Manufacturer: Commodore, USA, around 1978.
MOS 6502 control unit with 1 MHz clock signal The first version introduced in 1977 included a RAM of 4 kilobyte, the following models a RAM of 8 Kb.
The computer was presented by designer Chuck Peddle and Jack Tramiel, founder of Commodore. It was the most widespread school and personal computer in the second half of the 1970s. Besides the KIM-1, the first computer of the Commodore company was the PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) which later formed a full line of machines in the company’s product range. It is characterized by the fact that the central processing unit, the keyboard, the display, the power supply unit and the tape recorder (mass storage device) were built together in a box.
It can be programmed in BASIC and included the language burnt into the ROM. There are predefined graphic characters on the keyboard supporting primarily the programming of games (e.g. card games characters).
The early version of the Commodore PET was not built with a professional but a calculator-like “chiclet keyboard”. The later models included a black, typewriter-style keyboard. These models did not have a built-in data cassette.
The successors of Commodore PET were the computers of the CBM series (Commodore Business Machines) which were also successfully used in office environments.
The Commodore PET-2001 was launched before the explosive appearance of the home computers (1981). In the second half of the 1970s, it was the most important school and home computer along with the Tandy - Radio Shack TRS-80 and Apple II.
Bibliography: Osborne, Adam - Donahue, Carroll S.: PET/CBM Personal Computer Guide, Osborne/McGraw-Hill, Berkeley, California, 1980.
Zamora, Ramon - Albrecht, Robert - Scarvie, William: PET BASIC: Training Your PET Computer, Reshton Publishing Company, Inc., Reston, Virginia, 1981.