Re: UniPlus UNIX: oops...

From: James MacPhail <gg__at_email.domain.hidden>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 19:04:20 -0800

>in the wake of recent $3500-4000 closing prices, I decided to list my Lisa
>on eBay.

Historically, the multi-thousand dollar Lisa prices are for the quite rare Lisa 1's with Twiggy drives. AFAIK, a Lisa 2 (with 3.5" floppy) rarely broke $1K before those few recent sales, so, lacking any evidence of anything untoward, I expect those prices are an "anomaly".

Regardless, I believe we don't have a benchmark value for the perhaps much rarer UniPlus disks, so you are in unknown territory. They may be considered quite valuable, or not.

>AFTER starting the auction, I found my UniPlus disks. All sixteen of
>them. "Sure", I thought, "those disks will be PERFECTLY readable after
>twenty-three years, the last eleven spent in a non-climate-controlled

I would guess that the value of the disks will be higher if you can verify that installation is likely to be successful. Perhaps you can find some Lisa parts nearby and borrow a second memory card.

>So, a dilemma: I have this set of disks, possibly still readable,
>which I'm obliged to ship with the Lisa when it sells (the auction
>closes Sunday). I'd really rather not see this OS lost to history

I think it is quite possible that a foreign collector paying (perhaps) thousands of dollars for this will keep it to themself, probably without performing an adequate backup of the disks, and so they are indeed at risk of being lost to history.

I commend you on your recognition of the potential for a significant loss here.

>I don't remember much about UniPlus, but I have the disks and installation
>instructions, and it looks like that makes me the world's surviving

Yes, that does appear to be the case.


  1. Make good backups of the disks (Using DiskCopy 4.2 -- not a later version, on a 68k or PowerPC Mac as previously suggested) and scan the instructions, and then either share or sell the copies. I think this is unlikely to substantially reduce the value of the originals. Someone will have to do the de-serializing work so it can be installed on another Lisa, but "we have people" that can do that.
  2. To maximize your revenue: cancel the auction due to an error in the listing, and then separate the value of the UniPlus software from the hardware. (I believe this will maximize your return, but can't say for sure.)

Then spend some time verifying the disks do indeed install properly; if you don't have time to do this yourself, I expect you can find some trustworthy Lisa folks willing to help.

3) Obtain a second Lisa Video PROM (which contains the Lisa's serial number), and sell the working Lisa 2 with that, but not with the UniPlus software.

4) Sell the original UniPlus disks, instructions, and the video PROM with the matching serial number as a separate auction (with no Lisa). You might want to include the ProFile with the working installation.

Good Luck!


James MacPhail                   "Think not of engineering as art,
uo957_at_email.domain.hidden                 but of art as engineering"
Sigma Seven Systems Ltd.
james_at_email.domain.hidden        <>

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