PET 2001 Series
Thanks to Peddle's new 6502 processor developed at MOS technology and his drive
to make a general purpose computer he convinced Jack to get out of the calculator
business and into computers. The result was the announcement in 1977 of the PET 2001
with a whopping 4 kb or 8 kb of memory, built in 9" CRT, cassette player and a "chicklet"
calculator-style keyboard. The first versions had a blue frame around the border and a blue
front nameplate which was later both replaced with a black color.
The PET 2001 has the same 1 MHz 6502 processor used on the KIM-1 that Peddle had
created in MOS technologies. The PET was essentially an expanded KIM-1 in many ways.
The first versions had 18 kb of ROM with Basic 1.0 created by Bill Gates and his
Micro-Soft company. It had no sound and did not support custom character sets, but
had the all fameous PETSCII which enabled a crude form of graphics for presentations
The PET 2001 was later replaced by the 2001-N and 2001-B series which had a real keyboard
and no built in cassette player. This was because they had so many complaints about
the terrible chicklet keyboard which was very hard to type on. Personally I find
the chicklet keyboard a really fun experience and a very interesting example of a
first design computer with its colorful buttons. The whole design of the PET 2001
looks like something from an old sci-fi movie and there is no wonder that much of the
inspiration and name came from the 70s sci-fi movie 2001 A Space Odyssey by Stanley
Picture is from the ebay auction from which I bought this PET.
I was fortunate to come across a PET 2001-8 on an eBay Germany auction with a fairly low buy it now due to a
previous nonpaying buyer. It was rare to find a such a fine sample of the PET 2001-8 on
eBay. The case has almost no marks and even the keyboard and cassette player buttons havent
yellowed much. But the machine still needs some work. It doesnt always initialize on power
on with the normal basic boot screen but no blinking cursor. Also, the keyboard needs cleaning
as many keys need to be pressed very hard to respond, and some dont work at all. Furthermore
the datasette Play doesnt work, it needs some new rubber rings in there. The cathode is a bit
shaky on the top, but not badly. Also the character ROM seems to have a fault as some vertical
lines of data seems to miss from some characters. I have managed to type and run some simple basic programs
so it seems the roms still work very well. Hoping to restore this back to its grand days some