Lisa's scores

From: William Donzelli <>
Date: Thu Jun 26 17:23:01 1997

> Also I think I read somewhere that they purposefully designed it to look
> like a "business-like" dumb terminal to get around the "hobbyist/home
> computer" reputation of the Apple IIs. I'd also guess that secretaries
> (who the machine was designed for) would feel more comfortable with a new
> system if it looked like their old one.

That seems to make sense.
> Actually, I've always felt that they didn't do ENOUGH with the 68000.
> They clocked the poor thing at 5Mhz... it could have happily taken 8,
> but the story goes that at the time they were designing the Lisa, the
> 68000 wasn't out yet. So Motorola gave them a 68000 "emulator" which was
> a box with a bunch of discrete components in it that did effectively what
> the chip would do... but it only ran at 5Mhz.

The very first 68000s, the XC series production samples, are 4 MHz. The
emulator probably was only designed to support up to this speed. Apple
was probably pushing things at 5 MHz.

> In using my own Lisa, it really isn't that sluggish. Especially if you
> compare it to a Mac 128 or 512. The filesystem on the Lisa is VERY
> advanced and allows for recovery from errors that'd hork other
> filesystems. It has memory protection which keeps it from being as
> flakey as the early Macs (and later Macs :), and it truely multitasks
> instead of just lame task-switching like it's Macintosh cousin.

Oh yes, it did have a real operating system (OK, the memory management
was not great, but considering Motorola had not introduced the 68K MMUs,
not bad).

> However, the Lisa still lives on. Every time you pull down a window
> you're using Lisa technology. Lisa was also the first to have an
> integrated office suite which could cut-n-paste between apps. Xerox
> provided much of the inspiration, but Lisa polished the GUI into a usable
> system. It's really quite impressive for a machine designed 78-81 and
> released in 82.

With a little more horsepower, it really could have been something special.

William Donzelli
Received on Thu Jun 26 1997 - 17:23:01 BST

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