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Classic Games (Games)

US Company Buys Commodore Brand For $33 Million 410

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the for-the-old-foggeys dept.
inKubus writes "Tulip Computers International BV -- which has held the rights to Commodore since 1997 -- said Thursday it will sell the once-mighty Commodore computer brand to U.S.-based Yeahronimo Media Ventures Inc. for 24 million euros, or $33 million. A company spokesman said they would "take actions" against possible copyright infringements of the Commodore name in the United States as well as release a new MP3 player and rerelease classic games."
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US Company Buys Commodore Brand For $33 Million

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  • by sellers (89043) <cgseller AT mac DOT com> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:00PM (#11221478) Homepage
    Is this really a US company ? Looks like a EU company or did I miss something ?

    Sports & Events
    E-mail: info@yeahronimo.com

    Yeahronimo Media Ventures Inc.
    Ms. Roxanne Pons
    Public Relations
    Tel: +31 35 543 05 07
    E-mail: press@yeahronimo.com

    Company Address Europe (Operational Offices)
    Hermesweg 15
    3741 GP BAARN
    The Netherlands

    Company Address USA
    Yeahronimo Media Ventures Inc
    433 N. Camden Dr., Suite 600
    Beverly Hills, Ca. 90210 USA
    Phone: +1 213 379 0540
    Fax: +1 310 362 8608
  • Re:Oh cool. (Score:4, Informative)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:02PM (#11221493) Journal
    That Jeri Ellsworth chick is already selling exactly such a device through the home shopping channel. It's got Impossible Mission and Summer Games and other old chestnuts built in, and looks quite hackable too.

    It was on slashdot a couple weeks ago.

    More likely, this Yeahanomorinono Media Venture Concern (is that REALLY a US company?!) will sue her ass into a hole.

    Anyone know whats up with her or Commodore One? Is she using the Commodore name legally?

    Too bad this company has no vision. To hell with mp3 players and re-selling old games, I'd love to see them update the Amiga, a la the G4 Mac and OS/X.

    That I'd pay for.
  • Memory Banking (Score:5, Informative)

    by fwarren (579763) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:25PM (#11221775) Homepage
    The Commodor 64 had 64k of RAM. the 20K of system rom was "over" the last 20K of RAM, and the 16K of RAM before that could be banked out so a Cartridge ROM could reside there. The 6510 had the ability to look at several address in zero page memory and use that information to "bank" certain ROM and memory mampped I/O out so that the RAM underneith could be used.
  • by AviLazar (741826) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:27PM (#11221784) Journal
    1) Buy old, fairly defunct company
    2) Decry copyright infringements about defunct company (that nobody knew existed anymore)
    3) Sue people
    4) Make Profit!!!

    Hey I was able to complete all the steps...sound's like a familiar tactic from our favorite companies.
  • Re:After all... (Score:2, Informative)

    by StarWreck (695075) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:13PM (#11222173) Homepage Journal
    1>notice people making joysticks with built-in games that play commodore games
    2>buy commodore name to sue those companies
    The company that made the joysticks with built-in games was Tulip Computers, the company that sold the Commodore Name to them...
  • by 0xdeaddead (797696) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:13PM (#11222178) Homepage Journal
    Who the hell are they kidding? This thing is so dead. Stick a fork in it already. Or stop trying to sell it. The people that really want their C64's actually still have them. Give it up, call it quits!
  • Re:After all... (Score:2, Informative)

    by myster0n (216276) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:18PM (#11222212)
    He might have had midi. I had a midi cartridge for the C64, together with the SFX sound expander and the full-size 60 key keyboard. In essence, my c64 became a mini Yamaha DX7 with sequencer. If you've never heard of the sound expander, you can see a picture of it here [floodgap.com]
  • Re:After all... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tet (2721) <slashdot@astradyne[ ].uk ['.co' in gap]> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:18PM (#11222214) Homepage Journal
    You have no midi for the C64. What you have there is a genuine SIDplayer file.

    Almost certainly, yes, but not necessarily. MIDI interfaces were available for the C64, and Commodore themselves even made a MIDI keyboard, the MK10. I still have one.

