While the documentation shipped with the original Lisa only ever referred to it as The Lisa, officially, Apple stated that the name was an acronym for Local Integrated Software Architecture or "LISA". Since Steve Jobs' first daughter (born in 1978) was named Lisa Jobs, it is normally inferred that the name also had a personal association, and perhaps that the acronym was invented later to fit the name. Hertzfeld states that the acronym was reverse engineered from the name "Lisa" in autumn 1982 by the Apple marketing team, after they had hired a marketing consultancy firm to come up with names to replace "Lisa" and "Macintosh" (at the time considered by Rod Holt, V.P. of Engineering to be merely internal project codenames) and then rejected all of the suggestions. Privately, Hertzfeld and the other software developers used "Lisa: Invented Stupid Acronym", a recursive backronym, while computer industry pundits coined the term "Let's Invent Some Acronym" to fit the Lisa's name.
The Lisa was first introduced on January 19, 1983 at a cost of $9,995 US ($21,693.67 in 2009 dollars). It was the first commercially sold personal computer to have a GUI. It used a Motorola 68000 CPU at a 5 MHz clock rate and had 1 MB RAM. However, several years prior to this, research had been going on at Xerox PARC to create a new way to organize everything on the screen, today known as the desktop. By late 1979 Steve Jobs successfully negotiated with Xerox for his Lisa team to receive two demonstrations of ongoing research projects at Xerox PARC; when the Apple team saw the demonstration of the Alto computer they were able to see in action the basic elements of what constituted a workable GUI. A great deal of work was put into making the graphical interface into a mainstream commercial product by the Lisa team. Head of the Hardware Development Team for the Lisa was Robert Paratore.
The original Lisa has two Apple FileWare 5 inch double-sided floppy disk drives, more commonly known by Apple's internal code name for the drive; "Twiggy". They have a capacity of approximately 871 kilobytes each, but required special diskettes. The Macintosh, which was originally designed to have a single Twiggy, was revised to use a Sony 400k microfloppy drive in January 1984. An optional external 5 MB or, later, a 10 MB Apple ProFile hard drive (originally designed for the Apple III) was available. With the introduction of the Lisa 2, an optional 10 MB internal proprietary hard disk manufactured by Apple, known as the "Widget" was also offered.
The first hardware revision, the Lisa 2, released in January 1984 priced between $3,495 and $5,495 US, was much less expensive than the original model and dropped the Twiggy floppy drives in favor of a single 400k Sony microfloppy. It was possible to purchase the Lisa 2 with as little as 512k RAM. An external ProFile and internal Widget drive were available as standard options in different configurations. In 1984, at the same time the Macintosh was officially announced, Apple offered free upgrades to the Lisa 2 to all Lisa 1 owners, by swapping the pair of Twiggy drives for a single 3 inch drive, and updating the boot ROM and I/O ROM. In addition, the Lisa 2's new front faceplate was included to accommodate the reconfigured floppy disk drive. With this change, the Lisa 2 had the notable distinction of introducing the new Apple inlaid logo, as well as the first Snow White design language features.
There were relatively few third-party hardware offerings for the Lisa, as compared to the earlier Apple II. AST offered a 1.5 MB memory board, which when combined with the standard Apple 512 KB memory board, expanded the Lisa to a total of 2 MB of memory, the maximum the MMU could address.
Late in the product life of the Lisa, there were third-party hard disk drives, SCSI controllers, and double-sided 3 inch floppy-disk upgrades. Unlike the Macintosh, the Lisa features expansion slots. It is an "open system" like the Apple II.
The Lisa 2 motherboard is a very basic backplane with virtually no electronic components, but plenty of edge connector sockets/slots. There are 2 RAM slots, 1 CPU slot & 1 I/O slot all in parallel placement to each other. At the other end, there are 3 'Lisa' slots, parallel to each other. This flexibility provides the potential for a developer to create a replacement for the CPU 'card' to upgrade the Lisa to run a newer CPU, albeit with potential limitations from other parts of the system.
Main article: Macintosh XL
In January 1985, following on the heels of the Macintosh, the Lisa 2/10 (with integrated 10MB hard drive) was re-branded the Macintosh XL and with new software positioned as Apple's high end Macintosh. The price was lowered yet again, to $4000; sales tripled, but (according to CEO Sculley) Apple would have lost money increasing production to meet the new demand. Apple discontinued the Macintosh XL, leaving a 8 month void in Apple's high end product line until the Macintosh Plus was introduced in 1986. Apple would not, however, introduce a replacement computer with an internal hard drive or expansion slots until 1987.
