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Apple Lisa

USA, 1983


Steve jobs

Steve Wozniak

papers & manuals

Apple I, Apple II, Lisa, Mac Intosh



The Apple Lisa is one of the first with a thrue GUI interface.

apple_lisalogo.gif (1685 bytes)

apple_lisa.gif (15479 bytes)(1)

apple_lisa_b.gif (11752 bytes)


apple_lisa_screenshot.gif (12233 bytes)
screenshot Lisa




Codename: Lisa
CPU: MC68000
CPU speed 5 Mhz
FPU: None
motherboard RAM: 512 k
maximum RAM 2MB (via 3rd party upgrade)
number of sockets 2 -- lisa cards
minimum speed n/a
ROM 16k of diagnostic and bootstrap code present
L1 cache n/a
L2 cache n/a
data path 16 bit
busspeed 5 Mhz
SCSI none
slots 3 Proprietary
Serial Ports 2 RS-323
Parallel Ports 1 (dropped in Lisa 2/MacXL)
Floppy 2 internal 871k 5.25" (400k Sony 3.5" in Lisa2/MacXL)
HD 5 MB internal (10MB in some configurations of Lisa 2/MacXL)
CD-ROM none
Monitor 12" 720 x 360 built-in (B/W)
Sound Output beeps only
Sound Input none
Ethernet n/a
Gestalt ID 2
power 150 Watts
Weight 48 lbs - 20 kg
Dimensions 15.2" H x 18.7" W x 13.8" D
Min System Software LisaOS
Max System Software LisaOS/MacWorks
introduced January 1983
terminated August 1986



Named for one of its designer's daughters, the Lisa  was supposed to be the Next Big Thing. It was the first personal computer to use a Graphical User Interface.


Aimed mainly at large businesses, Apple said the Lisa would increase productivity by making computers easier to work with. The Lisa had a Motorola 68000 Processor running at 5 Mhz, 1 MB of RAM two 5.25" 871k floppy drives, an internal 5 MB hard drive, and a built in 12" 720 x 360 monochrome monitor. At $9,995 it was a plunge few businesses were willing to take. When the Macintosh  came out in 1984 for significantly less money, it eroded the Lisa's credibility further. Realizing this, Apple released the Lisa 2  at the same time as the Mac. The Lisa 2 cost half as much as the original, replaced the two 5.25" drives with a single 400k 3.5" drive, and offered configurations with up to 2 MB of RAM, and a 10 MB hard drive. In January 1985, the Lisa 2/10 was renamed the, and outfitted with MacWorks, and emulator that allowed the Lisa to run the Mac OS. The XL was discontinued later that year.

The first "friendly" personal computer to be sold to the public was Apple Computer Inc.'s LISA. Modeled after prototypes at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), the LISA had a graphical user interface (GUI) which included a mouse to activate commands. Priced at $10,000, the LISA was soon replaced by the affordable Macintosh. Although a commercial flop, Apple's LISA set the standard for how people interact with computers.
The operating environment of this machine is similar to modern GUI "desktops" in use today, and inspired Windows and Macintosh systems. The original LISA 1 used two 5.25 inch floppy disk drives and a 5 megabyte hard drive. These proprietary floppies required special diskettes for their two read/write heads and were prone to failure. Following the Model 1 was the 2-10, the 10 standing for the 10 megabyte hard disk. The 2-10 had a standard 3.5 inch floppy. After the Mac computer became popular, many LISAs were modified to run as Mac XLs.

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Apple introduced its Lisa. The first personal computer with a graphical user interface, its development was central in the move to such systems for personal computers. The Lisa's sloth and high price ($10,000) led to its ultimate failure.

The Lisa ran on a Motorola 68000 microprocessor and came equipped with 1 megabyte of RAM, a 12-inch black-and-white monitor, dual 5 1/4-inch floppy disk drives and a 5 megabyte Profile hard drive. The Xerox Star -- which included a system called Smalltalk that involved a mouse, windows, and pop-up menus -- inspired the Lisa's designers.






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Footnotes & References

1 computermuseum of america
2 David Craig, the computer museum