26 December 2017

NEWS: Tinker with Apple's biggest failure

Steve Jobs' baby

Back in 1983, Apple released the Lisa. This revolutionary home PC was one of the first to utilise a mouse, and the Lisa operating system was ground-breaking in that is used windows and folders. However, it cost $10,000 (about $24,000 in today's money), had major competition from IBM and later Microsoft, and was a total flop. When Apple pulled the plug on dear Lisa, they had sold only 10,000 units but spent a whopping $150,000,000 on it. Well, thanks to the Computer History Museum, you'll be able to download and tinker with Lisa OS yourself, for free.

The Lisa story is actually quite an interesting chapter in Apple's history. At the time Apple's CEO John Sculley locked horns with Co-founder Steve Jobs over the project, as Jobs thought it was the future of computing (which it kinda was), while Sculley wanted to kill it. Following a boardroom brawl, Jobs quite Apple to start his own company NeXT Computers, which Apple later bought in 1996, bringing Jobs back and into the CEO position a year later. The rest is history.

The Museum hopes that, by releasing the OS as a free download, coders and tinkers will be encouraged to explore the programme and see what can be done with it. If anything, it might be fun to download it to the likes of a Raspberry Pi and run the machine as if you were in 1983, Stranger Things style. For an added burst of nostalgia, here is the original TV advert for Lisa starring a young Kevin Costner.

Oh, and in case you were wondering... it was named for Jobs' oldest daughter, Lisa Nicole Brennan-Jobs. You can see why he was so precious about it.

© The Test Pit

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