The Commodore PET 4000 series features Basic 4.0 as a standard feature, along with more memory and a lower price that made them attractive to schools.
Elementary, Middle, and High Schools all over Canada and the United States were filled with these impressive lumbering beasts. Introducing children far and wide to the wonders of BASIC programming. Another lesson taught was the importance of patience, since many schools provided only a tape datasette for loading and saving work.
Like the other models of PET, the 4000 series includes dual datasette ports, though only one is exposed to the outside of the casing. A standard IEEE-488 interface in the back allows the PET to connect to the numerous (and heavy) disk drives and printers being produced by Commodore and other manufacturers.
The PET also has a fully programmable bi-directional parallel interface called the “User” port, which allows the PET to connect and control almost any device one could dream up! The greatest feature, however, is the friendly READY prompt, and the well-laid out keyboard with graphic characters only a keypress away! Pictured here is the PET 4016.
Interestingly, although Commodore provided 8, 16, and 32k versions of their PET 2001 and 3001 series, they had a hard time getting people to purchase higher memory versions as an upgrade. It seemed that people were soldering in their own memory chips onto PET 2001 and 3001 8k and 16k models to upgrade them to 32k. To help prevent this, Commodore sold many PET 4008 and PET 4016 models with the empty memory sockets punched out and destroyed! This encouraged those who wanted more memory to upgrade to the 4032 instead of doing it themselves.