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Filled with first-hand accounts of ambition, greed, and inspired engineering, this history of the personal computer revolution takes readers inside the cutthroat world of Commodore. Before Apple, IBM, or Dell, Commodore was the first computer manufacturer to market its machines to the public, selling an estimated 22 million Commodore 64s. Those halcyon days were tumultuous, however, owing to the expectations and unsparing tactics of founder Jack Tramiel. Engineers and managers with the company between 1976 and 1994 share their memories of the groundbreaking moments, soaring business highs, and stunning employee turnover that came with being on top in the early days of the microcomputer industry. This updated second edition includes additional interviews and first-hand material from major Commodore figures like marketing guru Kit Spencer, chip designer Bill Mensch, and Commodore co-founder Manfred Kapp.

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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    I lived it.

    Having first started learning to program on an Altair 8080 in Grade 7 I was then introduced to the Apple II. By the time I reached High School my electronics teacher in Grade 9 was busy building Heathkit's and hacking on Kim-1 Boards. When the Commodore PET came out, my world changed and I just knew I was going to be in "The Computer Business". Taking all those typing courses on Commodore Typewriters years before paid off in spades too. I took a course in Grade 10 (taught by Mrs. Crawford) and as I was so quick in typing I got my work done sooner just so I could have time in class to code on those CBM 8032s. I knew I wanted my own computer and when the movie War Games came out that cinched the deal. I bought a Vic-20 but returned it to the store just two days later because it didn't have enough memory for my code. So, I bought a Commodore 64. I had a paper route back then and saved my money up for a 1541 disk drive. I got one of the crappy ones, and after reading this book I know why it never quite worked. So I got a part time job with a Commodore Dealer called Computer Works. Thankfully, I was able to get a replacement there. :) After a few years at that store, and nearing the end of High School I went to work for another Commodore Dealer called Compute Or Play and worked my way up to a Manager of a store when we took over the ComputerLand locations. I bought an Amiga 1000 when it came out and I look forward to reading the next book.

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    Mediocre about cool stuff

    A bit mediocre book about interesting stuff. Especially the middle looks not edited enough; a lot of repeating and trivial sidelines. The focus is a lot on what the made the success happen, but could be more details about what really happened, more about the events and the context. This style of writing as it is with all the repeating makes 36 chapters needing a lot patience to end this book


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