24 Facts About Commodore International


Commodore International was an American home computer and electronics manufacturer founded by Jack Tramiel.

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Commodore International developed and marketed the world's best-selling computer, the Commodore 64, and released its Amiga computer line in July 1985.

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Commodore International funded its operations through factoring over its first two years, but faced a continual cash crunch.

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That same year, the company made a deal with a Japanese manufacturer to produce adding machines for Commodore International and purchased the office supply retailer Wilson Stationers to serve as an outlet for its typewriters.

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Commodore International was one of the Atlantic subsidiaries directly implicated in this scheme, but the commission was unable to find any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Tramiel or Kapp despite heavy suspicion.

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Commodore International now owed Gould money and still did not have sufficient capital to meet its payments, so Tramiel sold 17.

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Commodore International obtained an infusion of cash from Gould, which Tramiel used beginning in 1976 to purchase several second-source chip suppliers, including MOS Technology, Inc, in order to assure his supply.

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Commodore International agreed to buy MOS, which was having troubles of its own, only on the condition that its chip designer Chuck Peddle join Commodore directly as head of engineering.

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Commodore International began selling the VIC-20 and C64 through mass-market retailers such as K-Mart, in addition to traditional computer stores.

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At the June 1983 Consumer Electronics Show, Commodore International lowered the retail price of the 64 to, and stores sold it for as little as.

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However, upon the 1987 introduction of the Amiga 2000, Commodore International retreated from its earlier strategy of selling its computers to discount outlets and toy stores, and now favored authorized dealers.

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The head of Blue Chip Electronics, a former Commodore International employee, described his former employer as "a well-known revolving door".

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Commodore International faced the problem, when marketing the Amiga, of still being seen as the company that made cheap computers like the 64 and VIC; the 64 remained the company's cash cow but its technology was aging.

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Commodore International put effort into developing and promoting consumer products that would not be in demand for years, such as an Amiga 500-based HTPC called CDTV.

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Commodore International failed to update the Amiga to keep pace as the PC platform advanced.

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Commodore International introduced a range of PC compatible systems designed by its German division, and while the Commodore International name was better known in the US than some of its competition, the systems' price and specs were only average.

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David Pleasance, managing director of Commodore International UK, described the A600 as a 'complete and utter screw-up'.

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In 1992, Commodore International released the Amiga 1200 and Amiga 4000 computers, which featured an improved graphics chipset, the AGA.

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Commodore International announced voluntary bankruptcy liquidation on May 6, 1994, causing the board of directors to "authorize the transfer of its assets to trustees for the benefit of its creditors", according to an official statement.

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Commodore International BV dissolved in early 1995, leaving Commodore International UK left to make a bid.

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However, Commodore International UK withdrew its bid at the start of the auction process after several larger companies, including Gateway Computers and Dell Inc, became interested, primarily for Commodore International's 47 patents relating to the Amiga.

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Commodore International launched its Gravel line of products: personal multimedia players equipped with Wi-Fi, with the hope the Commodore brand would help them take off.

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Ownership of the remaining assets of Commodore International, including the copyrights and patents, and the Amiga trademarks, passed from Escom to U S PC clone maker Gateway 2000 in 1997, who retained the patents and sold the copyrights and trademarks, together with a license to use the patents, to Amiga, Inc, a Washington company founded, among others, by former Gateway subcontractors Bill McEwen and Fleecy Moss in 2000.

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In February 2017, an exhibition room for about 200 Commodore International products was opened in Braunschweig, commemorating the European production site of Commodore International which had up to 2000 employees.

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