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The Home Computer Wars: An Insider's Account of Commodore and Jack Tramiel

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35 review for The Home Computer Wars: An Insider's Account of Commodore and Jack Tramiel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Themistocles

    I was very excited to get my hands on this book from 1984 because of its cult status and -of course- the subject matter. Unfortunately, despite the high ratings, this book is simply not good. It started off nicely enough and got me all excited, but soon the interest faded. The main issue is that Tomczyk gives very, very, very little info on the "home computer wars". Instead he keeps on harping on the *Commodore* wars - internal politics and strifes, mentioning name after name, who got what office I was very excited to get my hands on this book from 1984 because of its cult status and -of course- the subject matter. Unfortunately, despite the high ratings, this book is simply not good. It started off nicely enough and got me all excited, but soon the interest faded. The main issue is that Tomczyk gives very, very, very little info on the "home computer wars". Instead he keeps on harping on the *Commodore* wars - internal politics and strifes, mentioning name after name, who got what office who got into what team etc. Very boring stuff, and his writing is mediocre at best. Oh, and my guess is his descriptions of office politics are quite one-sided, too. It also riled me that Tomczyk appears (in the book, at least) to be so full of himself; he's writing as if he, single handedly and alone, discovered personal computer marketing. He goes on to spend many, many pages on the VIC because it was his pet project, but barely mentions... the c64!!! Seriously? He's also very arrogant about it; according to him, designing the computer was the easy part. The hard part was marketing the thing. OH REALLY? (Disclaimer: I work in Marketing). Heck, he's so full of himself that he'll even mention how great the annual report cover looked! He also offers various "gems" of wisdom, such as that most ZX81 owners bought another computer within a month of its purchase, or that any player who introduced a games machine with the then prevalent prices would be crazy and doomed (the book was written in 1984, right next to the NES introduction :D ). Oh, and -since Tomczyk was a former army vet- he keeps on using army metaphors that'll make you cringe to no end, instead of lending any gravitas. In the end, the book left me with the image of a man who ran from project to project with no clear view of what he really accomplished, no real insight to the PC market and trying to sell himself as much more important than he was. Maybe the impression is wrong, but the image he's trying to convey is not justified by what he's writing about. As a computer history book - little of value in there. As a business book - really nothing in there. What a missed opportunity...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lance Taylor

    Must read book. Having sold Commodore and Atari products for a number of years during its hey dey myself, it's like I lived through it. The author is brilliant and I owe him my personal thanks for inventing the Vic-20 (my first PC) and for the C=64 I still adore. Be sure to check out his website / blog and know that this book will be reprinted again soon. I have am original copy, which is now worth about $250. On my re-read list again after I read Steve Jobs BIO and iWoz. PS - RIP Jack Tramiel ( Must read book. Having sold Commodore and Atari products for a number of years during its hey dey myself, it's like I lived through it. The author is brilliant and I owe him my personal thanks for inventing the Vic-20 (my first PC) and for the C=64 I still adore. Be sure to check out his website / blog and know that this book will be reprinted again soon. I have am original copy, which is now worth about $250. On my re-read list again after I read Steve Jobs BIO and iWoz. PS - RIP Jack Tramiel (even if you were a Douchebag like Steve Jobs in many ways).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andreas

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ken Woodward

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  6. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Wellbow

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diatoid

  8. 4 out of 5

    Piotr

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steve

  10. 5 out of 5

    Javier

  11. 5 out of 5

    T. Jutras

  12. 4 out of 5

    Arno Huetter

  13. 5 out of 5

    Subhajit Das

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wiebo de Wit

  15. 4 out of 5

    Troy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rex

  17. 5 out of 5

    Roy

  18. 4 out of 5

    James Alston

  19. 4 out of 5

    Grovdata

  20. 5 out of 5

    Logos

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sebastian Delmont

  22. 4 out of 5

    John

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bo

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mihailo

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tarak Labiad

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

  29. 4 out of 5

    M R

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jörg Burger

  31. 5 out of 5

    Osiris Oliphant

  32. 4 out of 5

    David

  33. 5 out of 5

    Ili jesi

  34. 5 out of 5

    Johan

  35. 5 out of 5

    Rick Vinyard

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