Commodore Pet 2001

The Commodore PET 2001 was the first full computer that Commodore produced. It was based on the same architecture as the MOS/Commodore KIM-1 but provided a keyboard ("chicklet style"), tape drive and monitor all housed in a space-age case.

The first PET 2001 in my collection was horribly brutalized by an inept shipping company and is currently not operational. I may be able to revive it some day, but it has suffered some case damage that may prevent a complete restoration.

A replacement machine was added to the collection that functions quite well. As expected, the internal tape drive isn't working yet (mainly due to a rotted out drive belt) but the external tape drive allows software to be loaded (sometimes) and it will run.

I've finally gotten a bit of time to take some pictures so I'm adding some here. All of these pictures are of my second PET. The trashed one has not yet been worked on or photographed beyond what was required to try for compensation. Those pictures will likely be posted once the case closes, one way or another, along with a description of the nonsense I've had to go through because of my poor choice of shippers.

The picture at the top is a view of the PET itself. Notice the slight modification made to the machine. The red button on the front controls a small electric fan mounted above the motherboard. These original PETs ran warm and some of the components didn't like that much. I suspect that this was a fairly common modification.

The Pet 2001 running perfectly

This is a Personal Electronic Transactor model 2001-8. It has 8K of RAM and runs great.

The Pet 2001 with the hood up

The majority of the PET line had a tilt-up body with the monitor and keyboard mounted in the top half and the computer in the bottom. Notice the fan at the back. It was added in the aforementioned modification.

Documentation for the Pet 2001

It's always nice to have documentation for your classic systems. This machine came with tons. The previous owner was obviously a pack-rat (I love that type of computer owner) and kept pretty much everything, including the upper half of the warrantee document.

A pile of other documents, newsletters and magazines is shown in the pictures below.

Early newsletters dedicated to the Commodore Pet 2001

Early newsletters dedicated to the Commodore Pet 2001

Early newsletters dedicated to the Commodore Pet 2001

Early newsletters dedicated to the Commodore Pet 2001

Early newsletters dedicated to the Commodore Pet 2001

Software tapes for the Commodore Pet 2001

The PET also came with a good collection of software on tape. Some of the tapes have suffered bit-rot, but many are fully or partially readable and much of the software was duplicated. I don't think much has been lost.

Before I added the PET above to my collection I had purchased another one that was, unfortunately, damaged in transit.

Since there was an outstanding claim on the machine I didn't really work with it much and just as the claim was settled I was forced to put the machine into long-term storage.

When I finally got it back I was faced with trying to pry open the case since the shipping damage had effectively locked it closed. Once I figured that out I was able to assess the interior damage to the machine. As it turned out the machine was pretty tough. Blows that were capable of bending the sheet metal of the case did little but unseat some chips, connectors and cards inside of the unit.

The busted Commodore PET isn't so busted

Realizing that the machine was salvageable I carefully put everything back where it came from and powered on the unit. I was more than surprised to see it run just fine in spite of the cosmetic damage!

The inside of the busted PET

The inside of the machine actually looks pretty good. It also shows some modification. Mainly the addition of a motherboard sporting additional RAM and card slots. This is plugged into the expansion interface on the side of the Pet.

Busted PET with keyboard - working like a champ

The on board chicklet keyboard is pretty temperamental but the unit came with a nice matched external keyboard sporting a more traditional layout.

This PET also came with a Compu-Think external dual-5.25" disk drive unit.