Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 9th Apr 2012 19:51 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Very sad news indeed. Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore International and the man behind Atari, has passed away this past weekend. At 83, he passed away, surrounded by family and friends. People like this don't come in dozens, so we lost one of the great men of computing.
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Memories...
by whartung on Mon 9th Apr 2012 20:06 UTC
whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

My father was a big fan of their calculators. He used one up until it up and died and he replaced it with an HP 15C and then a 48G, which he never really warmed to as it wasn't really a keystroke calculator.

My first computer was a KIM-1, from MOS, and my primary teething machines were early PETs. Even with just 8K and the little chiclet keyboards, the machines were real wonders. The integrated tape recorder pretty much always worked flawlessly, something I could never really say about other tape interfaces. Auto start, auto stop, no volume control - they just worked. The graphic character set let us write all sorts of nifty games and utilities. The mono display was always nice and sharp. Far better than what TVs could provide.

I later jumped to the dark side and got an Atari 800, this was pre-C64. But even then I never warmed to the C64, I was always enraptured by the Atari hardware. I loved the Display List. However at $595, the C64 was an absolute steal and it was right for them to sell them by the truckload.

We're going through the home computer revolution again today, the world of the old school 8-bits. Only now it's in the mobile environment, and the machines are just that much less accessible due to the difficulty in programming them. But still, we're in that age of new wonders every quarter combined with balkanization of platforms and idioms. It's an exciting time.

Sad to see old luminaries pass, but was exciting to share the world with them.

Edited 2012-04-09 20:07 UTC

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