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AuthorTopic: Booting Commodore Pentium laptops  (Read 458 times)

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Offline RobertB

Booting Commodore Pentium laptops
« on: March 27, 2020, 01:55:32 AM »
     Trevor Dickinson shows off his two Commodore Pentium laptops!

See "Commodore Pentium laptop running Windows 95" at

https://youtu.be/M1tDZP2Nb8k

See "Commodore Pentium laptop running Windows 3.1" at

https://youtu.be/A_tWc4Sobog

     What curiosities!

          Back in California,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group -
          http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

Offline cgutjahr

Re: Booting Commodore Pentium laptops
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2020, 02:26:41 PM »
Contrary to what the guy in the video claims, these were not build by the original Commodore - it sold off its PC division in Summer 1993 and didn't sell PCs after that.

That Laptop was build by ESCOM's subsidiary in the Netherlands, after the former acquired the Commodore IP. The changed colors of the Chickenhead were ESCOM's stupid idea. The machine is called FT6000, IIRC.
 

Offline Matt_H

Re: Booting Commodore Pentium laptops
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2020, 03:23:47 PM »
I thought Escom didn’t acquire the Commodore brand assets at all—just the Amiga ones. Didn’t “Commodore” (i.e., PC stuff) go to someone else? Or did Escom just sell it off almost immediately? Or was that post-Escom? Gah, I can’t remember the complexity anymore. What a mess this all was is.
 

Offline cgutjahr

Re: Booting Commodore Pentium laptops
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2020, 03:58:57 PM »
The Commodore brand was the main reason ESCOM acquired the IP in the first place. They were one of Germany's (probably Europe's) two biggest PC retailers, but in contrast to their main competitor (VOBIS) they didn't have an established brand for their devices - so they bought one.

Ownership of the CBM trademarks was then transferred to ESCOM Netherlands, which IIRC assembled the ESCOM PCs at that time.

When ESCOM went bankrupt, ESCOM Netherlands survived through a management buyout, kept the trademark for itself and renamed itself Commodore BV, while the Amiga IP and the remaining Commodore patents and software copyrights remained with ESCOM and were bought by Gateway later on. That's how the Commodore trademark got separated from the rest of the IP.
 

Offline Matt_H

Re: Booting Commodore Pentium laptops
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2020, 07:53:33 PM »
Thanks for the history lesson :). I think a lot of the English-language press missed those details at the time. I never knew Escom had a Dutch division. I suppose that’s how Tulip came into the picture as well?
 

Offline cgutjahr

Re: Booting Commodore Pentium laptops
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2020, 09:18:53 PM »
ESCOM had subsidiaries in a dozen or so European countries. Yeah, Tulip bought the Commodore BV remains in 1997 - the latter had gone bankrupt in early 1997. I guess people weren't exactly lining up to buy regular PCs just because they were featuring a Chickenhead logo.

Offline Matt_H

Re: Booting Commodore Pentium laptops
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2020, 04:40:04 PM »
I guess people weren't exactly lining up to buy regular PCs just because they were featuring a Chickenhead logo.

A lesson that the original Commodore learned in 1993/1994 and one that all of the successive trademark owners/pretenders since then have still not learned to this day! :)

Offline gertsy

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Re: Booting Commodore Pentium laptops
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2020, 10:27:00 AM »
Agree. Certainly shows a company's commitment to their brand when they peddle an alternative that actually dilutes your own go to market proposition. Bet each way on nothing.

Offline cgutjahr

Re: Booting Commodore Pentium laptops
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2020, 03:03:26 PM »
I don't think it's that simple. The Amiga was not a business machine, period. It couldn't compete with the IBM PC for a whole bunch of reasons - so Commodore had the choice to either ignore that market, or try to sell a different machine to this particular market. This is not much different from selling the C64 alongside the Amiga: C64 for the entry level consumer market, Amiga for the high end consumer market and 'Multimedia' work, PC for the traditional business market.

Commodore Germany - who came up with the whole "Commodore PC" concept - actually made a ton of money selling PCs in the eighties, while also being the biggest or 2nd biggest (after the UK) Amiga and C64 market. If you read Commodore Germany's flyers from the late eighties, they're advertising the C64, the Amiga line, a whole range of PCs and even Unix servers (they were an official SCO Unix  distributor for a few years) and it all sort of makes sense - because the message was: "whatever your needs, we got the right system for you."

The problem is that Commodore fucked up all three markets. They never came up with a proper follow-up to the C64 for the low level consumer market, which is why Nintendo killed them in the US. They completely mishandled the Amiga, and they had no idea how to stay profitable in the PC market once it became ultra-competitive.

There's a quote from David Pleasance in Bagnall's "The Final Years". He visited West Chester's engineering division in early 1993 and allegedly saw "seven Amiga engineers and 40 PC Engineers" - that's just stupid.