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Old 09-14-2010, 07:35 AM   #1
gdanko
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Default Commodore USA

I became fascinated with the, for a lack of better words, drama around this new Commodore USA and its CEO Barry Altman. Then I remember seeing the Commodore name being used for on high end Windows "gaming" systems awhile back and how that appalled me. So I emailed Barry at Commodore USA to offer complaints about offering Windows machine and some suggestions. The text of my email is here:

---
Barry,
While I am a firm believer in the rights to be protected against libelous speech, I am also very leery of Commodore USA and what they're producing. If it's the same Commodore USA from about two years ago, all I saw were some fancy PC clones with Commodore logos on them. Remember, Windows is the epitome of what Commodore was NOT and to put the Commodore name and/or logo on a Windows PC is an abomination.

If you REALLY want to honor the Commodore name and legacy, you would consider one or more of the following:

1) Invest money/resources in the AROS project to help them make it truly usable. As we stand, it's not all that viable for daily use.
2) Invest in the MorphOS project/aid in an x86 port of the entire MorphOS system. MorphOS is far more advanced and polished than AROS at this point. To have an x86 port of MorphOS on a solid piece of hardware with a well-thought design would be awesome. It's doable but the resources are stretched thin as is.

Selling Windows-based run of the mill PCs with the Commodore logo is a travesty and a slap in the face to Commodore loyalists. I know business is business but to me it's sickening.

And yeah I know Linux is an option. But Windows is ever-present and I would be ashamed to buy a Commodore machine today.
Gary
---

Barry was more than willing to put his money where his mouth is and offered me his phone number at Commodore USA so we could talk over the phone. We had a 30 minute conversation and these are the major takeaways I took from the conversation.

* Barry is not simply some schmuck trying make a dime off the Commodore name.
* Barry has been in electronics and manufacturing for 25+ years
* Barry's family has a long successful history of entrepreneurship, going back to the B. Altman and company (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._Altman_and_Company) department store which was started by his great (or great great) grandfather.
* Barry still owns furniture factories which produce furniture for high-end brands like Thomasville, which I am a fan of an own.

* Regarding the usage of the image(s), he said he wanted an image and found that one concept image, looked in vain for the owner, but could not find him. The image was put up on the site in hopes that the owner would come out of the woodwork and ask to have it removed or for royalties, neither of which happened. The email address was cropped out because it was a bogus address but later re-added so people would stop whining. At this point he would still like to contact the artist for permission to use the image.
* Acknowledges the poor quality of the web site and is actively looking for web developers. If you are a talented web developer and can show proof of your work, please contact him as they are actively looking to improve the web site.
* Has nothing to do with the company who created those beefy Windows boxes with the Commodore logo on them or the company who made Commodore-branded MP3 players.
* Reveled to me that the Commodore name is owned by a company in the Netherlands and that he has full exclusive right to use the Commodore name and logo. This has been arranged through said company. Fully willing to show me proof of this licensing.
* Has license to use the Amiga name and logos (boing ball, checkmark, etc) for all products. Does NOT have license to use Amiga OS, AmigaOS or derivatives. Also willing to show proof of licensing.
* Has true desire to make real machine for a hobbyist market. Has a design group that has actually designed these cases and boards. In fact, while we were speaking he had put the phone down to take a call from their motherboard manufacturer. I was able to hear his end of the several minute conversation and unless it was a ruse, it's all legitimate.

* Was fully open to my suggestion of supporting development of an x86 MorphOS port. I told him how I felt it was eons beyond AROS and he said he'd love to contribute to a port. How technically feasible this is, I don't know. But after having spoken to some experienced OS developers I was told that it IS possible, it just depends on how willing you are to work on it.
* Was fully open to committing resources, financial or otherwise, to bringing AROS to the state MorphOS is at in order to create a true modern Amiga not tied to Hyperion. In fact he said that when he tried to get driver development kickstarted he received criticism as if he was some sort of infidel.

Unlike Bill McEwen, Barry Altman is more than willing to converse with people and answer their questions. I told him I would keep our conversation completely confidential and he told me, "I wish you wouldn't. Please share anything I tell you because I want people to know the truth.". So here I am. Barry seemed to be frustrated by the herd mentality of the forum communities and quite frankly, I am too. Yeah many of us have had ill dealing with the likes of Doomy but Barry has slighted no one. He's trying to make interesting computers with the Commodore name.

Before you light your torches and beat down a path to his door, I'd say communicate with the guy. Offer suggestions, he is extremely open to dialogue with the community if that dialogue is intelligent and insightful.

Lastly, I want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and I found Barry Altman to be an intelligent and interesting man to talk to. He was courteous, friendly, and no question was off limits. He was fully willing to answer anything I had for him. Since our conversation was a few days ago I may have an inaccuracy or two so I will be forwarding this post to him so he can correct any of my mistakes. Give the guy a chance, I honestly think he's on the level.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Commodore USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdanko View Post
* Was fully open to my suggestion of supporting development of an x86 MorphOS port.
Could you please stop that?

