Jack Tramiel
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In the death of Jack Tramiel, the man behind the Commodore 64 computer, it's not that hard to see the life of Silicon Valley.

This is a place where companies come out of nowhere, rock the world, and then disappear again. Same with people. Tramiel, who died at 84 at Stanford Hospital on Sunday, was a Silicon Valley A-lister in the early personal computing days. His Commodore computers -- in addition to the 64 there was the VIC-20 and the PET -- helped open a new digital world to enthusiasts beyond the hobbyists who could build their own machines. The 64, which ranks as one of the best-selling personal computer models ever, still induces nostalgic rhapsody in its legion of one-time owners.

But by the time of his death, Tramiel, the founder of Commodore with a granite-hard nose for business, had faded from the valley scene and even valley lore.
Published in Mercury News on Apr. 9, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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16 entries
April 16, 2012
Rest in peace, Jack. It was exciting to do business with you and Sam, when you ran CBM. You were a man of your word!
Condolences to all.

God Bless
Pete Feliciano
April 16, 2012
The Commodore 64 was my first personal computer. I ran a terminal program, which allowed me to connect via modem to a mainframe at school so I could do programming assignments. It was truly a liberating device for me. In fact, I bought a second one when my first one broke. Thanks Jack!
Mike Reese
April 15, 2012
I will always remember the good times at Atari.
Emilie Reed
April 11, 2012
Rest in peace Jack. It was always interesting and a pleasure working for you and Sam.
Liz Muzio
April 11, 2012
An Atari 800XL owner here, Part of the line the best selling 8-bit computer ever, was thankful he brought out the Atari XE Game System, the 7800, the Lynx, the Atari ST/TT and Falcon030 computers, and ultimately the Jaguar which could have been a big seller had it been advertised and the hardware pushed to its limits. I bought a Vic20 only because it has the best version of Omega Race for any computer. I wonder what will happen to the SwordQuest sword he had above his fireplace...
A Non
April 10, 2012
They don't make them like you anymore Mr. Tramiel. I think of you fondly. Thanks for the memories! Condolences to all.
Paul Nam
April 10, 2012
Wow this great man will be missed... I had the pleasure/torture when I was a kid of being jealous of my friend who had a C64, and me with my apple ][+ tried to convince myself it was better... but I knew in my heart it wasn't... now I have three in my collection and love them :)
Walter Miraglia
April 10, 2012
I was the PR consultant promoting Commodore in the UK and Europe with his UK and European team. Jack had enormous energy, a great sense of humour and was a larger than life character! My condolences go to his family.
Ilona Soane-Sands (née Uhl)
April 10, 2012
My teens, and my future career in technology, would not have been the same without my Commodore Amiga 500. I know that by the time Commodore commercialized the Amiga, Jack Tramiel was at Atari; nonetheless, the Amiga was true to the vision laid out by Jack Tramiel: give the masses the most powerful machine little money can buy, even at the expense of the company's profits. Thank Jack, for your contributions. God bless you!
Fernando Gomez
April 10, 2012
I had the incredible privilege to work for him at Commodore and Atari.

Thanks Jack.
Joseph Ferrari
April 10, 2012
Jack was an icon in so many ways-his legacy so much more than his business acumen. His is a survivor story that is as breathtaking as it is heart warming. They truly don't make 'em like that anymore. My condolences to his family, especially Gary who I have known over the years. Your dad was truly special!
Michael Korda
April 10, 2012
My Commodore 64 changed my life... It filled me with wonder and the games I created on it, the hours I spent learning Basic... led me to where I am today. Thank you. You inspired a generation.
Nick Chapman
April 10, 2012
When we got our first computer I'd never heard Jack Tramiel's name. I was 5. I learned to program on that VIC 20. I later got a Commodore 64. Still didn't know about him.

First really heard about him a few years later - when I got an Amiga, and he was the arch enemy as the owner of Atari, after he was ousted from the company he built.

It was first much later I learned about how much influence he'd had on the computer industry, and how much in fact he'd indirectly influenced my own life.

32 years on I've got 17 years of a professional career in software development behind me that's undoubtably down to the start I got on that VIC 20 that would never have existed without Tramiel.
Vidar Hokstad
April 10, 2012
Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories forever.
TK Chan
April 9, 2012
To Jack, and for his family: Thank you for the computers and the story you leave behind. Thank you for my Atari ST :-) The best thing to happen to Atari after Nolan was Jack!
Karl Morris
April 9, 2012
Thank you for building machines to help children learn. That gift will never be forgotten.
Gregg Schoenberger
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