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 on: Yesterday at 10:20:24 pm 
Started by blusnowkitty - Last post by blusnowkitty

So here's some observations... You all probably knew most of these already but for future reference. This list doesn't account for Macintosh XL units.

  • There's two distinct formats for the serial number, one being prefixed with B08B while the other is simply prefixed as A. The first five numbers of the B serial seem to correlate to year/day of manufacture (i.e., 82100 would be 100th day of 1982) and the remaining 3 is the Nth machine made that day. The A prefix has a 4-digit date of manufacture in an unknown format, the remaining numbers are the Nth machine made that day.
  • The 68kmla link above states that any machine prefixed with a B in the serial means it was a Lisa 1 that got upgraded to a 2/5. Where did this info come from? Seems like there's a number of Lisa 1 units, still un-upgraded that are prefixed with a B.
  • As far as I can tell, there seem to be no difference in AppleNet continuity between B and A units.
  • Was Apple making 2/5 and 2/10 units side-by-side up until the end? Or at least, using up surplus parts until the end... See how there's 2/5s sitting right alongside 2/10s? Weird.
  • Highest number I've found so far is Applenet #10858 which correlates with wherever Wikipedia got their 10,000 units number. But does it account for the 2,700 dumped in Utah, or the units converted to Mac XLs?
  • This one might be one for Al if he's at liberty to talk about it - B08B820360010, or Applenet #65 is the second known oldest Lisa in existence currently, not counting things like the corroded proto from Facebook, or Digibarn's naked Lisa prototype or the GLM. If you search for the serial number, you'll find it listed both on the CHM's website and on Christie's - so did someone at the CHM have really deep pockets, or did the CHM offload a machine out of its collection?
  • What's with this weird serial in the attachments?

Judging by the current data, it seems that there were at most 12,000 - 15,000 Lisas sold as Lisas.

 on: Yesterday at 05:55:01 pm 
Started by blusnowkitty - Last post by blusnowkitty
Gonna spin this off from Ray's sales speculation thread...

Took a couple of hours here and scoured the internet for Lisa serial numbers and AppleNet numbers. Found a good few results thanks to old forum posts and eBay listings. Have a look-see, and if you want to contribute your S/N and AppleNet, post 'em here.

 on: Yesterday at 10:33:31 am 
Started by rayarachelian - Last post by rayarachelian
Anyone ever thought about using the German tank problem to estimate how many Lisa were made/sold? AppleNet numbers were sequential, right?

Good idea. I would guess we can assume all Lisa 1s, except for a few rare escapees were converted to Lisa 2s, and then once the 2/10s were built that there's no gaps in serial numbers (or AppleNet numbers) between them.

So then next chance I get when I go through my Lisas I'll collect all the serial numbers from all the CPU boards I have and note which are 2/10s vs 2 or 2/5s. Actually since the CPU board is identical, it won't matter much, with the exception of the video modded ones which don't have serial numbers - these would count as "modded" anyway. It's too bad the SNs aren't printed on the CPUl board as well as it would be easier than popping them into a Lisa and powering on and going to service mode to test.

I'll also get the numbers off the chassis. So that should provide a small set of data. I've got 4 physical Lisas, so I should be able to get 8 serial numbers - though I think one of those is a 3A. On top of that I do have some spare CPU boards so will try those too. So I should be able to get a sample of about 10 Lisas, presumably some of the CPU boards should match the chassis ones.

Maybe after that we could ask the members of LisaList2 to provide their serial numbers if they wish and note the highest one. That might help size things.

Obviously if we find a Lisa with serial number 99,000 then 100k is the ballpark, but if all the serial numbers are less than 9,999 then it's 10k. I'm not sure I understood the math in that German Tank Model, but possibly it could be used as well. So the point here would be to get the highest serial number we can and see what that value is.

I don't know if the Lisa SNs are consecutive or just the AppleNet ones, so will collect both and see what patterns, if any, show up. It might be interesting if we see two Lisas with sequential serial numbers as well. That would be useful too.