  • Re:After all... (Score:4, Informative)

    by StarWreck (695075) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:21PM (#11222232) Homepage Journal
    The company making the new Amiga hardware is Eyetech Group, Ltd. [eyetech.co.uk]

    The company making the new Amiga Operating System is Hyperion Entertainment [hyperion-e...inment.com]

    And an example of one of the dozen or so online stores that currently sell the new Amiga Hardware coupled with the new Amiga operating system as well as Classic Amiga Hardware and Software is Vesalia Online [vesalia.de] --- Thats right! You can already buy it!!!!
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:24PM (#11222255) Homepage Journal
    The 68000 was externally a 16 bit chip. To complicate the argument further, the 8088 was externally an 8 bit chip with a 20 bit address bus, but Motorola made a direct equivalent, the 68008, which Sinclair used in the QL and ICL in the OPD (who they? Sinclair and ICL were both British, Sinclair on the consumer end, ICL in the business end. ICL was originally the result of a government attempt to nationalise the computer industry. I don't know where they are now.) Like the 8088, the 68008 was compatable with its bigger brother and sported an 8 bit external data bus and 20 bit external address bus.

    So I think, somewhere, that story is garbled. The reading I've always heard, including that article on IBM's site linked to from /. that was about important processors the other day, was that IBM had the right to produce 8088s.

    I suspect though the fact that the 808x series was source code compatable with the 8080, the then market leader and the only platform CP/M was available for, also played a part. Ironic really, considering CP/M then was dropped in favour of at-that-time vapourware from Microsoft.

  • Re:After all... (Score:3, Informative)

    by DJStealth (103231) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:39PM (#11222372)
    Isn't that what Novell or SCO did with DR-DOS, to sue Microsoft for not allowing DR-DOS to run Windows 3.x?
  • Re:M.U.L.E (Score:2, Informative)

    by puppet10 (84610) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:45PM (#11222415)
    There are three more recent clones:

    Traders [the-underdogs.org]

    TZ-Colony [the-underdogs.org]

    and

    Subtrade:Return to Irata [the-underdogs.org]

    They dont add much though.

    The original is still the best.
  • by Chordonblue (585047) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @04:58PM (#11222518) Journal
    It was a lot of things.

    - It was a CEO making 10+ million a year when his company was going down the tube.

    - It was paying $800,000 a month for a huge factory building in West Chester, PA when most of manufacturing had long ago moved overseas.

    - It was C= snubbing of third parties like Newtek (Video Toaster guys), until it was WAY too late.

    - It was C= thinking they could sell crappy PC's under their name better than their own original product. They lost MILLIONS on those.

    The fact that they lost the MHz war meant little as the Amiga relied on co-processing for most everything PC's were using the main processor for. However, C= delayed the production of the AA and AAA graphic chipsets far too long. By the time the 1200/4000 series was released, it was already all but old.

  • Re:After all... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Audigy (552883) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @05:41PM (#11222923) Homepage Journal
    They won't.

    Not unless the MIDI was included on a data CD packaged with one of Duran Duran's albums. MIDI files aren't recordings; they're re-interpretations, and I believe they're considered "fair use"
  • Commodore's heritage (Score:4, Informative)

    by WebCowboy (196209) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @06:23PM (#11223294)
    Commodore was started in Canada, and stayed alive because of a Canadian investor, but a "Canadian Icon"? By the time it reached prominence in the PC industry with the VIC20 and C64 it was only Canadian in a nominal sense. Also something to keep in mind is that the corporate behaviour of some of the early Commodore bigwigs would make an Enron executive blush.

    Commodore was founded by Jack Tramiel, who was a Polish-born American citizen, established Commodore in Canada to circumvent stricter import/export regulations in the US (some of Commodore's early office products and parts were imported from eastern Europe and relations between US and nations within the Soviet sphere of influence were obviously cooling). Co-founder CP Morgan might've been Canadian but I'm not sure. In any case, CP Morgan's company went bankrupt and the SEC thoroughly investigated Morgan for less-than-honest conduct. Later, Canadian Irving Gould invested in Commodore and kept it alive, but he was ultimately responsible for ousting Jack in the 80s. Gould was also noted for his not-quite-honest business practises. If I recall, Commodore International was incorporated offshore to avoid taxation, although the physical offices were in Canada.

