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Commodore Tackles Eee Keyboard with Invictus

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 33 comments

Has Commodore become a cloning company?

One of the stranger things to hit the internet this week is news of an Asus Eee Keyboard clone manufactured by long-standing company Commodore. Called the Invictus, the device is frighteningly too similar to the Asus product, sporting a similar LCD mounted on the right. The only difference seems to be the device's outer hull, offering a sleeker, less-bulky appearance.

Although details are scarce, the device supposedly features a Nvidia Ion chipset and a 5.5-hour battery life. Additionally, the Invictus will use an Atom processor, offer wireless HDMI, and will also come in silver when the product becomes available on the market. The LCD screen will even remain on when the external video is running.

Currently there's no word on an actual OS, however it's speculated that the device may come packed with a built-in Commodore 64 and/or Amiga emulator. There was also mention that it may come with AROS as a standard boot option. Unfortunately, solid specs aren't available, and there's no indication of final pricing or ship dates.

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  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2010 3:41 AM
    and yet the writer is calling this the clone? seems to me commodore was the orginal
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    nforce4max , June 2, 2010 2:30 AM
    Blast from the past, at least they didn't call it the Commodore 256.
  • 6 Hide
    megahustler , June 2, 2010 2:34 AM
    This should be beige with black keys, no screen, a pretty big Commodore logo - and where's the tape-drive?
  • 1 Hide
    dEAne , June 2, 2010 2:52 AM
    pretty little things to put on the corners.
  • 3 Hide
    Zoonie , June 2, 2010 2:52 AM
    Do we get a tape-drive with that?
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2010 3:41 AM
    and yet the writer is calling this the clone? seems to me commodore was the orginal
  • 2 Hide
    ta152h , June 2, 2010 4:04 AM
    bodybagand yet the writer is calling this the clone? seems to me commodore was the orginal


    Commodore has cloned before. They created a PC compatible.

    I know it's blasphemous to give kudos to Apple, but seeing Commodore's name reminds me of just what a unique company Apple really is.

    All the others are dead or have left the business. The pioneers, like Commodore, Atari, Radio Shack, IBM, Compaq have all either died, been consumed or left the business. Of the early player, only Apple remains. And not only do they remain, but they are flourishing the same as they did before - with overpriced products.

    Thumb me down all you want, but Apple deserves credit for being the last man standing, and by doing it their own way.

    I'm just hoping one of these decades they make a product I'll actually want.
  • 4 Hide
    ryano , June 2, 2010 5:10 AM
    Well wasn't the Amiga 1000 the first consumer computer that had true multitasking, a mouse-driven GUI, and a mouse ? Not to mention 16-bit color, 4-channel sound, full-screen video, well before Apple produced a comparable machine. It was actually Commodore and Atari who were the innovators..with Apple playing copycat.
  • 3 Hide
    ryano , June 2, 2010 5:27 AM
    Sorry TA152H - I posted before I really "read" your post. Seeing the comments under this article caused me to flashback to my teenage days when computers were mystical devices.. at least my Amiga 500 was..when my friends were beating down our door to play its games and watch the latest cracktros from the pirated software I downloaded from the local BBS.. as all they had at home was an IBM PC with CGA or 16-color EGA if they were lucky.. and forget about bitplanes and color-cycling and sprites.

    It's sad that now the Commodore name has been bought and sold so many times over the last two decades, and now their name is associated with selling peripherals.

    The mid 80's to mid 90's were the quantum leap periods of computer multimedia evolution and will always be fondest in my memory I now have a Core i7 with an ATI5870... what kind of evolutionary leap can I possibly expect in the next 5 years ? The difference between 16xAAA and 16xMSAA isn't all that noticeable to me.
  • -4 Hide
    ianpac , June 2, 2010 6:01 AM
    Apple Mac was launched 18 months before the Amiga 1000. Its only advantage was it was cheaper than Apple but then there is nothing new in that - everyone is cheaper than Apple.

