Visi On 1.x



  • Without the unprotected executable, it won't work.

  • I've repackaged the Visi On downloads for easier downloading, and I have included a "cleaned" copy of the Application Manager disk 1 that resets the protection so you can select a different mouse. Although, as I've mentioned, this won't do anyone much good unless you have a serialized Visi On Mouse Systems S1 mouse.

  • edited June 2020

    First, uploaded archive seems to be broken.

    Second, Application Manager disk 1 can be reset the protection secttor easily.
    But the problem is on disk 2.
    When the installation is processed, both disk 1 and 2 are modified.
    It is nearly possible to reset on disk 2, but it is impossible to match with original.
    Therefore redump is needed with original factory default disk.

  • I re-re-uploaded the first archive which somehow got broken.

    Quite right, ideally we would want completely untouched originals, but given how uncommon this software is, this will have to make do unless someone comes forward with additional dumps.

  • Anyway original untouched dump is needed.

  • MS-DOS 6.22 is compatibile with Visi On?
  • Yes, MS-DOS 6.22 works with Visi On, but you must use a FAT12 partition (16MB in size or less).
  • edited May 2021
    It appears that there was a Visi On 2.0 afterall, at least according to this brief news piece in Software News 1986-02:

    Likewise, Visi On Query is listed in this 1984-05 PC World issue as if it was available:
  • Thanks for finding those references. It seems like it is getting harder and harder to find such information with Google Search.

    I was fairly sure Visi On Query was released, but I have never seen one come up on eBay or elsewhere.

    It is interesting that Control Data Corp made any statement about Visi On, as they were supposedly only dealing with the corporate enterprise market.

    Also interesting, this page: seems to suggest that Visi On was adapted for the TI Professional Computer, but I can't find any other references about that. That Visi On promotional video clearly showed Visi On running at a higher resolution on Wang Professional Computers. So there still could have been other ports.
  • The ads from early 84 had a fine print saying Visi On was available for PC XT, Wang Professional Computer, TI Professional Computer, Honeywell 7900 Series and Compaq Plus. So that's at least 3 machines that aren't PC-compatible running Visi On. I believe DEC was also often mentioned early on as another potential OEM, probably for the Rainbow 100, but that one seems less certain.

    I also found a news piece saying Wang acquired the rights to market their port etc. In the course of researching Windows 1.0, I also found and saved a lot of information about other similar software, including Visi On. Unfortunately it's still just a bunch of bookmarks for now, I would need to clean it up and organize it in a more presentable state.
  • edited October 2021
    @SomeGuy have you tried installing Visi On with your cleaned disk 1 on real hardware and then installing the applications?

    In emulation, it appears that using the cleaned disk to install the system will then cause application installations to fail - disk 1 is not recognized. Doing the same on a system installed with the used disk 1 doesn't have this problem.

    This was in 86Box using the KF dumps converted to MFM and then from that to 86F. All the other images are identical compared to my older copies that 100% work, hence why I suspect it's a problem caused by the cleaned disk 1 that differs.
  • I think I didn't test that. I seem to recall the last time I looked at it, I was in a bit of a rush.

    Well, I'll make a note of that and take another look at it some time.
  • edited April 2023

    An article in the 1986-03-04 issue of PC Week seems to describe the (re)release of Visi On by CDC, and this may have been version 2.0. Notice the article says it's possible to run DOS commands etc. from the Application Manager, something that was previously reported by the press to be in the plans for version 2.0 by CDC.

    Also mentioned in addition to Application Manager, Word and Plan (updated and renamed Calc) are three new apps: Chart - a business graphics package (possibly an updated and renamed version of Graph?), Presentations - supposedly for free-form drawing and graphic templates, and File - a file manager (likewise possibly just an updated and renamed Archives application?). Perhaps the latter now also allows for accessing the actual FAT file system from Visi On, another thing which was previously not possible. Some of CDC's corporate apps are also mentioned, but it's not really clear to me whether these are Visi On or DOS apps.

    There's also a photo of the screen, which features Presentations, Chart and Plan windows open. Interesting thing to note is that the Presentations window has some status text in the titlebar, something never seen before in Visi On. Perhaps this was always possible but just never used in previous versions and apps, or it may have been a new addition by CDC.
  • can visi on work with 86box? i use linux and this is the ONLY emulator i can use. what are the .raw for too?
  • I believe 86box can run Visi On. To do so, you will need to configure the emulator to emulate an XT class computer, as Visi On has compatibility issues with AT class machines. You will also need to configure the emulator to emulate a Mouse Systems serial mouse.

    That should be enough to get it to run the "Visi On Installed in PCE Emulator" image.

    However, the original disks are copy protected. As I recall 86box supports its own copy protected image format. You will need to convert the Kryoflux (raw), SCP, or Transcopy images in to this format.

    Once you do that, you should be able to boot the copy protected images and install.

    One more note: Visi On will only run from a FAT-12 disk volume (16 megabytes or less).
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