We don't want to have anything to do with this guy.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Commodore USA

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Originally Posted by Piru View Post
Could you please stop that?

We don't want to have anything to do with this guy.
You have your opinions on certain subjects and I have mine. If you don't want to deal with the guy, tell him so. And if you don't want me to express my opinions, then please do me the same courtesy as yours are often inflammatory and combative. Unless you're willing to reciprocate, do not make the request.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Commodore USA

Your new thread here looks just like the last one.
What was your point?

You went into the conversation as a sceptic and after 10mins of con-man talk, you are a fanboy. Whoopee...
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Commodore USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdanko View Post

Unlike Bill McEwen, Barry Altman is more than willing to converse with...
The Bill&Barry Show were more than happy to "converse" with the community, many people even thought of them as being nice. Those are the must-have trades of any scammer.

All NotC=USA told you is marketing BS and side-stepping.

If really is such a successfull buisnessman and if he has soooooo big plans regarding a new "true" Commodore, why is all we see of it stolen images, faux legal threads and extremly crappy Windows-PC with a 2ct logo-sticker ?

Walks like a duck, looks like a duck, quaks like a duck ....
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Commodore USA

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Originally Posted by CSixx View Post
Your new thread here looks just like the last one.
What was your point?

You went into the conversation as a sceptic and after 10mins of con-man talk, you are a fanboy. Whoopee...
No, I am not a fan boy. I am stating that it's foolish to follow the herd mentality which is what I see most people doing. No one wants to give someone the benefit of the doubt and would rather listen to idle rumors, gossip, and conjecture as a basis to form their opinions. All I am saying is, give someone a chance to stand on their own integrity and not skewer them based on rumors and gossip.

Tell me how it's con-man talk? If you are going to make accusations you should at least be able to back them up. If you were in court and were asked to back up your claims, could you?

This guy can provide full documentation of his credentials and history. Can you prove your claims that he is a con artist? If you can, I would encourage you to do so. Does he have a criminal history that is public record? Has he personally conned you out of something?

Or... are you following the herd and condemning him before he's gone afoul?

If he ends up harming the community I will complain loud but at this point the man's harmed no one. You are a small-minded fool who is content to convict someone without a trial. You'd have done well in the US South during the 19th century.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Commodore USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdanko View Post
* Barry has been in electronics and manufacturing for 25+ years
And yet Barry doesn't seem to know the difference between FCC Class A and FCC Class B certification.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Commodore USA

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Originally Posted by gdanko View Post
Tell me how it's con-man talk? If you are going to make accusations you should at least be able to back them up. If you were in court and were asked to back up your claims, could you?
Spare me the hypothetical garbage.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:34 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mongo View Post
And yet Barry doesn't seem to know the difference between FCC Class A and FCC Class B certification.
I am going to unsubscribe to this thread for one reason. I went into this thinking he was was a scheister but I figured I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. We had a long conversation and his answers satisfied my questions. I thought it was an interesting conversation, but I didn't expect a barrage of hate-mongering from lemmings in the forum community. I expected too much from such an childish bunch. Even Piru, who I disagree with most of the time, was short and to the point. He did not level childish accusations toward the man and simply stated he'd prefer not to deal with him. For that, I applaud him. The rest of you are beyond ridiculous.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Commodore USA

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Originally Posted by CSixx View Post
Spare me the hypothetical garbage.
One last one since this is so easy. You have proven my point. You're talking out your ass and cannot back up a word you say. Until you can be a man and back up your claims, you're no better than my two year old son when he doesn't get his way.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:39 AM   #11
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Default Re: Commodore USA

I don't have anything to back up or defend.
It's my opinion that you are a fanboy, and altman is a con-man.
Happy?

Edit: These threads must be the job-application process for CUSA, it worked for their CTO.

Last edited by CSixx; 09-14-2010 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: Commodore USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdanko View Post
* Barry's family has a long successful history of entrepreneurship, going back to the B. Altman and company (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._Altman_and_Company) department store which was started by his great (or great great) grandfather.
Benjamin Altman, Barry's "great (or great great) grandfather" never married and had no children.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:45 AM   #13
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Default Re: Commodore USA

Just a few corrections.
Quote:
* Acknowledges the poor quality of the web site and is actively looking for web developers. If you are a talented web developer and can show proof of your work, please contact him as they are actively looking to improve the web site.
This is actually further along than he realises, from a professional web design company in Australia. He hasn't been in communication with them like I have, and I am yet to update him on their progress. It's more than web design, but a full e-commerce and CRM solution.

Quote:
* Was fully open to my suggestion of supporting development of an x86 MorphOS port. I told him how I felt it was eons beyond AROS and he said he'd love to contribute to a port. How technically feasible this is, I don't know. But after having spoken to some experienced OS developers I was told that it IS possible, it just depends on how willing you are to work on it.
It would be remiss of me not to consider all our options. When I contacted Team MorphOS, Ralph S told me they had no intention of porting to x86 any time soon. I think Barry missed this minor detail in one my e-mails. Not to worry.

