Re: Lisa Office System

From: Shirl <shirlgato_at_email.domain.hidden>
Date: Sun, 09 Jan 2005 00:08:13 -0700


> There have been some developer systems, too.
> These were not available for custom users, but apple supported selected
> developers with a (or even several) Lisas and software.

You are correct. Apple did provide pre-release versions of Lisa software to selected individuals outside of Apple for beta testing purposes. I was never involved with this testing but know of several people who were. This included the Lisa Office System, Lisa Workshop (the development system for the Lisa), and the Lisa-to-Macintosh Migration Kit.

> wrote, that even Micro[soft].... Billy got a Lisa from Apple

That sounds reasonable since Microsoft worked on both Lisa and Macintosh projects. I know Microsoft worked on a version of UNIX for the Lisa (Xenix) but believe it never released it due to the Lisa's short life span. Microsoft also worked on a set of data conversion programs for the Lisa-to-Macintosh Migration kit so that Lisa documents could be converted to Macintosh documents. This included LisaWrite to Microsoft Word and LisaCalc to Microsoft Excel or Multiplan. Even if Apple did not provide Microsoft with Lisas, I assume Microsoft would have just bought several.

An aside ...

One interesting and little know fact about Microsoft and their Macintosh programs is Microsoft originally used an internal development system for its Macintosh programming. This system was never released to outsiders for their Macintosh work. This was a DEC VAX based system whose main language was C with a bit of 68000 assembler support too. Microsoft did not use Apple's Lisa Workshop for its Macintosh progamming as most other Macintosh developers did. Microsoft's development system for the Macintosh produced a variant of p-code (p=pseudo) which allowed them to create object code for a single platform (the p-machine) and then have just a p-code interpreter running on the host computer. I do not believe Microsoft uses p-machine technology today for its programming efforts since p-code is slower than normal machine code.

> ...and he [Bill Gates / Microsfot] needed several years to copy GUI - WOW !

As far as I know, Microsoft's GUI efforts in the early years were based more on Xerox's STAR work than on Apple Lisa work. As such, Microsoft's GUI work was not really a copy of Apple's GUI work, thoght similarities do exist. Microsoft hired several ex-Xexox STAR people for its PC-based GUI which was announced in 1981 but did not ship as Windows 1.0 until I believe 1985 or so. I assume Microsoft did study the Apple GUI efforts and use some of these ideas for their GUI work. You also must factor in IBM's GUI work here too which was occuring at this timeframe too. This was called SAA (system application architecture) by IBM and the GUI component of SAA was called CUI (common user interface). Note that IBM had a name for everything it did - made copyright and tademarking easier for them. The CUI had a feature called MDI (multiple document interface) which was the core interface element for Microsoft Windows. MDI differed radically from Apple's GUI architecture.

Marcin Wichary <mwichary_at_email.domain.hidden> would be the person to ask about this stuff since he's very knowledgable about the different GUIs.

>From: macmoni <macmoni_at_email.domain.hidden>
>To: "LisaList" <lisalist_at_email.domain.hidden>
>Subject: Lisa Office System
>Date: Sat, Jan 8, 2005, 12:55 PM
> Hi,
> a short remark concerning Lisa OS.
> There have been some developer systems, too.
> These were not available for custom users, but apple supported selected
> developers with a (or even several) Lisas and software. Here's the
> picture of such a software disk:
> P.S. Somewhere in the web I read an article a few month ago, where they
> wrote, that even Micro.... Billy got a Lisa from Apple. Don't know,
> whether that is true, but it's in deed remarkable!!!
> ...and he needed several years to copy GUI - WOW !
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Received on 2005-01-08 23:17:46

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