Did Commodore, more than Apple, contribute to the birth of the personal computer?

History is written by the winners, the personal computer is no exception

Source: Did Commodore, more than Apple, contribute to the birth of the personal computer?

While we see that Hillary Clinton has her new book out and was smart enough to get the negative ratings deleted, good for her, Personal Computer history is being rewritten.

Sure Apple made the Apple I computer around the time of the Commodore Kim and Pet computers. BY the time the Apple II was around, Commodore was working on the Vic-20 to make a cheaper personal computer that can be sold in large amounts in department stores toy sections.

The Offical Popular Truth is that the IBM PC (and PCjr), and Apple II series contributed more to the personal computer than Commodore did. While true that both IBM and Apple made good personal computers, they could not take the home market because they cost too much. The Commodore Vic-20 was like $399 a sub-500 computer like the Atari 400/800 series and cost as much as a video game console like the Colecovision or Intellivision, yet can be used for more than video games.

The Commodore 64 was developed to outsell the Apple //c and IBM PCJr that tried to capture the home market. The Commodore 64 was way cheaper and had discounts if you bought a 1541 floppy drive or tape drive with it. A friend of mine bought discounted Atari 2600 video game carts for 99 cents and then the next day returned them to a different store for the retail value of $35 and was able to buy Commodore 64 and Atari 800 systems that way until they shut it down. He said only 10 2600 cartridges for $10 plus tax would get him a $350 refund in store credit to buy the 8-bit devices.

Apple refused to buy the Amiga project, which Atari refused to support and then lowballed the stock price until Commodore outbid them. The Commodore Amiga kicked Apple and IBM in the butt and motivated them to make better color and sound for their PC products. The Amiga was 1/3rd the cost of a Macintosh and did three times as much due to custom coprocessors. By the time Moore’s Law got Intel X86 cheap and so fast the PC Clones and Windows 3.X/95 put almost everyone else out of business in the 1990s. IBM had made VGA and Creative Labs made the Sound Blaster card for PCs. Apple made the Macintosh II series with the same graphics as VGA and better sound as well. People forgot about the Commodore Amiga.

Yet the Commodore Amiga is what inspired Steve Jobs to make Next and based his OS on BSD Unix to make a better than Amiga PC. Be Inc. made BeOS and the BeBox be a better than an Amiga PC as BeOS was a multimedia OS like AmigaOS was and made competition for IBM and Apple.

Several companies own the Commodore and Amiga IP, and it is still popular because of the number of Commodore 64 PCs made and popularity of the Amiga from 1985 to 1995. Commodore 64, 64C, 128, etc computers were made in surplus so you can buy them cheap now at eBay and other auction sites. There are even replicas being made to run C64/C128/C65 software like the Mega 65 based on the Commodore 65 prototype that used custom chips like the Amiga to get better graphics and sound coprocessors.

Yet people forget the Amiga and Commodore 64 and buy Apple iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Microsoft Windows 10 PCs and Tablets. Even Android is more popular than Commodore or Amiga now.

When you control the news media, and you can use your social and educational contacts to get your products more popular and used. People can forget about the Commodore and Amiga brands. So computer history is rewritten now that Apple and IBM made the PC Industry and not Commodore or Amiga.

Yet those of us who know the truth, will forever love our Commodore and Amiga personal coimputers, no matter what the MSM, protestors, educators, social networks, and hipsters say.

Share Button