|COMMODORE: CBM THE COMPANY:||THE PEOPLE OF COMMODORE:||OTHER:|
|C= Chronology||MOS Technologies||Innovations||Jack Tramiel: Complete History||Chuck Peddle||1982-Future|
|Early History||6500 CPUs||1983: 25 Years||Jack Tramiel Early History||Irving Gould||Telecomputing|
|PET PREview||GEOS||Brief History||Jack Tramiel Survivor||Bill Mensch|
|PET Brochure||Adored 64's||Jack Tramiel 1989 Interview||Michael Tomczyk||Fender Tucker|
|JackTramiel Sales Mentality||Jim Butterfield|
The Inventor of the Personal Computer
Reproduced March 31 2002 with permission from Marko Mäkelä of funet.fi
Tandon / JTS / Celetron chronology at the end of this article added Oct 4, 2003 by Ian Matthews
Chuck Peddle got the idea of developing a personal computer. It should be a closed system that can immediately be used after plugging it to the power outlet. The result was the PET. Almost at the same time the Apple II was introduced. PET's features were built-in monitor, integrated cassette device and the well-known BASIC interpreter from Microsoft. The PET has survived many modifications and is still popular, thanks to the typewriter keyboard introduced in later models.
He is one generation older than the miracle children among computer constructors, Stephen Wozniak and Steve Jobs. In 1973, Chuck Peddle went to Motorola to among others co-operate in developing the 6800 microprocessor. The 6800, one of the first microprocessors on the market, was correspondingly expensive with its price of 200 dollars. Chuck Peddle thought that this price would inhibit the processor from conquering the market. He left Motorola and had a fresh start at MOS Technology.
What he developed in this relatively small company, should soon become the most successful microprocessor of the first microcomputer decade -- the 6502 MPU. Nobody could anticipate that it was the basis of a whole industry that started a social revolution.
One person who detected the
worldwide effects of microprocessors and especially the 6502 from MOS
Technology was Jack Tramiel, the ex-president of Commodore. Until then
Commodore's turnovers had been very modest. It is not hard to understand that
Tramiel, the main client of 4-function-chips for pocket calculators by MOS
Technology, bought the company the other day, although Commodore was in
financial troubles itself. But for Tramiel, the most important part of the deal
was among the 6502 the developing engineer Chuck Peddle.
Thus Chuck Peddle stayed at
Commodore and in 1977 took over the development of the PET (Personal Electronic
Transactor). At the same time Wozniak and Jobs were building the Apple II. The
PET differed from it by its built-in monitor, integrated cassette device
as well as by a keyboard, whose quality could be better compared with a pocket
calculator than with a typewriter. In spite of this disadvantage, the first lot
of 1000 PETs were rapidly sold at about 1600 dollars a piece. The first
generation of microcomputers was born that was specially developed for private
The development in the area of personal computers was concentrated on the 16-bit chips at that time, like the Intel 8088. Also IBM was working on a PC, but Sirius brought the Sirius I some weeks earlier to the market. The Sirius I was the first inexpensive microcomputer of the 16-bit generation that was produced in big quantities and was widely noticed. The Sirius I could be used very conveniently, thanks to its detached keyboard and flicker-free high resolution graphics monitor. The Sirius I set an until then unknown standard for microcomputer office systems.
Post Script: It was confirmed in October 2003 that Chuck Peddle is the Chief Technology Officer for Celetron which is a hard drive disk platter and power supply manufacturer. Mr. Peddle works in the US offices, but the most of the company's operations are in India and Asia. Mr. Tandon has a very interesting history with Mr. Peddle and Commodore: