The Amiga 600 known as the A600, is a home computer, introduced at the CeBIT show in March 1992. The A600 is Commodore International's final model based on the Motorola 68000 CPU and the ECS chipset, it is a redesign of the Amiga 500 Plus, with the option of an internal hard disk drive and a PCMCIA port. A notable aspect of the A600 is its small size. Lacking a numeric keypad, the A600 is only larger than a standard PC keyboard, it shipped with AmigaOS 2.0, considered more user-friendly than earlier versions of the operating system. Like the A500, the A600 was aimed at the lower end of the market, with the higher end being dominated by the Amiga 3000. Commodore intended it to revitalize sales of the A500-related line before the introduction of the 32-bit Amiga 1200. According to Dave Haynie, the A600 "was supposed to be US$50–60 cheaper than the A500, but it came in at about that much more expensive than the A500." This is supported by the fact that the A600 was to have been numbered the A300, positioning it as a lower-budget version of the A500+.
In the event, the cost led the machine to be marketed as a replacement for the A500+, requiring a change of model number. Early models feature motherboards and power supplies with the A300 designation; the managing director of Commodore UK, David Pleasance, described the A600 as a "complete and utter screw-up". In comparison to the popular A500 it was considered unexpandable, did not improve on the A500's CPU, was more expensive, lacked a numeric keypad meaning that some existing software such as flight simulators and application software cannot be used without a numerical pad emulator. An "A600HD" model was sold with an internal 2.5" ATA hard disk drive of either 20 or 40 MB. This model was marketed as a more "scholarly" version of a home computer best known for its extensive range of games, retailed at double the price of a standard A600. However, this hard disk support introduced some issues with existing Amiga software because the memory used for hard disk control prevented some memory-intensive titles from launching without disabling the hard drive.
Models sold without a hard disk drive in the "Wild and Wicked" bundle contained the A600HD label, but with the HD cradle and HD missing. These all have ROM version 37.350. The A600 was the first Amiga model to be manufactured in the UK; the factory was in Irvine, although some examples were manufactured in Hong Kong. It was manufactured in the Philippines; the A600 shipped with a Motorola 68000 CPU, running at 7.09 MHz or 7.16 MHz and 1 MB "chip" RAM with 80-ns access time. The designers included no capability to upgrade the original CPU as the 68000 is soldered to the motherboard and there is no other connection for upgrade. Despite this, unofficial CPU upgrades include the Motorola 68010, 68020, 68030; the processor is upgraded not by replacing the 68000, but rather by fitting a connector over the CPU and commandeering the system bus. However, this approach caused instability problems with some board designs, prompting custom modifications for stable operation; as a result, such CPU expansions were unpopular.
RAM can be upgraded to a maximum of 2 MB "chip RAM" using the trap-door expansion slot. An additional 4 MB of "fast RAM" can be added in the PC Card slot using a suitable SRAM card to reach a capacity of 6 MB. However, more "fast RAM" can be added with unofficial CPU upgrades. For example, the A608 board adds up to a maximum of 8 MB additional RAM by connecting over the original 68000. CPU upgrades can accommodate up to 64 MB. Other unofficial community expansions exist, like the FPGA-driven Vampire which adds 128MB Fastmem RAM, HDMI output, SD card for HDD storage and a 64-bit core with full 32-bit compatibility; the A600 is the last Amiga model to use Commodore's Enhanced Chip Set, which can address 2 MB of RAM and adds higher resolution display modes. The so-called Super Agnus display chip can drive screen modes varying from 320×200 pixels to 1280×512 pixels; as with the original Amiga chipset, up to 32 colors can be displayed from a 12-bit palette at lower display resolutions. An extra-half-bright mode offers 64 simultaneous colors by allowing each of the 32 colors in the palette to be dimmed to half brightness.
Additionally, a 4096-color "HAM" mode can be used at lower resolutions. At higher resolutions, such as 800×600i, only 4 simultaneous colors can be displayed. Sound was unchanged from the original Amiga design, namely, 4 DMA-driven 8-bit channels, with two channels for the left speaker and two for the right; the A600 was the first Amiga model with a built-in RF modulator, which allowed the A600 to be used with a standard CRT television without the need for a Commodore A520 RF Modulator adaptor. The A600 features Amiga-specific connectors including two DB9M ports for joysticks and light pens, a standard 25-pin RS-232 serial port and a 25-pin Centronics parallel port; as a result, the A600 is compatible with many peripherals available for earlier Amiga models, such as MIDI, sound samplers and video-capture devices. Expansion capabilities new to the Amiga line were the PCMCIA Type II slot and the internal 44-pin ATA interface both most seen on laptop computers. Both interfaces are controlled by the'Gayle' custom chip.
