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C > COMMODORE  > PET 2001   

PET 2001

The Commodore PET 2001 was a very successful machine. Four models were made: early 4KB models, the PET 2001-8N with 8 KB RAM, PET 2001-16N with 16 KB RAM and the PET 2001-32N with 32K RAM. This mchine was conceived by Chuck Peddle who later joined Tandon, a drive manufacturer.

Trivia from Dave Lundberg:
The static RAMs in the early 2001's got so hot that they would often "crawl" up out of their sockets over time. The "official" solution? Re-seat the chips and put a nylon wire tye under the socket and over the chip to hold it snuggly in place.
More trivia: Microsoft "quietly" wrote the BASIC used in the 40-column PETs. Proof? Type: wait 6502, 10 and "MICROSOFT!" will be printed on the display 10 times.

Guy Tailor reports:
(99% sure this is true...). The following app will cause the Pet 2001 to catch fire!!!
10 motor 1
20 motor 0
30 goto 10
It turns the tape motor on and off so quickly, it overheats and... flames!! :-)

Alan R Morris answers:
Guy Tailor's report is probably untrue as it was generally known that it was impossible to damage the original PETs by any programming, including fast, (if fast is the right word) POKEs. I've never heard of the keyword 'motor' in any of the 'toolkit' ROMs that I've used.
Even flipping bit 3 of $E813 on and off, which would turn motor 1 on and off, would probably not cause it to catch fire. Especially as the IRQ service routine would normally turn off the tape motors, unless the status flag for the cassette was poked to a non-zero value.

Ian Callow adds:
Guy Tailor's program actually relates to the BBC Micro & Acorn Electron. The PET did not have a "motor" command. In any event, all it did on the BBC was burn out the motor relay.

More details from Frank Leonhardt:
it's an 'urban myth' which was made up about the BBC Micro. However, it was based on a true story about the PET - there was a location you could poke to do with the graphics frequency which if you set it wrong could cause the HT supply in the monitor way over-voltage, which would sometimes break down the transformer. This came up in the PCW magazine* after someone wrote "it is impossible to damage a computer with bad software".

* Frank was the first Technical Editor for the famous Personal Computer World magazine, England's (Europe's) biggest computer magazine - founded in 1978.

Alexander Pierson reports:
Chuck Peddle himself said that despite the official name, the Personal Electronic Transactor, is not what it is really named for. From seeing the Pet Rock fad take off, Chuck thought "if this guy can make 15 bucks or so from selling a rock, then if this computer is named like it, the PET should surely succeed."

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My school had a 2001 PET and my dad bought a 4016 PET for our home, so I got to use both, Unfortunately not much software would work on both systems because they used a different BASIC. Games written in machine language usually worked on both. The most popular game at school was Space Invaders, which just barely fit into 8K of memory. It took two minutes to load from tape, and we usually got to use it in 15 minute chunks, so if the last person was playing Space Invaders that''s two minutes you don''t have to burn loading the game. Sometimes the game was running all day. At some point an unspoken rule came into effect that you could not load another program or even stop the game because that would reset the high score. It became a point of pride to have the high score at the end of the day when the computer was eventually turned off. Despite the lousy keyboard and lack of graphics it was a fun machine and very fun to program on.

Thursday 31st March 2022
Scott Falkner (Canada)

In 1977 I was given my first PC, a Commodore PET 2001 - 1 mHz/4KB RAM with a cassette tape drive. It came in 2 large boxes. One for the PC (with the little green screen) and one full of operating manuals and books on programming languages like BASIC.
The old farmer I was working for at the time told me that his son had sent it out from Germany and had said to him, "Dad, it’s the latest thing, put the farm on it!"
The farmer had promptly put it into his barn (unopened) and forgot about it until I mentioned my interest in them.
He was happy to be rid of it.
Took me weeks to type in enough code to play naughts $ crosses.

Thursday 28th May 2020
Stephen Hutton (New Zealand)

I''ve got a PET2001 with the 8050 duel drive with the printer. My question is ,is the printer worth much? Haven''t seen any on line anywhere.

Monday 1st October 2012
Dave  (US)


NAME  PET 2001
TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  1977
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  Commodore Basic 1.0
KEYBOARD  73 key 'chicklet' keyboard with numeric keypad
CPU  6502
SPEED  1 mHz
RAM  4 KB (early version) then 8 KB
ROM  14 KB
TEXT MODES  40 x 25
COLORS  Monochrome
I/O PORTS  IEEE 488, Parallel port, second, ''user port'' for 8-bit I/O, cassette port inside the case, rarely used
BUILT IN MEDIA  tape recorder
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PRICE  £700 (8 KB RAM - 1978)

Software for this system!

year unknown company unknown

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Ready prompt
ZX Spectrum
Arcade cherry
Spiral program
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Battle Zone
Vectrex ship
C64 maze generator
Moon Lander
Competition Pro Joystick
Atari ST bombs
Elite spaceship t-shirt
Commodore 64 prompt
Pak Pak Monster
Pixel Deer
BASIC code
Shooting gallery
3D Cubes
Pixel adventure
Vector ship

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