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View Full Version : Visual Technologies, Inc. Model 1050



billdeg
August 21st, 2010, 04:59 PM
Completed restoration.

http://vintagecomputer.net/visualtechnology/1050/thm_Visual_Technology_V1050.jpg
Visual Technologies, Inc Model 1050

http://vintagecomputer.net/visualtechnology/1050/thm_Visual_Technology_1050_bootscrn-BIOS2.jpg
CP/M 3 boot screen

http://vintagecomputer.net/visualtechnology/1050/thm_Visual_Technology_V1050-Winchester_front.jpg
The Visual Technology model V1050-Winchester external hard drive.

dcymbal
September 22nd, 2010, 12:40 PM
Hi Bill,

Would it be possible to get ImageDisk dumps of the system disks you have for these? You have the BIOS 2.0 version with Winchester support which seems is missing from the other versions I have collected so far (see http://bramante.metabarn.com/visual1050/ for details). I've been collecting these for the MESS emulation project. Also, if there were any way you could obtain ROM dumps of the boot/display/keyboard ROMs that would be an awesome addition too.

saundby
September 22nd, 2010, 08:55 PM
Very nice job! What a cool system.

billdeg
September 23rd, 2010, 05:50 PM
I still need to replace one of the drives, and it's not at the top of my list at the moment, but eventually I will back up the BIOS and post it. I was in the process of making a Visual 1050 to IBM PC bridge, to make it easier to transfer files.

Chuck(G)
September 23rd, 2010, 07:06 PM
Years ago, I did some custom work for Visual for the Commuter and Barrister PC-compatibles (or incompatibles, as some would doubtless say). Still have much of he code. This was when they were almost out of business, sometime around 1986 or so.

Anyone collect either? They're probably (especially the Barrister) pretty rare.

billdeg
September 24th, 2010, 04:37 AM
Just to be precise; Visual Technology, Inc made the Visual 1050, Visual Computer, Inc. made the Commuter. They're not the same company although they were located near each other in Massachusetts.

I have a Commuter, fired it up two weeks ago and it still works. Never used a Barrister.

Chuck(G)
September 24th, 2010, 08:57 AM
Just to be precise; Visual Technology, Inc made the Visual 1050, Visual Computer, Inc. made the Commuter. They're not the same company although they were located near each other in Massachusetts.

I have a Commuter, fired it up two weeks ago and it still works. Never used a Barrister.

Thanks for that tidbit, Bill. I'd assumed that Visual == Visual. It's difficult to imagine two personal computer manufacturers with the same name not having problems with one another's exsitence.

I wonder why the name conflict didn't result in legal issues?

Edit: It turns out that Visual == Visual in this case. Visual Computer was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Visual Technology (http://oldcomputers.net/commuter.html). I went back to look at my old records--and my payments were made by Visual Technology, not Visual Computer. I suspect VT wanted to differentiate the terminal-making business from the PC business.

Also, see the "Why so cheap?" section of the DAK ad (http://www.dak.com/catalogscans/1986computer.htm).

BTW, he bit about the Commuter having no internal expansion slots isn't quite right. You could fit a ribbon-cable header to ISA edge connector contraption in to allow for one expansion card just sort of stuffed into the chassis.

billdeg
September 24th, 2010, 09:31 AM
very interesting followup about the two companies. I have a large envelope full of the Visual 1050 SuperBowl contest applicaitons that I was given with the rest of the Visual 1050 stuff I have.

Chuck(G)
September 24th, 2010, 12:08 PM
My work with the Commuter and the Barrister was a little strange--it involved replacing the video adapter with a special card that emulated an MDA that had two serial ports and a Z80 on it. It would allow one with a VT220-style terminal to switch between the PC and the mainframe, split-screen them and even exchange data between the screens. I still have the card and code.

I think Visual thought it could kill two birds with one stone by selling the Commuter into the corporate world and extend the lifetime of their installed terminal base.

The adapter card itself must qualify as one of the rarest of ISA gear.