The A600 has internal housing for one 2.5" internal hard disk drive connecting to the ATA controller. The A600 is the first of only two Amiga models to feature a PCMCIA Type II interface; this connector allows use of a number of
The Commodore Amiga 1000 known as the A1000 and simply as the Amiga, is the first personal computer released by Commodore International in the Amiga line. It combines the 16/32-bit Motorola 68000 CPU, powerful by 1985 standards with one of the most advanced graphics and sound systems in its class, runs a preemptive multitasking operating system that fits into 256 KB of read-only memory and shipped with 256 KB of RAM; the primary memory can be expanded internally with a manufacturer-supplied 256 KB module for a total of 512 KB of RAM. Using the external slot the primary memory can be expanded up to 8.5 MB. The A1000 has a number of characteristics that distinguish it from Amiga models: It is the only model to feature the short-lived Amiga check-mark logo on its case, the majority of the case is elevated to give a storage area for the keyboard when not in use, the inside of the case is engraved with the signatures of the Amiga designers; the A1000's case was designed by Howard Stolz. As Senior Industrial Designer at Commodore, Stolz was the mechanical lead and primary interface with Sanyo in Japan, the contract manufacturer for the A1000 casing.
The Amiga 1000 was manufactured in two variations: One uses the NTSC television standard and the other uses the PAL television standard. The NTSC variant was the initial model sold in North America; the PAL model was manufactured in Germany and sold in countries using the PAL television standard. The first NTSC systems lacks the EHB video mode, present in all Amiga models; because AmigaOS was rather buggy at the time of the A1000's release, the OS was not placed in ROM then. Instead, the A1000 includes a daughterboard with 256 KB of RAM, dubbed the "writable control store", into which the core of the operating system is loaded from floppy disk; the WCS is write-protected after loading, system resets do not require a reload of the WCS. In Europe, the WCS was referred to as WOM, a play on the more conventional term "ROM"; the preproduction Amiga released to developers in early 1985 contained 128 KB of RAM with an option to expand it to 256 KB. Commodore increased the system memory to 256 KB due to objections by the Amiga development team.
The names of the custom chips were different. The casing of the preproduction Amiga was identical to the production version: the main difference being an embossed Commodore logo in the top left corner, it did not have the carry handle. The Amiga 1000 has a Motorola 68000 CPU running at 7.15909 MHz or 7.09379 MHz double the video color carrier frequency for NTSC or 1.6 times the color carrier frequency for PAL. The system clock timings are derived from the video frequency, which simplifies glue logic and allows the Amiga 1000 to make do with a single crystal. In keeping with its video game heritage, the chipset was designed to synchronize CPU memory access and chipset DMA so the hardware runs in real time without wait-state delays. Though most units were sold with an analog RGB monitor, the A1000 has a built-in composite video output which allows the computer to be connected directly to some monitors other than their standard RGB monitor; the A1000 has a "TV MOD" output, into which an RF Modulator can be plugged, allowing connection to a TV, old enough not to have a composite video input.
The original 68000 CPU can be directly replaced with a Motorola 68010, which can execute instructions faster than the 68000 but introduces a small degree of software incompatibility. Third-party CPU upgrades, which fit in the CPU socket, use faster successors 68020/68881 or 68030/68882 microprocessors and integrated memory; such upgrades have the option to revert to 68000 mode for full compatibility. Some boards have a socket to seat the original 68000, whereas the 68030 cards come with an on-board 68000; the original Amiga 1000 is the only model to have 256 KB of Amiga Chip RAM, which can be expanded to 512 KB with the addition of a daughterboard under a cover in the center front of the machine. RAM may be upgraded via official and third-party upgrades, with a practical upper limit of about 9 MB of "fast RAM" due to the 68000's 24-bit address bus; this memory is accessible only by the CPU permitting faster code execution as DMA cycles are not shared with the chipset. The Amiga 1000 features an 86-pin expansion port.
