You may now get your hands on Apple's "most necessary flop" for free

You may now get your hands on Apple’s “most necessary flop” for free

Before the Mac existed the Lisa, was Apple’s first laptop computer with a graphical user interface. Lisa was released 40 years ago this week, and to commemorate the occasion, the Computer History Museum—which considers Lisa “Apple’s most important flop”—is making the source code of the Lisa software package available for free download.

The downloaded file is just 7MB compressed and 30MB enlarged. You will, nevertheless, be required to sign a licencing agreement and provide your name and e-mail tackle before you can receive the item. Then, after you’ve obtained it, you’ll need to figure out how to use it.

A quick glance at the Lisa user interface reveals where Mac’s origins lie. In truth, Mac’s desktop still borrows influences from Lisa, with pulldown menus across the top and icons for documents and programmes. The Lisa software operated on a Motorola 68000 and even allowed for multitasking, however, the 6800 struggled with the Lisa software, and the computer was slow and pricey, and it faded into obscurity once the Mac debuted in 1984.



The Lisa, named after Steve Jobs’ daughter, had its debut on January 19, 1983. It cost $9,995, which was many thousand dollars more than IBM PCs with command-line interfaces. Apple anticipated that the GUI would compensate for the high price and slow performance, but the laptop did not sell.

In 1984, Apple introduced the new Lisa computer at the same time as the Macintosh, which cost $2,495. However, the Mac gained popularity, and Lisa was eventually abandoned. To summarise, there can be no Mac without Lisa, and the machine’s history is intriguing. You may learn more about Lisa’s history on the website of the Computer History Museum.

An event to celebrate Lisa’s fortieth anniversary is being held online at the Computer History Museum, which is located in Mountain View, California (approximately 9 miles north of Apple Park in Cupertino). Speakers from the Lisa growth group, such as Bill Atkinson, Bruce Daniels, and John Couch, are included. There may also be demonstrations using a functional Lisa laptop and an Apple-themed scavenger hunt. The event will take place on January 31 at 5:30 p.m. Pacific, and registration is necessary.

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