Retro Home Computers – Commodore Business Machines
Commodore Business Machines,
Commodore had to be rescued once again by an infusion of cash from Gould, which Tramiel used beginning in 1976 to purchase several second-source chip suppliers, including MOS Technology, Inc., in order to assure his supply. He agreed to buy MOS, who were having troubles of its own, only on the condition that its chip designer Chuck Peddle join Commodore directly as head of engineering.
Above: Commodore Pet, first production computer
In 1977, Commodore had successfully transformed itself into a Computer company with the release of the Commodore Pet at a stunning price of $599.00. A low price considering the cost of the Apple II released that same year. Another note about Apple and Commodore: some argue that Commodore came out witht he first general purpose home computer and others say that it was Commodore. The Apple 1 came out in 1976. The Commodore Pet came out in 1977. However, the argument made by Commodore fans is that the Apple 1 wasnot a fully assembled computer.
Above: GEOS. A powerful grpahics environment released with the Commodore 64C
Commodore introduces the Commodore 64, which is the top selling computer of all time with an estimated 17 to 23 million units sold over its life. Commodore is also credited with the Video Game crash of 1983 due to the low prce of the Commodore 64. It is also credited with the end of many computers of the time as they could not compute on price. Jack Tramiel was know for his war like business strategy to eliminate the competition.
Commodore launches the Amiga in 1985. A computer considered by all to be years ahead of its time. However, Commodore fails to recognise its true potential until it is too late. A line of Amiga computers is released and starts a revolution in the video production market. Prior to the Amiga, computer video production required $100,000 worth of equipment and was often done in studios. The Amiga made broadcast quality video produciton possible starting at around $5,000.
While the Amiga was still a very popular machine, Commodore had financial problems due to the colapse of the periherals market, the US$ and the fall of marjor economic markets. By April, Commodore was out of business. However, what many consider strange is that Commodore filed for liquidation instead of chapter 11 in order to try and regoup and come back to market. SOme speculate that money had been siffened from the company and liquidation was choosen to avoid criminal charges. And, because the copany was incorporated in Bahamas, they did not have to follow US bankrupcy or liquidations laws.