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Apple’s first PC OS ‘Lisa’ to be released soon

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Dec 30, 2017, 9:07 pm IST
Updated Dec 30, 2017, 9:07 pm IST
Lisa will be released by the Computer History Museum after Apple finished its verification.
The computer measured roughly the size of a Window AC and was powered by a 5MHz Motorola 68000 CPU, 1MB RAM and a 5MB hard disk. (Photo: mac-history.net)
 The computer measured roughly the size of a Window AC and was powered by a 5MHz Motorola 68000 CPU, 1MB RAM and a 5MB hard disk. (Photo: mac-history.net)

If you want to buy the best of computers in the modern age, then Apple’s range of Mac branded computers are some of the best we have seen in the market. However, Apple’s journey to ultra-slim notebooks can be traced back to the original Macintosh, which made a computer more ‘personal’ and allowed the PC market to boom. But, before the Macintosh, Steve Jobs unveiled a computer that laid the foundation of modern computing — the Apple Lisa.

Named after Steve Jobs’ daughter, the Apple Lisa brought a modern GUI interface to the business community in 1983. It had an eccentric price tag of almost $10,000 but it offered a proper software ecosystem with various purpose-built applications such as LisaCalc, LisaWrite, LisaDraw and many other similar apps. The computer measured roughly the size of a Window AC and was powered by a 5MHz Motorola 68000 CPU, 1MB RAM and a 5MB hard disk. Lisa never sold much due to its price but laid the way for the Macintosh, which was more affordable but better in every measurable way.

 

However, the Computer History Museum along with Apple is going to release the source code for Lisa to the general public. Both the Lisa source code, as well as the Lisa applications, have been recovered by the museum and they will soon be released to the public once Apple verifies the codes. As noted by Gizmodo, Al Kassow, one of the museum’s curators, writes in his blog post, “Just wanted to let everyone know the sources to the OS and applications were recovered, I converted them to Unix end of line conventions and spaces for Pascal tabs after recovering the files using Disk Image Chef, and they are with Apple for review. After that's done, CHM will do an @CHM blog post about the historical significance of the software and the code that is cleared for release by Apple will be made available in 2018. The only thing I saw that probably won't be able to be released is the American Heritage dictionary for the spell checker in LisaWrite.”

This piece of information might not be interesting to casual PC users, but it will be a great chance for geeks and coders to see what it was like when the world was monochromatic and pixelated. The release is expected sometime early in 2018.

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