Click Here to visit our Sponsor
The History of Computing The Magazine Have Fun there ! Buy goodies to support us
  Mistake ? You have mr info ? Click here !Add Info     Search     Click here use the advanced search engine
Browse console museumBrowse pong museum


Ready prompt T-shirts!

see details
ZX Spectrum T-shirts!

see details
ZX81 T-shirts!

see details
Spiral program T-shirts!

see details
Atari joystick T-shirts!

see details
Arcade cherry T-shirts!

see details
Battle Zone T-shirts!

see details
Vectrex ship T-shirts!

see details
Atari ST bombs T-shirts!

see details
Elite spaceship t-shirt T-shirts!

see details
C64 maze generator T-shirts!

see details
Competition Pro Joystick T-shirts!

see details
Moon Lander T-shirts!

see details
Pak Pak Monster T-shirts!

see details
BASIC code T-shirts!

see details
Pixel adventure T-shirts!

see details
Vector ship T-shirts!

see details
Breakout T-shirts!

see details

V > VISUAL TECHNOLOGY > Visual 1083 / Commuter


This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Visual Technology Visual 1083 / Commuter computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Tuesday 15th February 2011
John Citron (USA)

I used to work for Visual Technology from 1980-1987, and from 1983-1987 as a repair technician. These were nice units to work on with everything on the single board.

I have one that is still operational. Complete with the user guide and the troubleshooting guide with the schematics.

These were really great systems in their day, and were quite capable of running all kinds of software including CAD programs. This was back when whole programs would fit on a 360K floppy.

With the built-in terminal mode and the fully-functional serial ports, they have been used in the past as controllers for the diagnostic boards in AM International (Varityper Epics 20/20) typesetting system. In 1988 my family purchased a Varityper Epics 20/20 system for their graphics studio. When the Varityper technicians came in to setup the system, they brought their Visual Commuters.

Tuesday 27th May 2008
Richard L. Groves Jr. (USA)

It was great to see this machine listed here! Brings back lots of memories. I bought one new from DAK back in 83 or 84. It came bundled with a 12 inch amber monochrome monitor and a Silver Reed daisy wheel printer. I see that you list it as having an 8088 processor but I had the cover off mine to set it for color and it was an 8086 processor. I had the max ram of 512 and eventually put a 13 inch color monitor on it. Didn't get the LCD however. I wish I knew where it was or had some pictures of it to share.

Thanks for bringing back fond memories

Thursday 29th November 2007
Kelly Lute (USA)

I had one of these! I've been trying to remember the make and model for it, for years. This was my first IBM compat after owning an Apple II+ for several years.

I remember being WOWed by having a whole 128K of memory. The swing-up LCD display was pretty useless. Bad contrast and no graphics.

At the end of it's reign, in my house, I unhoused the motherboard from the case and re-installed it into a tower unit, allowing otherwise impossible upgrades. I remember trying to use Windows 1.0 on this machine. Even simple uses and applications required many diskette swaps. After a lot of screwing around, I managed to mate the motherboard with a 10M Seagate HD and "install" Windows 1.0 onto it. Sort of a pointless exercise. I didn't bother with Windows again, until 3.11, and continued to use DOS along with various task switchers and TSR add-ons.

Thanks for the flashback!

Tuesday 17th April 2018
Nick Holland (Detroit, MI USA)

Richard Groves reported that his had an 8086 processor (true 16 bit) rather than the 8088 processor of the PC and most compatibles. I had reason to open my Visual Commuter today as the power supply had failed, but mine clearly has an 8088 in it (well...clearly after I got the magnifier out. My eyes are not as good as they used to be. :-/ ). I can only speak for the one I own, but I suspect they are all 8088 based.

Friday 13rd March 2015
Eric Elford (Canada)

Really fun to see these old dogs again. I used to sell Visual pc''s out of Edmonton, they were very nice, albeit heavy, pc''s. I recall converting at least one to an XT by adding a Hard drive. A first in the area! Thanks for the fond memories!

Friday 31st October 2014
Mihail1810 (Ru)

I have some problems vith my Visual Commuter 1083, serial ports not working. May be someone can send to me Users Manual or Trobleshootin list? My e-mail : Thanks.

Friday 26th September 2014
Miles Carter (USA)

I had one of these as my first PC, it saw regular use with an EGA and CGA monitor into the early 90s. I remember my mom playing qubert (not Q*Bert) on it until she filled the score counter and it went negative and then back through positive. That orange phosphor screen is burned into my memory. Also would play a tower typing game and various BASIC programs. We had a Ford Simulator on a white floppy, it played much like a Pole Position/Outrun mashup.

Sunday 9th December 2012
Michael Piccolo (US)

As the former VP Sales of the Eastern Region our failure was that of greed an ego between the teams of CCS and the Visual management. A bitter battle was fought on the go to market stategy and the sales team necessary for the resale of the Commuter. The former CCS sales team had over $5M of orders committed but the riff between the management factions sunk the entire project.

I to this day love greedy idiots.

What a shame the computer had tremendous market potential and had a follow-up notebook strategy that never evolved.

Wednesday 25th April 2012
Keith Skinner (USA)

I have one of these computers. I also bought mine through DAK and it was useful for my work, and more powerful than the computers at the office. And as Bill Gates was quoted to have said "Who would need more than 640 MB of memory?" This one had upper memory mapable to 1 MB.

Saturday 4th February 2012
Joshua Fowlke (United States)

Can anyone tell me what one of these machines is worth today? Its in perfect condition, in fact I''m almost positive that it''s never even been turned on.

Wednesday 5th January 2011
Kevin Kordes (Malaysia)

I bought one of these machines from DAK with the intention of semi-automating my (then) small transformer manufacturing factory in California. But, that never happened as I purchased a 286 IBM clone. It was very ruggedly built though. They don''t build equipment like this for the consumer market anymore because the Chinese have aced us out of the market.

BTW...My factory is closed down and I''m struggling to survive in SE Asia.

Bye...Bye America

Friday 30th July 2010
Brandon (USA California)

I just got one of these from work. A computer shop thats been around since the 90''s

Still seems to post, makes the beep sound.. lcd won''t display...

they were throwing it away and i realized it was probably about 30 years old...

Thought I might be able to donate it to a museum. Especially seeing as how it turns on!

Click here to go to the top of the page   
Contact us | members | about | donate old-systems | FAQ
OLD-COMPUTERS.COM is hosted by - NYI (New York Internet) -