Mock Jack Tramiel Interview
This is what we think he might say today...
By Charles Fraser GrayFebruary 18, 2005
Pictures are from this site!
This interview is entirely fictional aside from myself, the
interviewer (Charles Fraser Gray) asking the questions and the spirit in which I
hoped to capture what Jack Tramiel would actually say given the same questions
posed to him. In truth, I would love to interview Jack Tramiel as he is a both
interesting and colourful figure in computer history. [So would we. If
Jack would like to submit himself to a REAL interview, please let us know! - Ed]
For those of you who are not familiar with Jack Tramiel,
founder of Commodore Computers and former CEO of Atari, and his contribution
towards the computer industry will need to do some reading. Just type in Jack
Tramiel or Commodore and youíll read about the man who accomplished so much in
the computer industry.
For those of you who would find fault with this fictional
interview, relax, sit back, and enjoy the show. If you still find issue with
what I have written, then let Jack know. Perhaps he will grant me an interview.
Hello Mr. Tramiel. I thank you for taking time out of your schedule to grant me
this interview on such short notice.
JT: Not a problem. I am glad that there is still so much
interest in myself and Commodore to warrant such an interview years or should I
say decades after I left Commodore. Also, we are not in a board of directors
meeting, so just call me Jack.
CFG: I have read other interviews with you and I am hopefully
not going to repeat the same questions asked of you years ago.
JT: Iím glad for that. So what do you want to know?
CFG: Letís talk about the current situation in the still
ongoing war between Microsoft and Apple.
JT: Well, I wouldnít really call it a war. Apple has a very
small part of the market share compared to Microsoft and caters to a very
CFG: How so?
JT: Iíll put it to you this way. Think of a Mac as a computer
geared towards the professional, whether he or she be a Teacher, Doctor, Graphic
design artist, or so on. The Mac is intended for serious applications that make
money or to educate, not to say that it canít be used for games or music, but
itís intended design is for high-level applications.
CFG: And the PC?
JT: The PC, although used in the same professional circles to a
lesser extent, is still mainly an entertainment machine to play games on.
CFG: This reminds me of what you said about Coleco.
JT: That itís a toy?
JT: In many respects, the PC is a toy but with more problems
than the Coleco ever had. There is nothing wrong with using a computer to play
games, but if it only used to play games, then it is toy. We saw what happened
when Coleco was pushed out of the competition.
CFG: So do you feel the modern computer consumer wants more
than a gaming machine?
JT: Yes. Thatís why things are changing again in the computer
industry. People are getting smarter and looking for something more in a
Then what are your personal thoughts on Microsoft products?
JT: Not much good Iím afraid. The operating system is taken from
Xerox. Commodore did the same thing with the Geos system, but the Geos system
was stable. Windows is not. There is no good reason to have an operating system
as inefficient or as unreliable as the various versions of Windows are.
CFG: So I guess you donít have a PC or run Windows.
JT: No, I donít.
CFG: Then what do you use at home?
JT: It probably wouldnít be polite for me to say.
CFG: A Mac of some sort?
CFG: So then, how would you sum up what is happening in the
computer industry today.
JT: On one end, you have Apple making hardware for the classes
and on the other end you have Windows making software for the classes. They both
forget about the masses who are actually buying the product. Their products are
simply out of reach for the average consumer. People are more technologically
savvy. People are getting smarter and looking for something else, something
different, something better. If Commodore came out today, there would only be
CFG: But you said that you mentioned that you have a Mac?
JT: Yes, I do, but I can afford it. Most people cannot easily
afford a Mac so they go with a lesser machine.
CFG: A PC?
CFG: What about the Japanese?
JT: [Laughs] I see you have gotten into some old interviews I
did back when I was with Atari. I was able to keep those people[The Japanese]
out of the computer market for many years. Now we have to contend with
Overpriced Apples and Broken Windows, and I can't think which is worse.
CFG: And what about Commodore.
JT: Both the Commodore 64 and the Commodore 128 are fully able
to traverse the internet without worry about the next virus coming out. There
were no holes in Commodore, unlike what you see in the PC world today.
CFG: Letís talk about Commodore a little later.
JT: Whatever you like.
CFG: What are your thoughts on software piracy today?
JT: Software piracy seems to be a big problem in todayís
computer industry, but not for the reason Apple or Microsoft think. People are
willing to pay for software that is actually good, actually reliable and
actually affordable. The rest of it, people copy as it is not worth buying.
People lack confidence in the computer industry of today because of the lack of
truly good software for their computers.
CFG: Software piracy didnít happen in Commodoreís time.
JT: It did, but at a much lesser extent.
CFG: As you may have heard, Yeahronimo Media Ventures has
purchased the Commodore brand and plans to release some new Commodore products
in 2005. What are your thoughts on that?
JT: Iím not sure what to think. Commodore has changed hands a
few times. I donít think Tulip knew really what to do with Commodore nor had the
funds to do anything overly big with it. The new owner of Commodore is
definitely a larger company with more assets to realize the revitalization of
the Commodore name. The million-dollar question is what will they do with
Commodore? Iíd have to check my crystal ball (laughs). If I was running
Commodore today, I know I could make Commodore a strong force in the computer
CFG: So what would be a perfect slogan for the new Commodore?
JT: If you want a toy, buy a game machine like the PC. If you
want an office computer, buy a Mac, but if you want both but with the
dependability you have come to know and even expect, then buy a Commodore.
CFG: Thank-you for talking with me today. This interview has
been very informative.
JT: Youíre welcome.
[Reminder: This is a MOCK or FICTIONAL interview with Jack
Tramiel. If he would like to provide a real one, we'd be very interested in talking with him. - Ed.]