    @TA152H - Apple would have died too if Bill Gates had not stepped in to save them in the late 1990s. Microsoft is the one true survivor because they monopolized the operating system all the hardware suppliers built around.
  • -4 Hide
    ta152h , June 2, 2010 6:04 AM
    ryanoWell wasn't the Amiga 1000 the first consumer computer that had true multitasking, a mouse-driven GUI, and a mouse ? Not to mention 16-bit color, 4-channel sound, full-screen video, well before Apple produced a comparable machine. It was actually Commodore and Atari who were the innovators..with Apple playing copycat.


    Actually, the Tandy Color Computer was the first microcomputer to multi-task, running an operating system called OS-9.

    Apple took the mouse and GUI were the first to put it on a microcomputer.

    Commodore bought the Amiga, and it was a headache they couldn't figure out how to solve until it was irrelevant. The Amiga had a lot of customer designed chips that were supposed to help out the 68K, which was kind of dated by the time the Amiga came out.

    I remember seeing the Amiga and couldn't understand how anyone could even look at it. The screens flickered so badly you'd get a migraine the interlacing was so bad. Eventually, the ironed out the problems, but, by then it was competing with PS/2s running OS/2, and they never really had much of a chance to be anything mroe than a niche product.

    The Amiga was a failure, plain and simple. Commodore did have some successes though, like the Commodore 64 and Vic-20. The Commodore 64 redefined computers for a while, with such a low price and so much memory. It also added sprites, which made for better games.
  • 4 Hide
    ta152h , June 2, 2010 6:14 AM
    ianpacApple Mac was launched 18 months before the Amiga 1000. Its only advantage was it was cheaper than Apple but then there is nothing new in that - everyone is cheaper than Apple.@TA152H - Apple would have died too if Bill Gates had not stepped in to save them in the late 1990s. Microsoft is the one true survivor because they monopolized the operating system all the hardware suppliers built around.


    It's scary that people pass on misinformation like this. Microsoft bought $150 Million worth of shares of Apple stock in 1997, which was a drop in the bucket, and in no way was why Apple survived. In 1998, Apple made $308 Million in profits. The reason Apple survived was Steve Jobs refocusing the company, paring it down, and then rebuilding it with products like the iMac.

    Microsoft saving Apple? Good grief, now I've heard everything. I never thought it was possible for someone to think that, but, humans never fail to believe what they want so it is comfortable for them.

    By the way, that investment paid off pretty well for Microsoft.

    It's amazing just how biased people are.
  • 4 Hide
    chickenhoagie , June 2, 2010 6:21 AM
    TA152HIt's scary that people pass on misinformation like this. Microsoft bought $150 Million worth of shares of Apple stock in 1997, which was a drop in the bucket, and in no way was why Apple survived. In 1998, Apple made $308 Million in profits. The reason Apple survived was Steve Jobs refocusing the company, paring it down, and then rebuilding it with products like the iMac. Microsoft saving Apple? Good grief, now I've heard everything. I never thought it was possible for someone to think that, but, humans never fail to believe what they want so it is comfortable for them. By the way, that investment paid off pretty well for Microsoft. It's amazing just how biased people are.

    Sorry, but because microsoft was prosecuted as being a monopoly they were forced to give up money to other companys. apple was dead in the water and got a lucky chance to live another day. they used it to their advantage of course, by using very sly and stylish marketing/design. But we all know of course that Apple just makes underpowered, shiny looking eye candy for the dull minded. (sadly, many of us are dull minded). Gotta love it.
  • 4 Hide
    ryano , June 2, 2010 6:35 AM
    TA152H - I don't see how the Amiga was a failure.. it brought the concept of multimedia authoring to the computer hobbyist (Amigavision). Many of today's software houses cut their teeth coding Amiga games (Psygnosis, Macromedia, Lightwave, ) hell ! What about the Video Toaster ? Granted it wasn't an Amiga but it sure required an Amiga to run it.. the toasters changed the face of Cable TV overnight.

