Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Commodore PET 4032

Commodore PET 4032

Speed1 MHz
Memory32 KB

What's this?

Commodore

PET

Release Date: 5/1/1980
Manufacturer: Commodore
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
$1,295.00
$3,752.64*
 
Released 3 years after the first PET 2001, the 4032 ran better in most ways and had better internal circuitry. Supporting the complex IEEE-488 port (still in use today for scientific instruments) you could connect up to 15 devices such as hard drives and printers on the bus. You may have seen a CBM 8032 and wondered why and if the CBM machine was still a PET. The answer is yes, as the name changed strictly related to some legal issues that Commodore ran into with the name. The 4032 was so named because it had a 40 column display and 32 KB of RAM. The machine had great support in Canada and was found in many schools.

User Comments
Bob Malins on Sunday, September 27, 2009
As a data processing teacher at a local high school, the Commodore PET 4016 / 4032 is remembered as the first computer that provided a 'lab' setting. At least enough machines that I could rotate students through the 'hands-on' experience. I remember that the internal cassette drive was always a problem when moving from one machine to another. The read/write head alignment often prevented saving a program on one computer and loading it into another. Since the drive was internal you couldn't switch the drive units and were forced to keep trying to load the program on successive machines until you found one that worked (likely the one it was saved on). The PET is also remembered as the first computer that was networked in a classroom setting. All computers were connected to a central dual 5 1/4" floppy disk drive. Each workstation had the capability of formatting the diskettes and on more than one occasion files were wiped out inadvertently. Thank goodness for 'disk-doctor' that allowed us to rebuild the directory and retrieve lost files.
Michael Evans on Thursday, April 24, 2008
This is the first computer I ever saw. In 1981, one was delivered to my school on loan and we got to play with it for a couple days (I assume before it went "on tour" to the next school). Back then, nobody knew anything about computers and even the teachers were unsure what to do with it. Nobody had any idea about software or programming. Me and a friend stayed after school and had fun just typing the PET special characters to draw "pictures" on the screen. I remember I accidentally moved the cursor to the bottom of the screen and was stunned that our "picture" had moved off the top of the screen. I was very disappointed when I couldn't get it back (I had just discovered "scrolling"). Ah, computers were so mysterious in those days.
Jeff Robbins on Saturday, July 21, 2007
First computer ever,would have been grade 7 or 8 at Prince Charles School. Had to sign up for computer time at recess or after school. Dambuster was the greatest game ever (at the time, I suppose).
James Alexander on Wednesday, July 18, 2007
This is the first computer I remember using. Was 1980 I was in the 5th grade at selwyn elementary school in East York. First year the school had a computer, that year they had a grand total of ONE of these with an early black datasette. Had few chances to play games on it. Mostly it was used for students doing various educational programs on it, usually in pairs. Now more than 27 years later, I can still remember those days clearly. And it seems others do too based on this museum and the fact these old commodores (and others) seem to be going up a bit in value among collectors.
Jason Gambacort on Friday, March 02, 2007
Like John my first experience with the Pet was in high school as well. After spending some time with my 64 at home, I recall being delighted that the basic I learned at home, could be applied on the PET as well. Kind of silly now that I look back but this was during a time when many companies were posturing to create their own standard. Staring bug-eyed at that monochrome screen for hours I swear damaged our eyes. Remember it would make the white chalk on the classroom blackboard appear pink?
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* Inflation data courtesy of www.inflationdata.com. Values are approximate using our own calculations.