Last edited by BigBenAussie; 09-14-2010 at 08:48 AM..
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:48 AM   #14
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Default Re: Commodore USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by mongo View Post
Benjamin Altman, Barry's "great (or great great) grandfather" never married and had no children.
This was pretty great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy
Here's what I got in response to the concerns we've voiced. Some of it's a little harsh, but then so have some of our comments here.

"Here's a blast you can relay to the forum members, please quote exactly:
Commodore USA was not set up as charity to support the development of AROS. It holds less than nothing of interest or importance to me, or 99.999999% of our intended market. It is a product that I or any other company could not use at all, as it has NO commercial value now, as is. So why are you all so concerned??
Our support was to help the group move ahead, and be part of a niche hobby group that seemed initially to be fun. I was wrong. Although some members expressed calm, sane, accurate and positive and open viewpoints, far too many exhibit behavior that is truly reprehensible. What is most amazing is the behavior and comments of the 'Moderators" UNREAL!! Aros is not a commercial product; it is not even close to a beta functional OS that has any use at this point in it's development. Why some of you oppose the ONLY viable source of support is beyond me. Never has AROS received any promotion or publicity that comes remotely close to that that was gotten since my intended involvement. Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth. Why some of you find every facet of my life of interest is really sad. Don't you have lives to live?

I'll address some comments in particular. This is business, not nursery school. You know how much was spent and paid for the Commodore and Amiga IP over the last 15 years. Do your homework…we are talking close to 100 million dollars cumulative over all these years and by all the corporate entities that played the game. Price of entry is steep, and so is execution. Iggy has tons of more info that for some reason he chose not to share with you all.

As far as using abandoned artwork, no problem here. Marko Hirv cannot be reached. Period. I tried. No luck. And yes, I did email the company he is at now….again no reply. Find him…I'll deal with him, or anyone else that falls into that category. Ever hear of an Iphone, boys and girls? Guess what…Jobs used it, took it, made it his own…knowing all the time it was the IP of Cisco. Ever hear of iTV, another recent product of the Apple guys. Also, no ownership…take it …use it…and then buy it if you must. Lawyers make a ton and the company gets what it wants, and the IP holder is paid. All good, no? That's just a small example of how business is. I am not saying it is right, just giving you a lesson in reality.

Oh…..ONE MORE THING !!!! All you self righteous self appointed moral compasses out there with the huge mouths and not much else. JUST WHO LICENSED AMIGA.ORG THE AMIGA TRADEMARK PROPERTY APPEARING ON YOUR BANNER MASTHEAD??? NO ONE!!
Any comments on that flagrant violation of trademark law? I'll be most interested in a reply to that one. Very interested.

So, enjoy your little clubhouse, I wish you well, and am sorry my leap into your little pond caused such an uproar. I never knew such muddy pond could even exist.

Barry"
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:49 AM   #15
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Default Re: Commodore USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdanko View Post
I am going to unsubscribe to this thread for one reason. I went into this thinking he was was a scheister but I figured I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. We had a long conversation and his answers satisfied my questions. I thought it was an interesting conversation, but I didn't expect a barrage of hate-mongering from lemmings in the forum community. I expected too much from such an childish bunch. Even Piru, who I disagree with most of the time, was short and to the point. He did not level childish accusations toward the man and simply stated he'd prefer not to deal with him. For that, I applaud him. The rest of you are beyond ridiculous.
The Commodore Phoenix is, according to it's own manual, an FCC Class A device, meaning that it can only be sold for commercial and industrial use. It can not legally be sold for home use in the USA.

What do you think Commodore USA's target market is?
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBenAussie View Post
Just a few corrections.

This is actually further along than he realises, from a professional web design company in Australia. He hasn't been in communication with them like I have, and I am yet to update him on their progress. It's more than web design, but a full e-commerce and CRM solution.
Yes, but will his $19.98 per month CityMax web hosting deal support that?
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:56 AM   #17
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Default Re: Commodore USA

Quote:
These threads must be the job-application process for CUSA, it worked for their CTO.
You have no idea as to what my contribution has been behind the scenes. That is just a cheap shot. Having had, at the time, some knowledge of what was going on, I merely wanted to correct the wild accusations thrown his way.
As for my credentials I am not a random fanboy, although I would certainly not say that I am the most qualified person in the room. I have a comp sci degree and 15 years of software development experience, have worked on large scale projects for fortune 500 companies, led teams, consulted in the US and Europe.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: Commodore USA

@mongo
Quote:
Yes, but will his $19.98 per month CityMax web hosting deal support that?
Forget that Citymax abomination. That web site was started well before the trademarks.
Time to get serious obviously.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:08 AM   #19
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Default Re: Commodore USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBenAussie View Post
Time to get serious obviously.


LET'S GET DANGEROUS.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: Commodore USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBenAussie View Post
That is just a cheap shot.
A bit of a cheap shot admittedly. But a bit true also
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