Commodore PET, was: Re: legacy /8

Jeroen van Aart jeroen at
Sun Apr 11 05:18:28 CDT 2010

Roland Perry wrote:
> There are at least two sources which date the PET to "Winter CES" and 
> "Jan 1977", but I agree that June CES is where production items would be 
> first shown; however by then schools were out and my project was 
> finished (I was studying to be maths teacher).

I thought people might like to know:

According to the book "On the edge" by Brian Bagnall the first showing 
was in March 1977. In January of 1977 it was announced at the CES. The 
machine was there but had a tiny but hard to find bug that prevented it 
from working until the last day, then when it worked the image was 
upside down. It was shown to John Roach, then an operations guy of Rat 
Shack. He was interested to have it distributed in their stores but 
because Jack Tramiel also demanded they'd order a lot of Commodore's 
calculators John Roach didn't go through with the deal and decided they 
could make their own... missed opportunities.

quoting page56, "The birth of an Industry"

"Leonard Tramiel unveiled the PET 2001 to the world. "The first showing 
of the PET was at the Hanover Faire in Germany in March 1977," recalls 
Leonard. "It was shown first at the Hanover Faire in that hand-carved 
wooden case."
A month later they would unveil the PET in the United States"

(end quote)

That was at the West Coast Computer Faire in mid-April of 1977, 
organised by Jim Warren of Dr. Dobbs Journal. The first major gather of 
hobbyists and microcomputer companies. Apparently an important moment in 
the microcomputer history.


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