RIP
     
  20. Mal67 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I've still got two plus-4s :) .....
     
  21. greg555 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Looks like you made some good trade-ins too.

    Jack Tramiel and Chuck Peddle don't get enough credit for their parts in starting the home computer era.

    Greg
     
  22. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #22
    You know, you can buy a brand new C64x here, only $1295. 4Gb of RAM does seem a bit like cheating, though.
     
  23. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #23
    RIP Jack.

    In college I used the Mac labs, but came home to a C-128D. PETs and C-64s were around me a lot at school and work into the 90s. I fondly remember the 8 bit days evoked by MrMoore. Reading Isaacson's book on Steve Jobs left me wanting more about these early days with these characters.

    B
     
  24. Antares macrumors 68000

    Antares

    #24
    The C-64 was the first computer that I ever used. They were what I began learning computing on.

    His passing is a sad thing.
     
  25. Frobozz macrumors 65816

    Frobozz

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    #25
    10 PRINT "We will miss you Jack"
    20 GOTO 10


    Check out my signature. It's been there for literally maybe 8 years of my nearly 10 year membership on these forums. Amigas and Commodores are what got me into computing, and Jack made that all happen!

    I started with a VIC 20 and programmed with all 4K of RAM that puppy came with. Played a lot of GORF and text adventures on it.

    Then we moved to a Commodore 128 ... which we normally used in 64 mode. Who didn't? That single computer was probably the reason I got into computing.

    I then moved on to an Amiga 500, then an Amiga 2000 ... and finally an Amiga 1200– they had the AGA chipset and, despite the numbering convention, was far more powerful than the 2000. I can't say enough about the Amiga line. It quite literally took until the mid 90's before any other computer could match an Amiga's graphics and sound capabilities.

    My first Mac was a PowerComputing clone with a 603e processor that I bought in 1997 for my junior year of graphic design school. It lasted me maybe 4 years and multiple upgrades! I had a *massive* 64MB of ram in it.

    Everyone makes waves in the universe somehow. Jack made computing affordable to a lot of people that, despite my love for Apple and Jobs, Apple didn't do as well. The Apple II was inferior in nearly every way.
     

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