A screen shot of the Lisa Office System 3.1
The Lisa operating system featured cooperative (non-preemptive) multitasking and virtual memory, then extremely advanced features for a personal computer. The use of virtual memory coupled with a fairly slow disk system made the system performance seem sluggish at times. Based in part on advanced elements from the failed Apple III SOS operating system released 3 years earlier, the Lisa also organized its files in hierarchal directories, making the use of large hard drives practical. The Macintosh would eventually adopt this disk organizational design as well for its HFS filing system. Conceptually, the Lisa resembles the Xerox Star in the sense that it was envisioned as an office computing system; consequently, Lisa has two main user modes: the Lisa Office System and the Workshop. The Lisa Office System is the GUI environment for end users. The Workshop is a program development environment, and was almost entirely text-based, though it used a GUI text editor. The Lisa Office System was eventually renamed "7/7", in reference to the seven supplied application programs: LisaWrite, LisaCalc, LisaDraw, LisaGraph, LisaProject, LisaList, and LisaTerminal.
A significant impediment to third-party software on the Lisa was the fact that, when first launched, the Lisa Office System could not be used to write programs for itself: a separate development OS was required called Lisa Workshop. An engineer runs the two OSes in a dual-boot config, writing and compiling code on one machine and testing it on the other. Later, the same Lisa Workshop was used to develop software for the Macintosh. After a few years, a Macintosh-native development system was developed. For most of its lifetime, the Lisa never went beyond the original seven applications that Apple had deemed enough to do "everything."
Main article: MacWorks
In April 1984, following the success of the Macintosh, Apple introduced MacWorks, a software emulation environment which allowed the Lisa to run Macintosh System software and applications. MacWorks helped make the Lisa more attractive to potential customers, but did not enable the Macintosh emulation to access the hard disk until September. In January 1985, re-branded MacWorks XL, it became the primary system application designed to turn the Lisa into the Macintosh XL.
The Lisa 2 / Macintosh XL
The Apple Lisa turned out to be a commercial failure for Apple, the largest since the Apple III disaster of 1980. The intended business computing customers balked at Lisa's high price and largely opted to run less expensive IBM PCs, which were already beginning to dominate business desktop computing. The largest Lisa customer was NASA, which used LisaProject for project management and was faced with significant problems when the Lisa was discontinued.
The Lisa is also seen as being a bit slow in spite of its innovative interface. The release of the Apple Macintosh in 1984, which received far better marketing, was the most significant factor in the Lisa's demise. The Macintosh was far less expensive. Two later Lisa models were released (the Lisa 2 and its Mac ROM-enabled sibling Macintosh XL) before the Lisa line was discontinued in April 1985. In 1986, Apple offered all Lisa/XL owners the opportunity to turn in their computer and US$1,498.00, in return for a Macintosh Plus and Hard Disk 20 (a US$4,098.00 value at the time).
This section does not cite any references or sources.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2008)
Though generally considered a commercial failure, the Lisa was a marked success in one respect. The Lisa software, in combination with an Apple dot-matrix printer, could produce documents that surpassed other comparably-priced options available at the time. This one compelling usage drove the Lisa into a number of larger offices, and due to the price, the number of people who had used a Lisa was much larger than the number of Lisas sold.
An often overlooked feature the Lisa system used is its early harnessing of document-centric computing instead of application-centric computing. On a Macintosh, Windows, or Linux system, a user typically seeks a program. In the Lisa system, users use stationery to begin using an application. Apple implemented stationery documents on System 7 in 1991 and attempted to further advance this approach on the Mac platform later with OpenDoc; stationery documents are still used as template documents for many applications, but OpenDoc and its complex object embedding had only limited success, and the project was canceled in 1997. Microsoft also later implemented stationery in a limited fashion via the Windows Start menu for Microsoft Office.
Within a few months of the Lisa introduction in the US, fully translated versions of the software and documentation were commercially available for British, French, German, Italian, and Spanish markets, followed by several Scandinavian versions shortly thereafter. The user interface for the OS, all seven applications, LisaGuide, and the Lisa diagnostics (in ROM) can be fully translated, without any programming required, using resource files and a translation kit. The keyboard can identify its native language layout, and the entire user experience will be in that language, including any hardware diagnostic messages.
