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Posts Tagged ‘commodore 64

[NEWS] Six technology links

  • Carl Newport at WIRED argues that past generations have never been as suspicious of technology as we now think, here.
  • Anthropologist Darren Byler at The Conversation argues, based on his fieldwork in Xinjiang, how Uighurs became accustomed to the opportunities of new technologies until they were suddenly caught in a trap.
  • James Verini at WIRED notes how the fighting around Mosul in the fall of ISIS could be called the first smartphone war.
  • National Observer looks at how Québec is so far leading Canada in the development of clean technologies, including vehicles.
  • VICE reports on how a Christian rock LP from the 1980s also hosted a Commodore 64 computer program.
  • Megan Molteni at WIRED looks at a new, more precise, CRISPR technique that could be used to fix perhaps most genetic diseases.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait looks at the extreme millisecond pulsar IGR J17062−6143.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at a proposal to intercept objects of extrasolar origin like ‘Oumuamua.
  • The Crux looks at how researchers are discovering traces of lost hominid populations in the DNA of contemporary humans.
  • D-Brief notes a crowdsourcing of a search for intermediate-mass black holes.
  • Gizmodo notes the impending production of a new working Commodore 64 clone.
  • The Island Review notes people of the Norway island of Sommarøy wish to make their island, home to the midnight sun, a #TimeFreeZone.
  • JSTOR Daily looks at the art that has been produced in the era of digital addiction.
  • Language Log looks at how, in Iran, the word “Eastoxification” has entered into usage alongside the older “Westoxification.”
  • Dave Brockington at Lawyers, Guns, and Money looks at the many likely failings of a Corbyn foreign policy for the United Kingdom.
  • The LRB Blog notes that opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu has been re-elected as mayor of Istanbul.
  • The Map Room Blog links to various maps of the Moon.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper looking at markets in Lagos, suggesting they are self-regulating to some degree.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel explains when the earliest sunrise and latest sunset of the year is, and why.
  • Towleroad shares an interview with Jack Baker and Mike McConnell, a same-sex couple married for nearly a half-century.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how the open approach of the Russian Federation to Russian diasporids is not extended to diasporas of its minority groups, particularly to Muslim ones like Circassians and Tatars.
  • Arnold Zwicky considers some Pride fashion, with and without rainbows.

[BRIEF NOTE] On the death of Commodore founder Jack Tramiel

CTV News’ Andy Johnson shares the news about the death of Jack Tramiel, the businessman who founded Commodore International and started off the world on computing. My first exposure to computers in the strict sense, excluding game machines like the Atari, was to my cousin Derrick’s Commodore 64, and my first personal computer was a Commodore 64.

For those who grew up as the personal computer was beginning to make its first appearances in homes and classrooms, the words “Commodore 64” have special resonance.

The early version of the personal computer was fun, educational and affordable and put digital technology in the hands of many, for the very first time.

Jack Tramiel, the founder of Commodore and the man who helped popularize the personal computer, died on Sunday at the age of 83, his son Leonard Tramiel has confirmed.

“Jack Tramiel was a larger than life character whose motto was ‘computers for the masses, not the classes,'” Brian Bagnall, author of “Commodore: A Company on the Edge,” told CTVNews.ca.

“He was instrumental in getting computers into the hands of millions of teenagers, families on tight budgets, people on low incomes — people who would later become famous such as (Linux inventor) Linus Torvalds, whose first computer was the VIC-20.”

The Polish-born son of Jewish immigrants, Tramiel survived the Auschwitz concentration camp before moving to North America where he became an entrepreneur, inventor and businessman.

He began his career in the U.S. in the late 1940s maintaining typewriters for the U.S. army, before eventually moving to Toronto in 1955 and starting his own typewriter company, Commodore Business Machines International.

Tramiel, at the vanguard of the electronics movement, then shifted his business to California’s Silicon Valley in the late 1960s and began manufacturing calculators.

He eventually launched the Commodore 64 in 1982, after first releasing the PET in 1977 and the VIC-20 in 1980. The precursors never achieved the popularity of the C64, which still qualifies as one of the most popular PCs ever made, having sold over 20 million units.

It’s a pity that the Commodore didn’t survive as a viable brand into the 1990s and later. I don’t think it would have helped to have avoided Tramiel’s deposition in a shareholder coup in 1984, since the success of PC clones drove out every computer system with its own operating system apart from Apple. The memories, though, are great.

Incidentally, Johnson pointed out that William Shatner was a spokesperson for Commodore, appearing in a TV commercial for the VIC-20 model.

In the ad, Shatner asked parents why they would waste their money on a gaming device for their children when they could learn and have fun with a Commodore.

“Why buy just a video game from Atari or Intellivision? Invest in the wonder computer of the 1980s for under $300,” Shatner says in the futuristic looking commercial.

“Unlike games it has a real computer keyboard. With the Commodore VIC-20 the whole family can learn computing at home.”

Written by Randy McDonald

April 11, 2012 at 3:59 am