Visual Commuter
Model:Commuter 1083
Introduced:November 1983
Price:US $1995
Weight:16 lbs / 7.25 kg
CPU:Intel 8088, 4.77MHz
RAM:128K, 512K max
Display:LCD display
80 X 16 text
Expansion:no internal slots
Storage:Two 320K 5-1/4" drives
Ports:expansion, async
async/sync, parallel
RGB (monochrome)
composite video (color)
OS:MS-DOS 2.11 (on disk)






Visual Technology had typically made and sold video terminals for communicating with computers. Now, in late 1983, they spun-off a division, named it Visual Computer Incorporated, and created their own computer, the "Commuter".

The Commuter has the distinction of being the first portable IBM-compatible computer with an LCD display. It shows only 16 lines of text (80 characters per line), but it is still very useful. In 1985 it was upgraded to 24 lines of text.

If no bootable floppy disk is in drive A (the left floppy drive), the Commuter prompts with this menu:
B - BOOT FROM DRIVE A
E - EXTENDED DIAGNOSTICS
S - SETUP TERMINAL PARAMETERS
T - TERMINAL MODE




The LCD display does not adjust - it tilts all the was back and rests there, rather annoying if the angle is uncomfortable.

A external monitor can be plugged into the connector on the back of the Commuter, and the LCD display can be removed entirely.


The Commuter folds-up into a nice slim, slightly heavy, package, and has a very nice carrying bag.


"Ralph", a visitor to this website, worked at Visual Technology. He states that there was such a demand for the Commuter computer, that production could not keep up. Since the product was not delivered on time, the customers went elsewhere. To reduce inventory, a deal was struck with discounter DAK, and Visual Technology sold the remaining systems to sell in the DAK catalog.

Related Links

  • Visual Commuter from The Freeman PC Museum



  • Return to the Obsolete Technology Homepage