35 Facts About Apple Lisa


The hardware was more advanced overall than the forthcoming Macintosh 128K; the Apple Lisa included hard disk drive support, capacity for up to 2 megabytes of random-access memory, expansion slots, and a larger, higher-resolution display.


The complexity of the Apple Lisa operating system and its associated programs, as well as the ad hoc protected memory implementation, placed a high demand on the CPU and, to some extent, the storage system.


Newer Apple Lisa models were eventually introduced to address its shortcomings but, even after lowering the list price considerably, the platform failed to achieve favorable sales numbers compared to the much less expensive Mac.


Privately, Hertzfeld and the other software developers used "Apple Lisa: Invented Stupid Acronym", a recursive backronym, while computer industry pundits coined the term "Let's Invent Some Acronym" to fit the Apple Lisa's name.


The Apple Lisa team put a great deal of work into making the graphical interface a mainstream commercial product.


Jobs redefined Macintosh as a cheaper and more usable Apple Lisa, leading the project in parallel and in secret, and substantially motivated to compete with the Apple Lisa team.


Newer versions of the Apple Lisa were introduced that addressed its faults and lowered its price considerably, but it failed to achieve favorable sales compared to the much less expensive Mac.


In 1989, with the help of Sun Remarketing, 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.


Apple Lisa had been in development for such a long time that it was not initially developed for the 68000 and much of its development was done on a pre-chip form of the 68000, which was much slower than the shipping CPU.


Apple Lisa software was primarily coded in Pascal to save development time, given the high complexity of the software.


The sophistication of the Apple Lisa software, coupled with the slow speed of the CPU, RAM, lack of hardware graphics acceleration coprocessor, and protected memory implementation, led to the impression that the Apple Lisa system was very slow.


Apple Lisa was designed to use slower parity memory, and other features that reduced speed but increased stability and value.


Apple Lisa is able to operate when RAM chips failed on its memory boards, unlike later Macintosh systems, reducing the cost to owners by enabling the usage of partially-failed boards.


Apple Lisa had worked hard to increase the storage capacity of the minifloppy-size disk by pioneering features that Sony perfected shortly after with its microfloppy drives.


The first hardware revision, the Apple Lisa 2, was released in January 1984 and was priced between and.


Late in the product life of the Apple Lisa, there were third-party hard disk drives, SCSI controllers, and double-sided 3.5-inch floppy-disk upgrades.


The price was lowered yet again and sales tripled, but CEO John Sculley said that Apple Lisa would have lost money increasing production to meet the new demand.


Apple Lisa discontinued the Macintosh XL, leaving an eight-month void in Apple Lisa's high-end product line until the Macintosh Plus was introduced in 1986.


The report that many Lisa machines were never sold and were disposed of by Apple is particularly interesting in light of Sculley's decision concerning the increased demand.


Motorola did not have an MMU for the 68000 ready in time, so third parties such as Apple Lisa had to come up with their own solutions.


Unlike the first Macintosh, whose operating system could not utilize a hard disk in its first versions, the Apple Lisa system was designed around a hard disk being present.


Conceptually, the Apple Lisa resembles the Xerox Star in the sense that it was envisioned as an office computing system.


Consequently, Apple Lisa has two main user modes: the Apple Lisa Office System and the Workshop.


Apple Lisa's warranty said that this software works precisely as stated, and Apple Lisa refunded an unspecified number of users, in full, for their systems.


In 2018, the Computer History Museum announced it would be releasing the source code for Lisa OS, following a check by Apple to ensure this would not impact other intellectual property.


Keyboard-mapping on the Apple Lisa is complex and requires building a new OS.


Later, the same Apple Lisa Workshop was used to develop software for the Macintosh.


For most of its lifetime, the Lisa never went beyond the original seven applications that Apple had deemed enough to "do everything", although UniPress Software did offer UNIX System III for $495.


The Apple Lisa was a commercial failure for Apple, the largest since the failure of the Apple III of 1980.


Apple Lisa had attempted to compete with the PC, via the Apple Lisa II platform.


The 1984 release of the Macintosh further eroded the Lisa's marketability, as the public perceived that Apple was abandoning it in favor of the Macintosh.


Any marketing of the Macintosh clashed with promotion of the Lisa, since Apple had not made the platforms compatible.


In 1986, Apple offered all Lisa and XL owners the opportunity to return their computer, with an additional payment of, in exchange for a Macintosh Plus and Hard Disk 20.


Reportedly, 2,700 working but unsold Apple Lisa computers were buried in a landfill.


Apple's culture of object-oriented programming on Lisa contributed to the 1988 conception of Pink, the first attempt to re-architect the operating system of Macintosh.