Commodore founder Jack Tramiel dies at 83

Anonymous Coward

Headed Commodore and Atari yet forgotten

Whenever I see documentaries on the beginnings of home computers they invariably focus on Apple/Steve Jobs and Microsoft/Bill Gates. They usually ignore the likes of Tramiel/Commodore or at best make them out to be people who produced "games" machines of little relevance.

Yet as someone who was around at the time, Steve Jobs was a fringe figure selling hardware at eye watering prices to a tiny market and Bill Gates sold dull business software for use on equally expensive computers. It was the likes of Tramiel who ignited the publics interest in computers. Tramiel, Sinclair, Sugar, Curry were all people who bought computer to the masses. They produced hardware that was accessible and affordable.

Tramiel was a real power. At one stage Commodore were building 400,000 C64's a month, selling 17 million in total. He then went to Atari and had a major feud with his former company. He also launched the ST and turned around Atari who had never really recovered from the early 80's video game crash.

Granted he wasn't an engineer, but he recognised the need and made the business decisions to get Commodore into the market and pushed for the development of machines like the C64 because he saw the need.

Yes the man had faults and was a hard nosed businessman but now isn't the time. Apple, Microsoft et al all owe Tramiel and people like him a huge debt of gratitude for putting the foundations in place for their empires.

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