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Author Topic: Lisa Flash Multi Image Show  (Read 708 times)

rayarachelian

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    • LisaEm
Lisa Flash Multi Image Show
« on: March 17, 2019, 08:40:28 am »

Yet another Lisa promo: https://youtu.be/ioXaD_gY_EU

Fresh from my old VCR.

Enjoy.
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D.Finni

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Re: Lisa Flash Multi Image Show
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2019, 02:40:41 pm »

Ah, the 1980s. I think the take-away lesson from the entire Lisa project is that it was (and perhaps still is) an immense up-hill challenge to implement not only a new computer platform (in this case, one based around the Motorola 68000) but also a new user-interface computing paradigm.

The Lisa project did both! :o
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rayarachelian

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Re: Lisa Flash Multi Image Show
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 03:59:03 pm »

Yes, it was an amazing hack in some ways (the MMU for a processor that could not and would not support an MMU) was a brilliant hack by Rich Page. I've got the biggest "We're not worthy" admiration for that guy.
There are some neat (or ugly depending on your point of view) hacks worthy of the Woz also in there for example, reading from certain addresses turns on certain things or turns off other things, hiding the serial number in the video state ROM (was this a nod to TEMPEST? Would the Lisa broadcast its serial number?) and even the video state engine implemented in a ROM.)

And at the other end of the spectrum you have some really superb revolutionary thinking, where the designers didn't just think in object oriented programming, but in an object oriented desktop - well, document oriented, and you see a very early implementation of The Principle of Least Surprise.
Sure some things don't work the same way (dragging a file onto a disk moved it rather than copied it, and a copy of a file had the same exact name on the desktop, but not on the file system.)
Really neat thing that took what the Xerox Alto had and exponentially grew it, and it was such a neat thing that MSFT copied it and took over the desktop with it, while others also copied various aspects of it.
It's too bad a lot of it was lost when the Mac came out and it's too bad that when it was time to build the MultiFinder that the Lisa technology wasn't revisited.
And it missed a lot of stuff too, LPW could have been a full IDE that used a mouse and had an editor that launched the compiler as a sub-process inside a window, etc. But it didn't. They could have had smalltalk from day one, but they didn't, etc. (well, yes the Lisa was very slow and adding a virtual machine to run smalltalk on wouldn't have worked, but still.)
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D.Finni

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Re: Lisa Flash Multi Image Show
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2019, 04:07:16 pm »

Really neat thing that took what the Xerox Alto had and exponentially grew it
I've been reading about Xerox's work recently, and it's fascinating to connect the dots from Xerox to Lisa to Macintosh.

The thing you have to keep in mind is that the Macintosh didn't actually come after Lisa, but instead they were developed contemporaneously within Apple. In fact, Steve Jobs was quoted in early 1983 saying something like "Macintosh will be the future of Apple," when the Mac was still a year away from release.

And when you look at the even bigger picture within Apple, you see that they were developing something like 4 computers all around the same time: the Apple III, the Apple IIe, Lisa, and Macintosh!


Quote
And it missed a lot of stuff too, LPW could have been a full IDE that used a mouse and had an editor that launched the compiler as a sub-process inside a window, etc. But it didn't. They could have had smalltalk from day one, but they didn't, etc. (well, yes the Lisa was very slow and adding a virtual machine to run smalltalk on wouldn't have worked, but still.)
The software development process was an absolute bear. They even state it in plain language in the Lisa Product Intro Plan, that the software is the one area they're really worried about. Exact same sitatuation with the Macintosh.

Tog had a really great quote, "Fortunately, when it came time for the Macintosh, we were able to take the formal research of Lisa, filter it through Common Sense, and build a pragmatic, highly usable product."
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 04:09:08 pm by D.Finni »
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rayarachelian

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Re: Lisa Flash Multi Image Show
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2019, 06:47:40 pm »

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The thing you have to keep in mind is that the Macintosh didn't actually come after Lisa, but instead they were developed contemporaneously within Apple. In fact, Steve Jobs was quoted in early 1983 saying something like "Macintosh will be the future of Apple," when the Mac was still a year away from release.

And when you look at the even bigger picture within Apple, you see that they were developing something like 4 computers all around the same time: the Apple III, the Apple IIe, Lisa, and Macintosh!
Yes and no.

Some parts of the Mac depended on the Lisa, LisaGraf became QuickDraw for example. Off the top of my head this is why LOS 2.0 is so slow, the Pascal based LisaGraf was rewritten for 3.x in assembly and then moved to the Mac and more stuff got added to it. A lot of this history can be found on folklore.org.

For sure the Apple ][ line is what paid the bills in that era. It kept Apple Computer, Inc. up and running, and as an homage to the "Apple ][ Forever" battle cry, Apple gave its fans the IIgs as its last incarnation, or perhaps a final thank you.

The Mac was supposed to be more like the Canon Cat or like the ][ - a text machine running on a 6809, but then turned graphical. But then Steve got kicked off the Lisa team and went and knocked off Jef Raskin and took over and started competing with the Lisa team. The irony being that Raskin pushed Jobs to visit Xerox PARC, and then got kicked out of his own project to have it replaced by something that was inspired by his efforts to point to a better way.

I would conjecture that the pirate flag incident and "It's better to be a pirate than join the navy" bit is about the Lisa and a reminder to not become a large group like the Lisa's, and not IBM.

In that era there were many fiefdoms in Apple and no central product vision. After Steve learned his lessons with NeXT, he simplified Apple's product line to a 4 square. (home vs pro, portable vs desktop); now it's back to the same mess - too many products, some overlapping and competing with others.
Had the Lisa been released in say 1989 when RAM prices were much cheaper, it would have been far more successful, and the Mac wouldn't have existed, and we would have seen a Lisa II in color. There are plans for a codename "Whopper" update to the Lisa, which did not have color, but it did mention addressing the square pixels, but ofc it was killed off.
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