About the book
On the Edge: the Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore tells the story of Commodore through first-hand accounts by former Commodore engineers and managers.
Note: Second printing, which contains corrections and other minor changes.
Between 1976 and 1994, Commodore had astounding success in the nascent personal computer business.
Amid the chaos and infighting, Commodore was able to achieve some remarkable industry firsts. They were
the first major company to show a personal computer, even before Apple and Radio Schack. They sold
a million computers before anyone else. No single computer has sold more than the Commodore 64. The
first true multimedia computer, the Amiga, came from Commodore. Yet with all these milestones, Commodore
receives almost no credit as a pioneer.
Commodore was one of the only companies with the ability to make silicon, and the results were obvious.
They had more creativity, more color, and more character than the competition. While Apple and IBM charged
exorbitant prices, Commodore was able to reach the masses with affordable computers while remaining profitable.
The Commodore 64 cut a path of destruction through the early industry, knocking Tandy, Texas Instruments, Sinclair,
and Atari out of the computer business and badly hurting Apple and even IBM. While other companies received more
press, Commodore sold more computers.
Yet Commodore never reached a comfortable position. They were always on the verge of blinding success or
abysmal failure. Commodore's volatile founder, Jack Tramiel, lived on the edge, and he made sure his employees lived