Apple Lisa Handbook
sellam at vintagetech.com
Mon Nov 19 01:50:45 CST 2007
This cat Michael Posner compiled a book called, "The Apple Lisa Handbook".
He's an attorney by day and a geek by night.
The introduction is amusing:
"In the beginning there was this: 'c:\', and it was hard. But there was an
answer, and it came from.....Xerox, yes Xerox. And one day Steve Jobs came
to Xerox and said, 'This is great'. So Steve went back to Apple and said,
let there be Lisa (allegedly his young daughter out of wedlock). And Apple
labored for three years and then (without Steve, who was now raising a
pirate flag over at the Macintosh Group) there was Lisa. And Lisa was
cool, like no other computer ever made, before or since. But Apple lost
heart and Lisa was discontinued. This hurt many people (especially those
with vision and a wallet $10,000 lighter). But Lisa lives for those
dedicated users. This book is dedicated to them."
It's a compilation of articles and announcements from various sources
including notes from Apple and magazine reviews. It has a History of Lisa
section in chapter one, and includes repair and maintenance tips (towards
It also has an interesting note about Lisa 1 upgrades to the Lisa 2, info
I've never seen before:
"Upgrades from Lisa 1.0
*To Lisa 2/5, free until June 1, 1984, $595 thereafter
*To Lisa 2/10, $2495 until June 1, 1984, $2795 thereafter"
The Lisa was announced in January of 1983, so this gives us a small
datapoint as to when the upgrades occured (or didn't).
Here's an interesting bit:
"Sun Remarketing specializes in selling discontinued Apple hardware. It is
the only major provider of systems and support for the installed base of
So there were 77,000 Lisas out in the wild according to this. If correct
then it was not a very rare machine by any stretch of the imagination (I
literally got like 8 in one haul one time, which was distributed between
several people) but they are certainly less common these days, now that
all the collector's have bought them up.
I wonder how many Lisa 1's sold? And then how many were upgraded to Lisa
2's? I wonder if that data still exists at Apple?
I like the sell Apple in the product discontinuation letter on page 3.
One section has some comments from a CompuServe forum. This one is
"Sb: #121368-#Apple Drops Lisa?
I got my INFOWORLD last week and indeed there was a random rumor (not
Dvorak) indicating that they heard from a reliable source inside Apple
that Apple will drop the Lisa line in '85. Since I got my Lisa in August
this year I've been very happy, but now I'm worried. I bought an IMSAI a
few months before they dropped their S-100 machine, and she's still
working. But it is annoying! Any info would be greatly appreciated."
Ah, the good old days, when a juxtaposition between an Apple Lisa and an
IMSAI 8080 was normal.
Here's a really interesting tidbit:
"Infocorp's Gilman estimates that the easy to use computer that inspired
Lisa's development--the two year old Xerox 'Star'--has had total sales of
only 2,400 units so far. But the Star has only some of Lisa's features and
initially costs customers $50,000, or five times as much as Lisa, he
points out. Nevertheless, 'because Apple is changing its product and its
customer base with Lisa, I would expect it to get of to a slow start,'
predicts E. David Crockett, a computer industry analyst at Dataquest,
Wow, I didn't know the Xerox 8010 cost $50K when new. 2,400 units sold by
1983. I would say there are not that many 8010's out there based on this.
They are more scarce than I thought.
Read Larry Tesler's post-mortem on page 51. Really net.
Anyway, an interesting read. Worth spending a few minutes going through
BTW, check out the author's other interests:
He seems to be a pretty interesting guy.
Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger http://www.vintage.org
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