OT: Jack Tramiel dies at 83- Commodore founder and Atari owner - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-12-2012, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...X9S_story.html

I'm certain many of you were influenced greatly by the computers Mr. Tramiel produced- PET, Vic20, C64, Atari 8 bit and ST.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Tramiel

The 80's was a great time to start learning about and using computers.

The culture of the "alternative" machines (non-DOS/Apple) of the 80's was very FOSS-like, probably explaining my affinity for those machines and FOSS OS's now.

IMO, Jack deserves FAR more credit and better place in computing history than Mr. Jobs, for while Jobs' forte was trendy, stylish hardware design and the Fisher Pricing of user interfaces for the privileged, Jack produced "computers for the masses, not the classes".

Jack enabled far more of us to jumpstart our interest in computing/IT than would have been possible had all computers been pricey items for "the classes".

...And Jobs' upbringing? Adopted with working class parents? Pfft. Jack survived Auschwitz and Dr. Mengele fercrissakes!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Mengele

Quote:
"Tramiel was born as Jacek Trzmiel in Łódź, Poland, into a Jewish family.
After the German invasion of Poland in 1939 his family was transported by German occupiers to the Jewish ghetto in Łódź, where he worked in a garment factory. When the ghettos were liquidated his family was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was examined by Dr. Mengele and selected for a work party, after which he and his father were sent to the labor camp Ahlem near Hanover, while his mother remained at Auschwitz. Like many other inmates, his father was reported to have died of typhus in the work camp; however, Tramiel believed he was killed by an injection of gasoline. Tramiel was rescued from the labor camp in April 1945 by the 84th Infantry Division.
In November 1947, Tramiel emigrated to the United States. He soon joined the U.S. Army, where he learned how to repair office equipment, including typewriters."

Jack then founded Commodore in the 50's, culminating in the Vic20/C64 successes, then left Commodore to buy Atari. He enhanced the 8 bit line and developed the first "color Mac for the masses", the Atari ST, the first 16 bit computer with mouse and desktop GUI affordable to everyone.

http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/9/293...k-tramiel-dies

I feel sorry for young people now, given their lack of historical perspective, and the misdirected admiration they bestow upon the wrong heroes, with mass media partly to blame.


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post #2 of 14 Old 04-12-2012, 11:03 AM
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The first computer I owned was a C-64. I definitely could not afford an Apple II, especially since the funds came from bagging groceries . Thank you, Mr. Tramiel.

 

 

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post #3 of 14 Old 04-12-2012, 12:33 PM
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Yeah I had a vic20 with the 8k memory expansion module. Had a lot of fun with it writing basic programs. Did a little bit of 6502 assembler later on the c64.

That cassette tape backup was a bit sloooow.:-)
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-12-2012, 05:38 PM
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My first comp was an atari st...
Good times! Played pac man for hrs on that thing...and moon patrol too
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-12-2012, 05:42 PM
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No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-12-2012, 07:52 PM
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still have a C64 somewhere with a lot of software collecting dust.

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post #7 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 05:00 AM
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Started me in the technology sector, had a VIC-20, then bought a C-64. Spent countless hours programming it. It was a different time then than now, computers at that time just seem to have no limit to their possibilities! It is somewhat sad that Tramiel seems to lost a bit with his contribution to Computing history. Kids today know who Gates and Jobs are, but you get the "deer staring into the headlights" look when you mention Tramiel.
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac522 View Post

Started me in the technology sector, had a VIC-20, then bought a C-64. Spent countless hours programming it. It was a different time then than now, computers at that time just seem to have no limit to their possibilities! It is somewhat sad that Tramiel seems to lost a bit with his contribution to Computing history. Kids today know who Gates and Jobs are, but you get the "deer staring into the headlights" look when you mention Tramiel.

I hear this often, but I don't get it- with the ridiculously powerful and low cost standard hardware we have now, combined with FOSS software, the ability to program freely and creatively is greater that it ever was. I would think that anyone who programmed a Commodore or Atari back in the day would want to write/contribute to FOSS apps, what we called "public domain" or "PD" apps back then.

With recent vintage, essentially free, powerful hardware and all the free (beer/speech) programming apps/aids we have now, we suffer a bounty we couldn't dream of in the mid 80's.

What I wouldn't have given back then to have a fraction of the best (even the mediocre) FOSS apps and FOSS OS capabilities we take for granted now on my ST in the mid/late 80's...from desktops like KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXDE, to a LibreOffice class office suite to graphics apps like Gimp/Inkscape/Scribus, to Audacity, rythmbox/VLC/smplayer/audacious and kdenlive/openShot and other A/V apps, to Firefox/Chrome/Chromium, and the repos/public internet brimming with 1000's of other apps, utilities, and games, youngin's don't know how good they have it.


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post #9 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 09:57 AM
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I remember getting magazines and typing in the BASIC code for some new game. The listings would be in the magazine. It took more time to find your typos than the type it all in.

Computers back then also were something you found in people's basements . I remember working on my "Computers" merit badge (this was a brand new merit badge then) and one of the Scout leaders had a PET and VIC-20 setup in his basement and that's where we had all our meetings for the merit badge.

And, no matter what system, someone always had a Star Trek game. It was the video game equivalent of "Hello World".

I work with guys from Minsk now. I won't tell them I used to bomb Minsk in one of my favorite C64 games: Raid Over Moscow .

 

 

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post #10 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 11:27 AM
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Stop it! You are making me misty eye.

I have a stack of Compute Gazette's sitting right near me. I am thinking of firing up the old C64 and typing in Castle Dungeon from 1984.

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post #11 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 12:22 PM
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Commodore/ Atari .... Bleurghh

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was far superior!

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post #12 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tux99 View Post

Commodore/ Atari .... Bleurghh

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was far superior!

You Europeans sure liked a lot of *weird* computers back then (runs. ducks). But then, you guys *still* like 80's pop tunes

But seriously, the hardware-pushing animation/sound demos from Europe for the 80's computers (C64, Atari 8 bit and ST) were marvals of efficient coding.


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post #13 of 14 Old 04-13-2012, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Required viewing-

http://archive.org/details/LowEndCo1985

http://archive.org/details/Amigaand1985


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post #14 of 14 Old 04-25-2012, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgb View Post

I hear this often, but I don't get it- with the ridiculously powerful and low cost standard hardware we have now, combined with FOSS software, the ability to program freely and creatively is greater that it ever was. I would think that anyone who programmed a Commodore or Atari back in the day would want to write/contribute to FOSS apps, what we called "public domain" or "PD" apps back then.

Yeah, but today it's a known technology so while the possibilities are still unlimited, there is still a sense of human limits based on CPU power, GPU power RAM size all of which people are familiar with today. Back then the computer was so new that you didn't think about hard limits because no one knew what particulars would create those hard limits.

As time went on we all began to realize that CPU speed, memory speed, etc started creating those limits thus loosing a bit of the wild eye excitement those early computers created.
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