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Encyclopedia > Commodore PET

The PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) was a home-/personal computer produced by Commodore starting in the late 1970s. Although it was no top seller outside the Canadian, US, and UK educational markets, it was Commodore's first full-featured computer and would form the basis for their future success. Children playing on a Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s. ... Commodore is the commonly used name for Commodore International, was an American electronics company based in West Chester, Pennsylvania which was a vital player in the home/personal computer field in the 1980s. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ...

Image:PET2001.jpg
Commodore PET
Type Personal computer
Released 1977
Discontinued 1982[1]
Processor MOS Technology 6502
@ 1MHz
Memory 4KB - 96KB
OS Microsoft BASIC 1.0~4.0

Contents

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... The MOS Technology 6502 is an 8-bit microprocessor that was designed by Chuck Peddle for MOS Technology in 1975. ...

History

Origins and the early models

In the 1970s, Texas Instruments was the main supplier of CPUs for use in calculators. Many companies sold calculator designs based on their chip sets, including Commodore. However, in 1975 TI increased the price to the point where the chip set alone cost more than what TI sold their entire calculators for, and the industry they had built up was frozen out of the market. The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN), better known in the electronics industry (and popularly) as TI, is an American company based in Dallas, Texas, USA, renowned for developing and commercializing semiconductor and computer technology. ... Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actual size: 12×6. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ...


Commodore responded by looking for a chip set of their own they could purchase outright, and quickly found MOS Technology, Inc. who were bringing their 6502 microprocessor design to market. Along with the company came Chuck Peddle's KIM-1 design, a small computer kit based on the 6502. At Commodore, Peddle convinced Jack Tramiel that calculators were a dead-end. Instead they should focus on making a "real" machine out of the KIM-1, and selling that for much higher profits. Tramiel demanded that Peddle, and Tramiel's son, Leonard, create a computer in time for the upcoming trade show COMDEX (1976), and gave them six months to do it. MOS Technology, Inc. ... The MOS Technology 6502 is an 8-bit microprocessor that was designed by Chuck Peddle for MOS Technology in 1975. ... Electronics engineer Chuck Peddle is mostly known as the main designer of the MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor; the KIM-1 SBC; and its successor the Commodore PET school/business/home computer, both based on the 6502. ... The KIM-1, short for Keyboard Input Monitor, was a small 6502-based microcomputer kit developed and produced by MOS Technology, Inc. ... Jack Tramiel (born 1928) is a businessman, famous for founding Commodore International, manufacturer of the Commodore 64 and Commodore Amiga home computers, and later President and CEO of Atari Corp. ... COMDEX (Computer Dealers Exhibition) was a computer expo held in Las Vegas, Nevada, each November from 1979 to 2003. ...


The result was the first all-in-one home computer, the PET. The first model was the PET 2001, including either 4 kB (the 2001-4) or 8 kB (2001-8) of 8-bit RAM. It was essentially the KIM-1 with a new display chip (the MOS 6545) driving a small built-in monochrome monitor with 40×25 character graphics. The machine also included a built-in Datassette for data storage located on the front of the case, which left little room for the keyboard. The 2001 was announced in 1977 and started deliveries around September. However they remained back-ordered for months, and to ease deliveries they eventually cancelled the 4 kB version early the next year. A kilobyte (derived from the SI prefix kilo-, meaning 1000) is a unit of information or computer storage equal to either 1000 or 1024 bytes. ... Random access memory (usually known by its acronym, RAM) is a type of data store used in computers. ... The Motorola 6845 (commonly MC6845) is a video address generator first introduced by Motorola and used in the CGA and EGA video adapters, Amstrad CPC and BBC Micro. ... The Commodore 1530* (C2N) Datassette (a portmanteau of data + cassette), was Commodores dedicated computer tape recorder. ... For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ...


