Hand-crafted beauty pays tribute to the dawn of home computing
Sweden's Love Hultén is probably best known for his wonderfully retro gaming creations, but has also fashioned a beautiful synth and a hi-fi system, too. For his one-off PET De Lux project, the designer and craftsman has paid tribute to a grand-daddy of home computing, the Commodore PET 2001 all-in-one personal computer released in 1977.
Commodore's PET – Personal Electronic Transactor – 2001 was an angular metal box containing a small monochrome display, a built-in cassette tape player for loading in software such as games and productivity applications, and a modern-looking chiclet-style keyboard. Inside the housing was a MOS Technology 6502 processor running at 1 MHz and up to 8 KB of RAM, and the system ran on a BASIC operating system.
Today, a PET would look archaic and clunky even when matched with the cheapest of tablets. Hell, there are modern calculators more powerful than this early home computer. But back in the late 1970s it was a game-changer, opening the door for bedroom coders and helping to set the scene for the personal computing revolution to come.
Hultén's handmade one-of-a-kind tribute is housed is American walnut, and retains the chiclet keyboard and what looks like the cassette machine found in the original PET. The PET De Lux comes with two controllers, too, though cables have been sacrificed for wireless modern convenience – one of the custom controllers was inspired by the TAC-2 joystick.
The build has a modern computing heart in the shape of a Raspberry Pi 3, and an 8-inch color screen, rather than monochrome, that uses barrel distortion to mimic curvature. A games system emulator is included that will deliver classics from the Commodore, Nintendo and other systems of yesteryear, launched using the cassette player naturally. Hultén revealed to us that the cassette player itself is purely decorative, and its push down controls actually map to various emulator inputs.
While some of Hultén's creations have been made available to buy, the PET De Lux isn't one of them. You'll have to make do with the video below.
Source: Love Hultén