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The Apple Lisa computer was a colossal failure. It was also the most important machine in personal computing history.
You can try to argue that last claim with John McLearan. He believes it. And he offers his restored Lisa 2/10 — loaded with modifications to make it a 21st-century workhorse — as proof that the computer’s reputation needs a considerable upgrade.
Apple isn’t the most transparent of companies when it comes to its technology, but from next year you’ll be able to dive into the code of one of its most revolutionary operating systems to see how it was achieved.
The operating system in question is that of the ill-fated Apple Lisa, a $10,000 machine which debuted in 1983 — and included Apple’s first ever graphical user interfaces, and one of the first in computer history as a whole.
Nearly three decades after Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh, a pair of incredibly rare Mac prototypes have been discovered and restored to working order.
The computers, known as Twiggy Macs because they used the same 5.25-inch Twiggy floppy disk drive found in Apple’s doomed Lisa, were tracked down and painstakingly brought back to life by Adam Goolevitch, a vintage Mac collector, and Gabreal Franklin, a former Apple software engineer.
“Throughout the past 15 years, I have heard stories of and researched the fabled ‘Twiggy Macintosh’ computer,” Goolevitch told Cult of Mac in an email. “It was a thing of myth and legend — like a unicorn.”
Locating these Macs was the first step, but getting them to work was the real challenge. Goolevitch and Franklin embarked on an all-out effort to resurrect these long-lost pieces of Macintosh history.
Now two Twiggy Macs have been returned to life in full working glory. They are — without a doubt — the oldest Macs in the world. With auction prices for Apple-1 computers nudging upward toward the half-million-dollar mark, these incredibly rare prototypes — which look a lot like something you might find at a garage sale — could prove priceless. Here is the story of their amazing resurrection.
With over 500 episodes of The Simpsons aired on TV, and tons of Apple links, even a hardcore Simpsons and Apple fan might have missed this tribute to Apple. In episode #497 “The D’oh-cial Network” Lisa builds a social-network called SpringFace. The computer behind Lisa’s coding prowess was a Lisa computer by Mapple at the Springfield High School computer lab.
The Apple nod is a reference to the Apple Lisa which was released in 1983, and is named after Steve Jobs’ first daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs. The logo on the Simpsons’ Lisa computer is the Mapple logo which is just an apple that has been bitten on both sides.
In a timed announcement made exactly on the one year anniversary of Steve Jobs’s death, Chrisann Brennan — Steve Jobs’s highschool sweetheart and the mother of American journalist and writer Lisa Brennan-Jobs, for whom the Apple Lisa was named — has said that she will be publishing a memoir next year.
You might think that the new MacBook Pro with Retina display breaks the bank as far as computers go, but compared to some of Apple’s older machines, it’s just a drop in the bucket. Apple has never had the most economical options for computers, but they’ve come a long way towards being affordable to most consumers. Don’t believe me? Forbes has compiled a list of the five most expensive Apple computers of all time.
Made right here in the U.S. of A., we partnered with Seattle indie brand Might Tees to bring the computing days of yore back to life on our new In Love With Lisa graphic tee.
Who’s Lisa? Why, she was only one of Apple’s most iconic computing failures. Perhaps it was her stratospheric 10k price tag that was to blame for her abysmal sales record — it obviously wasn’t her boxy good-looks! We loved her though, so resurrected her cutting-edge, dual-floppy technology in a vintage design you’ll be proud to wear over your torso.
Our new tee is hewn from 100% super-soft cotton, ships worldwide, and is available right now over at MightTees.com.