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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by whartung on Mon 9th Apr 2012 20:06 UTC
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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

Reply Score: 5

RE: Memories...
by OSNevvs on Tue 10th Apr 2012 06:02 in reply to "Memories..."
OSNevvs Member since:

*Jack Daniels passed away*

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Memories...
by Earl C Pottinger on Tue 10th Apr 2012 18:59 in reply to "Memories..."
Earl C Pottinger Member since:

Wow, another KIM-1 owned.

When I read the thread on SlashDotOrg about this, not one KIM-1 owner posted. Made me think that the old timers no longer existed there.

The KIM-1 I owned was used as the brains for a large robot my friend Steve and I built. However the cheap 5v relays we used melted under the load of the motors and since we wired the relay directly to the chip outputs we ended up burning out the interface ;)

Today of-course I know better and would have used those relays to control higher current handling relays that in turn would have controlled the motors. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Memories...
by bassbeast on Fri 13th Apr 2012 06:47 in reply to "RE: Memories..."
bassbeast Member since:

Maybe because some of us were playing with different things like the Altair? My first real "PC" was the VIC which of course was easy to talk my parents into thanks to not only the price but being plugged by The Shat, i mean if its good enough for Kirk right?

Frankly I never thought Tramiel got the credit he deserved. before old Jack and Commodore computers were strictly the toys for the rich, common folks really couldn't afford them. it was Tramiel that really gave us the first computer that anybody could afford and thanks to that computers suddenly sprung up everywhere, there were clubs in even the small towns, stores everywhere had the VIC and mags popped up overnight giving us all tons of programs to type in and try.

RIP computer man, thanks to you a lifetime love of computers was born in many and you in no small part paved the way to computers being as common as TVs.

Reply Parent Score: 1