Curiously, although several foreign-language keyboard layouts were available, the Dvorak keyboard layout was never ported to the Lisa, even by Dvorak users inside Apple, as had already happened on the Apple III, IIe, and IIc, and as later happened on the Macintosh. Keyboard-mapping on the Lisa is a black art, known to only a few of the Lisa engineers; and changing or adding layouts required building a new OS/kernel. All kernels contain images for all layouts, so due to serious memory constraints, keyboard layouts were stored as differences from a set of standard layouts, thus only a few bytes are needed to accommodate most additional layouts. A notable exception is the Dvorak layout that moves just about every key and thus requires hundreds of extra bytes of precious kernel storage regardless of whether it were needed.
Each localized version (built on a globalized core) requires grammatical, linguistic, and cultural adaptations throughout the user interface, including formats for dates, numbers, times, currencies, sorting, even for word and phrase order in alerts and dialog boxes. A kit was provided, and the translation work was done by native-speaking Apple marketing staff in each country. This localization effort resulted in about as many Lisa unit sales outside the US as inside the US over the product's lifespan, while setting new standards for future localized software products, and for global project co-ordination.
The end of the Lisa
In 1987, Sun Remarketing purchased about 5,000 Macintosh XLs and upgraded them. Some leftover Lisa computers and spare parts are still available today.
In 1989, Apple disposed of approximately 2,700 unsold Lisas in a guarded landfill in Logan, Utah, in order to receive a tax write-off on the unsold inventory.
Like other early GUI computers, working Lisas are now fairly valuable collectors items, for which people will pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The original model is the most sought after, although working ProFile and Widget hard disks, which are necessary for running the Lisa OS, are also particularly valued.
Timeline of Lisa models
See also: Timeline of Apple products, Timeline of Apple II Family, and Timeline of Apple Macintosh models
^ From the book iCon: Steve Jobs, The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business
^ Andy Hertzfeld (2005). "Bicycle". Revolution in the Valley. O'Reilly. pp. 36. ISBN 0596007191.
^ Re: MACINTOSH opinion and request
^ "Apple's LISA meets a bad end". InfoWorld 7 (22): 21. Jun 3, 1985. ISSN 0199-6649.
^ Evolution of Memory Management in Mac OS
^ GUIdebook > Articles > he Lisa 2: Apple ablest computer
^ "Back In Time", A+ Magazine, Feb 1987: 48-49.
^ Signal 26, March 1986, circulation 45,013
^ American Heritage magazine article on the Apple Lisa
People: Bill Atkinson, John Couch, Steve Jobs, Rich Page, Jef Raskin, Wayne Rosing, Brad Silverberg, Larry Tesler
Technology: History of the graphical user interface, Cut and paste, Mouse, Mouse gesture, Xerox Star, Visi On, Apple ProFile, NeXT, QuickDraw, Pascal programming language
LisaEm: An Apple Lisa emulator
Apple Lisa FAQ
A LISA Filmed Demonstration from 1984
Apple Lisa and others at Old Computer Museum
26-year-old Apple Lisa 2 still going strong, hosts website you can visit today
Using Apple's Lisa for Real Work
Apple Lisa spotlight at GUIdebook
Birth of the Lisa
Lisa 2/5 info.
