http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2012/04/09/computer-legend-and-gaming-pioneer-jack-tramiel-dies-at-age-83/

Jack Tramiel: Computers for the masses, not the classes. Not Steve Jobs, not Bill Gates, but Jack Tramiel brought computers to every home, with the legendary Commodore 64.

I grew up with a Commodore 64, then an Amiga, and two Commodore PC-clones.
Commodore was my brand, the reason why I am where I am today.

Any other guys here who used Commodores?

Edit: Oh yea, I always forget, since I'm an Amigan at heart... but I also bought an Atari 1040STe for my music (Cubase). Jack Tramiel went to Atari, and set up the Atari ST as a competitor for the Commodore Amiga.
Posted on 2012-04-10 06:46:47 by Scali
I don't remember the name of the magazine but I got my first taste of "programming" by carefully entering in the hexcodes for games and programs in the articles at the back of that magazine and then fiddling with them to make it work the way I wanted.  The C64/128 and Atari 800/1200 computers were magical pieces of equipment to me when I was a young boy.
Posted on 2012-04-10 19:22:48 by p1ranha
Yes, I bought the VIC20 in 1981 or 1982, and I shudder when I think of what I paid for it, and what I can get today for the same amount of money.
Then I moved up to the C64 a few years later, and then bought a C128 when that came out.
I cut my teeth so to speak, on assembly language, teaching myself on the VIC20 and C64.
Posted on 2012-04-11 22:42:27 by rags
My first machine was a VIC20, too, but this was late 80s and it literally came out of a trash can. Later I owned a couple of Ataris (pre ST/TT). So I'm sorry to hear Jack died. As Scali says, he was a huge influence in the early days of getting computers from "business" to "the masses". RIP, Jack!

Best,
Frank

Posted on 2012-04-12 15:21:23 by fbkotler
Yea, for people who don't really understand what Jack Tramiel/Commodore did specifically:
Commodore bought the MOS company. The company that developed the 6502 CPU used in many 8-bit computers at the time, and also built all the chips for the Commodore computers.
Because they were now controlling the entire chip production, Commodore could massively cut manufacturing costs on their entire lineup.

The result was that the C64 was priced exceptionally low, especially considering that it had 64k of memory, which was 'a lot', back in those days.
This made the C64 affordable for many people, resulting in a big home computing boom.
The Amiga (and also Atari ST) continued the trend of offering a lot of value for money.
I recall that you could buy an Amiga 500 (or Atari ST) for less than half the price of an XT-class PC.
Which is especially impressive considering that the Amiga 500 was a far more powerful computer (much better audio and video, a faster 16-bit 68000 CPU , and a multitasking OS with a GUI, compared to Hercules/CGA, PC speaker, an 8-bit 8088 CPU and DOS).
And then there's the extra cost saver that you didn't need a dedicated monitor (which people did not have back then). You could connect these home computers to any TV set. That hasn't been a common option on PCs until recently, when s-video output became standard on many videocards, and now because HDMI and DVI are mostly compatible.

Even today, computers are not that much cheaper than the C64/Amiga/Atari ST were back in the day. And they're still generally larger and more cumbersome than the cleanly designed home computers of that era, with the keyboard doubling as the system case, instead of a separate clunky and noisy box on the desktop or floor.
Posted on 2012-04-13 04:37:56 by Scali
Yes the vic 20 was my first pc toy.
Hook to a tv and you were on your way.
Basic language was all there was but you did have the ability to peek and poke memory locations.
Posted on 2012-04-13 16:49:23 by brundlefly