Computer Lab, 1980: The Commodore PET

computer lab 1980

Pacific Science Center, Seattle, Washington, 1980. (Photo: Unknown)

Original caption:

The Pacific Science Center’s PET Computer Lab helps introduce the public to the capabilities and limitations of computers. The Lab features 16 PET microcomputers which are available to Science Center visitors on weekends and weekdays for limited times. Programs run from games to simulations to educational in nature. The Lab is also used for teacher workshops and School for Science classes, as shown in this picture.

What we have here is the Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor), Commodore’s first true PC, released in 1977. The original model (2001) came with 4K RAM, a built-in tape deck, and a “chiclet keyboard,” as seen below.

commodore pet 2001

In 1979 the 2001-N was released. 8K, 16K, and 32K models were offered. The tape deck was removed, and a full-sized keyboard was added.

commodore PET 2001

The 2001-N is what the folks are using in the first photo.

(Images via Seattle Washington Archive and

2 Responses to “Computer Lab, 1980: The Commodore PET”

  1. 1 Carl Gundel April 12, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    The original keyboard on the PET was exactly what you would expect a calculator manufacturer to give to their first computer. 😉

  1. 1 Only Nerds GOTO Computer Camp (1979) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on February 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm

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