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Dodger
August 18th, 2009, 12:42 PM
I bought this Pet 2001 in 1979 when I was an engineering student. It wasn't new when I bought it. I posted here about it a few years ago then put it back in the loft, I've got it out again and I'm determined to do something useful with it.

The interesting thing about it is the serial number. It's 1000001.

I'm not sure what the significance of the number is but I have an idea the 120 volt PETs are serial number 0xxxxxx and 240 volt PETs are serial number 1xxxxxx. Can anybody confirm this ?

So does that make me the owner of Europe's first ever Personal Computer ? Is it worth a fortune, I doubt it, but perhaps it should be in a museum or a collection.

I've attached a couple of pictures. Sadly it doesn't work, the screen lights up and fills with random characters. I've tried reseating the memory but nothing changed.

I'm in the UK, just SW of London.

Any ideas what I should do with it better than putting it back in the loft ???

barythrin
August 18th, 2009, 01:02 PM
Pretty neat. A low serial number can certainly raise the value of an item. I would think that yes you probably have one of the first Pet's which is pretty neat. While I wish I was worthy of such an item in my collection I would think one of the more major Commodore players or possible museum as you suggested would be a better home, not that I would object or not bid if it was to come up heh.

tezza
August 18th, 2009, 04:26 PM
Wow. It certainly LOOKs like a rare original oldie.

Pets can be fixed. Garbage screens are a fairly generic symptom of a fault, but several Pets have been fixed with assistance from knowledgable folk (I'm not one of them) who inhabit these forums.

One thing I would try is feeling if any ICs get really hot. This could indicate a short. Piggybacking a known good RAM ICs on top of the fitted RAM can also reveal a faulty RAM IC, but whether it works or not depends on the nature of the fault. Faulty ROM can also cause a garbage screen as can a faulty CPU itself.

If you don't want to keep it, I'd certainly consider donating it to a museum, or at least selling it to someone who will value it.

Tez

cosam
August 18th, 2009, 11:58 PM
The blue trim certainly suggests its an early model. I'm not sure it's a first, but looking at the picture of the serial number, the first "1" is misaligned, making me think it was printed on the sticker before the other digits. I'd have thought the first machines off the production line would've gone straight into some CBM executives' collections, but you never know...

My first instinct would be to repair it - as Tez says, we've had a number pass through here which with a bit of group effort ended up working again. However, if it does turn out to be the "number 1" 240V PET, I'd be reluctant to replace anything that wasn't socketed (and even they I'd keep the original) especially if you're thinking of donating it to a museum. I'm not sure what you have in your area along those lines, but I'd think the Centre for Computing History (http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/) up near Cambridge would be happy to take it off your hands.

hexsane
August 19th, 2009, 01:22 AM
A photo of the board inside could help in possibly identifying it as an early model. If it has ceramic DIPs or EPROMs (not just PROMs) it may indicate a very early model. Also part #'s from the PROMs could help identify an early revision of the firmware - in which case (if unknown) it would be nice to find someone that could archive them (assuming bit rot isn't the cause of the problem).

-Matt

paul
August 19th, 2009, 03:16 AM
I'd have thought the first machines off the production line would've gone straight into some CBM executives' collections, but you never know...

At the time I would imagine orders needed to be filled and being able to bill the customer would have been the goal. It's also possible only units shipped to customers were assigned serial numbers.

Dodger
August 19th, 2009, 04:32 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I didn't take a photo of the inside but it is definitely ceramic ROMs and it is the earlier firmware. I'm sure it's the earlier firmware because when I was a student I spent a lot of time adjusting a space invaders programme that was written for the later firmware. I got it to work too, that's the reason why the keyboard is so worn.

I also designed and built my own RAM expansion card on veroboard taking the memory up to 16K.

I found this museum http://www.tnmoc.org/ and emailed them but not had a reply yet. Anybody been there?

Anybody any idea what this PET is worth at auction. I don't mind giving it to a museum if it's just a few hundred pounds but I'd hesitate if it were worth thousands. I paid 400GBP for it in 1979, I'm guessing it's worth about what I paid for it.

carlsson
August 19th, 2009, 05:04 AM
I think PET 2001 with the small keyboard usually go for 100-200? If yours really is the first production model, the value would be greater but I don't know how much more. Probably not beyond 500, unless I'm terribly misguided how much a serial number is worth.

cosam
August 19th, 2009, 05:06 AM
I found this museum http://www.tnmoc.org/ and emailed them but not had a reply yet. Anybody been there?
Ah yes, they're probably closer to you although unless it really is serial number 1, I'm not sure if they'd be interested. Well worth a visit anyway though - they have some interesting and unique kit there.


Anybody any idea what this PET is worth at auction. I don't mind giving it to a museum if it's just a few hundred pounds but I'd hesitate if it were worth thousands. I paid 400GBP for it in 1979, I'm guessing it's worth about what I paid for it.
Going by recent eBay prices that sounds about right. If it is a "first" it would probably fetch more, so it'd be worth confirming one way or the other before you do anything else.

Darshevo
August 19th, 2009, 06:37 AM
An easy way to test the waters would be to use their buy it now w/ best offer option. List it for something rediculous like 7500 and see what the offers look like.

-Lance

barythrin
August 19th, 2009, 08:19 AM
Yeah, that's true. As the others were stating, while it's worth a few hundred, being a first run or very early serial could really have some value to folks and it's tough to think whether to donate it somewhere or go ahead and make the money for yourself that you earned by saving it.

If you can fix it first, then you'll have quite an auction :-) The tricks to the best prices are show it working (if you can, or even show it on but with the error but working can double the value of some older common systems), some documentation included, and completeness of accessories/system. I was thinking about that this morning and of course your system most of the night.

I do think it would probably benefit you to get money for it vs give it away and then perhaps some well off collector would donate or lease it to a museum. As I say that, that's another idea too.. don't give it away but you could lease it to a trusted museum who has insurance if they're interested.

- John

Chuck(G)
August 19th, 2009, 04:06 PM
Wouldn't it make sense that the first Pet would be a 120VAC model? The low serial number here may indicate nothing more than it's one of the first export models.

A better reading would be to get some date codes off the internal chips.

dave_m
August 19th, 2009, 07:41 PM
That's what he is thinking. That it may be the first European model since it starts with a leading one i.e., 10000001. This may make sense as there could not be too many blue label Model 2001 PET 240V units. The Wiki article on PETs says that Philips quicky sued Commodore over the PET name and so they changed the name to CBM, hence the switch to the CBM 30XX series.

A problem with serial numbers is that my CBM 8032 has a number of 01020558. It is hard to believe that Commodore could have actually sold over a million PETs before they switched to the VIC-20.

carlsson
August 19th, 2009, 10:12 PM
Commodore may have used several factories and coded serial numbers like XYnnnnnn where X says 110 or 220V, Y says which factory it was made at and nnnnnn is the actual running serial at that factory and voltage series.