Commodore PET 2001

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The PET was one of the biggest sellers in the 1979-1980 period, when computers were aimed at both the home and business market.

This is the first model of the Pet range, released in 1977, which has a chiclet keyboard, much like a supermarket till, and a built in cassette deck for loading programs. It was used for education, hobbyists, and some business users. The first machines had either 4K or 8K of RAM, but this was very limiting, so several third-party memory expansion boards were available to take the memory up to 32K. It has a built-in system ROM (6K) and BASIC (8K), and with additional memory could run 6502 assemblers and even compilers. The screen could display upper and lower case letters, and a large range of graphics symbols, a large library of software was produced for the machine.

There were a great many other Pet models, with improvements to the keyboard, cases and removal of the tape deck, so the consumer had the choice of an external disk drive or tape deck, the machine went into the new decade with a design known as the SK, or separate keyboard, which had a case by one of the designers of the Porsche car.

The 2001 model was found to be slow in updating its display, until someone discovered a way of speeding up the graphics routines with a POKE to memory. This was fine, but on later machines the graphics hardware was improved and the same POKE caused the screen to go blank and was known as 'the killer POKE'.

The keyboard of this model came in for some criticism for its chiclet style keys, that resembled chewing gum of the same name, also the keys had a tendency for the lettering to rub off.



Manufacturer: Commodore
Date: June 1977

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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH514. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


Commodore PET 2001

  Book Archive   [4]
  Games Archive   [8]
  Software Archive   [42]
  Type-in Listings   [1]
  Peripherals   [15]

Click on the Image(s) For Detail


Memories - Notes by a physicist who dabbled with computers - John Yates
Memories - Working with the Commodore PET and the BBC Micro by Dr Geoff Luxford
Me and My Computer by Thomas Turnbull

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