riredale wrote on 9/20/2007, 1:22 PM

How much do you want for the Lisa, and what is included? Does it have the Twiggy drives?

I used to work for Apple and lugged many Lisas in and out of Fortune 500 companies in SoCal back in 1983.
richard-courtney wrote on 9/20/2007, 1:46 PM
Gee did not see mine....

SWTP 6800 and Heathkit H8
Spot|DSE wrote on 9/20/2007, 2:11 PM
It's the 5MB drive. I think we had a Twiggy drive when we bought it, but if memory serves, it failed very early on. I don't think there are any discs for it, either. I'm pretty sure it still works, it's been sitting in a storage closet for a while.
Gads, were we so proud of that system.
farss wrote on 9/20/2007, 2:22 PM
Lisa was the best thing Apple made, ever.
Never owned one but I remember the hard core programmers I worked with at the time always talking about Lisa in hushed voices.

Second best thing Apple ever made was the Newton.

Now whatever happened to have having switches and blinking lights on computers?
rmack350 wrote on 9/20/2007, 2:25 PM
Brings back a few memories. I used to take summer jobs at a company that was entirely operating on modified Trash-80s, and the PDP-8 sounds like what my dad was making a living with (I think it was actually a PDP-11).

And paper tape drives! Man, they made the best confetti!

Rob Mack
Baron Oz wrote on 9/20/2007, 2:30 PM
Yep, I hated doing the 17 step bootloader with those front panel switches on the PDP-8 - in octal, no less!

Luckily, we also had a card programmable IBM 360 available:)

rmack350 wrote on 9/20/2007, 2:39 PM
Actually, aside from the confetti and the text-based star trek games, I was a 10 year-old luddite. And definitely wasn't allowed to flip switches.

Eventually I was allowed to stuff and solder heathkit computer projects.

riredale wrote on 9/20/2007, 3:13 PM
I switched from HP to Apple because of Lisa. I had been calling on some Navy R&D centers for HP, and one guy takes me in his office, shows me something new called a Xerox "Star." The first of the WYSIWYG devices, black text on a white screen, icons, a mouse. Blew me away. About a month later a headhunter sends me to Apple, where my future boss mentions they were about to release a cheap version of the Star and were going to call it Lisa. I said "Sign me up!"

Lisa sold for $10,000 with the 5MB drive. Never caught on; too expensive and a lack of 3rd-party apps. But I loved Lisa, loved the desktop metaphor.

One time I dropped off a demo Lisa to the VP of Information Services at a Fortune 20 company in L.A. Gave him the whole intro, mouse, windows, and all. Two weeks later I am told to go pick it up; the VP didn't like it. I asked why. Seems that he wanted to shut it off one day and hit the power button. On Lisa, the power button started a programmed power-down. Well, after 2 minutes Lisa still hadn't shut down (probably doing some automatic housecleaning), so the VP goes over to it, reaches down, and pulls out the power plug to kill it. Moron.

Apple was quickly sliding into insolvency but then Macintosh saved the day. Most of us Lisa guys hated the Mac--it seemed like a giant step backwards from Lisa. But it was cheap, had great marketing behind it, and Apple frantically courted software developers. It was cool and counterculture to have a Mac, and college kids went wild for them.
John_Cline wrote on 9/20/2007, 3:22 PM
Thanks for the link, Spot. Turns out that I still own four of the nineteen computers they listed.
DGates wrote on 9/20/2007, 3:26 PM
What, no Timex-Sinclair on the list?

CorTed wrote on 9/20/2007, 3:50 PM
That was a cool link.
I still have an Apple ][ a Comodore PET and something what was called "Orange". (gotta check in garage for exact name mid 80's)

Sure have improved on various items over the years...
Logan5 wrote on 9/20/2007, 4:18 PM
wonder why the un-sold 2,700 Lisa were dumped in a Utah landfill?
Where they low grade radio-active?
Coursedesign wrote on 9/20/2007, 4:45 PM
Now whatever happened to have having switches and blinking lights on computers?

