On the Edge: The Spectacular Rise And Fall of Commodore Brian Bagnall - 2006

History of videogames (focused book)

On the Edge: The Spectacular Rise And Fall of Commodore

Author(s) : Brian Bagnall
Editor : Variant Press
Publication date : 06-20-2006
Language : english English

This book details the history of Commode, a company who built legendary computers such as the Commodore PET, theVIC-20, the Commodore 64 and the Amiga. Over more than 550 pages, this book presents the full history of the company, with incredible details and a lot of unique information obtained through interviews with former employees. The story begins in 1976 with Chuck Peddle, an engineer working for MOS Technology, who designed a microprocessor called 6502. It was the first one to be cheap enough (25$) to be included in consumer electronics. It's used as the CPU of many early micro-computers, such as the PET, the VIC-20, the Apple I and II, the Atari 400/800 and the BBC Micro. And it's also used inside two legendary home video game consoles: the Atari 2600 and the Nintendo NES. In 1976, Commodore buys MOS Technology, a move allowing it to enter the burgeoning micro-computer market. The story of the company is then full of intense moments, such as the phenomenal success of the Commodore 64 (1982), the spectacular departure of the company founder Jack Tramiel in 1984, who in turns buys out Atari and becomes the number one competitor of the Commodore Amiga (1985) with the Atari ST (1985), and the slow descent to hell that forced Commodore to close its doors in 1994. More than the simple history of an hardware manufacturer, this books tells a captivating human story, full of unique characters (Jack Tramiel, Chuck Peddle, Jay Miner, RJ Mical, Bill Herd...) who lived through events that deeply contributed to many innovations defining the world of computers and video games. An heavily recommended book.


Keywords : commodore, commodore 64, amiga, jack tramiel, computer