In 1980, the 4000-series PETs were launched. These used a larger 12″ monitor with a redesigned CRT controller and also included the enhanced BASIC 4.0, which added commands for disk functions. The 4032 was a major success in schools, where its tough all-metal construction and all-in-one design made it better able to stand up to the rigors of classroom use. Just as important in this role was the PET’s otherwise underutilized IEEE-488 port. Used wisely, the port could be used as a simple local area network and allowed printers and disk drives (which were then very expensive) to be shared among all of the machines in the classroom. Unlike later Commodore machines, PETs had no kernel ROM functions for the IEEE-488 port and users had to write their own for using peripherals such as modems.
|Manufacturer||Commodore International (aka Commodore Business Machines)||CPU||MOS Technology 6502 @ 1 MHz|
|Year Introduced||1980||RAM||16KB (4016), 32KB (4023)|
|Introductory Price||$1295 (32KB)||Storage||Cassette (External)
5.25" Floppy Disk (170KB, via IEEE-488 interface)
The PET’s simple, rugged design and completely enclosed components made it an early favorite in the North American education market. At one point Commodore owned 67% of the Canadian education market. Schools preferred the 40-column models because the 40-column display’s larger characters vs. the 80xx PETs were easier for young children to read. Commodore manufactured a variation on the PET called “Teacher’s PET” – these were relabeled 2001-series PETs which were donated by Commodore as part of a “buy 2 get 1 free” program offered to schools as part of a promotion/tax write-off scheme.