Commodore PET

Released in 1977 the Commodore Pet with 8kbytes RAM. When I was at school and before the school bought BBC Model B’s and Amstrad PCWs we had 4 Commodore Pets. I remember the first time we saw these machine and thinking, WTF are those?

The Commodore Pet was made by the Commodore computer company in 1977 in the USA. The basic model was called the PET 2001-8N with 8Kbytes RAM, 2001-16N with 16Kbytes RAM and 2001-32N with 32Kbytes of RAM. The so called “Blue model” had built in tape drive; however the school I attended had the range topping 2001-32N with 8050 dual disk drives and 8023P Printer!

Commodore Pet

The PET ran on a 6502 processor running at the lightning fast speed of 1Mhz with 14Kbytes of ROM and 1Kbyte of VRAM. There where no graphics and only monochrome colours on the attached green screen monitor at 40 x 25 text resolution but although there where no graphics the character map used by Commodore gave you basic graphics within the text only screen.

The machine had its own version of Basic held on ROM within the machine which allowed for beginners like me to learn BASIC and write software. Luckily though the school I went to had owned the PET for a while and nearly all the software code that could be owned or typed in from Computer magazines had already been done by the time I went there, so I didn´t learn BASIC and just sat there playing Space Invaders and Airplane Lander!

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