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Commodore Founder Jack Tramiel Passes Aged 83

It's a sad day for those who remember the eighties, and the computers Commodore launched which helped sparked the home computing revolution.

Because the founder of Commodore, Auschwitz survivor Jack Tramiel, passed away on Sunday aged 83 (at least he had a good innings, as they say).

Commodore was first launched way back in 1954, and soon became Commodore Business Machines. Before the golden home computing era, Commodore first produced typewriters, followed by calculators, and then its first computer in the late seventies, the PET - widely used in secondary schools across the UK.

The real momentum was gathered in home computing with the launch of the VIC-20, and its successor the Commodore 64, which famously rivalled the Sinclair Spectrum as the two main choices of early eighties computer.

The C64's graphics - and particularly sound - were advanced for their time, although many argued (and still do) that the Spectrum's visuals were more detailed, and games more innovative.

Commodore then brought out the Amiga, which saw similar clashes with the Atari ST. Oddly enough, Tramiel left Commodore following a power struggle in 1984 - he then bought up Atari's ailing computer division, and was behind the rival ST.

Neither the Amiga or ST won ultimately, however, both being pushed aside by the PC.Tramiel is survived by a wife, Helen, along with three sons, Samuel, Leonard and Garry.

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.