Posts Tagged ‘Commodore’
Most of us think of Commodore’s pre-C64 computing history in terms of the still-legendary PET-2001, but an eBay auction run by Lawrence Bezuska shows just how far back the tradition really goes. He’s selling a KIM-1, the stripped-down hobbyist computer from Chuck Peddle that was the foundation for what the PET became. It’s so old that it was originally made by MOS Technologies in 1976 — Commodore bought the company and kept making the KIM-1 until 1981. Inside, you’re still looking at a 6502 chip, although you get just 1.12Kb of RAM and lose more than a few things that even DIY enthusiasts take for granted today, such as a power supply. There’s no way you’ll play Doom on it, then, but the winning bidder does get the luxury of a keypad just inches away from bare circuitry. If you’re quick enough to make the May 17th auction deadline and miss the days of very, very low-level programming, be sure to check the source link.
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Jack Tramiel, one of the PC industry’s major pioneers, has died. He was born in 1928 and, after surviving imprisonment in Auschwitz and another concentration camp during World War II, first established the Commodore name in business in 1953. His most successful endeavor, and one of the most successful in the history of computing, was the legendary Commodore 64, one of the very first computers built, as Tramiel would later put it, “for the masses, not the classes.” He was 83.
The legacy of Commodore lives on to this day, mainly in how this breakthrough device popularized the idea of a home computer. The C64, introduced in 1982, will certainly be remembered fondly by many readers of this website, as well as the Vic-20 and other less iconic devices. After he left Commodore, Tramiel purchased Atari in 1984, though its most influential devices were already behind it. Commodore, too, would go on to smaller successes like the Amiga series.
There will soon surely be more comprehensive and relevant examinations of Tramiel’s life and work, but for now let it suffice that the man was critically important in the history of personal computing, and in a great part shaped its present and future. He is survived by his wife and three sons, and of course the indelible mark he left on the industry.
Terribly sad news from the family of Jack Tramiel today. The Polish-born businessman is perhaps best known in the technology universe for his founding of Commodore International, the company responsible for the Commodore 64, 128, Amiga, etc. Tramiel’s story is an inspiring one; he was born into a Jewish family, and during World War II, was sent to Auschwitz. He was rescued in April of 1945, and some 39 years later he purchased Atari Inc.’s Consumer division and formed the Atari Corporation that is so well recognized in gaming lore. As first reported by Forbes, Martin Goldberg — a writer working on a book about the Atari brand and the early days of video games and computing with Atari Museum founder Curt Vendel — had this to say: “Jack Tramiel was an immense influence in the consumer electronics and computing industries. A name once uttered in the same vein as Steve Jobs is today, his journey from concentration camp survivor to captain of industry is the stuff of legends.” Tramiel leaves behind his wife, three sons and their extended families.
Yeah, an optical drive. You know, for folks who still appreciate the passing fads of life. Bitterness aside, Commodore is following up its retro-fabulous C64x with a new small-form-factor PC, the Amiga Mini. While not much of a looker, this box houses a potent 3.5GHz Core i7-2700k CPU, 16GB of DDR3 memory, NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 430 (1GB), a WiFi radio and a 1TB HDD that can be swapped out for a 300GB or 600GB solid state drive. There’s a slot-loading Blu-ray drive by default, internal space for a pair of 2.5-inch drives and a predictable Amiga logo burned right onto the front panel. Unfortunately, the well-specced base model tips the pricing scales at $ 2,495, but that does include a copy of its Commodore OS Vision. The company’s also revealing the C64x Supreme, the new VIC mini and a more powerful VIC-Slim keyboard computer (which now includes an HDMI output), all detailed in the presser past the break.
Gallery: Commodore Amiga Mini press photos
It’s been a long time since I clacked away on a C64 but I remember that hunk of pure computing power like it was yesterday. The keyboard (complete with dingbats on the front surface), the power light that glowed like a monocular rat eye, the lines of dust that formed in the 80s-era case. It was a simpler time.
