Shiraz Shivji

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Shiraz Shivji (born 1947 in Tanzania) was the primary designer of the Atari ST computer,[1] and one of the engineers behind the Commodore 64.[2]


Shiraz Shivji, born 1947 in Tanzania, was of Indian Ismaili heritage.[3] He was interested in electronics from a young age in Tanzania. He was educated in the United Kingdom, where he obtained a first-class honours degree at the University of Southampton. He then moved to the United States, where he obtained a master's degree in electrical engineering at Stanford University during 1969-1973. He then began work at Silicon Valley, and found work at Commodore International, where he was one of the engineers that helped build the Commodore 64. By 1984, he had been promoted to being the director of engineering at Commodore.[2]

Atari ST design[edit]

When Jack Tramiel took over Atari in 1984 with a number of Commodore engineers, the company was in bad shape. Shiraz Shivji became Atari's Vice President of Research and Development, and led a team of six engineers who designed the Atari 520ST computer. This work was completed in a remarkably short five months (July to December 1984). The prototype presentation at the January 1985 Las Vegas CES was a great coup for Atari, and the product revived the company. He later led the design of the Atari TT before leaving Atari.

When he joined Atari from Commodore, he was one of four ex-Commodore engineers charged, but acquitted, of theft in relation to disk drive design plans.[4]


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