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Tramiel's Commodore International in 1982 released the Commodore 64, a home computer that became one of the most popular models of all time, selling close to 17 million units between 1982 and 1994.

Tramiel was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1928 to a Jewish family. He survived the Auschwitz concentration camp, after which he emigrated to the U.S. in 1947.

Tramiel claimed that after surviving the Holocaust he could survive just about anything.

RIP, Jack, creator of my first computer, the shitty, yet beloved, Commodore 64. What nice memories I have of the pre-internet bulletin boards (BBS's) @ 300 bps and what nightmares I still have of the awful noises the 5 1/4" disc drive would make when the file was (inevitably) corrupted. Let's not even talk about the dot matrix printer because theres nothing good to say about that.

Tramiel purchased chip manufacturer MOS Technology to supply Commodore with the needed parts. Tramiel shut down most of MOS' research and development projects, but allowed the microcomputer project to continue.The project produced PET, Personal Electronic Transactor. PET helped Commodore earn US$700 million in sales in fiscal 1983 and $88 million in profits.In 1984, as the company's profits approached $1 billion.
As shitty as the system was it revolutionized computing by bringing the price tag down to levels even a single mother like mine could afford (on layaway at Kmart): $599.99. It democratized computing by allowing average families to purchase a computer when apples and ibm's were still over a thousand dollars, giving kids like me a glimpse into our tech future in 1982. Thanks, Jack!
Timeline:

1928 - Born, Lodz, Poland.

1939 - Tramiel, then named Idek Tramielski, and his mother and father are forced from their home into a ghetto after German troops occupy Lodz and relocate the city's Jews.

1944 - Tramiel and his family are placed on an Auschwitz-bound train. Tramiel and his father are assigned to concentration camp construction in Hanover, Germany. His father dies after being injected with gasoline.

1945 - U.S. Army liberates Auschwitz.

1947 - Marries Helen Goldgrub. He immigrates to New York first.

1948 - Reunites with his wife, fathers his first child and joins the U.S. Army, which assigns him to repairing office equipment in New York.

1955 - Moves to Toronto to open a typewriter shop carrying the name Commodore Business Machines International. The company grows from importing typewriters to manufacturing the devices as well as adding machines. Tramiel becomes chief executive officer.

1962 - Commodore goes public.

1968 - Moves to Silicon Valley to capitalize on the developing electronics revolution and starts developing electronic calculators.

1976 - Acquires chip manufacturer MOS Technology to produce chips for his calculators. Introduces a Commodore Computer at Comdex.

1977 - Commodore's computer reaches the market.

1984 - Tramiel disagrees with a Commodore stockholder and he is ousted from the company. Warner Communications sells its Atari Corp. operation to Tramiel.

1996 - Tramiel sells financially troubled Atari to JTS, a disk-drive manufacturer.

1996 - Tramiel retires to live with his wife in Monte Sereno, California.

It amazes me when someone experiences the horror of Auschwitz, or the Killing Fields, or the Cultural Revolution, yet goes on to do other things like somehow they got passed it. You have to admire the strength of a person like that.

Any other former Commodore 64 owners out there?

Poll

What was your first computer?

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| 75 votes | Vote | Results

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