Although the machine was fairly successful, there were frequent complaints about the tiny keyboard, often referred to as a "chicklet keyboard" because the keys resembled the popular gum candy. This was addressed in upgraded "dash N" and "dash B" versions of the 2001, which put the cassette outside the case, and included a much larger and better feeling keyboard. Internally a newer and simpler motherboard was used, along with an upgrade in memory to 8, 16, or 32 kB, known as the 2001-N-8, 2001-N-16 or 2001-N-32, respectively. Chiclets are a brand of candy coated chewing gum made by Cadbury Adams. ...


Sales of the newer machines was 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. Philips HQ in Amsterdam Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Royal Philips Electronics N.V.), usually known as Philips, (Euronext: PHIA, NYSE: PHG) is one of the largest electronics companies in the world. ...

CBM Model 4032
CBM Model 4032
CBM 4040 dual disk drive (5.25")
CBM 4040 dual disk drive (5.25")

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free content hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. ... The Commodore 4040 and its sibling(s), the 2040 (and according to some sources, the European marketed 3040), were dual unit 5¼ floppy disk drives for Commodore International computers. ...

Education, business, and computer science

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. Commodore BASIC is the dialect of BASIC used in Commodore Internationals 8-bit home computer line, stretching from the PET of 1977 to the C128 of 1985. ...


By this point Commodore had noticed that many customers were buying the "low memory" versions of the machines and installing their own RAM chips, so the 4008 and 4016 had the sockets punched out of the motherboard.


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 "network" and allowed printers and disk drives (then very expensive) to be shared among all of the machines in the classroom. The Hewlett-Packard Instrument Bus (HP-IB), is a short-range digital communications cable standard developed by Hewlett-Packard (HP) in the 1970s for connecting electronic test and measurement devices (e. ...


Two more machines were released in the PET series. The CBM 8000 included a new display chip which drove an 80×25 character screen, but this resulted in a number of software incompatibilities with programs designed for the 40 column screen, and it appears to have been unpopular as a result.


The machine shipped with 32 kB standard as the 8032, but allowed another 64 kB to be added externally. Later the upgrade was installed from the factory, creating the 8096.


The last in the series was the SP9000, known as the SuperPET or MicroMainframe. This machine was designed at the University of Waterloo for teaching programming. In addition to the basic CBM 8000 hardware, the 9000 added a second CPU in the form of the Motorola 6809 and included a number of programming languages including BASIC in ROM for the 6502 and APL, COBOL, FORTRAN, Pascal and a 6809 assembler on floppies for the 6809. It also included a terminal program which allowed the machine to be used as a "smart terminal" as well, so this single machine could replace many of the boxes currently in use at the university. Additionally this machine became a remote development environment where the user could later upload their creation to a mainframe after completing development and testing on the SuperPET. The designation Micromainframe (also rendered as MicroMainframe or Micro-mainframe) may have at least two different meanings, depending on the context and originating company: The Commodore SP9000 SuperPET microcomputer The Intel iAPX 432 multiple-chip microprocessor See also: Micro-mainframe link This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid... The University of Waterloo, also known as UW, UWaterloo, or simply, Waterloo is a medium-sized research-intensive public university in the city of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. ... Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actual size: 12×6. ... 1 MHz Motorola 6809E processor, manufactured in 1983. ... Read-only memory (ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ... APL (for A Programming Language) is an array programming language based on a notation invented in 1957 by Kenneth E. Iverson while at Harvard University. ... Fortran (previously FORTRAN[1]) is a general-purpose[2], procedural,[3] imperative programming language that is especially suited to numeric computation and scientific computing. ... Pascal is an imperative computer programming language, developed in 1970 by Niklaus Wirth as a language particularly suitable for structured programming. ...


Commodore tried to update the PET line with a new redesign called the CBM-II series (also known as the B series). These were not as successful and were ultimately abandoned. However, due to demand, the original PET machines were revived and the CBM-II case style was retained. These were known as the SK's (due to the separated keyboard). They also had a swivel monitor. Originally, standard 8032 boards were retrofitted into these cases. Later the SK models got a new mainboard that already included the 64kB extension directly on the board and were sold as 8296 or, with a built-in 8250 dual disk drive, as 8296-D.


