Developed by the digital god himself, Chuck Peddle, and his MOS Technologies (which soon became Commodore Semiconductor Group), this is a genuine kit computer. A kit computer is a computer in the most basic sense of the word. It includes a processor unit (in this case, the famous 6502), and memory (1 kilobyte). It includes numerous I/O ports, including an expansion port for including other circuit boards (also called a bus port), as well as a regulated I/O port for peripherals like tape drives. The system is completely programmable. Programs are entered through a numeric keyboard, using the machines native machine language encoding (yes, MACHINE LANGUAGE -- not ASSEMBLY). Feedback is given to the user through a six-digit LED display just above the keypad. Typical programs will accept input from that same keypad and change the display according to the program instructions.
MOS Tech. and Commodore also offered several add-on accessories boards for the KIM-1.
This included the KIM-3, an 8K Memory expansion board, and the KIM-4 a motherboard into
which the otherboards could be plugged in for interfacing.
Personal Note:The KIM-1 is shockingly fun to play with, especially if you have the Corsham boards (shown attached above) to convert the serial port to standard. One of these was an eBay purchase, and the other came from the George Page collection.
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