By Barbara Wierzbicki, IW Staff
The eight-bit world is not dead; at least that's what Visual Technology Incorporated of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, is gambling on.
Visual Technology introduced its new Visual 1050 Personal Computer System at the May NCC show in Anaheim, California. Priced under $3000, the Visual 1050 is geared to business professionals and managers, and it is intended to computed with the Apple and IBM PC.
To further cover its bets, the company has included a substantial library of quality software at no extra charge. The Visual 1050 comes with the Multiplan spreadsheet package, WordStar 3.3 word processor, MailMerge 3.3 form-letter processor, GSS-Graph graphics package, GSX-80 graphics device driver, CBASIC programming language, a DEC VT-100 terminal-emulation package and the new CP/M + operating system.
Visual 1050 application packages are specially adapted to share data and perform as integrated software. Users can prepare a budget using Multiplan, pass it to WordStar or translate it into charts with GSS-Graph.
"We're a little concerned about the life expectancy of eight-bit machines," states company spokesman Marc Peterson, "yet we feel software is more important than the computer the software runs on."
Visual 1050 hardware includes two 400K disk drives, 96K RAM expandable to 160K, high-resolution 640 by 300 bit-mapped graphics, monochrome display, printer port, modem port, Winchester-disk expansion port and detached 93-key keyboard. Options include a plug-in dual-port serial card, memory-expansion hardware and a 5-megabyte hard disk.
Visual Technology is confident about the market potential of it's low-cost personal computer. "Kaypro and Osborne bundle software with their machines, but our system is more sophisticated. At the same time, because o fall the software we're including with the Visual 1050, we can compete with computers like the Apple and the IBM PC. Visual Technologies provides the same answers at a lower price," Peterson claims.
Perhaps best known for it's graphics terminals, Peterson acknowledges this is a new market for Visual Technology, but adds that the firm is well qualified because of its "strength in [manufacturing and marketing] video-display devices.
Visual Technology will begin shipping it's Visual 1050 Personal Computer System in limited quantities in August. Priced at $2695, the machine will be available through computer stores in September.