EEVblog #696 – Apple Lisa Retro Computer Teardown


Dave tears down the 1983 vintage Apple Lisa, the first graphical user interface machine that pre-dates the Macintosh.

Datasheets:
Apple Lisa repair guide
R6500 processor
AM2148 static RAM
AMD AM9512 floating point math co-processor
MOSTEK MK4564
Switching regulator

Apple Macintosh Teardown
Apple Newton Teardown

Teardown Photos:

Forum HERE

Hires Teardown Photos:

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12 comments

  1. To bad you couldn’t get the thing to work and boot up. Bring back Sagan !

  2. Would be cool to stuff an emulator in there.

  3. When the Mac came out, you couldn’t develop applications for the Mac on a Mac. They forced you to buy one of these Lisa machines to actually write Mac applications. That was probably the source of the majority of units they sold.

  4. Sanmina is a company in Israel, manufacturing equipment and still exist today!

  5. Actually, no, Apple didn’t “steal” the GUI it from Xerox.

    Apple actually gave Xerox a bunch of Apple stock as payment for the GUI. Xerox promptly sold it and made a few bucks, but Apple did pay Xerox for the privilege.

    And the Alto was a real machine but Xerox PARC wasn’t really into commercializing stuff (you can argue that Apple’s payment was probably their first real bit of revenue).

    Finally, the Alto was way more limited – there was no code transfer, so Wozniak spent a few days trying to figure out the GUI and he invented regions – required in order to handle … overlapping windows! Woz later found out from the Xerox folks that no, they couldn’t do that, so Apple’s machine was already superior in a fundamental way. (Imagine what life would be if windows couldn’t overlap on screen).

    As for the Mac, well, the 8MHz system clock helped a LOT – it gave the Mac speed the Lisa never had. And while the initial Mac had 128k of RAM, an upgraded one with 512k came out a year later making it way better than the Lisa. And at least the Mac could run off a floppy – the Lisa OS was so complex it required a hard drive just to operate.

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