Commodore PET

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An original Commodore PET model 2001.

The Commodore PET‏‎ (Personal Electronic Transactor) is a series of 8-bit home computers designed by Chuck Peddle and a team of engineers at Commodore International. The Commodore PET was first sold in October 1977 as an all-in-one computer which included the keyboard, monitor, and tape storage as a single unit. It was the first mass-market home computer sold by Commodore and competed with the TRS-80 and Apple II which were also sold that same year. It was supplanted by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore CBM-II before finally being discontinued in 1982 right around the release of the Commodore 64.


I remember seeing a non-working PET when I was a child. I was intrigued by its look, but they were already vastly out of date, so I'm sure I wouldn't have been impressed. I've only ever used one in an emulator, but found it pretty dull.


I don't not own, nor have I ever even used a PET.


See all Commodore PET Games.

None of the games I've played for the Commodore PET have impressed me enough to write about them.


The Commodore PET's CPU is a MOS 6502 clocked at 1 MHz. RAM ranges from 4 KB to 96 KB and ROM from 18 KB to 48 KB. Display is 8" or 12" monochromatic and text only at 40×25 characters, or 80×25 for the more expensive models. Text is drawn from a fixed set of characters called PETSCII, but it was the most versatile text encoding of the day. Limited sound is played on a single piezo "beeper." Storage uses a built-in Commodore Datasette, or external 5.25" disk drives, though some models have no built-in storage, while others have built-in disk drives. Input is a 69-key Chiclet keyboard, though the more expensive models have a mechanical keyboard. Commodore BASIC is built into the ROM.


Model Notes
PET prototype Never sold.
PET 2001, PET 2001-N, PET 2001-B, CBM 3000 series Initial models. 8" monitor, Chiclet keyboard, built-in Datasette.
PET 4000, CBM 8000 series Higher specs, 12" monitor, better keyboard, but no Datasette, some had built-in disk drives.
SuperPET 9000 Highest specs, 12" monitor, no Datasette or disk drives.


In addition to the different computer models, a lot of peripherals were made as well including a variety of printers, plotters, and disk drives. Interesting all of the PET hardware is forward compatible with other Commodore computers including the VIC-20, 64, Plus-4, and 128 models, although some need adapters.


I don't know enough about the PET to write a review.



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