Commodore, the company that sold 2.5 million VIC-20’s and 25 million Commodore 64’s was reduced to bankruptcy less than ten years after it released the computer that was supposed to revolutionize the computer industry, the Amiga. Read the history of Commodore at Braeburn.
History of Commodore
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2005-08-23 4:34 pmAnonymous
I still have mine!
Commodore was always crowing about the number of units they sold (“XX million C64s – We’re second only to IBM in personal computer sales in Europe!”) without adding that they were really in the retail electronics products market, not the computer market. The $200 C64 obviously sold more units at toy stores and mom-and-pop stores, but the companies selling fewer units, but at a, e.g., $2000 price, enjoyed a larger bottom line and larger profit margin and had a greater chance of staying in business.
10 Year production, can’t imagine any console post PS1 acheiving that ever again.
2005-08-23 5:35 pmAnonymous
Actually it probably had an even longer production run than that if you count the C64C (essentially identical to the C64 but with a different case) and its sales in Eastern Europe in the late ’90s. When all the base C64s and C64Cs are counted together I’ve seen estimates even higher than 25 million…
Actually, AFAICR even the C128 / C128D lines sold in the millions…
This story was on here just a few weeks ago..
Imagine a world in which Amiga had become really big on the desktop and that proprietary piece of shit Microseft Windows XP joke would have never been invented.
> In 1990, the most significant software product for
> the Amiga was released, Video Toaster.
The Video Toaster itself was a hardware product (with supplied software).
To see it in action here (1988):
BTW, the video toaster sold over 100,000 units for Amiga computers by early 1994.
> Several years later, Commodore would try again with
> the CD32, but would not be successful.
Initially the Amiga CD32 was a successful product. The main problem seems to have been that Commodore, due to its financial problems was unable to satisfy consumer demand. Ex-commodore employees believe if C= had been able to produce & properly ship one hundred thousand more units it could have saved the company (official sales figures are unknown, rumours indicate little over 100,000 units). Some more CD32 info:
– The CD32 was the first 32-Bit video game console and with a FMV cartridge could show Video CDs.
– CD32 games sales for Europe repeatedly beated PC-CDROM sales by good margins.
– ProModule/SX-1/SX32 expansions allowed users to upgrade their CD32 systems into full desktop computers (2,500 SX32 units were made and sold, regarding the other solutions I don’t know).
– Over 200 CD games were available for the CD32, depsite the fact that Commodore did not even survive the console’s first birthday.
My first computer was a C64. I first saw the Amiga at some friend’s place and I was so impressed that I dreamed of having one, too. I worked after school for “my” Amiga and finally I could afford one and I got a big Amiga fan for the next ten years or so. The Amiga had great games and amazing programs like Deluxe Paint, which I still remember well. Later I bought an Amiga 1200 and one of these nifty Phase 5 processor boards. Unfortunately I sold my C64 and my Amiga 500 later, but I still have my Amiga 1200. I did not turn it on for years, but I will when I am visiting my parents next time.
Reading the article, I think, with the disappearance of all the home computers like the C64, the Amiga and the Atari ST we really lost something. Computers today are much more powerfull then the Amiga and the Atari ST, but there is less diversity today and there is just something missing which I can’t really describe. Maybe the sense of wonder I felt when I used my C64 and my Amiga. That is definitely gone.
Thanks for the article, it refreshed my memories of a special time of my life and I guess of many other people’s lives.
2005-08-23 6:16 pmMike Bouma
> Reading the article, I think, with the disappearance
> of all the home computers like the C64, the Amiga and
> the Atari ST we really lost something.
Like you, I and many others agree with you on this. That’s why some Amigans started the Reality Design project based on:
– Marko Hirv Fantasy design:
– and AmigaOS4:
http://uniweb.free.fr/os4videos/os4intuition.avi (Showing a modified Zami theme set to BeOs-style. (See picture below) http://amigaworld.net/modules/myalbum/photo.php?lid=360&full=1
Some OS4 user themes:
Some interesting official themes:
http://www.hyperion-entertainment.biz:8080/images/intuibonus/Zami_t… (Zami theme)
http://www.hyperion-entertainment.biz:8080/images/intuibonus/Classi… (AmigaOS 1.x-like for nostalgia)
Spectrum! forever 🙂
Learned how to program in basic on a Vic-20 and later C64’s. Spent many, many hours playing games on the things. Still have the VIC-20 and recently bought a C64 just for fun. Too bad Commodore didn’t have the sense to stay in business.
Taught myself C and some assembly on a c64. Learned more about computers from the c64 than any computer since. It was a nice inexpesive platform.
“I adore my 64!”
I still think the 128D was the best machine until the Amiga 2000 came along.
I remember spending months playing Ultima III/IV/V on my 64…..dialing up to BBS’s on my 1200 baud modem…spending forever watching my dot matrix chatter out high school reports.
Since I had my NeXTstation, it seems that computers stopped being ‘fun’.
The article isn’t complete without mentioning this, so I’ll mention it here: The C64 was re-done by Jeri Ellsworth as a single chip FPGA design. This was turned into a custum IC, packed into a joystick(!) together with 30 classic games, and marketed commercially as the “Commodore 64 DTV”.
I don’t know exactly how Tulip is connected to this (other than by obtaining the Commodore trademark, as the article mentions), but anyway, here’s some links for your clicking pleasure:
I remember when I had the C64. Wow, seems like so long ago, but it was probably when I was like 10. My cousin had the 128, and i was so jealous because it was the “faster” and updated computer. Now look at the computers we have today! It amazes me how much technology progresses, not to mention how we progress with it.
It’s quite amazing so many times Commodore management misjudged the market and disrespected its own engineering team after Jack Tramiel left. You’d think they were ramming the company into the ground on purpose!
The more I read about Commodore, the more mistakes, I can find: The mobile LCD computer that never happened because laptops had no future, the expensive and weak Plus4 and other early blunders were the beginning of the very nasty end. I can’t imagine Commodore being a very fun place to be an engineer, when projects constantly shifted, stopped and newer stupid projects arose from the undecisive, hazy brains of the Commodore management, who managed to decide that laptops, TCP/IP, networking, UNIX and other commonplace things today, had no future and thus were banned from Amiga development.
Also the Triple-A Amiga that would have provided Playstation 1 level graphics, DSP and a highly modular 64-bit architecture in 1992 was pulled.
It would have been possible to scale the Amiga platform much more with cheaper low-end machines and much more powerful high-end workstations.
They had almost working prototypes, but management wanted a cheaper solution or something, so the engineers had to start all over and come up with AGA for the A1200 and A4000 computer, a much weaker solution that came out later than a Triple-A Amiga would have!
I hope no engineer ever experiences what they did… The climate was really bad and emotional at the end.
While it is not sure how many C64 were sold, it is estimated that 17 million units were sold. This is a big number anyway.