Strong opinions, weakly held

Farewell and thank you to Jack Tramiel

Today we learned that Jack Tramiel, the founder of Commodore, died at age 84.

The first computer I owned was a Commodore 64. It was the best Christmas present I ever received. I still remember typing in program listings from computer magazines by hand just so that I could see them run. The next summer I saved all the money I made from mowing lawns to buy a Commodore 1541 floppy disk drive so that I could copy games. If Commodore hadn’t offered an affordable alternative to the Apple II at the time, I probably wouldn’t have had a computer at all.

I’m very grateful to Commodore and Jack Tramiel.


  1. I was in the same boat. The Timex Sinclair and Commodore 64 I had as a kid were the machines that got me into programming. I couldn’t have afforded an Apple or PC.

    Remember sprite programming? PEEKs and POKEs? That blue Commodore 64 programmer’s reference guide?

  2. I definitely remember all of the above.

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