Commodore Business Machines

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Commodore Business Machines was the maker of the famous Commodore PET and Commodore 64 as well as several business and home-oriented microcomputers. After they bought out MOS Technology, maker of the MOS 6502, they entered the computer market, starting with the KIM-1 single board computer designed by Chuck Peddle and originally sold by MOS Technology.

Early 8 bit era

The early days started out with the KIM-1. Commodore went onwards producing the PET computers. There were several models of PET computers including the:

  • PET 2001
  • PET 4000
  • PET 8000
  • SuperPET 9000

The PET models were known at the time for being an all in one solution, and found their way into many educational markets due to their solid construction.

Mainstream 8 bit era

The mainstream years were known for the best selling VIC-20, Commodore 64, and Commodore 128 personal computers. The Commodore 64 is probably best known as it has sold an estimated 30 million units, the most successful for any single model of any computer ever. Other interesting models include the Commodore C16 and Commodore Plus/4.

16 bit computing

During this time, Commodore transitioned to the Amiga family with the purchase of Hi-Torro, after their deal started to fall thru with Atari. These machines were noted for having a 68000 CPU running at 8MHz, and a co-processor set similar in concept to the Atari 400.

Models of the time include:

32 bit machines

The move from the 68000 CPU to the 68020, 68030 and 68040 marked a transition to 32bit word computing.

Models include:

Around this time, Commodore also tried to enter the video game console arena with a stripped down Amiga 1200 with a built-in CD player called the CD-32. However, because of a patent fight they were barred entry to the United States. Commodore was in financial trouble before the CD-32 gamble, but being locked out of the #1 video game market in the world sealed Commodore's fate.

See also