PCs

Inside the Commodore Pet 2001 vintage computer

Commodore Pet 2001

The Commodore PET 2001 was the first fully integrated computer from Commodore. It was based on the same architecture as the MOS/Commodore KIM-1 but provided a keyboard ("chicklet style"), tape drive and monitor all housed in a space-age case.

Erik Klein, vintage computer collector and Webmaster of Vintage-Computer.com, takes you inside the Commodore PET 2001.

Erik has graciously allowed us to republish his photos and descriptions. You can find a much more detailed description of Erik's Commodor PET 2001 and additional photos of the machine's in his collection on his Web site Vintage-Computer.com.

You can share your experiences with this and other classic computers using the disccussion link below this image, or on Erik's Vintage Computer Forums.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

18 comments
jprigot
jprigot

I remember that there was supposed to be a routine that would destroy the PET. I don't know anyone whose PET was ruined this way. Of course my friends and I cut our teeth on the KIM-1.

rrose
rrose

Solitaire with ANSI character cards! :)

karateed
karateed

It's unbelievable to be able to find so much about an old computer I cut my teeth on. I took some programming courses and used the PET to do homework. I ended up moving to Iceland for 5-1/2 years and the PET was my PC for a couple of those. I had upgraded from the 'chicklet' keyboard PET to the full keyboard PET and also added more RAM and 3 EPROMMs that allowed me to save and load programs 4x faster than the regular tape deck, it was call RABBIT, there was a compiler/decompiler (forget the name of it) and a chip called TOOLKIT. This certainly brings back memories. When I showed people a picture of my old PET at work, they couldn't believe it. Most of them are at least 20 years younger than me and haven't seen anything like it. They usually remember something like the C64 as their earliest machine. BTW, I still have my full keyboard PET and it runs fine.

JJPEngr
JJPEngr

Thanks for the memory. The Commodore PET was the first PC I had seen in 1978. As a young test engineer at Learjet, one of our senior instrumentation engineers brought one into work to demonstrate.

markh
markh

So, what can you do with it?

dwain.erhart
dwain.erhart

When I first started using PC's, the Commodore PET 2000 series was what I used. We had three of them in our computers class at high school. It was a part of the process leading me into a 27 year IT career... Such memories!

simon
simon

My fist use of a computer. Circa 1981, I was 11, although I remember it being a bit more sexy than this, more curvy with full keyboard. Anyway couple of years later made a multi loading telephone directory with multiple search criteria for my o levels - If only I'd kept going it's the forerunner of every marketing tool today............

dpkovacs
dpkovacs

I still have mine...would a mus3eum be interested in it ??

ReggieCW
ReggieCW

This was computer no. three for me. First Computer: Altair 8800 (Popular Electronics 1975) Second computer: kit-built RCA Cosmac ELF (Popular Electronics 1976) Third computer: Comodore Pet.

alexrounds
alexrounds

My family had numerous Commodore computers, but when I started a computer consulting business, I thought the SuperPET was a superbly fantastic computer - it had both the 6502 and z80 processors, had the full range of micro programming languages from Waterloo (Pascal, APL, Fortran, COBOL, BASIC, as well as Commodore Basic 4.0. A half ton of documentation too. What a machine - IEE-488 connectors to daisy-chain peripherals, solid, Industrial -type construction. Built to last.

JustFishin
JustFishin

The first computer I ever used circa 1980 I had a tape full of wonderful games, but for some strange reason the one you wanted to play was always at the other end of the tape!

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

.. computing to school kids using these things in 1982. Geat machines, if a little temperamental. Les.

rpendland
rpendland

A very forward thinking Algebra teacher had two of these bad boys. When he offered a basic programming class I jumped at the chance. My first program was horse racing. The user would start out with $100 and place a bet on one of five horses. Poking a set of five Pi symbols randomly across the screen was a challenge but once one crossed the ?finish line? the contest ended and the payout was given and/or taken away. I have been lucky. A few years later I was taking a CPU theory class. The instructor was one of the few who programmed ENIAC. To say the least, he was brilliant. He could convert 4 digit hex to decimal in his head.

ATEMPLEMAN
ATEMPLEMAN

My first taste of computing. Spreadsheets on Visicalc and writing inventory programs in Basic. Did most of the programming at home on my C64.