Jack Tramiel 1928 – 2012

Jack Tramiel 1928 - 2012

“Computers for the masses, not the classes”

Words cannot describe the feeling I had when I read the report on Forbes that Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore and one of the most important people in computer history died last Sunday, aged 83.

My thoughts are now with his family who are going through this tough period.

Jack, you will be missed… you were the inspiration for generations upon generations of computer scientists, engineers, and gamers who had their first exposure to high technology because of your affordable computers.
Thank you Jack, for the incredible contribution you’ve made to computing history… thank you for allowing me to experience computers and the wonders that lay ahead… thank you for bringing the miracle of computers to everyone’s home…

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5 Responses to Jack Tramiel 1928 – 2012

  1. I still own my very first C64 that I received as a Christmas gift back in 1983. If it wasn’t for Jack Tramiel and receiving that first Commodore 64, the Commodore Computer Club (USA) might not be here today.

  2. I remember when the C-64 was the home computer just about everyone I knew owned. Commodore was truly a fantastic contributor to the industry but as a company that ultimately disappeared, it is now treated as a footnote.

    An article I read ran through the points of Jacks life and had to conclude that it’s amazing there isn’t a movie about this guy (Holocaust survivor to captain of industry). Truly an interesting man.

    I find it sad that a megalomaniac Steve Jobs received so much attention from the press on his passing, but Jack has not seen so much as a mention let alone a tribute. Truly sad, and further proves that history is written by the victor.

  3. Robby "The C= guy"

    Very true. Steve Jobs was important for the evolution of the computer industry but his role was of course emphasized mainly because Apple is still around and Commodore regrettably is not…
    But Jack’s legacy is his monument and his place in history is secure as Michael Tomczyk told me the other day.
    And we’re not the only ones who underpin this as a report in Belgian’s Datanews concludes with the following words, that are very very true:
    “…a pioneer of the computer industry, who’s impact in those early years was equal, if not more important, than that of icons like Steve Jobs.”

  4. Why not mention atari. during his period in these there were great product as well. Atari ST was the main choice for music sequencing in midi. The difference between Apple and Commodore as companies is evident also to Commodore fan boy

    Steve Jobs probably didn’t care for all the media hype. Apple got famous only in these last years thanks to fantastic products, but were around since 1977 and steve never surrendered to poor market shares. Remember that he also contributed to Next and financially to Pixar. What did Jack Tramiel did after Atari closeout? That’s why he didn’t got much attention in the press, if nothing. He wasn’t on the scene since 1994 or so. So for a newspaper talking about someone almost most people don’t know isn’t a reason for giving out 4-5 pages (as they did for steve).
    Same thing happened to the creator on C, and other great people.

  5. Robby "The C= guy"

    Of course the Atari ST was a great machine and indeed Jack did a lot for the company when he bought it after leaving Commodore.
    I do not agree though with Steve Jobs not caring about the media hype. Remember, he was the master of puting up a great product presentation. Look was everything to him. The way a product looked had to reflect the coolness or the novelty of the product as well.
    He did have poor market shares with Apple at one time, and played a very dubious game when he said that he was working is “iCEO” at Apple for $1 a year (but did make sure he got a lot of stock options).
    Jack Tramiel on the other hand was really someone that did not want to be on the forefront or constantly in the press. The fact that his products outsold anything else at that time was proof enough that he was doing the right thing.

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