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Author Topic: How did you find your Lisa?  (Read 380 times)

compu_85

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How did you find your Lisa?
« on: February 14, 2021, 05:14:42 pm »

A shower thought I had the other day was "It would be interesting to know where we all found our Lisae..."

I'll go first:

I have 2 systems, a 2/5 and a 2/10.

The 2/10, SN A4293063, came from eBay. I bought it, broken, in 2004 from a seller in Indiana. Once I got it going I found it was used as a MacXL by Rock River Provision in Indiana into the mid 90s as an office computer.

The 2/5, SN A41886075, came from another VCFed member. He got the system in 1997 from its original owner and never touched it - he was saving it from the dumpster. I bought it in 2018. Once I got it going I found it was used by a student a Virginia Tech to do their C programming homework - the 10m Profile still had the UniPlus install on it. From what I can tell the owner is still in Virginia, though they didn't respond to my facebook message.

-J
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stepleton

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2021, 06:29:10 pm »

I bought the 2/10 from my high school for $35 in 1995, I think. Some fraction of this amount I paid in quarters, which probably wasn't appreciated all that much. It's the first old computer I ever brought home. The high school had bought the machine as a Mac XL from Sun Remarketing, and you can still make out the letterforms of the Chicago font in the menu bar burnt into the CRT. I think the discerning collector calls that "patina".

As there was not really any Apple Lisa information showing up on AltaVista at the time, I made "The Apple Lisa Web Page" with various bits of information and a lengthy description of how to replace the video board. (I still have the box my replacement came in --- there's a note inside from the seller telling me to be careful about poking my fingers around HV electronics.)

The old computer market on eBay was not really so big in the late '90s, so I used to get emails all the time from people asking whether I'd be interested in buying their Lisa, or knew someone who would be. Usually I couldn't help, but when someone emailed asking if I'd like to buy their Lisa 2 along with the old 5.25" floppy drives and faceplate, it was different. (That was 1998.) For this seller I did the courtesy of paying with a check.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 06:33:45 pm by stepleton »
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rayarachelian

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2021, 08:18:07 pm »

Circa 1987 I had an after school job at the NYC Board of Education at 110 Livingston Street - this location had a computer lab that taught teachers. It was filled with IBM PC's, Apple II's and Macs. There were also other assorted things like Commodore Plus 4's and so on in storage.

One day there was this huge machine that looked like a double sized Mac Plus sitting in the trash area. I asked my boss about it and he said "The Lisa? Sure, take it. Oh and here's the hard drive for it" After a few weeks the power supply died, and I brought it back to work, my boss ordered a replacement for me. I also got MacWorks and installed it on it. A few weeks later, word got out that I took that Lisa, and another teacher in Brooklyn was getting rid of two more of them that were broken.

Of those two, I was able to move parts around to get one working. Sadly, I threw out the chassis for the other one, there must have been some short or other in it, as it would always fail to power on. I kept the cards and guts. Some time later someone in Yonkers had three dead ProFiles - he said likely the media was likely damaged and he couldn't get them working at all with his Apple ///'s or ]['s, but when formatted in the Lisa, they worked fine, though a couple of them sound like jet engines.

At some point on the early internet or more likely a BBS, I ran into Steve Hatle who informed me that there's yet another OS on it and it's historically important, and that's how I got into Lisa Office System. Around this time, I was also getting into learning Unix, and getting Xenix running on the Lisa, though extremely slow, served nicely.

At this point, I had built a IIcx Hackintosh in a 286 PC case, power supply, Applied Engineering superdrive, quantum scsi drive, and an Apple video card. The Lisa was only for Xenix for a year or so. The IIcx was from an upgrade to a IIci, that mobo was supposed to be shredded, but instead I got my hands on it...

Then early 1998 when doing my yearly turn on, patch, and testing of all my machines, I noticed both my Lisas were broken. SumRem was still around then, so I bought some spare power supplies and an I/O board and got them working again, but that's when the idea struck that there's no more Lisa's being made and at some point there won't be any more spare parts, and so the idea for LisaEm was born. By this time the internet had started up (the web around 1993 or 1994), but I had asked around and somehow someone pointed me to David T. Craig who had collected tons of Lisa documentation, and had been programming on LOS for years, and that's how LisaEm got started.
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Lisa2

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2021, 12:50:42 pm »

I bought my 1st Lisa2 from Sun Re-marketing in 1991 for $345.  It came with complete with keyboard, mouse, 1 Meg RAM, a double sided floppy drive, Sun's SCSI card, and the Screen mod installed.  Included was MW+ with SCSI support.  I used this system as my home computer until late 1998 when I got a iMac.

Around 1993 I bought a second Lisa2 from SunRem for the same $345 price.  This configuration was identical to the 1st one I bought, but as a bonus this came in the original boxes and this system also has a Lisa1 style mouse.