The graphics issue

In the home computer market the line was soon outsold by machines that included bitmapped color graphics and sound, mainly the Apple II (introduced in 1977, the same year as the PET 2001), Atari 400/800 (1979), and, in particular, Commodore's own bestselling VIC-20 (1980/81). The mainstream business computer market of the time considered colors and graphics somewhat less of an issue, a view that would change soon enough. For the use of the term raster in radio regulation, see frequency raster. ... The Apple II was one of the most popular personal computers of the 1980s. ... An Atari 800XL, one of the most popular machines in the series. ... The VIC-20 (Germany: VC-20; Japan: VIC-1001) is an 8-bit home computer. ...


Bitmapping and colors aside, the main limitation of the PETs' graphics capabilities was that the character set was "hardwired" in ROM. On the PET range's home computer rivals, the look-up address of the character graphics could be changed and pointed to RAM, where new characters could be drawn by a programmer to create custom graphics shapes. From a programming point of view, this was a relatively simple method of producing good-looking graphics images, and because of this, as well as the acceptable speed obtainable by a BASIC program moving character objects on the screen compared to bitmap graphics, many programs with a certain amount of graphics, including a fair amount of games, were made this way even on bitmap-capable machines. The PETs' lack of the character set remapping feature must therefore be said to constitute a major weakness in the machines' design. A character encoding is a code that pairs a set of characters (such as an alphabet or syllabary) with a set of something else, such as numbers or electrical pulses. ... Read-only memory (ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ... Random access memory (usually known by its acronym, RAM) is a type of data store used in computers. ...


On the upside, the PETs' ROM-restricted character set—an ASCII-1963 deviation known as PETSCII—was one of the most varied and flexible of the era, allowing PET games with rudimentary graphics to be created, exemplified by clones of video games such as Space Invaders. Also, the many popular text adventure games of the time, some multiplatform, some created for the PET line, did not need graphics at all. PETSCII (PET Standard Code of Information Interchange), also known as CBM ASCII, is the variation of the ASCII character set used in Commodore (CBM)s 8-bit home computers, starting with the PET from 1977 and including the VIC-20, C64, Plus/4, C16 and C128. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Zork, an early work of interactive fiction, running on a modern interpreter Interactive fiction, often abbreviated IF, describes software simulating environments in which players use text commands to control characters and influence the environment. ...


Cursor magazine

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, PET users could subscribe to a regularly issued "magazine" entitled Cursor that was published by Ron Jeffries of The Code Works. Cursor consisted of a PET-compatible data cassette tape containing a half dozen or so games and utility programs written by contributing freelance programmers. Also included with each tape was a short newsletter that contained instructions for the programs on the tape and occasional notes and updates on Commodore and the rest of the personal computer industry. Ron Jeffries is one of the founders of the extreme programming (or XP) software development methodology. ...


Model summary

PET 2001 series / 2001-N & -B series, CBM 3000 series

CPU: 6502, 1MHz
RAM: 4 or 8 kB / 8, 16, or 32 kB
ROM: 18 kB, including BASIC 1.0 / 20 kB, including BASIC 2.0
Video: discrete TTL video circuit, 9" monochrome monitor, 40×25 character display
Sound: none / single piezo "beeper" (optional external speaker driven by MOS 6522 CB2 pin)
Ports: 2 MOS 6520 PIA, MOS 6522 VIA, 2 Datassette (1 used / 1 on the back), 1 IEEE-488
Notes: 69 key chiclet keyboard and built-in Datassette / full-sized, full-travel keyboard, no built-in Datassette

The MOS Technology 6502 is an 8-bit microprocessor that was designed by Chuck Peddle for MOS Technology in 1975. ... The Commodore 1530* (C2N) Datassette (a portmanteau of data + cassette), was Commodores dedicated computer tape recorder. ... A chiclet keyboard is slang for a computer keyboard built with an array of small, flat rectangular or lozenge-shaped rubber or plastic keys that look like erasers or pieces of chewing gum. ...