Original Lisa Owners Guide (Warning: 67.9 MB PDF)
Apple Lisa at the Open Directory Project
mprove: Graphical User Interface of Apple Lisa
Rare images of screenshots and prints of first Apple Lisa Prototype GUI still without icons
Archive of an early publication for Lisa users
Busy Being Born: A visual history of the development of the Lisa/Macintosh user interface
Inventing the Lisa User Interface by Rod Perkins, Dan Keller and Frank Ludolph (1 MB PDF)
The Legacy of the Apple Lisa Personal Computer by David T. Craig
Apple's John Couch with the Lisa Project Team (Photo, 1981)
Video of a Lisa 2/10 booting and working with documents
v d e
Apple Model Navigation
Apple Lisa, Lisa 2
Preceding Family Model
January 19, 1983
Following Family Model
v d e
Apple hardware before 1998
Apple I Apple II series (II, II Plus, II Europlus, II J-Plus) IIe series (IIe, IIe Card for Macintosh LC series) IIc series (IIc, IIc Plus) IIGS Apple III series (Apple III, III Plus)
Lisa Lisa 2 Macintosh XL
128K 512K (512K, 512Ke) Plus SE (SE, SE FDHD) SE/30 Classic Classic II (Performa 200) Color Classic (Performa 250) Color Classic II (Performa 275)
II IIx IIcx IIci IIfx IIsi IIvi (Performa 600) IIvx
LC series (LC II (Performa 400410), LC III (Performa 450), LC III+ (Performa 460467)) LC 500 series (LC 520 (Performa 520, Macintosh TV), LC 550 (Performa 550560), LC 575 (Performa 575578), LC 580 (Performa 580)) 5200/5300 LC series (5200 LC (Performa 52005220), 5260 (Performa 52605280), 5300 LC (Performa 53005320))
700 900 950 (AWS 95) 800 (AWS 80) 840AV 610 (Centris 610, AWS 60) 650 (Centris 650) 660AV (Centris 660AV) 605 (LC 475, Performa 475, 476) 630 (LC 630, Performa 630640)
Macintosh Portable 100 series (100, 140, 170, 145, 160, 180, 165, 145B, 165c, 180c, 150) Duo series (210, 230, 250, 270c, 280, 280c, 2300c, Duo Dock) 500 series (520, 520c, 540, 540c, 550c) 190 series (190, 190cs) 5300 series (5300, 5300cs, 5300c, 5300ce) 1400 series (1400c, 1400cs) 3400c 2400c G3
6100 (Performa 61106118), AWS 6150) 7100 8100 (AWS 8150) AWS 9150 6200/6300 series (6200, (Performa 62006230), 6300 (Performa 62606360)) 9500 7200 (AWS 7250) 7500 8500 (AWS 8550) 5400 (Performa 54005440) 7600 6400 (Performa 6400, 6410, 6420) 4400 (7220) 5500 6500 7300 (AWS 7350) 8600 9600 (AWS 9650) G3 Twentieth Anniversary Mac
Monitor III Monitor II Monitor IIc AppleColor Composite IIe AppleColor High-Resolution RGB Macintosh Color AudioVision 14 Multiple Scan 14 ColorSync 750
Floppy drives (Apple II and III, Macintosh) Hard drives (ProFile, Hard Disk 20, Hard Disk 20SC) Optical drives (AppleCD, PowerCD)
External Keyboards (Numeric Keypad IIe, Lisa Keyboard, Macintosh Keyboard, Macintosh Numeric Keypad, Macintosh Plus Keyboard, ADB Keyboard, Standard Keyboard, Extended, Apple Keyboard II, Extended Keyboard II, Adjustable, Newton Keyboard, Apple Design Keyboard, Twentieth Anniversary Mac Keyboard) Mice (Lisa, Macintosh, Mouse IIc, AppleMouse II, Apple Mouse, Mouse IIe, ADB Mouse, ADB Mouse II) Mouse derivatives (Apple II Graphics Tablet, Joystick) Scanner OneScanner Color OneScanner (Color OneScanner, 600/27) QuickTake cameras (100, 150, 200) QuickTime Conferencing Kit
Apple II Communications Card Apple Modems LocalTalk network adapter Comm slot cards GeoPort Telecom Adapters
Thermal (SilenType, Scribe Printer) Impact (Dot Matrix Printer, ImageWriter, ImageWriter II, ImageWriter LQ) LaserWriter (LaserWriter, Plus, IISC, IINT, IINTX, IIf, IIg, 4/600 PS, 16/600 PS, 12/640 PS, 8500) Personal LaserWriter (SC, LS, NT, NTR, 300, 320) LaserWriter Pro (600, 630, 810) LaserWriter Select (300, 310, 360) Color LaserWriter (12/600 PS, 12/660 PS) StyleWriter (StyleWriter, II, 1200, Portable) Color Printer Color StyleWriter (Pro, 2400, 2200, 1500, 2500, 4100, 4500, 6500)
MessagePad (100, 110, 120, 130, 2000, 2100) eMate 300
Paladin AppleDesign Powered Speakers Interactive Television Box Pippin
See also: Apple hardware since 1998.
Categories: 1983 introductions | Apple Inc. hardware | Personal computersHidden categories: Wikipedia articles needing copy edit from February 2010 | All articles needing copy edit | Articles needing additional references from September 2007 | All articles needing additional references | Articles that may contain original research from December 2007 | All articles that may contain original research | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from July 2009 | Articles needing additional references from April 2008 | Articles with unsourced statements from April 2008 | Wikipedia external links cleanup | Wikipedia spam cleanup