Non-Apple fans might take mpet II home

Anyone who recalls the first days of personal computers will likely remember the Commodore Pet.

Anyone who recalls the first days of personal computers will likely remember the Commodore Pet.

It was one of the first stabs at a personal computer at a time when companies pushing such things were giving their products cute names to overcome people's trepidations about working with anything techie.

Commodore went on to market the Commodore 64, but then faded from the scene as the IBM PC juggernaut became the standard for the non-Apple part of the business.

The Commodore name is back these days, now owned by a Beverly Hills company. The pet is also back, albeit in a new form.

The new Commodore is marketing the mpet II, a music player, voice recorder, and data- storage device.

The iPod is still the king of this space, but if you're not an Apple person, this is one alternative.

Loading songs was easy and sound quality with the provided earphones was good, but it took me forever to figure out how to record myself. The tiny menu screen is tough on old guys.

Any suggestions for gadgets we should try? Send them to toybox@prweek.com

  • John N. Frank writes Toy Box. He is the Chicago-based Midwest bureau chief for PRWeek.

    Price $139 with 512MB memory

    Available at www.commodoreshop.com

    Specs Plays MP3, WAV, WMA files; uses 1 AAA battery

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