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Commodore PET 2001

1977, USA

under construction


Chuck Peddle


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Description

The PET 2001 (Personal Electronic Transactor) was the first computer unit ready to plug in to a mains supply and use. This concept, added to a futuristic design, caused an enormous sensation at The 1977 Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago. In fact, a first PET model was presented during the January CES, but it never worked properly.

The PET was the first computer sold by Jack Tramiel. A legend says that, one day, Chuck Peddle, the designer of the 6502 microprocessor, accosted him in a corridor and asked him to forget hand held calculators and think about a desktop computer. Tramiel said, "Build it" and Chuck built the PET computer based on the 6502 microprocessor!

The PET name would be used only until the 4000 series as Philips, the owner of the registered PET name, would require Commodore to use a different name. Commodore would choose the CBM logo for the later systems.

Original sale price of the 4 KB PET was $495. Several hundred orders later, the price would go to $595 for the 4 KB version and $795 for the 8 KB. Several thousand orders later Jack Tramiel decided to double the price and to market the computer in Europe. The sales won't weaken.

Within a few months, many dealers wanted to sell the PET. But Tramiel dictated his terms: To pay cash on order and wait for the computers for about five months, to have a clean credit history and good retail and service departments.

While being very demanding with the dealer network, Tramiel approached the big retail chain stores, and within a few weeks, the dealers were in direct competition with the household names.

The PET system would become the father of a large family of PET/CBM computers including the 2000, 4000, 8000 series, then the 500, 600 and 700 series in 1983.

Specifications

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Chronology

1977 first issue

 

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Go Back Last Updated on 18 September, 2002 For suggestions please mail the editors 


Footnotes & References