What we don't know is whether there was a pool of serial numbers for each factory. i.e. plant 1 goes from 1-1000, plant 2 goes from 5000-10000 and so on, that could throw things off, or if Apple had an actual sequential list and the plant number didn't actually affect the serial/AppleNet number. Perhaps the math in that article could help there.

I expect that the majority of Lisas out there wound up in a landfill or recycled after 1990s before people started to collect them. I myself threw out one dead chassis that I couldn't repair, and did throw out many computers (mostly commodores) from the 1980s as I moved on to the Mac II line and PCs. Ofc, at some point nostalgia kicked in after ebay existed and I bought some back. :) I expect most other people also threw out their Lisas making them even more rare.

Another factor to consider or not is that Apple would have set aside some spare number of parts, not sure if these would have some really out of range serial numbers that may mess up this effort. (US law says manufacturers should keep some stock for at least 5 years after manufacture for repairs, likely these went to SunRem.)

I know at least one of mine has the "VintageMicros" SN that came with the X/ProFile I bought from John many years ago, so that one will show up as a duplicate for a few people, but it should be the only one. The only other synthetic one is the magic zero serial number, which James Denton burned me one of, but this is not going to be in the census.

Maybe we could set up some database/census of Lisa serial numbers and owners (with an optional anonymous flag).

Something like: chassis serial number and model, CPU board and model number if known, owner. I don't know if location matters, it probably doesn't and shouldn't be collected in order to avoid privacy issues. For the CPU entries it should be from service mode addresses 240-280.

Aside: One thing I'm not clear on is how LOS calculates the serial number of the Lisa from the values. The DTC papers on this don't seem to match what LOS says, and also what LOS serializes the tool with. I do have code in LisaEm to tell you info about the serial number, but this value doesn't seem to match what LOS says when you ask it, nor the tool number, so not sure what to make of that. (Obviously if/when LOS source is released that q will be answered, or if not at some point when it bothers me enough I'll reverse engineer it.)

 on: May 04, 2021, 07:01:24 pm 
Started by rayarachelian - Last post by rayarachelian
Amazingly this Lisa has NiCad batteries that haven't yet leaked. I suspect they were replaced since they're orange and not the usual white ones.

 on: May 02, 2021, 09:50:14 pm 
Started by rayarachelian - Last post by blusnowkitty
Anyone ever thought about using the German tank problem to estimate how many Lisa were made/sold? AppleNet numbers were sequential, right?

 on: April 30, 2021, 11:57:34 am 
Started by rayarachelian - Last post by rayarachelian
Hello old friend! Good to see you around these parts again.

Hope all is excellent in your neck of the universe.  ;D

I'm not sure where the 100,000 number came from, if it's much less than that, then it truly was a flop. Looking at wikipedia now, it's 10K, not 100K, not sure where that number came from either, but at 10K, it was a $50M loss, at 100K it wouldn't be quite a flop. I think the numbers from SunRem and the dump are likely correct, just don't know about the total units made.

Would be good to get some actual official numbers, and I certainly welcome your correction.

That article was captured by,23102,3013380,00.html
Look forward to John Couch's book. Many thanks for the recommendation, looks like it will out in about a week, so I've preordered it.
(For those that don't know, David was my mentor when building LisaEm, over the years he's amassed most of the Apple Lisa documentation, much of it internal, that exists out there, and is now on bitsavers,, and other places.)

 on: April 30, 2021, 10:53:39 am 
Started by compu_85 - Last post by compu_85
Does anyone on the list have a DWP, who is looking for the tractor feeder or cut sheet feeder attachment? I recently came in to an extra pair, and I'll let them go cheap. PM me if you're interested.



 on: April 29, 2021, 11:18:21 pm 
Started by blusnowkitty - Last post by DAVID CRAIG
Ray wrote about LISAPAINT being a Lisa program he would like too see. Me too.

I believe LisaPaint was called LisaSketch when BILL ATKINSON wrote this on the Lisa as a testbed for his QUICKDRAW graphics packet. I don't know if SKTECH evolved into PAINT, but suspect it was mostly re-written for the Macintosh.

Suggest contacting BILL ATKINSON and seeing if he could find and ask Apple to release LISASKETCH source. See attached CHM interview.

