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Okay, old computer January 28, 2023

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Macworld noted the other day that:

Before there was the Mac, there was the Lisa, Apple’s first computer to feature a graphical user interface. Lisa was released 40 years ago this week, and to celebrate the anniversary, the Computer History Museum—which calls Lisa “Apple’s most important flop”—is offering the source code of the Lisa software free to download.

The download is a mere 7MB compressed, 30MB expanded. You do, however, have to agree to a license agreement before you can get the download, and provide your name and email address. And then once you download it, you’ll need to figure out how to run it.

As the article states, the GUI is a direct precursor of the Mac OS, and while at this remove it looks antiquated, with the big floppy drives, and the rather small monochrome scheme this wasn’t just the future but this was a key part of what would lead to where we are now and beyond. That GUI was meant to be a key selling point since the Lisa was considerably more expensive than command line interface IBM PCs but… nope, didn’t happen. 

Which led a year or so later to the first Macintosh, a quarter of the price (though still expensive to put it mildly) and perhaps the key step on that particular road. Whatever one’s feelings about Apple this was unquestionably a key development in computing.

As the article notes there are a number of events around this anniversary. 


1. alanmyler - January 30, 2023

Interesting that you’ve posted about that. I was never an Apple user as it happens, back in the day in work it was Unix workstations of one sort of another, Apollo or Sun, and in more recent years I’ve been using Linux (Ubuntu) at home and suffering with Windows on work laptops. But interesting the nostalgia aspect to your post. I was recently looking up old PCs on Ebay, 486 or early Pentium CPU models, and there seems to be a retro thing about those that makes them interesting to youngsters that might not even have been around back then to use them at the time. Bizarre phenomenon really. My own nostalgia is definitely related to a feeling that the pace of work was slower back then, but of course the print in newspapers was bigger in the old days too, and the meat was more tender and so on.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 30, 2023

Hugh nostalgia, even for Macs! Part of it I think is that games from say the 1990s won’t play on more recent ones, and that’s part of it. But you’re right, there’s a feeling that the pace was slower, etc. It really is deceptive in a way, but… you know, it’s fairly harmless.


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