PET 4000 series / CBM 8000 series

CPU: MOS 6502, 1MHz
RAM: 8, 16, or 32 kB / 32 or 96 kB
ROM: 20K, including BASIC 4.0
Video: MOS 6545, 9" or 12" / 12" monochrome monitor, 40×25 / 80×25 character display
Sound: single piezo "beeper" (optional external speaker driven by MOS 6522 CB2 pin)
Ports: 2 MOS 6520 PIA, MOS 6522 VIA, 2 Datassette ports (1 on the back), 1 IEEE-488
Notes: basically an upgraded 2001 / basically a 4000 with 80 columns and slightly different keyboard with smaller (11 key) numeric pad

SuperPET 9000 series

CPU: MOS 6502 and Motorola 6809, 1MHz
RAM: 96 kB
ROM: 48 kB, including BASIC 4.0 and other programming languages
Video: MOS 6545, 12" monochrome monitor, 80×25 character display
Sound: single piezo "beeper" (optional external speaker driven by MOS 6522 CB2 pin)
Ports: MOS 6520 PIA, MOS 6522 VIA, MOS 6551 ACIA, 1 RS-232, 2 Datassette ports (1 on the back), 1 IEEE-488
Notes: basically an 8000 with ROMs for programming languages, it also had three character sets, and an RS-232 for use as a terminal

The MOS Technology 6502 is an 8-bit microprocessor that was designed by Chuck Peddle for MOS Technology in 1975. ... 1 MHz Motorola 6809E processor, manufactured in 1983. ...

Peripherals

Commodore Business Machines made a variety of disk drives available for the PET, using the IEEE 488 interface, including:

Commodore 2031 single disk drive
Commodore 4040 dual disk drive
Commodore 8050 dual disk drive
Commodore 8250 "quad density" dual disk drive
Commodore 8280 dual disk drive (8")
Commodore SFD-1001 "quad density" single disk drive
Commodore 9060 hard drive (5 megabytes)
Commodore 9090 hard drive (7.5 megabytes)

The Commodore 2031 and Commodore 4031 were single unit 5¼ floppy disk drives for Commodore International computers. ... The Commodore 4040 and its sibling(s), the 2040 (and according to some sources, the European marketed 3040), were dual unit 5¼ floppy disk drives for Commodore International computers. ... The Commodore 8050 and Commodore 8250 were dual unit 5¼ floppy disk drives for Commodore International computers. ... The Commodore 8050 and Commodore 8250 were dual unit 5¼ floppy disk drives for Commodore International computers. ... The Commodore SFD-1001 was a double density floppy disk drive for Commodore International computers. ...

See also

The PET Transfer Protocol (PTP), more commonly known as Punter or Old Punter, is a protocol for file transfer developed ca. ... In computer jargon, a killer poke is a method of inducing hardware damage (i. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Commodore PET - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1308 words)
The PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) was a home-/personal computer produced by Commodore starting in the late 1970s.
Commodore responded by looking for a chip set of their own they could purchase outright, and quickly found MOS Technology, Inc. who were bringing their 6502 microprocessor design to market.
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.
Commodore PET - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1308 words)
Although it was no top seller outside the Canadian, US, and UK educational markets, it was Commodore's first full-featured computer and would form the basis for their future success.
However, in 1975 TI increased the price to the point where the chip set alone cost more than what TI sold their entire calculators for, and the industry they had built up was frozen out of the market.
By this point Commodore had noticed that many customers were buying the "low memory" versions of the machines and installing their own RAM chips, so the 4008 and 4016 had the sockets punched out of the motherboard.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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