This port is used by third-party expansions such as SCSI adapters. These resources are handled by the Amiga Autoconfig standard. Other expansion options are available including a bus expander. Introduced on July 23, 1985, during a star-studded gala featuring Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry held at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City, machines began shipping in September with a base configuration of 256 KB of RAM at the retail price of US$1,295. A 13-inch analog RGB monitor was available for around US$300, bringing the price of a complete Amiga system to US$1,595. Before the release of the Amiga 500 and Amiga 2000 models in 1987, the A1000 was called Amiga. In the US, the A1000 was marketed as The Amiga from Commodore, with the Commodore logo omitted from the case; the Commodore branding was retained for the international versions. Additionally, the
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
The Commodore 16 is a home computer made by Commodore International with a 6502-compatible 7501 or 8501 CPU, released in 1984 and intended to be an entry-level computer to replace the VIC-20. A cost-reduced version, the Commodore 116, was sold only in Europe; the C16 and C116 belong to the same family as the higher-end Plus/4 and are internally similar to it. As a result, software is compatible among all three provided it can fit within the C16's smaller RAM and does not utilize the user port on the Plus/4. While the C16 was a failure on the US market, it enjoyed some success in certain European countries and in Mexico; the C16 was intended to compete with other sub-$100 computers from Timex Corporation and Texas Instruments. Timex's and Mattel's computers were less expensive than the VIC-20, although the VIC-20 offered better expandability, a full-travel keyboard, in some cases more memory, the C16 offered a chance to improve upon those advantages; the TI-99/4A was priced in-between Commodore's VIC-20 and Commodore 64, is somewhat between them in capability, but TI was lowering its prices.
On paper, the C16 is a closer match for the TI-99/4A than the aging VIC-20. Commodore president Jack Tramiel feared that one or more Japanese companies would introduce a consumer-oriented computer and undercut everyone's prices. Although the Japanese would soon dominate the U. S. video game console market, their feared dominance of the home computer field never materialized. Additionally, Mattel, TI departed the computer market before the C16 was released. Outwardly the C16 with a dark-gray case and light-gray keys; the keyboard layout differs from the earlier models, adding an escape key and four cursor keys replacing the shifted-key arrangement the C-64 and VIC inherited from the PET series. Performance-wise located between the VIC-20 and 64, it has 16 kilobytes of RAM with 12 KB available to its built-in BASIC interpreter, a new sound and video chipset offering a palette of 121 colors, the TED; the ROM resident BASIC 3.5, however, is more powerful than the VIC-20's and C64's BASIC 2.0, in that it has commands for sound and bitmapped graphics, as well as simple program tracing/debugging.
From a practical user's point of view, three tangible features the C16 lacks are a modem port and VIC-20/C64-compatible Datasette and game ports. Commodore sold a C16-family-specific Datassette and joysticks, but third-party converters to allow the use of the abundant, hence much less expensive, VIC-20/C64-type units soon appeared; the official reason for changing the joystick ports was to reduce RF interference. The C16's serial port was the same as that of the VIC-20 and Commodore 64, which meant that printers and disk drives, at least, were interchangeable with the older machines. For cost reasons, the user port, designed for modems and other devices, was omitted from the C16. Despite costing less than the Plus/4, the C16's keyboard was easier to type on; the Commodore 16 is one of three computers in its family. The even-less-successful Commodore 116 is functionally and technically similar but was shipped in a smaller case with a rubber chiclet keyboard and was only available in Europe; the family's flagship, the Commodore Plus/4, was shipped in a similar case but has a 59-key full-travel keyboard, 64 KB of RAM, a modem port, built-in entry-level office suite software.
Although shipped with 16k from the factory, it was possible to modify the C16 for 64k, making it able to run any Plus/4 software except applications that required the user port or built-in programs. Hardware designer Bil Herd notes that the C116 is the original member of this family of computers and is the original vision as imparted by Jack Tramiel to the engineering department, it was designed to sell for $49 to $79. The C16 and the Plus/4 came and were driven by the company trying to figure out what to do with the new computer family after Tramiel's departure from Commodore. In an early stage of development of the C16, Commodore was planning to have single layer PCBs built in as an attempt of cost reducing, it was the first and only attempt of Commodore using single layer PCBs inside their computers, only one such PCB is known to be preserved. The C16 was a major failure in the US and was discontinued within a year, but it sold reasonably well in Europe as a low-end game machine and in Mexico as well.
