Lisa it’s your birthday. Happy birthday Lisa.
January 20, 2023 3:46 PM   Subscribe

The Lisa: Apple's Most Influential Failure Without the Lisa, there would have been no Macintosh—at least in the form we have it today—and perhaps there would have been no Microsoft Windows either. (NB if you really miss Lisa, you can now download its source code)
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs (17 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
title reference
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:13 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Coincidentally I am currently reading Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ memoir “Small Fry”.
posted by Warren Terra at 4:45 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


I always had a negative feeling for the first Macintosh. My sister got one in the mid-80's, and it was the first computer I ever encountered (well, maybe with the exception of the IBM 709X's) that I could not just sit down and make it do something. I turned it on and it said 'Insert Disk'. I actually had to buy something to make it do anything. Turned me off Apple for decades.

Now I admit it was a better business model than 'Write your own computer programs!', but man... capitalism.
More fun to sit down at a mainframe and make it print out stuff I wanted.
posted by MtDewd at 4:47 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


I thought all the first Mac's came with macwrite and macpaint? (My 1 edition mac128 did)
posted by mbo at 5:17 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I was coming from the world of Apple //, so inserting a disk to get started was not a deal-breaker (the price tag was!).
posted by mazola at 5:49 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I skipped the Mac Classic. started with the Apple IIe and then went strait to an MacLC pizza box at school while we got a IIgs at home.

I also wore an onion on my belt. Love the Simpsons reference thrown in the title.
posted by CostcoCultist at 5:54 PM on January 20 [3 favorites]


> I thought all the first Mac's came with macwrite and macpaint? (My 1 edition mac128 did)

Yes, they did.
posted by jeremias at 6:12 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


To be fair 128k was way too little, first thing I did was solder in new DRAM (512k) and then added an extra row on top of them (1Mb)
posted by mbo at 6:56 PM on January 20 [1 favorite]


Folklore.org is worth a look.
posted by ovvl at 7:41 PM on January 20 [4 favorites]


Let's not forget the Xerox Star!
posted by mr vino at 8:16 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


I had a Macintosh IIvx at one point.

Initially VX stood for "very expensive," but it quickly turned to "very extinct."
posted by kirkaracha at 9:27 PM on January 20 [6 favorites]


Before that I had a "Fat Mac," which was called that because it had a staggering 512K of RAM.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:30 PM on January 20 [2 favorites]


Never had any Apple products growing up because we were an IBM XT/AT house. I still remember being four or five and visiting a friend whose family had a shiny new IIgs and telling him that my dad had a real computer. I was such a twerp.

I was also a hypocrite. In college I had an iBook G4 which I got for Mac OS X. I used to smugly sit there and run ssh in a terminal while other students were struggling to install and run cygwin on their wintel laptops.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:02 AM on January 21


Lisa was noted for being rather slow. Old joke of the time:

Knock knock!

Who's there?











Lisa.
posted by JanetLand at 5:02 AM on January 21 [1 favorite]


I remember encountering a Lisa in the wild, in Champaign Illinois, in the summer of 1983. I remember being impressed by its graphics capabilities but mystified by the lack of basic tools (I was by this time veteran of a number of systems, some with what passed for high-end graphics back then). I later learned that it was not even its own development environment. It seemed fundamentally wrongheaded somehow.
posted by Aardvark Cheeselog at 1:00 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]


Interesting how things change. The Lisa was I think underpowered to be its own dev environment? Even though it had all the physical affordances. Whereas now my phone has all the computing capability to be its own dev environment, but none of the physical affordances. Hmmm.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:05 PM on January 23


> Whereas now my phone has all the computing capability to be its own dev environment, but none of the physical affordances. Hmmm.

I can run emacs on my phone, but none of the keyboards available have either META or ESC. Help?
posted by Aardvark Cheeselog at 8:20 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


« Older Happiness sold more copies than any other...   |   New York is the city that never sleeps, but do New... Newer »


You are not currently logged in. Log in or create a new account to post comments.