commodore pet 2001-8 


 datasette  keyboard
petbackscan6.gif (12830 bytes)
(click on picture)


Introduced    1978
Discontinued    ???
Release Price  $799.00


      This is one of the oldest computers in my museum. It was introduced in a time when most computers aimed at the early home computer market were still sold to consumers in kit form ( Altair, Imsia, Heath....). Commodore was one of the first computer manufacturers to introduce a non-kit computer ready to use out of the box in 1977. This model is the 2nd in the 2001series released in 1978 with the improved keyboard and increased memory capacity( a whopping 32K! ).

      The PET,( an acronym for Personal Electronic Transactor), was designed by Chuck Peddle who also designed the 6502 microprocessor used in many of the computers of the period, including Apple, Atari, and Commodore computers. The PET series of computers used a Datassette model # 1530 as a mass storage device. It came equipped with an attached 9" green phosphor screen and had the unique ability to have it's cover raised like the hood of a car for servicing the computer. The case on earlier models was made of metal to be replaced by formed plastic on later models.

      The BASIC language built into the PET was actually written by a rather small and obscure (at that time) company called Microsoft. I read somewhere that the BASIC in the original PET was written by Bill Gates' little software company way back in 1977, but Jack Tramiel purchased it from Bill on a one-time license to use it in his computers.

      This means that they only had to pay for BASIC versions that were written for the early PETS, and any future versions rewritten by Commodore for newer models of computers would not be subject to the original license fee. So in a rare business blunder Bill didn't acquire the rights for the revised versions rewritten by Commodore for their later computer models. There were literally millions of VIC's, 64's, and 128's all using a version of Microsoft BASIC and Bill didn't get a penny in licensing fees. :)

     This PET was added to the museum on October 18, 1999. It was purchased through an auction on Ebay. My thanks to Ron Kneusel, who was the original owner, for selling this PET to me. I have this PET hooked to a VIC-1530 Datassette it now is displayed in the new museum area located in my workshop. Visit the 'History of the Museum' page to see the display. 



System Architecture



Microprocessor MOS 6502 Standard on system board 32k
Clock speed 1Mhz Maximum on system board 32k
Bus type CBM proprietary Maximum total memory 64k
Data bus width 8-bit Memory speed and type unknown
Address bus width 8-bit System board memory socket type 16 pin DIP
Interrupt levels ??? Number of memory module sockets unknown
DMA channels ??? Memory used on system board unknown

Standard Features


Disk Storage

ROM size 8k Internal disk and tape drive bays none
Optional math coprocessor none Standard floppy drives external tape drive
Parallel port type no Optional floppy drives: 1
RS232C serial ports no * 5 1/4 inch 160k optional
Mouse ports no * 5 1/4 inch 1.2MB No
UART chip used N/A * 3 1/2 inch 720k No
Maximum speed N/A * 3 1/2 inch 1.44MB No
CMOS real time clock no * 3 1/2 inch 2.88MB No
CMOS RAM none Hard disk controller included No

Video & Graphics



Graphics Processor ??? Sound Interface device internal speaker
Screen size - Col x Rows 40 x 25 Sound generation tone generator
Resolution - Colors/High 1 / 200 x 192 ADSR capable no
Resolution - Colors/Low 1 - 40 x 25    
Max colors mono-green & white Programming language  
Sprites or Missiles none Built in language Microsoft Basic
    Built in M L monitor no

Expansion Slots


Keyboard Specs.

Total adapter slots 1-8 bit Number of keys 72
Number of 8/16/32 bit slots 1/0/0 Upper/lower case yes/yes
    Keyboard cable length N/A

Physical Specs.


Environmental Specs.

* Height 16 inches Operating voltage @ 60 Hz 104-127VAC
* Width 17.5 inches Maximum power supplied ???
* Depth 19 inches Power supply output - volts ???
* Weight 25 pounds Power supply output - amps ???