Commodore PET/CBM Series Overview

For some time now, I can call myself the happy owner of a Commodore CBM 8096-SK. Before I introduce my own computer in more detail, I would like to give a brief overview of the Commodore PET and CBM series that were available during the 8-bit era from 1977 until around the mid-1980s. As it turns out, a brief summary is not that easy, as there were a sometimes confusing number of series and model variants. Nevertheless, I will try to give as concise an overview as possible.

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The underdog of 1977 Trinity

The Story of the Tandy RadioShack
TRS-80 Model 1

In 1977, three computers came onto the market in the U.S.: the Apple II, the Commodore PET and the Tandy TRS-80. While Apple and Commodore were also noticed in Europe, Tandy remained largely unknown – unjustly, as this article proves. Author’s note: This article tells the story from the perspective of Germany.

My own Tandy TRS-80 Model 1 Level II from 1981, with Expansion Interface, Tape Recorder and externel Floppy Disk Drives.

The year 1977 is generally regarded as the “big bang” in the history of microcomputers — and certainly rightly so. Until then, computers were mainly something for companies, universities or government institutions. In 1977, many people began to realize that microcomputers could also find their way into many private households in the future. The clunky giant boxes of the past or the do-it-yourself kits for a handful of nerds now became affordable, compact and, for the first time, easy-to-use systems for the desktop.

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