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Tramiel made his best move by buying chipmaker MOS Technologies which owned the 8-bit 6502 chip that became the dominant CPU for several years. You could find it in many Commodore products including the C64 and in other well-known computers such as the Apple I, Atari 400/800, and Apple II.
He used his chip to undercut the prices of his competitors leading to the success of Commodore Computers.
The first Commodore computer built during Tramiel's tenure was called the PET 2001 or Personal Electronic Transactor and was released in 1977. According to the Commodore PET Alive fan site: it "was a fully integrated computer with the monitor, motherboard, keyboard and cassette drive all in one package" - a big advantage over the competition.
The first PET models had 4KB of RAM and a black-and-white screen of 40x25 character graphics. Later models featured 8KB RAM and 12-inch screens. It also had a chicklet keyboard.
PET's astounding early success was a big surprise to Commodore leading to major backorders soon after it was launched.
Three years later, the VIC-20 showed up as a cheaper alternative to the PET 2001. It was limited with 5KB of RAM (3.5KB useable) but it did have a 40-KB add-on memory cartridge. The VIC-20 did have a real keyboard and sold at retail stores (K-Mart) for $299.99. It also featured the first modem under $100.
The VIC-20 was the best-selling computer in 1982, with 800,000 units sold. It was quickly forgotten after the new and improved Commodore 64 was released in 1983.