Jack Tramiel, passed away this Sunday. For those of you who don’t know about him, he founded Commodore, and made it his mission to bring computing to the masses not the classes. Thanks to him we had the PET, VIC and of course the beloved Commodore 64. When things went south for him, he jumped to ATARI, after snagging it on a firesale from Warner as Jack wasn’t a guy to get put down, and helped bring the ST to the market.
Jack survived the holocaust in Poland, and left for Canada and started Commodore, originally focused on office furniture, filing cabinets and typewriters, then breaking into electronics with calculators. His leveraging of vertical businesses allowed him to bring to market products with the exact specifications that he wished. And sometimes with unintended consequences like the file cabinet people making the seemingly indestructible PET cases.
Even though Commodore & Atari computers are no more, he has left a major mark on anyone who wanted a computer in the 1980’s who couldn’t afford a machine that cost as much as a car.
Tramiel is survived by his wife Helen, sons Gary, Sam, and Leonard.