At the time I bought many of the upgrades from SunRem including the Sun 2MB card, and MW+II.   MW+II introduced me to Dafax Engineering whom I later got my XLerators from.

Years later a friend gave me a 2/10 and recently was given another 2/10 that I have restored. 

Rick
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blusnowkitty

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2021, 11:51:44 am »

Mine was a parts machine from Adam Rosen's Vintage Mac Museum. Kinda glad it was in a way; I don't think any of the boards were original to that machine but that ended up meaning I got a good, non-corroded motherboard alongside a corroded I/O board. Eventually I'd like to get it up to a full 2MB of RAM and maybe one day I'll find an original ProFile drive...
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D.Finni

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2021, 07:32:46 pm »

And now for an anti-story:

I have never even seen a Lisa!  ::) :o
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rayarachelian

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2021, 08:09:05 pm »

And now for an anti-story:

I have never even seen a Lisa!  ::) :o

You mean, "yet".
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Lisa2

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2021, 12:13:20 pm »

And now for an anti-story:

I have never even seen a Lisa!  ::) :o
David,
You are only a few hours away from me, you have an open invitation to drop anytime and see your software running on Lisa in person.  ;)
Rick
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D.Finni

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2021, 04:25:54 pm »

And now for an anti-story:

I have never even seen a Lisa!  ::) :o
David,
You are only a few hours away from me, you have an open invitation to drop anytime and see your software running on Lisa in person.  ;)
Rick
Thanks, I'll take you up on that one of these days.

You mean, "yet".
Yeah!  ;D Basically my interest in Lisa is because of the "reverse halo-effect" of its connection with Macintosh. Your emulator is my only exposure to the system.
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RadRacer203

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2021, 11:32:30 am »

I got my Lisa this past Friday from a former Apple software engineer who picked it up when a business was upgrading back in the day. It sat in his basement for years and now that he's moving I got the privilege of picking through all his computers he collected over the years, and taking home some really nice examples of machines I've never seen, not just the Lisa!
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cheesestraws

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2021, 07:45:50 am »

Mine was an eBay 2/10, listed as "mostly working" and "unique" because of its marble paint job, allegedly done at the behest of Apple PR.  Reasonably pricy, but was shown booting from a floppy and came with a big swathe of other bits and bobs (spare cards, ProFile that "emitted black smoke", hello, RIFA caps) and a couple of keyboards and manuals.

I'm still immensely curious as to whether its woodgrain-painted compatriot is still in existence somewhere...
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rayarachelian

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2021, 09:27:06 am »

Mine was an eBay 2/10, listed as "mostly working" and "unique" because of its marble paint job, allegedly done at the behest of Apple PR

Can we trouble you to post some photos? Never seen this before.

Reasonably pricy, but was shown booting from a floppy and came with a big swathe of other bits and bobs (spare cards, ProFile that "emitted black smoke", hello, RIFA caps) and a couple of keyboards and manuals.

I'm still immensely curious as to whether its woodgrain-painted compatriot is still in existence somewhere...

I'm sure the price of that Lisa has gone up a lot over the years (and ofc, due to inflation it's value has stayed constant.) Yeah, those caps are very annoying.
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cheesestraws

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2021, 10:05:35 am »

Can we trouble you to post some photos? Never seen this before.

Certainly, I've attached some here.  They don't come out incredibly well on camera, but in person it's really rather nicely done and quite striking.

The story I was told is that this had been an Apple-owned machine that was being used at classy launch events in the UK as a front desk / administrative machine, and they wanted it to look classy.  They had two Lisae for use in this capacity, so they had one painted in marble, and one in woodgrain.

I don't have any particular reason to doubt this, though obviously it's probably unverifiable.  The paint job has been extremely nicely and professionally done, and that paint job was obviously done before the machine was most heavily used, as especially on the mouse the marks of wear are very pronounced, and much of the marbled paint has worn away to show a white undercoat underneath.  The same appears to be true of the keyboard, where the wearing-away of the paint is probably easiest explained by actual use.

I'm sure the price of that Lisa has gone up a lot over the years (and ofc, due to inflation it's value has stayed constant.) Yeah, those caps are very annoying.

I mean, by Lisa standards it wasn't excessive; the chap I got it off was fishing for someone who would take it on and fix it up and get it back running properly again.  So it wasn't stupid money, and was nowhere near what I see some being listed for, but it was still rather noticeably more than I would normally spend on an old computer, and was nowhere near the free or cheap ones other people have managed to score!
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rayarachelian

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2021, 01:06:41 pm »

Wow, that is a really nice warm and friendly effect (even with the standard Lisa yellowing, etc.)
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cheesestraws

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Re: How did you find your Lisa?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2021, 07:14:01 pm »

Yes, it's a very friendly presence.  If you'd have told me it existed before I got it, I'd have thought it sounded dreadfully tacky.  But it's a little warm friendly presence beside my desk in the corner of my office, and I like it there a lot :-).
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