The C16's failure in the US market was due to a lack of software support, incompatibility with the C64, lack of importance to Commodore after its competitors withdrew from the market. A total of 1 million Plus/4s, C16s, C116s were sold, with the latter two accounting for about 60% of its total volume. Beginning in 1986, remaining C16, C116 and Plus/4 inventories were sold at a much reduced price on the Eastern Bloc market, chiefly Hungary. Hungary did not produce any home computers at the time, while the Soviet and East German models were far too expensive for most Hungarians, most Western models were out of reach. Th
Central processing unit
A central processing unit called a central processor or main processor, is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logic and input/output operations specified by the instructions. The computer industry has used the term "central processing unit" at least since the early 1960s. Traditionally, the term "CPU" refers to a processor, more to its processing unit and control unit, distinguishing these core elements of a computer from external components such as main memory and I/O circuitry; the form and implementation of CPUs have changed over the course of their history, but their fundamental operation remains unchanged. Principal components of a CPU include the arithmetic logic unit that performs arithmetic and logic operations, processor registers that supply operands to the ALU and store the results of ALU operations and a control unit that orchestrates the fetching and execution of instructions by directing the coordinated operations of the ALU, registers and other components.
Most modern CPUs are microprocessors, meaning they are contained on a single integrated circuit chip. An IC that contains a CPU may contain memory, peripheral interfaces, other components of a computer; some computers employ a multi-core processor, a single chip containing two or more CPUs called "cores". Array processors or vector processors have multiple processors that operate in parallel, with no unit considered central. There exists the concept of virtual CPUs which are an abstraction of dynamical aggregated computational resources. Early computers such as the ENIAC had to be physically rewired to perform different tasks, which caused these machines to be called "fixed-program computers". Since the term "CPU" is defined as a device for software execution, the earliest devices that could rightly be called CPUs came with the advent of the stored-program computer; the idea of a stored-program computer had been present in the design of J. Presper Eckert and John William Mauchly's ENIAC, but was omitted so that it could be finished sooner.
On June 30, 1945, before ENIAC was made, mathematician John von Neumann distributed the paper entitled First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC. It was the outline of a stored-program computer that would be completed in August 1949. EDVAC was designed to perform a certain number of instructions of various types; the programs written for EDVAC were to be stored in high-speed computer memory rather than specified by the physical wiring of the computer. This overcame a severe limitation of ENIAC, the considerable time and effort required to reconfigure the computer to perform a new task. With von Neumann's design, the program that EDVAC ran could be changed by changing the contents of the memory. EDVAC, was not the first stored-program computer. Early CPUs were custom designs used as part of a sometimes distinctive computer. However, this method of designing custom CPUs for a particular application has given way to the development of multi-purpose processors produced in large quantities; this standardization began in the era of discrete transistor mainframes and minicomputers and has accelerated with the popularization of the integrated circuit.
The IC has allowed complex CPUs to be designed and manufactured to tolerances on the order of nanometers. Both the miniaturization and standardization of CPUs have increased the presence of digital devices in modern life far beyond the limited application of dedicated computing machines. Modern microprocessors appear in electronic devices ranging from automobiles to cellphones, sometimes in toys. While von Neumann is most credited with the design of the stored-program computer because of his design of EDVAC, the design became known as the von Neumann architecture, others before him, such as Konrad Zuse, had suggested and implemented similar ideas; the so-called Harvard architecture of the Harvard Mark I, completed before EDVAC used a stored-program design using punched paper tape rather than electronic memory. The key difference between the von Neumann and Harvard architectures is that the latter separates the storage and treatment of CPU instructions and data, while the former uses the same memory space for both.