    So....the "Canadian Icon" Commodore was founded by an American Citizen (a remarkable one who survived Auchwitz and had quite an acumen for business, but not Canadian) and incorporated offshore. The early Canadian investor (Morgan) had a minority stake and went bankrupt and nearly pulled Tramiel into a legal quagmire with his corporate hanky-panky. The next Canadian that stepped into the picture (Gould) outed the founder and let Jack take some of Commodore's best people with him over to Atari, then subsequently squandered the prize they snatched from Jack at Atari (the Amiga--which was a fantastic machine that was mismanaged into the ground).

    Since the Bankruptcy, what was left of Commodore never came back to Canada--it existed solely in Europe.

    As a Canadian myself, I think I'd find another Icon to be proud of.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday December 30, 2004 @06:35PM (#11223395) Homepage Journal
    You probably know this already, but the PC-1 didn't even support a hard disk, and you had to upgrade the ROM (somehow) for it. I had such a machine long after it was useful, with 64k onboard, 384k on an AST board, and a 30MB quantum MFM disk on a Xebec controller.
  • Re:uh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rev Wally (814101) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @06:53PM (#11223534) Homepage
    The C-64 DTV (the little joy-stick thing) was actually marketed by Tulip. The had info about it on the website commodoreworld.com.
  • by WebCowboy (196209) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @07:46PM (#11223945)
    The technical info is correct, but there is a minor point:

    The main difference between the MOS 6510 and the original Rockwell 6502

    MOS created the "original" 6502 design and licensed it to others--Rockwell probably being the biggest of those (I think they supplied Atari for a time? Cannot remember). The MOS6510 was harware enhanced, whereas the ROK6502 was software enhanced. The ROK6502 didn't have the I/O port, but Rockwell defined ALL the "undefined opcodes" in the base 6502 design.

    The "undefined opcodes" are binary numbers that do not represent an assembly-language operation and their behaviour is unpredictable and may change between chip revisions. The 6510 did not enhance the instruction set in any real way (and Commodore warned in its user manual ominously about "not being responsible for the use of undefined opcodes"). Some hackers found that the most popular 6502s had some opcodes that did neat things and ignored Commodore's advice. Rockwell officially "defined" some of those and added more opcodes (mostly to support a new addressing mode). Rockwell defined almost all 255 possible opcodes, andas such the ROK6502 has the largest instruction set of any 6502-variant ever produced.

    This was all amazing and cool stuff, until a sharp young high-school dropout put all of it in a single FPGA chip as a hobby and made some money selling it in a retro-looking joystick.
  • by D4C5CE (578304) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:08PM (#11224104)
    Actually I think the business plan goes something like this...


    1>notice people making joysticks with built-in games that play commodore games
    2>buy commodore name to sue those companies
    3>...
    4>profit!
    Could be the general idea, but not in the case you named:
    They can't "sue those people" because they are "those people" [wards.net].
  • Re:After all... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Seehund (86897) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @08:49PM (#11224362) Homepage Journal
    Amiga is still manufacturing computers.

    No, they aren't, and the Amiga computer died a decade ago.

    OTOH, what is happening is that Hyperion Entertainment [hyperion-e...inment.biz] are porting and updating AmigaOS to version 4 on licence from Amiga, Inc. [amiga.com], a company formed in 2000 by a marketing exec from the previous Amiga-owners Gateway. AInc in turn has allegedly switched owners twice since then, during litigation.

    AmigaOS 4, and beyond, are meant to run on third party PowerPC hardware. Nobody is designing or even specifying standards for any hardware specifically for AmigaOS.

    One controversial decision that bothers many current and prospective AmigaOS users [petitiononline.com] is that the hardware market will have to be separated from "the rest of the world". Despite the inexistence of any Amiga hardware and AInc's irrelevance to the hardware market, AmigaOS must only be sold bundled with hardware, and only from vendors who have acquired a licence from AInc. These hardware bundles must also provide some form of hardware/vendor-licence verification mechanism ("anti-piracy measures"), which currently is supposed to consist of added code to the firmware.

    The only licenced hardware today is sold by the single existing licensee, Eyetech, which is the same company that was "consulted" when these AmigaOS distribution policies were formed. Currently they sell Mai Logic Teron series motherboards [mai.com], with their exclusively licensed (owned?) stickers saying "AmigaOne", plus a 60% heftier price tag.

    For more on this, please see my homepage.

If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong. -- Norm Schryer

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