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Commodore CBM PET 8032

Commodore CBM PET 8032 vintage computer


CPU: MOS 6502 @ 1 MHz
Display: Monochrome 80 x 25 characters
Sound: Single piezo "beeper"
Memory: RAM - 32k, ROM - 20K, including BASIC 4.0
Ports: 2 MOS 6520 PIA, MOS 6522 VIA, 2 Datassette ports (1 on the back), 1 IEEE-488

Value: 70 - 150.




Commodore PET Links:

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80s Vintage Computers

Brief History

In the mid to late 70s Commodore wanted to branch out from their business of selling calculators. They bought out MOS Technologies who were just bringing the 6502 cpu chip to market, which effectively gave them the KIM-1 computer into the bargain.

Chuck Peddle, the designer of the KIM-1 convinced Commodore's CEO, Jack Tramiel that it would be a good idea to build a fully featured computer based on the KIM-1, as it could be sold at a much higher profit margin. Trameil gave Peddle, Bill Seiler, and John Feagans 6 months to design such a machine, and the result, in 1977 was the PET(Personal Electronic Transactor), which was in fact the first all in one home computer.

The first units were shipped by October of 77, but demand very much outstripped supply.
When it came to selling the system in Europe, Commodore were unable to use the PET name, as there was already another machine on sale using it, so their computer was branded as the CBM 3000 series, with later CBM 4000 and CBM 8000 ranges (CBM standing for Commodore Business Machines).

The Hardware

The 6502 controlled pretty much everything, from the 40 x 25 display, the keyboard, and the tape drive, to any peripherals that were plugged into the system.
Initial models in the 2000 range came with 4k or 8k of static RAM, while later models had either 8k, 16k or 32k of dynamic RAM.

Another upgrade was to the keyboard. Due to the inclusion of a tape drive on the frontal area of early models, keyboards were limited to small and much disliked "chiclet" keyboards. (The name comes from the similarity in the look and feel of the keys to a certain brand of chewing gum sold in the US).
On later models, the tape drive was moved outboard, allowing the inclusion of a proper full stroke keyboard.

On 4000 models (essentially a 2000 with a larger monitor), Commodore took to punching out the chip sockets for RAM upgrades, to prevent the buying public from buying the cheaper low memory models of PET and then adding extra memory themselves.

8000 series models were fitted with an extra chip which allowed for an 80 x 25 display, which was very nice, but did produce compatibility issues as much software was designed specifically for a 40 column display. As a result, sales of this model were quite poor.
The 32k 8032 could have it's memory expanded by 64k, while models where the upgrade was performed at the factory were sold as the 8096.

The last PET was the 9000 series which featured a Motorola 6809, more RAM, several programming languages besides the usual BASIC, and a terminal program, which allowed the PET# to run on a mainframe.

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