Through its brief lifespan, Apple sold about 80,000 Lisa's.
Officially, Apple states that Lisa stood for "Local Integrated
Software Architecture" Unofficially, Lisa has been associated
with the name of a daughter born to Steve Jobs and Nancy Rogers in May
In late 1978 several new computer project were started at Apple. The
first, an enhanced version of the Apple II with
custom chips, was code-named Annie. Woz worked with another engineer on
it but didn't complete the project. Executive also discussed having Woz
design a supercomputer utilizing bit-sliced architecture, which would spread
the capabilities of the microprocessor over several identical chips. An
engineering staff was put together for this computer, code named LISA .
The Lisa project started slowly and passed through many incarnations
over several years. Eventually a former Hewlett-Packard engineer (John
Couch) hired by Tom Whitney took over as it's project director.
In the spring of 1979 After some stock deals with Xerox, Steve
Jobs was allowed to tour Xerox's California think tank, the Palo Alto Research
Center (PARC). Jobs, who had often given employee Jef Raskin's
ideas about graphical user interfaces little merit, was encouraged to see
the new technologies Xerox was working on. While at PARC, Jobs saw three
Although Jobs was only to implement OOP some 7 years later on the
computer and although Ethernet only saw limited use in Appletalk, it was
soon mandated that the
Lisa would have a GUI.
The Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
During his tour of PARC, Steve Jobs saw a demonstration of a new computer
language, Smalltalk, which emphasized graphics and a new mouse-controlled
user interface. The graphics resolution was good enough to allow all sorts
of tricks that Jobs knew were impossible on the Apple
II or Apple III. It was an input device conceptually
distinct from anything then in use on personal computers.
Jobs made a second trip to PARC, this time with Bill Atkinson. Bill
was as excited as Jobs about the PARC innovation. Over a few month, LISA
had changed from WOZ's multi-chip design to one based on a new, powerful
microprocessor from Motorola, the 68000. Atkinson would create a revolutionary
graphics package for it.
Jobs hired one of the principal scientist away from Xerox PARC and
assigned him to Lisa. Larry Tessler's task was to design the most advanced
personal computer system available and make Apple the technological leader.
The Lisa was developed further and further, with such
additions as proprietary floppy drives and a modular construction working
their way into the design, among many other features. Steve Jobs, demanding
constant refinement, saw feature after feature given to the Lisa,
delaying release times and driving the price up to an expensive $9995US.
Jobs was eventually barred from the project and the Lisa 1 was released
in january 1983.
Apple Computer unveils the Lisa computer, with 1MB RAM, 2MB ROM, 5MB
hard drive. It was slow, but innovative.
The Lisa was based on the Xerox Star System,
and cost Apple Computer US$50 million to develop. It is the first personal
computer with a graphical user interface (GUI).
The software for it cost Apple Computer US$100 million to develop.
In January 1984 Apple releases a new version of the Lisa computer,
the Lisa 2. It uses all new software, as well as the Macintosh operating
Apple Computer officially renames the Lisa the Macintosh XL
in January 1985.
May 15 1985 The last Lisa/Mac XL is produced at a Carrollton, Texas
factory. Sun Remarketing buys thousands
of the last Lisas, and is able to sell most of them at fair prices after
upgrading them with current Macintosh technology.
In 1989 Apple buried thousands of Lisas in landfill.
CPU: Motorola 68000, 5 MHz
Original Price: $10,000
RAM: 512KB, expandable to 2MB
Display: Built-in 12" monochrome monitor
Keyboard: attached via coiled telephone-like cable
Storage: Built-in 31/2" floppy drive; internal 20MB hard drive
Ports: Mouse port, 2 serial ports, 2 Parallel ports, 1 video out
Three expansion slots
Applenet #: 00105537
Apple had had enough with the Lisa line, and in 1989 rented some land
in Utah at the Logan Landfill.
1967: Jef Raskin (Mac creator) writes Ph.D. thesis
on the Graphical User Interface (GUI) at Penn State University. In his
thesis he coins the term "QuickDraw" for the first time. This will eventually
become the name of the Mac's graphics routine 17 years later.