The 8000 series is characterized by their 80 column screens, which were a first for the PET series, and their "business" (non graphic) style keyboards. They also show Commodore engineers introducing "external" memory to break the 32k architectural barier.
Although these computers are named different, they are in most ways identical to the older PET computers. They include the advanced BASIC 4.0 environment, IEEE peripheral support, and powerful 6502 processor. Be sure to check out the PET 2001 entry for more general information on Commodore PET computers.
Unfortunately, many of the great games and programs that have been written and designed for the PET 40 column screens no longer work on these new 80 column models. To releave this, programs were written to force an 8000 series PET to emulate a 40 column screen (by enlarging the right and left margins).
Commodore intially produced and made available 64k upgrade boards that would give the 8032 an impressive 96k of memory. Later, Commodore produced a new model of computer, the CBM 8096, which contained the boards already installed. However, very little software was written to take advantage of the 64k expansion modules, further hurting the CBM 8000 series in the business world.
Personal Note: The 8032 is interesting, as it does not have the typical black tape color across the front. Instead, there is a little plaque proclaiming it to be the "CBM 8032". Also, quite inexplicably, it plainly has a graphic keyboard. The 8032s both came from local collectors, and the 8096 came from an eBay auction.
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