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1982 - The CBM P128


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Announced at the Chicago Electronics Show in June 1982, the P128 was to be the first in the new 'P' series range, the third-generation PET designed by none other than the German designer of Porsche motor cars. The P128 offered 128K RAM expandable internally to 256K, but using an external 640K memory expansion, 896K was possible, and had the same colour graphics and sound capabilities as the C-64. On top of that there was to be a plug-in Z-80 microprocessor board that would add CP/M and access to a vast range of professional software, as well as an 8088 16-bit micro-processor board for CP/M-86 capability.

There was a built-in RS-232C interface for hooking up modems and printers, Commodore's traditional IEEE-488 interface to support the full range of Commodore peripherals, a real-time clock, an enhanced Microsoft BASIC upward compatible with BASIC 4.0, audio system output, monitor output, and a cartridge slot for plug-in games and other software. High-level languages such as U.C.S.D. Pascal would also be supported, and the CP/M made possible languages such as FORTRAN, COBOL and APL. Its 94 keys included 10 programmable function keys, a separate numeric keypad with CE, 00, ENTER and math operators, a key for each cursor arrow to support the full-screen editor, a large and easy to find RETURN, Pi, ESC, CTRL, INS/DEL, RUN/STOP, NORM/GRPH, CLR/HOME, OFF/RVS, and the full CBM business character set with PET graphics symbols.

A release date of October 1982 was announced but the machine was not released as far as we know.

CBM P128 Technical Specifications
Microprocessor MOS 6509
System Memory 2K ROM
User Area 128K RAM , expandable internally to 256K and using a 640K external expansion to 896K.
Keyboard Qwerty layout - 94 keys including 10 programmable function keys and numeric keypad.
Display 40 columns 25 lines 255 displayable characters
Resolution 320 x 200 pixels
Colours 16 - 8 for the foreground and 8 for the background or border
Sound 3 tone generators + white noise generator
Input/Output RS232C Commodore Serial Port
IEEE-488 Interface
Cassette Drive C1531 Cassette Drive port
Joysticks 2 Joystick ports
Other ROM Cartridge port
Price US$995
Datasette US$74.95


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Revised: September 25, 2005.