64-Bit Blues: Jack Tramiel, Father of Commodore, Dies at 83

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News Posted: Mon, Apr 9 2012 10:27 PM
It's with heavy hearts that we report the death of Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore International, who passed away at the age of 83. Tramiel, born in Poland in 1928, died while surrounded by family on Sunday, April 8, according to Forbes. He is survived by his wife Helen and their three sons, Gary, Sam, and Leonard, along with their extended families and millions of fans and the computing industry at large, including those who might not have been familiar with his name until now.

By all means an unlikely pioneer in PCs, Tramiel was a taxi driver when he founded a typewriter repair business named Commodore Portable Typewriter. His business would later morph into a typewriter manufacturing outfit before evolving into calculators and eventually computers. It began with the Computer PET, then the VIC20, and in 1982, Commodore International launched the infamous Commodore 64, still the best selling PC of all time with over 20 million units sold and the starting point for countless old school geeks who still remember typing Load"*",8,1.



"We need to build computers for the masses, not the classes," Tramiel once said, a quote that gives a glimpse into his character. You could say he was the polar opposite of Steve Jobs, who himself passed away six months ago.


Tramiel left Commodore in early 1984 and then bought the Consumer Division of Atari later that same year. By the end of the decade, his son Sam was named President and CEO, though Jack would remained involved throughout most of the 1990s.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
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Super Dave replied on Tue, Apr 10 2012 12:12 AM

Rest in peace, Mr. Tramiel.

 SPAM-posters beware! ®

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Apr 11 2012 12:28 PM

:(

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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elgringo81 replied on Wed, Apr 11 2012 12:29 PM

RIP.

Didn't "64" stand for 64 kilobyte of Memory instead of 64-bit architecture?

It was build on 8-bit architecture.

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elgringo81 replied on Wed, Apr 11 2012 12:31 PM

64-kB Blues. Its not a world changer :-)

Sorry, I am not trying to be an ass.. I love hothardware.. keep up the good work.

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Yes, the Commodore 64 was an 8-bit system, but Tramiel's legacy spans several systems up through the 64-bit Atari Jaguar. Still, I suppose 8-bit blues would be more appropriate, considering the Commodore 64 was his greatest achievement.

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AKwyn replied on Fri, Apr 13 2012 10:07 PM

Ah, the Commodore; one of the defining computers of our time.

RIP Jack Tramiel, you will be missed.

 

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Martin55 replied on Sat, Apr 14 2012 6:13 AM

Didn't "64" stand for 64 kilobyte of Memory instead of 64-bit architecture?

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Alannis replied on Tue, Apr 17 2012 9:15 AM

Another union bashing post then based on hearsay and politics

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