Bob, you can find the whole story here, but don't forget to guess which was the first personal computer:

Blinkenlights Archeological Institute

Aaahhh, the good old days:

ACHTUNG! Alles touristen und non-technischen peepers!

TheHappyFriar wrote on 9/20/2007, 6:37 PM
i think it's sad I'm only 27 & can regonize ~1/2 of those as having used before.

Amazingly, C64's are STILL used today. ~8/9 years ago I got my hands on a C64 300baud modem & would call BBS's with it. Cool, but useless! :D
riredale wrote on 9/20/2007, 8:00 PM

The Lisa division was headed up by a guy named John Couch. Apple invested a lot of money into the project, but sales were extremely poor. The Macintosh group, headed by Steve Jobs, really saved the company and the Mac sold reasonably well the first year (the first model had 128KB--not MB, KB of ram!) and it was clear that Mac was Apple's future. The elegant Lisa OS and applications were gutted, and with a few hardware changes, the Lisa became a BigMac (the internal name) but I think the official name was "Mac+." There was no reason to buy one anymore, since they were far more expensive than the little Mac. To add insult to injury, the Mac OS caused the display on the Lisa CRT to be squished (vertically, I think), so any graphics projects would look different on-screen than on paper.

So in the end, Apple gathered all the old Lisas up and disposed of them. Looking back 21 years later, I still think even today if you saw a working Lisa with the Lisa OS, you would be impressed.
Harold Brown wrote on 9/20/2007, 9:34 PM
I bought an Apple II in 1977 with two 5.25 disk drives. Also had VisiCalc which became Excel.
MH_Stevens wrote on 9/20/2007, 9:47 PM
Harold. You just beat me. My first (personal) computer was an Apple IIe. However in 1973 at college I had an Elliot 503 - took up a 16' x 28' room! Had to compile all programs from machine code using a tape compiler - not magnetic tape - paper tape!

TGS wrote on 9/20/2007, 10:22 PM
I barely remember that IBM 5150. Not so much for my experience on it.
The company I worked for had these and I remember a very pretty young lady, in her mid to upper 20's, who was hired to take care of the 'computer room'. Her hair went from dark brown to very gray in one year and a half.
busterkeaton wrote on 9/20/2007, 10:46 PM
I never knew Visicalc became Excel.

I bet that article raises the price on every single one of those computers.
Coursedesign wrote on 9/20/2007, 10:57 PM
So for all the advanced geriatrics in this forum (:O), it seems clear that nobody had the first personal computer.
DJPadre wrote on 9/20/2007, 11:28 PM
i still reckon the C64 had the best soundchip on ANY machine... the SID absolutely rocked the synth world.. lol So much so that dedicate synths were made utilising the engine... pretty awesome stuff.. time to whip out Last Ninja...
bw wrote on 9/20/2007, 11:34 PM
Seems all that space being taken up in the workshop is worth about $120, for a minute there I was counting the thousands!!!!
List includes, 2 CPM machines (8" drives), a VIC20, 2 TRS80s, 2 Sinclair spectrums with microdrives. Probably the most interesting is a few valve (tube) modules from some early main frame. They seem to be dual flip-flops with two 6SN7 twin triodes. Dimentions about 6"x3"x2".
Sullivan wrote on 9/21/2007, 6:58 AM
Hey, I still have a PDP-8!
JohnnyRoy wrote on 9/21/2007, 9:51 AM
I still have my Apple ][+ with 64KB or RAM and 4 160KB 5 1/2 inch floppy drives. It cost me $3,200 back in the day. I created my first commercially available MIDI Librarians in 6502 assembler. It also has a Z80 board running CP/M from Microsoft and I still have the CP/M manuals! (think I can call Microsoft with a tech support question?)

I also still have an original IBM PC XT. In fact this one has a card in it that allows it to run IBM’s VM operating system which normally only runs on mainframes. I use to teach VisiCalc.

Not on the list but I also have an original Mac with 128KB of memory and a 720KB 2.5 inch floppy drive.

Wait... what’s that...? Oh... gotta go, the Smithsonian is on the other line. ;-)