General information about Commodore Business Machines (CBM)

Commodore was founded in the middle of the 1950s. It was a little company that repaired typewriters and also sold typewriters produced by other firms. To increase their profit, some years later Commodore sold calculating machines so that at the beginning of the 1970s Commodore was one of the biggest companies which sold calculators on the american market. At this time Commodore produced own calculators using chips from Texas Instruments.

But in 1975 Texas Instruments, inspirated by the steadily increasing market, decided also to produce calculators. To avoid conflicts in ordering chips from Texas Instruments, Commodore bought the company MOS-Tech that produced microchips, especially the 6502 microprocessor. Chuck Peddle, a MOS-engineer, had developed a computer that based on the 6502 processor and was called Personal Electronic Transactor (PET). Recognizing its chance, Commodore supported the development of the PET, so that in 1977 the first PETīs were sold on the market. After the PET2001 Commodore developed the 3000er, 4000er and 8000er series (technical details see below), and, of course, also the VC20, C64 and C128(D). All these models had great success (especially the C64) on the contrary to the models C16, C116, Plus4 and the 600er and 700er series that were not compatible to the standards (C64, CBM8000).

It must also be mentioned that in the middle of the 1980s Commodore bought the company Amiga Corporation that was developing the computer Amiga. At this time the Amiga 1000, that based on the Motorola 68000 processor, was able to produce such high graphics and sounds as it was only known from workstations. Therefore it was no surprise that the A1000 and its follower A500, A2000, A3000, A4000 and A1200 had also great success on the market, especially in Germany and the rest of Europe.

Unfortunately, Commodore wasnīt able to force its way into the IBM-compatible world with the Amiga and also the IBM-compatible PCs that were produced by Commodore hadnīt great success so that in 1995 the company Commodore got bankrupt. Today the Commodore and Amiga patents are owned by Amiga International, a daughter company of Gateway 2000.

Back to my homepage