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Commodore PET 2001
Source: wikipedia.org

Commodore PET

The Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) was a home/personal computer produced from 1977 by Commodore International. A top-seller in the Canadian and United States educational markets, it was Commodore's first full-featured computer, and formed the basis for their entire 8-bit product line, including the Commodore 64.

The PET 2001 was announced at the Winter CES in January 1977 and the first 100 units were shipped later that year in October. However, the PET was back-ordered for months and to ease deliveries, early in 1978 Commodore decided to cancel the 4 kB version.

Sales of the newer machines were strong, and Commodore then introduced the models to Europe. However, there was already a machine called PET for sale in Europe from the huge Dutch Philips company, and the name had to be changed. The result was the CBM 3000 series ('CBM' standing for Commodore Business Machines), which included the 3008, 3016 and 3032 models. Like the 2001-N-8, the 3008 was quickly dropped.

The final version of what could be thought of as the "classic" PET was the PET 4000 series. This was essentially the later model 2000 series, but with a larger black-and-green monitor and a newer version of Commodore's BASIC programming language. By this point Commodore had noticed that many customers were buying the "low memory" versions of the machines and installing their own RAM chips to save money.

The 4008 and 4016 had the sockets punched out of the motherboard to prevent this practice.[citation needed] The 4032 was a huge success in schools, where its tough all-metal construction and all-in-one design made it better able to stand up to the rigors of classroom use. Just as important in this role was the PET's otherwise underutilized IEEE 488 port. Used wisely, the port could be used as a simple local area network and allowed printers and disk drives (which were then very expensive) to be shared among all of the machines in the classroom.



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