Lisa Joins the Family

Lisa-Kitchen-Table-smAcquired a major addition to the VMM today, a pair of Apple Lisa computers! Lisa is the Mac’s predecessor (Older Sister) and the first GUI computer ever offered for retail sale. The Lisa is the system Apple developed after seeing the groundbreaking work being done at Xerox PARC on Graphical User Interfaces and a strange new interface device called the mouse.

My units are Lisa 2 systems, the second iteration of the series. The original Lisa used two 5.25″ floppy drives with an external hard drive option that sat on top of the computer. The Lisa 2 used a single 3.5″ floppy (like the Mac) and had an internal 10MB hard drive. This model was briefly rechristened as the “Macintosh XL” for a short while and sold with Mac System Software, before Apple discontinued the line and buried thousands of unsold units in a landfill — to ensure market value remained high for the existing systems. Sigh…

These units are partially functional. They power up, the screens work and the hard drives spin up, but make all sorts of wonderfully unhealthy noises while not booting the computers. They didn’t come with any keyboards, and the floppy drives are sticky with age. Getting these fully working will be a bit of an experiment, but an enjoyable one.

A big thanks to Jason Scott of Waltham, MA for this very generous donation to the collection!

One response to “Lisa Joins the Family”

  1. Adam Rosen says:


    leahbateman said…
    Hey, you didn’t mention Kevin Costner. :)
    July 12, 2009 at 8:12 PM

    Adam Rosen said…
    Here’s a link to the spot: There are Two Kinds of People
    April 4, 2010 at 8:32 AM

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