~ David Craig
~ Cochiti Lake, New Mexico, USA
~ [at]

 on: April 29, 2021, 11:03:09 pm 
Started by rayarachelian - Last post by DAVID CRAIG
Hi Ray,

Thanks for the interesting Apple Lisa computer comments and your LisaEM work to help keep the Lisa software spirit alive when the hardware spirit is quickly reaching its physical end. I will read what you wrote here closer this weekend, but wanted to reply to one of your comments. I will also read some other comments made about the Lisa history (which mention my name) and reply with additional comments that are hopefully of some value to this list's readership.

Ray wrote:
"Simple math from articles I've seen says about 100,000 units were made, and about $50M was spent on R&D."

I agree with your R&D expense of $50,000,000. BYTE magazine's 1983 Lisa interview article I recall says this, as does some Apple press releases.

But your comment that Apple sold around 100,000 Lisas I think may be wrong. I say this since Larry Tesler [RIP :(], the Lisa tools (applications) manager wrote in 2000 the following;

"Apple introduced the revolutionary Lisa computer in 1983, but only about 30,000 were sold."

Source (attached):
Tales from Tessler: History of the Lisa Computer,23102,3013380,00.html
10 July 2003

o TechTV site seems to not exist now
o Article misspelled Tesler's last name :(

Also, in the Lisa TWIGGY DRIVE lawsuit, the case file lists Lisa sales numbers for several months. I do not have these files readily available, but from what I recall the numbers were around 2,000 Lisas sold per month. Extrapolating these numbers for say 1.5 years, then the total sales numbers are around 36,000. I think this calculation seems like it could pass a reasonableness test for the total sales. 100,000 units sold seems a bit excessive. This higher figure may be confused with the Apple /// computer sales, but this is just a somewhat educated guesstimate on my part. Suggest contacting JOHN COUCH, Lisa POS general manager, and ask for Lisa sales (Wikipedia says Couch has written a book about his Apple years that will be released mid-2021 -- "My Life at Apple and The Steve I Knew" -- I will buy this book).

Hope this information is not "fake news" and helps a little here.

~ David Craig
~ Cochiti Lake, New Mexico, USA
~ [at]

 on: April 24, 2021, 10:06:45 pm 
Started by rayarachelian - Last post by rayarachelian
UniPlus, during the loader startup (standalone/ boot prompt) when HLE is enabled, I see the stack overwriting some code around 0060000, and ofc when that's executed, the emulator crashes. This doesn't happen with HLE turned off, so certainly something's up with A6/A7 which are used in stack frames. I suspect debugging this will be easier since I can turn tracelog on, record what happens, turn HLE on, repeat, and diff and see where it varies.
The ROM Profile read function D1 is the sector number to read, looks like D1 is actually preserved by the ROM call if the sector is read successfully. UniPlus's loader uses the old value in D1 to load the next sector, LOS's does not, so instead it wound up reading the same sector over and over again, and of course this led to a later crash. :)
tl;dr don't rely on the comments in the source code. they're not always completely true.

One dumb bug fixed, 99+/-whatever more to go.
Code: [Select]
0|                       ;-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1F70|                       ;  First initialize and then ensure disk is attached by checking OCD line.
1F70|                       ;  Assumes ACR and IER registers of VIA set up by caller.  For boot, these
1F70|                       ;  are cleared by power-up reset.
1F70|                       ;  Register usage:
1F70|                       ;    D0 = scratch use           A0 = VIA address for parallel port interface
1F70|                       ;    D1 = block to read         A1 = address to save header
1F70|                       ;    D2 = timeout count         A2 = address to save data
1F70|                       ;    D3 = retry count           A3 = scratch
1F70|                       ;    D4 = threshold count       A4 = unused
1F70|                       ;  Returns:
1F70|                       ;    D0 = error code (0 = OK)
1F70|                       ;    D1 = error bytes (4) <--- not true, this returns the same D1 value (sector #) when there's no error.
                                     I was setting this to zero thinking error bytes are zero to signal no error along with D0.
1F70|                       ;    D2 - D7 and A1 - A6 are preserved
1F70|                       ;-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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