Commodore PET 2001
The PET has a special place in the history of micro-computers, as it was one of the biggest sellers in the 1979 / 1980 period, when computers were aimed at both the home and business market. Many people instantly recognise the PET as it stood out from the usual ' terminal plus box' computer.
This was the first PET model, launched in 1977. It was a popular machine and found many admirers, from educational use, hobbyists, and some business users. The first machines only had 4K of RAM, mine has 8K, but even 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 an attractive range of graphics symbols. These features encouraged a large library of software to be written.
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 know as 'the killer POKE'.
Some of the chips used on the motherboard:
Main RAM 16 x MOS MPS 6550 (8K)
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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.
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