Commodore PET

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The Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) was a home/personal computer produced by Commodore starting in 1977.[1] It was a top seller in the Canadian and United States educational markets, and was Commodore's first full-featured computer, which would form the basis for their entire 8-bit product line, including the Commodore 64.

Contents

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 that had built up around it was frozen out of the market.

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" computer out of the KIM-1, and selling that for much higher profits. Tramiel demanded that Peddle, Bill Seiler, and John Feagans create a computer in time for the June 1977 Consumer Electronics Show, and gave them six months to do it.[2] Tramiel's son, Leonard, helped design the PETSCII graphic characters and acted as quality control.

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