Jack tramiel

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Main article: Commodore International

[edit] Typewriters and calculators

In 1953, while working as a taxi driver, Tramiel bought a shop in the Bronx to repair officemachinery,[5] securing a $25,000 loan for the business from a U.S. Army entitlement.[6] He named it Commodore Portable Typewriter.

In 1955, Tramiel signed a deal with a Czechoslovak company to assemble andsell their typewriters in North America. However, as Czechoslovakia was part of the Warsaw Pact, they could not be imported directly into the U.S., so Tramiel set up Commodore Business Machines inToronto.[5] Tramiel wanted a military-style name for his company, but names like Admiral and General were already taken, so he settled on the Commodore name.[7]

In 1962, Commodore went public. But thearrival of Japanese typewriters in the U.S. market made the selling of Czechoslovakian typewriters unprofitable. Struggling for cash, the company sold 17% of its stock to Canadian businessman IrvingGould, taking in $400,000.[5] It used the money to re-launch the company in the adding machine business, which was profitable for a time before the Japanese entered that field as well. Stung twice bythe same source, Gould suggested that Tramiel travel to Japan to learn why they were able to outcompete North Americans in their own local markets. It was during this trip that Tramiel saw the firstdigital calculators, and decided that the mechanical adding machine was a dead end.[8]

When Commodore released its first calculators, combining an LED display from Bowmar and an integrated circuitfrom Texas Instruments (TI), it found a ready market. However, after slowly realizing the size of the market, TI decided to cut Commodore out of the middle, and released their own calculators at aprice point below Commodore's cost of just the chips. Gould once again rescued the company, injecting another $3 million, which allowed Commodore to purchase MOS Technology, Inc. an IC design and...