Commodore USA

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Commodore USA, LLC
Founded 2010
Headquarters Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
Key people Barry Altman (deceased)
Leo Nigro
Commodore USA Fort Lauderdale HQ

Commodore USA, LLC was a computer company based in Pompano Beach, Florida, with additional facilities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Commodore USA, LLC was founded in April 2010.[1] The company's goal was to sell a new line of PCs using the classic Commodore and Amiga[2] name brands of personal computers, having licensed the Commodore brand from Commodore Licensing BV on August 25, 2010[3] and the Amiga brand from Amiga, Inc. on August 31, 2010.[4] The Amiga brand license was however disputed by Hyperion Entertainment, [5] on the basis of a 2009 settlement agreement between Hyperion and Amiga.

The last news release from the website is dated March 21, 2012. In January 2013, it was revealed that founder and driving force Barry S. Altman died on December 8, 2012.[6] The latest post of forward looking news concerning Commodore's plans came from Leo Nigro (Chief Technical Officer) on the 9th of December concerning the Amiga line.[7] The online store of Commodore.net has halted orders until further notice.[8] The current viability of the company is unknown since the death of its founder in December 2012. As of September 2014, Commodore USA's website and online forums are unavailable.

Products[edit]

Phoenix[edit]

The Commodore Phoenix is a keyboard computer resembling an updated style of the Commodore 64.[9] It was originally designed and manufactured by Cybernet as a space-saving workstation.

Commodore 64x[edit]

Main article: Commodore 64x
2011 Commodore C64x

The flagship product for Commodore USA is partially redesigned and updated Commodore 64 case named Commodore 64x. The machine looks almost exactly like the original Commodore 64 except with a slightly updated keyboard and power supply. The base model has an Intel Atom processor and an NVIDIA Ion 2 graphics card, while the top version released August 13, 2011 called the C64x Extreme features an Intel Core i7 CPU with 8 GB RAM and 3 TB hard drive using the Intel Sandy Bridge chipset.[10] There is also a barebones version of the C64x which comes without a motherboard, power supply, or optical and hard drive that encourages hobbyist enthusiasts to install their preferred Mini-ATX motherboard.

VIC[edit]

2011 Commodore Vic-Slim

The Vic product line[11][12] is a group of keyboard computers with original Commodore function keys.

  • Vic Slim:

Computer that is the same size as most extended keyboards, but uses a relatively slow Intel Atom CPU.[13]

  • Vic Pro:

The Vic Pro is a keyboard computer with a built in touchpad, memory card reader, and two fans.

Amiga[edit]

A product line of Amiga branded x86 computers based upon the Intel i7 chipset featuring emulation of the classic Amiga systems built-in.[14][15] The only available Amiga sold so far is the Amiga Mini [16] which was a barebone computer. The Amiga Mio was offered as a refresh of the Amiga Mini, but was discontinued on November 4.[17]

Commodore OS[edit]

As of November 11, 2011, Commodore USA has released a beta version of Commodore OS, a Linux Mint-based operating system to be used throughout its product range. It is a media center operating system, bundled with a variety of free open source software. The full version of this beta operating system is available only systems purchased from Commodore USA.[18] It does support emulation of some of the previous Commodore operating systems.[19]

History[edit]

Commodore USA consistently focused[20] on bundling an alternate operating system, preferring Linux. It previously claimed that their machines support every operating system available from Ubuntu specifically, to Windows and even OSx86,[21] but disclaiming that they do not and will not sell Mac OS X. Commodore USA's online store sold Microsoft Windows separately and bundled Linux in their keyboard computers. Later, Commodore USA announced that they would officially support, develop, and ship their computers with AROS,[22] but shifted their focus on redesigning Linux as Amiga Workbench 5, and Amiga Workbench X, but decided to name it Commodore OS and dropped all plans of making it resemble an Amiga-like operating system due to additional legal proceedings.[23]

Examples of announced products that appear to have been cancelled are Invictus[24] and Amigo.[25][26] The Commodore USA website was redesigned and an interactive forum was launched at the same time. High-end Amiga-PC designs were posted on the website. The company licensed the Commodore brand from Commodore Licensing, BV on August 25, 2010. It licenced the Amiga brand from Amiga, Inc. shortly afterwards on August 31.

Barry Altman, founder of Commodore USA, died on 8 December 2012.

Controversy[edit]

Commodore USA has been criticised for altering previously announced plans,[27][28] threatening legal action against an OS News writer's article,[29][30] and mistakenly attempting to obtain licensing from a Commodore licensee unauthorised to sublicense.[31][32] Commodore USA has been alleged to have used various images, artwork, and designs without the permission of the original authors,[33][34][35] though it has been confirmed that in some examples this has been due to image authors leaving the Amiga user community without leaving contact details regarding their artwork.[36] Further controversy surrounding the company's image use policy has revolved around alleged photographs of the C64x assembly line in China, revealed to have been old promotional images for a facility in Augsburg owned by Fujitsu.[37]

Some of Commodore USA's announced products have cancelled since their announcement due to intellectual property disagreements, most notably concerning the rights of licensor Amiga Inc. with regards to the possible use of AROS in future Amiga systems from Commodore USA.[23] Others have simply been cancelled as the business plan evolves away from their sector of the market.

