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Commodore PET

 
 
This is the first Commodore computer, the PET, or the Personal Electronic Transactor. It appears that they just made up that description, though

as the name "PET" was apparently chosen to capitalize on the pet rock fad going on at the time. There was an earlier Commodore computer, the KIM-1, but Commodore didn't design it, they inherited it when they bought MOS Technologies, who designed and produced computer chips. The KIM-1 was a way to demonstrate the power of the MOS 6502 CPU to the industrial community. Chuck Peddle was an engineer at MOS who worked on their 6502 CPU, as well as the KIM-1 computer. When Commodore wanted a reliable source of chips for their computers, they bought MOS, renamed it as the Commodore Semiconductor Group, and Chuck Peddle became a full-time Commodore employee. His first order of business - convince Commodore that calculators were "out", computers were "in". It worked - Chuck Peddle went on to design the PET, one of the very first user-friendly computers. It was designed around the MOS Technologies 6502 CPU, which eventually came to be used in many of the popular computers of the day - the Apple II, Atari 400/800, AIM-65, and others. The PET has a built-in display, although it looks like a monitor perched on top. It is part of the machine and does not come off. Very stylish and user-friendly. This is one of the few computers with a built-in cassette drive - very handy, but the keyboard is one of the worst! The keys are of a type known as 'chiclet', tiny and difficult to type on. Touch-typing is impossible.




Released: June 1977
Price: US $795
CPU: MOS 6502, 1MHz
RAM: 4K, later 8K
Display: 40 X 25 text

built-in 9" screen
Ports: IEEE-488, cassette

parallel, system bus
Storage: Built-in cassette
OS: BASIC in ROM

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