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COMMODORE PET VS SHARP MZ-80K (MARCH 1979)   



In early 1979, Commodore introduced the first revision of its PET computer. The most visible change was the large mechanical keyboard that replaced the first "chicklet" style one. As there was no more room for it, the internal tape drive was removed.

Internally, the machine offered 8 to 32 KB of RAM and a new version 1.2 of the Basic interpreter which corrected several bugs of the version 1 and allowed the use of the new 2040 floppy drive unit.

Same versions were sold in Europe a few months later under the name CBM 3008, 3016 and 3032. The 2040 FD unit was also renamed CBM 3040.

At the same time, Sharp started to sell in Japan its first home computer, the MZ-80K, with the intention of competing with the PET and Tandy TRS systems.

Although its appearance was pretty PET like, its internal design was rather different: a Z80 CPU instead of a 6502, no Basic in ROM, only a 2 KB monitor and a mechanical keyboard, better than the first Pet keyboard, but less convenient than the new version.

The MZ-80K was launched in various European countries in late 1979. Due to its specific features and permanent lack of software, it never presented a real threat to the major US manufacturers. This is probably the reason why Sharp did not launch the MZ-80 series on the U.S. market.






  
  
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