30th Anniversary of Commodore's demise in 1994

YouKnowWho

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Well, this will be the year that marks the 30th anniversary of the infamous events of the grand executive incompetence.

Have we forgiven? Should we have forgotten? How will we be marking the occasion? It is time to start making grand plans of some sort, yes? :)

BTW...is this definitive year of the 30th or can the festivities marking the date be extended for a year or two the way the death was?
 

jimbee

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I forgot about that, thanks a lot for reminding me. :)
I just remember being bummed out when Commodore shut down. Must have the Deathbed Vigil tape I bought from Dave Haynie around here somewhere.
 

Xanxi

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At the time (spring 1994) we got french Amiga reviews telling that Amiga was about to be bought by Samsung or Commodore UK.
From Commodore UK, it seems that was bullshit to sell the remaining stock without frightening customers. Samsung, i don't know but i think it was about making set top box TV.
Then Escom, which we have never heard about before in France, came in.
Then there was no more Amiga reviews in France and general purpose video game reviews moved away from the Amiga (and the Atari ST/Falcon as well). End of an era.
 

Xanxi

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30 years but it feels like it was 5 years ago to me. How time flies!
 

YouKnowWho

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Time does fly Xanxi, especially when you're having Amiga fun! I remember reading these last issues of Amiga World, which I used to buy in the World's Biggest Bookstore (also gone, but I have a photo inside the store somehow, and I'm holding an issues of Amiga World in it! ...going to find it and post it.)

Here it is...the first obituaries. July 1994 issue of AW, 94th issue apparently, counting back form the 100th. Only 9 issues followed this July 1994. There would only be 103 issues in total.
 

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YouKnowWho

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From:

A history of the Amiga, part 10: The downfall of Commodore​

What we can learn from Commodore’s demise

One of the best things that Mark Twain never actually said was: “History never repeats itself, but it does rhyme.” The stories of Commodore and Apple had many similarities. Both had mercurial, stubborn founders. Both had early successes with 8-bit computers (the Commodore 64 and Apple ][) thanks to underrated technical geniuses (Chuck Peddle and Steve Wozniak), and both later sold 16 and 32-bit computers with fancy GUIs (the Amiga and the Macintosh). Both kicked out their founders, who went on to produce rival products that failed in the marketplace (Atari ST and NeXT).

But Commodore faltered and disappeared, whereas Apple got Jobs to return, and he led the company to become the most valuable on the planet.

Maybe Jack Tramiel was no Steve Jobs. He was older and more single-minded. He never really saw past his idea of selling computers “to the masses, not the classes." The Atari ST was a decent enough computer, but it ended up being a footnote in history, a cheap and poor imitation of the Amiga. The NeXT, on the other hand, contained forward-looking technology that ended up powering both OS X and iOS.

Apple also didn’t have to contend with executives who seemed hell-bent on wringing every last dollar of profit from the company and putting it in their own pockets. If you look at the financial history of Commodore, they always seemed to hover around zero profits: sometimes a bit higher, sometimes a bit lower. A more recent company that also uses that strategy is Amazon, but Jeff Bezos funnels all the money that would end up as profit into growing the company, instead of engineering financial scams that benefit only the top execs.

In the end, Commodore imploded, and it was a sad thing. But the Amiga itself, although it would never challenge for market share again, would survive the death of its parent company. It was a dream given form: a personal computer that was fast and friendly and responsive, that multitasked well, that played great games, and that behaved in a way that made its owners not just fans but fanatics. Today, it is neither gone nor forgotten.
 

YouKnowWho

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Yup. It's in that Part 10 post above how it came to be.

Gould was out of his element, so in 1986 he turned to what many incompetent and desperate managers utilize: a management consulting company. The company he hired, Dillon-Read, sent over a managing director named Mehdi Ali. Ali spent many years and many millions of dollars to come up with the recommendation that Gould should hire Mehdi Ali to be the new CEO of Commodore International, which Gould finally did in 1989. This was the exact moment when Commodore sealed its doom.
 

btp

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I remember quite well 1994. I was in my second year in Uni and I was looking forward to make the move from my humble 500 to a more powerful big box Amiga such as the 4000. It was not cheap to buy such an Amiga model and I was reading the magazines to be certain that my choice of sticking with Commodore would have a future. Yes, the company going down hill was becoming obvious and the subject of various editorials in Amiga magazines concerned with the future of the platform, already. So at the end, Commodore fell and by the end of 1994 I decided to invest my hard earned cash into a powerful PC compatible. For quite some time my 500 was set up and working right next to the PC but after a point it was packed and stored away.
 

YouKnowWho

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At the time of my transition from Amiga to PC, I was rocking an Amiga 2000 with the GVP 040 33Mhz card, Retina 4MB, FlickerFixer, A2286 Bridgeboard, some dongles like Digi-View and DSS and a Sony monitor. This was a really lovely setup in my view, and could do it all. Funny enough, I am blurry about who bought it from me and how this beloved computer that was long my machine left me. I'm pretty sure I sold it to my girlfriend at the time, before braking up with her, which is all kinds of poetic..parting with "two amigas" at once?

I then jumped end of 1997 to a Pentium II. I know I wasn't using the Amiga much for some reason for a year before I got the Pentium II. I just didn't have much use for it outside of school work. I do recall following what was going to happen to Commodore. It had Canadian roots, so the local Computer Paper of the time used to do some reporting after Amiga World stopped. Once in a while, when I was downtown, I'd look at European Amiga magazines, which as noted were available only at one or two stores in the city. Amiga dealers here pretty much all converted to PC by then too.

The dream was gone. Steve Jobs copied everything Amiga did and claimed it for Apple years later. That whole FireWire/DV thing that made Apple systems the go-to video editing systems of the time...while Apple was become the go-to video editing setup 2000 onwards, I remember thinking to myself..."I've seen this story already, 10 years ago." After all, Toaster came out 10 years earlier.

Perhaps Amiga was just too early with these ideas and capabilities? And of course the execs had no vision or communication capability. Would the Amiga even be what it was if it wasn't for the third-party companies? Jobs brought all of that under the Apple umbrella, with connectivity with FireWire, DV editing software with Final Cut Pro, thus bringing those external things done by NewTek in-house, and making them Apple properties. Maybe if Commodore had done that as well, it would have been a different story as well? Would have probably been a smart move to buy NewTek, right?
 
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