KIM-1 Board Computer
PET 2001 series
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2000K Pong
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Max Machine
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C64 rev A
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C128D metal
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Amiga 500
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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 and games.

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 Kubrick.

Picture is from the ebay auction from which I bought this PET.

My Collection

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 day soon.

All images and text are Copyrighted by John Christian Lønningdal 2007-2015 unless indicated.
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