Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Commodore SuperPET

Commodore SuperPET

Speed1 MHz
Memory96 KB

What's this?

Flash is required to use this audio.



Release Date: 1/1/1981
Manufacturer: Commodore
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
Donated By: John Bos
Co-designed by the University of Waterloo, this machine was a programmer's heaven. It actually includes two CPU's: the CMOS 6502 that is in the other PET machines and also the Motorola 6809 (a precursor to the 68000 processor found in the Macintosh and Amiga).

In the 6809 mode, the SuperPET could run software from the Waterloo University including:

  • microBASIC
  • microFORTRAN
  • microPascal
  • microAPL
  • microCOBOL
  • microAssembler
The two board SuperPET was later replaced by an one board model with the same functionality.

A company in the US called Microware developed a highly portable multitasking operating system for the 6809 processor called OS9. It did not only everything what you expected from an UNIX system but it had additional features. The program modules consist of a Header section with all the information for the program followed by the program itself and/or any data. The beauty of this setup is that if a module had to be changed you could make a new version of that module and store that in the working space. You could enable that new module and disable or delete the old module on the fly. No need to reboot the computer.

To make it possible to run OS9 on the SuperPET, Avy Moise and Gerald Gold of the York University in Toronto developed an add on board. This OS9 board was installed in Toronto on several one board SuperPET's and on one two board (older model) SuperPET, which happens to be the one here in the Personal Computer Musuem, installed by John Bos.

Many kits were shipped out and sold all over North America and most of them worked very well on the single board SuperPET.

The SuperPET we have is unique in that it was the first SuperPET converted that worked in the world. It also has an added speaker and a reset button.

In space NASA also used OS9 on the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger. Several programs were available for OS9 or you could make and run your own.

When Motorola introduced the 68000 processor, Microware brought out a version of OS9 for it.


There is some additional information available about this computer.


This computer is currently interactive in the Museum.

CBM 8050 Drive

CBM 8050 Drive
Release Date: 5/1/1980
Original Retail Price: $1,695.00
The CBM 8050 is an exceptional drive, able to hold 512k on each DS/DD floppy - a total of 1 MB combined.

CPU: MOS 6502

RAM: 2k

DRIVES: 2 x DSDD 5.25 Floppy Drives (GCR)

I/O: 1 x IEEE-488 Interface


This peripheral is currently interactive in the Museum.

Commodore SFD-1001 Disk Drive

Commodore SFD-1001 Disk Drive
The SFD 1001 is a single-drive, low profile version of the better known 8250 IEEE-488 disk drive capable of storing 1 MB per floppy disk, powered by CBM DOS 2.7. The SFD is powered by two CPUs, one for the floppy drive controller and the other for file handling and bus transfer. The SFD, as well as the 8050 and 8250 disk drives, have twin 6502s.

User Comments
John Seither on Sunday, October 20, 2013
I've had my SuperPET since it was delivered to me in about 1983 while stationed in Honolulu with NCIS. The initial shipment from the mainland came filled with rocks. It's been in its original box, alone with the accompanying boxed 8250 disk drive, for well over a decade. I sometimes toy with starting it up again; it worked fine when originally stored away about a quarter century ago.
Have a comment about this Computer (personal stories, additional information)? Post it here (no registration required).

Share |

* Inflation data courtesy of Values are approximate using our own calculations.