Reception[edit]

Lance Ulanoff writing in PCMag criticised the new Commodore 64 as a "none-too-cheap imitation of the real thing",[38] criticising it for using modern components. Commodore USA has responded to this position by pointing out the high cost of researching and developing original chipsets, and the relative expense and lack of mass-market software support for other CPU ISAs such as Power Architecture or Motorola 68000 family.[39]

Commodore USA has attempted to address these concerns by announcing Commodore OS, intended to be developed to support and be released with Commodore USA systems. Their new Amiga product line is not compatible with original Commodore Amiga systems including the operating system, AmigaOS which is in fact developed by a separate company. Commodore USA originally intended to develop an AROS to be bundled with their Amiga systems,[40] however this plan was later publicly discarded by CEO Barry Altman.[41] In April 2012 CEO Barry Altman did an Exclusive interview with the Amiga community on the Amiga fan site Amiga.org. He wanted the community to better understand his company and help sales.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Commodore USA". Commodore USA. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ Commodore (April 7, 2010). "The Commodore 64 Lives Again". Fox News. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Commodore Announces Exclusive Worldwide Licensing Rights – Companies Ink Deal For New Product Line". PRLog. August 25, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Amiga News". Amiga.com. August 31, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Commodore Gets Rights to Amiga, Hyperion Takes Legal Action". Retrieved 1 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "Barry s. Altman (1949 - 2012)". Commodore.net Forums. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Forum Update: Product Lineup". commodore.net. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "no c64s available in store?". Commodore 64 forums. 
  9. ^ "Commodore 64 to reboot as 'Phoenix'". Evergeek. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  10. ^ Jacobsson, Sarah (April 8, 2011). "New Commodore 64 is Finally Here-For Real!". PCWorld. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  11. ^ "New Commodore 64, Vic-Slim, Vic-Pro Available for Pre-Order, New Amigas Coming Soon | Geek Beat Technology News". Geekbeat.tv. August 1, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  12. ^ Hachman, Mark (April 6, 2011). "Commodore Announces New Commodore64, VIC Computers | News & Opinion". PCMag.com. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Commodore VIC-Slim". CommodoreUSA.net. Retrieved 3 Jan 2012. 
  14. ^ "Commodore Launching Amiga-brand Desktops". Tomshardware.com. September 1, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  15. ^ Time to create page: 2.87 seconds (April 13, 2011). "The Amiga 500X reumors". Commodore-amiga.org. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  16. ^ http://www.commodoreusa.net/CUSA_AMIGAmini.aspx
  17. ^ "Forum Update: Product Lineup". Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "How Commodore OS Could Look". Commodore-amiga.org. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  19. ^ "The New Commodore 64 – Slashdot". Hardware.slashdot.org. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  20. ^ AussieAmigan (July 19, 2010). "Commodore Phoenix Triple OS Boot". YouTube. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Latest Commodore 64 incarnation hopes what's old is new again". ZDNet. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  22. ^ on 08/31/2010 17:11 PST (August 31, 2010). "Commodore AROS – Commodore USA to release AROS-supporting desktops". Ubergizmo. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  23. ^ a b "AmigaOS 4". Commodore-amiga.org. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Commodore Invictus Keyboard-Computer Specs Bests the Asus Eee Keyboard". Gizmodo.com. June 3, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Commodore USA introduces new Amigo computer!!". Amiga.org. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Commodore Amigo [Forum – General chat". AROS-Exec. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  27. ^ [1][dead link]
  28. ^ 09:20 am. "Workbench 5 renamed Commodore OS". Amiga.org. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  29. ^ http://www.osnews.com/story/23756/Commodore_USA_Threatens_OSNews_with_Legal_Action
  30. ^ http://www.osnews.com/story/23993/Commodore_USA_s_CEO_Retracts_Legal_Threat_Apologises
  31. ^ "Commodore Gaming disavows Commodore USA (and its decals)". Engadget. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  32. ^ http://www.osnews.com/story/23753/Commodore_Gets_Rights_to_Amiga_Hyperion_Takes_Legal_Action
  33. ^ "The Amiga Computer Community Portal Website". Amigaworld.net. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  34. ^ "Commodore USA announces the PC64. PC in a replica Commodore case (Page 1) – Commodore Computers – Forums". ChipMusic.org. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Barry Altman and Commodore USA – Page 5". Amiga.org. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  36. ^ "Commodore USA". Amiga.org. September 14, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  37. ^ "The Amiga Computer Community Portal Website". Amigaworld.net. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  38. ^ Ulanoff, Lance (April 7, 2011). "You Can Keep Your Fake Commodore 64 | Lance Ulanoff". PCMag.com. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  39. ^ Time to create page: 1.63 seconds. "Workbench 5 Question thread". Commodore-amiga.org. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  40. ^ "AmigaOS 4". Commodore-amiga.org. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 
  41. ^ "View Single Post – Amiga PCs on the way". Amiga.org. Retrieved November 11, 2011. 

External links[edit]