Mike Nurney's A-Pet Aims to Put Commodore Amiga or Modern PC Hardware Into a Commodore PET-Style Box

Designed to blend 1970s aesthetics with the user's choice of 1980s or 2020s technology, the A-Pet is an impressive work-in-progress.

Gareth Halfacree
21 days agoRetro Tech / HW101

Vintage computing enthusiast Mike J. Nurney is blending three eras of computing with a project he calls the A-Pet: a custom case designed to mimic the aesthetics of the Commodore PET but host either Commodore Amiga or modern PC hardware — or, in a planned third design, a MiSTer FPGA emulation system.

"[The] A-Pet computer case [is] a project to bring '70s style to modern platforms," Nurney explains. "While it’s larger to accommodate the Amiga and PC style keyboards. it still retains the classic shape of the Commodore PET. [Two prototypes] are built: One uses the Amiga as a platform and one uses the PC."

The A-Pet is an ambitious project to create a family of computer cases inspired by Commodore's PET. (📹: Mike Nurney)

Nurney's project cross three eras of computing. The case aesthetics are taken from the Commodore Personal Electronic Transactor, better known as the Commodore PET, an eight-bit line of microcomputers built around the MOS 6502 processor and launched in 1977. The Amiga variant, as the name implies, uses this chassis to house Commodore Amiga hardware - the company's 16/32-bit family of systems powered by the Motorola 68000 family and launched in 1985.

For those who need more modern internals but who don't want to give up on the retro aesthetics, the PC variant can house a modern motherboard and power supply — creating a stealth-build system suitable for emulating vintage computers or running modern software alike. A third variant, planned but not yet built, will house a MiSTer FPGA system for emulation.

In all cases, the chassis offers an on-board 14" IPS color monitor with PET-style bezel, 15W stereo speakers, and a piano-hinge with stay so the upper part of the case can be lifted open to grant access to the internal hardware — just like the original Commodore PET on which it's based.

"I think the Amiga case is almost complete, now work moves to the PC version," Nurney writes of the project's status. The plan is to have Amiga, PC, MiSTer, and a general IO [Input/Output] friendly case available for sale before the end of the year. Future plans are being worked on but these are currently on a bit of a hold until this first phase is rolled out."

More details are available on the project's Hackaday.io page, with update videos and demonstrations available on Nurney's YouTube channel.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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