That’s right: the Commodore 64 is 30 years old this week, appearing at CES in 1982 and ending up in third-grade classrooms and kids’ rooms for years after until, unceremoniously, millions of school custodians and parents dumped them in the trash as the PC took over desktops all over the world.
The original 64 had 64KB of RAM but only 32KB was addressable by BASIC, a little advertising trick that has been repeated again and again, most recently in regards to the space available on the Nook Tablet. RegHardware has an excellent look back at the platform if you’re so inclined but just look at the computing power you could get for the price of an off-contract iPhone back in 1982.
Continue reading Commodore USA begins shipping replica C64s next week, fulfilling your beige breadbox dreams (video)
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Commodore USA is now taking pre-orders for their modernized Commodore 64 keyboard PC; shipping dates are expected in mid-May or June. The base model comes with aÂ 1.8 GHz Dual Core Intel Atom processor and 2GB of RAM, the Ultimate version gets 4GB of RAM with built-in WiFi and Blu-ray. While these aren’t the greatest for playing the latest games, it would be cool to own one and judge the reactions of people who see you use it.
Head over to Tom’s Hardware to get the rest of the specs.
src="http://www.slipperybrick.com/index.php?feedimage=wp-content/uploads/2010/08/PC64Pro-508x388.jpg" alt="" title="Commodore USAâ€™s PC64 All-in-one PC Keyboard is insanely retro" width="500" height="382" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-51477" />The folks over at Commodore USA are ready to bring the old school and slam it down on your desktop. The company has announced a new line-up of computers that resemble the original Commodore computers from back in the day.
The best one has to be the one shown above, which is apparently a completely new design, inspired by the original Commodore. Inside this Commodore P64 youâ€™ll find an 2.66 GHz Intel Core I7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 512 MB, 2 TB hard drive, 4GB DDR3 SDRAM, and a BLU RAY drive.
This PC and the other new models will be available in late 2010.
Props to SlipperyBrick.com
Continue reading Commodore USA announces the PC64, an Atom-powered PC in a replica Commodore case
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Props to Engadget
Image Â© O'Reilly Press
Technology has come so far in so short a time that much of it we take for granted. Like many of our readers, I lived through the birth of the computing industry, grew up through the Commodore 64, DOS 2.0 and the 386 processor. I may have been young but I have an appreciation for how incredibly amazing it was to dial up a BBS or the first time I browsed to yahoo.com in theÂ lynx browser on a 2400-baud modem or sent my first e-mail message in from the pine e-mail client. But our kids will only exist in a post-computer, post-internet and post-smartphone society. Always on, always connected and generally, always fast. So much of technology is evolutionary instead of revolutionary and it’s hard to see just how far we’ve come. Which is why Revolution in the Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made is my favorite book about technology.
The book is a collection of stories – anecdotes really – that are divided into 5 parts. These stories not only recount the creation of the firstÂ Macintosh, they introduce us to the people that made the first Macintosh: hackers, engineers, visionaries. People who were at the right place at the right time and wanted to change the world. At the time, they believed that they would change the world. And looking back you can see the mark they’ve made and know they did succeed.
But the fact that the book is about the Mac is almost not important. It’s about a time and a place before graphical interfaces, the mouse, and portable computing. And yet it’s about the creation of these things as well. To anyone working in the field and especially those who write software or design hardware, there is plenty to enjoy in this book. It’s written with a certain reverence for theÂ eleganceÂ in many of the solutions to the challenges the team faced. And it offers a great perspective that back then, at Apple in the early days, corporate culture sometimes sucked. But for those who are only consumers of technology, the stories offer a way to understand and appreciate everything we use today.
It’s entirely likely that Andy Hertzfeld, curator ofÂ folklore.org which served as the genesis for Revolution in the Valley, simply wanted to organize and preserve the stories of one of the greatest products ever created, and certainly one of the most important projects he has worked on. But I think the purpose of the book goes much farther than that. Because when my kids begin to use our computers, I’ll want to give them that history lesson and inspire them to do great things too.