    The Amiga launched entire industries while the Apple and PC were fighting over who had the best word processor.
  • 5 Hide
    Blessedman , June 2, 2010 7:21 AM
    Yes ryano, thank you! While Mac ruled the desktop publishing arena, it was Amiga [Commodore] and NewTek who actually revolutionized video editing and broadcasting. They brought a system that cost roughly $3-5k that did the job as good and sometimes better than systems that cost $20-100k. That is a very large leap for a pretty small company. I know professional suites that used the Toaster (and the Amiga) into the late 90's for all their editing needs. It is a shame that the Amiga [Commodore] had such sketchy operators in control of the ship. Jay Miner was a true pioneer of the industry and his chip-set honestly blew the competition off the map even being a few years late.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2010 10:04 AM
    Ah, people are talking about cloning and copying... Any company that creates a "computer" are hence copying the very first. Which was, what, made in the 1940's?

    Everyone are copying everyone. Just pick what you like best...
  • 4 Hide
    g00ey , June 2, 2010 10:16 AM
    @TA152H: I can't really see how the Amiga was a failure really. I think it was very successful and way over its competitors in terms of performance when it came and were hot.

    When the Amiga 1000 came out with 4096 colors (in HAM mode) and 4 8-bit audio channels the Macintosh was black and white with a small 7" CRT screen.

    Sure the interlace mode was flickering but that is the best you can do if you want to get a higher video resolution on a simple NTSC/PAL/SECAM TV. There were scan doublers and flicker fixers that could get rid of the flickering on a capable monitor, and graphic cards such as Merlin and CyberGFX that were capable of showing 16.8 million colors at a time period where PCs had MSDOS with and Windows 3.11 with 16 colors. There were tons of addons and upgrades that could make an Amiga beat the crap out of any contemporary Mac or PC.

    But the Amiga as it were didn't survive plain and simple and it wasn't because the hardware was anywhere inferior to the hardware of its competitors just as little as Betamax and Video2000 were inferior to VHS.
  • 2 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , June 2, 2010 10:36 AM
    This is such a slap in the face for Commodore fans. Commodore was such an innovative company. This copycat bullshit makes me want to puke. With my Amiga 500 I was the coolest kid on the block. No one had a gaming machine like that. The Amiga 2000 with it's accelerator boards and video toaster cards... ugh. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS CRAP THEY ARE SELLING!!?? You could do more with an Amiga 2000!!! Seriously!
  • 1 Hide
    g00ey , June 2, 2010 11:36 AM
    @mlopinto2k1 Do not despair there is still some innovation going on with the Amiga although one could wish there was more.

    I understand there is not much to expect from Commodore which has been bought and sold between companies several times. A lot of articles cover this in Ars Technica.

    But I still think the Aros project and Amiga OS4 are interesting though, and it is said that you can run MorphOS on a PPC based Mac Mini.

    And last but not least a new Amiga model is actually due this summer called AmigaOne X1000. You could read about it here (www.a-eon.com). I don't know how revolutionary it will be but I'm very curious about what this can accomplish since it is a very unique setup.
  • 1 Hide
    stromm , June 2, 2010 11:42 AM
    TA152h is obviously an Apply Fanboy, blindly seeing only what supports his fantasy that Apple is the only successful computer/software company in the world.

    FACT: IBM STILL EXISTS and is a very stable business. It's in it for the long haul and doesn't mind that it's short-term profits aren't huge. Not only does it have a thriving hardware business (both enterprise and commercial level) but it is also one of the world leaders is support services providing engineers to major corporations.

    FACT: Microsoft was forced by the US to bailout Apple twice. To the tune of more than 400 million dollars, which is how Apple was able to afford the hostile take over of a business who designed a hard drive based portable MP3 player. Apple did not create the iPod. They bought the company that did and then forced the owners and engineers out.

    FACT: Apple and Jobs have admitted on record that if it wasn't for their acquisitions of what has become the iPod and Itunes, they would have gone out of business years ago.
  • 1 Hide
    g00ey , June 2, 2010 12:39 PM
    I just want to add that the philosophy of extra co-processors that were used in the Amiga which made it quite unique and that TA152H is criticizing as being dated is actually what is implemented in the computers today.

    For example, the graphics chipset in the Amiga had sprites and other features to take off load from the CPU in a very similar manner as the GPUs are in charge of the 3D functions (as opposed to software rendering). Some network cards and hard disk controllers (esp RAID controllers) etc have built in processors to reduce CPU load. Other implementations are also found in mainframes as a way to enhance the throughput (IOPS etc).
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