Most modern CPUs are von Neumann in design, but CPUs with the Harvard architecture are seen as well in embedded applications. Relays and vacuum tubes were used as switching elements; the overall speed of a system is dependent on the speed of the switches. Tube computers like EDVAC tended to average eight hours between failures, whereas relay computers like the Harvard Mark I failed rarely. In the end, tube-based CPUs became dominant because the significant speed advantages afforded outweighed the reliability problems. Most of these early synchronous CPUs ran at low clock rates compared to modern microelectronic designs. Clock signal frequencies ranging from 100 kHz to 4 MHz were common at this time, limited by the speed of the switching de
Commodore International was an American home computer and electronics manufacturer founded by Jack Tramiel. Commodore International, along with its subsidiary Commodore Business Machines, participated in the development of the home–personal computer industry in the 1970s and 1980s; the company developed and marketed the world's best-selling desktop computer, the Commodore 64, released its Amiga computer line in July 1985. With quarterly sales ending 1983 of $49 million, Commodore was one of the world's largest personal computer manufacturers; the company that would become Commodore Business Machines, Inc. was founded in 1954 in Toronto as the Commodore Portable Typewriter Company by Polish-Jewish immigrant and Auschwitz survivor Jack Tramiel. For a few years he had been living in New York, driving a taxicab, running a small business repairing typewriters, when he managed to sign a deal with a Czechoslovakian company to manufacture their designs in Canada, he moved to Toronto to start production.
By the late 1950s a wave of Japanese machines forced most North American typewriter companies to cease business, but Tramiel instead turned to adding machines. In 1955, the company was formally incorporated as Inc. in Canada. In 1962 Commodore went public on the New York Stock Exchange, under the name of Commodore International Limited. In the late 1960s, history repeated itself when Japanese firms started producing and exporting adding machines; the company's main investor and chairman, Irving Gould, suggested that Tramiel travel to Japan to understand how to compete. Instead, Tramiel returned with the new idea to produce electronic calculators, which were just coming on the market. Commodore soon had a profitable calculator line and was one of the more popular brands in the early 1970s, producing both consumer as well as scientific/programmable calculators. However, in 1975, Texas Instruments, the main supplier of calculator parts, entered the market directly and put out a line of machines priced at less than Commodore's cost for the parts.
Commodore 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. He agreed to buy MOS, having troubles of its own, only on the condition that its chip designer Chuck Peddle join Commodore directly as head of engineering. Through the 1970s Commodore produced numerous peripherals and consumer electronic products such as the Chessmate, a chess computer based around a MOS 6504 chip, released in 1978. In December 2007, when Tramiel was visiting the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, for the 25th anniversary of the Commodore 64, he was asked why he called his company Commodore, he said: "I wanted to call my company General, but there's so many Generals in the U. S.: General Electric, General Motors. I went to Admiral, but, taken. So I wind up in Berlin, with my wife, we were in a cab, the cab made a short stop, in front of us was an Opel Commodore." Tramiel gave this account in many interviews, but Opel's Commodore didn't debut until 1967, years after the company had been named.
Once Chuck Peddle had taken over engineering at Commodore, he convinced Jack Tramiel that calculators were a dead end, that they should turn their attention to home computers. Peddle packaged his single-board computer design in a metal case with a keyboard using calculator keys with a full-travel QWERTY keyboard, monochrome monitor, tape recorder for program and data storage, to produce the Commodore PET. From PET's 1977 debut, Commodore would be a computer company. Commodore had been reorganized the year before into Commodore International, Ltd. moving its financial headquarters to the Bahamas and its operational headquarters to West Chester, near the MOS Technology site. The operational headquarters, where research and development of new products occurred, retained the name Commodore Business Machines, Inc. In 1980 Commodore launched production for the European market in Braunschweig. By 1980, Commodore was one of the three largest microcomputer companies, the largest in the Common Market.
The company had lost its early domestic-market sales leadership, however. BYTE stated of the business computer market that "the lack of a marketing strategy by Commodore, as well as its past nonchalant attitude toward the encouragement and development of good software, has hurt its credibility in comparison to the other systems on the market"; the author of Programming the PET/CBM stated in its introduction that "CBM's product manuals are recognized to be unhelpful. Commodore reemphasized the US market with the VIC-20; the PET computer line was used in schools, where its tough all-metal construction and ability to share printers and disk drives on a simple local area network were advantages, but PETs did not compete well in the home setting where graphics and sound were important. This was addressed with the VIC-20 in 1981, introduced at a cost of US$299 and sold in retail stores. Commodore bought aggressive advertisements featuring William Shatner asking consumers "Why buy just a video game?"
The strategy worked and the VIC-20 became the first computer to ship more than one million units. A total of 2.5 million units were sold over the machine's lifetime and helped Commodore's sales to Canadian schools. In another promotion aimed at schools (and as a