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Apple Lisa 1 Development Unit

Apple's Lisa computer was introduced in January of 1983. Legend has it that Steve Jobs returned from a trip to Japan just after the Lisa began to ship, called his team to a meeting and out of his shirt pocket drew out a new Sony 3 1/2 inch diskette saying "this.. is the future". He then ordered production stopped so the Lisa could be equipped with the new diskette drive. Thus, the Lisa 1 with its dual "twiggy" 5 1/4 inch floppies was consigned to the dustbin of history and the Lisa 2 was released some time later. Its comparative rarity makes the Lisa 1 a desirable machine and one that the DigiBarn is pleased has been added to its collection (thanks Ed Goodwin).

Inserting a fileware format floppy into a Lisa 1

The Apple Lisa 1 as pictured from advertizing with the original front bezel

Our Lisa 1 is a development unit that Apple service engineering Manager Ed Goodwin had on his desk. At some point, to stay current he removed the two Twiggy drives and replaced them with a profile hard disk/3 1/2 inch floppy disk unit to stay compatible with the Lisa 2. Ed did not keep the original Lisa bezel after replacing it with the Lisa 2 bezel for the 3 1/2 inch drive. Our Lisa 1 supports the same mouse that the Macintosh was released with in January of 1984 rather than the original "thin button" Lisa mouse shown below (which we are still seeking).

Original Lisa 1 Mouse
(which we do not yet have)

The Lisa 1 at the DigiBarn
(thanks Ed Goodwin)

Ed showing the back of the prototype
Lisa 1 (no labels, no serial number)
Closer view
Front with replaced Lisa 1 bezel
With front bezel removed
Showing installed profile hard disk
and 3 1/2 inch floppy next to
original Twiggy floppy drives
Box with second dual Twiggly floppies
and fileware diskettes
Note hand written serial nos on Twiggys
With keyboard

See Also:

Videos of the Apple Lisa 1 and Lisa 2 in action

The DigiBarn's Lisa 2 XL
Take a still-image tour of the Lisa OS and Applications

Macintosh and Lisa preliminary business plan, July 1981

Marcin Wichary's excellent Graphical Interface Gallery GUIdebook
story of the Lisa

The whole Spotlight on the Apple Lisa

The GUIdebook featrues Andy Hertzfeld's telling of the story of the Lisa being born (with cool polaroids of the first Lisa screen GUIs)

Lisa Team photos, Steve Jobs, and John Couch, the father of the Lisa
(thanks for these images, Adam Goolevitch)

The Lisa Team
John Couch today (still at Apple!)

Steve Jobs and (?person) with Lisa-1s
Steve Jobs and John Couch
John Couch at the launch of the Lisa

The Lisa Twiggy Floppy drive (2)

And another weird Lisa artifacts!
(or... what the heck?!)

Adam Goolevitch also provided
these photos from an unknown source of Lisa prototypes
including this "GLM"

New Lisa 1 Marketing Binder from the Mac Mothership!


The Mothership site has made available for download a huge 204-Page 1983 Apple Lisa Marketing Binder! Painstakingly scanned and donated by Charles Eicher, this information was compiled from various technical and marketing departments and is an absolutely historic document and a wealth of information! It can be found online at The Mothership in the Lisa Information section.

Best Regards,

See Also:

Bill Goldberg on the Fileware floppy media
used on the Apple Lisa 1

Lisa Compubot
Kiel Bryant Hosier's whimsical treatment of the Lisa and other Compubots

Our special Story on the Mac at 20"The Lisa computer system” by Gregg Williams, from Byte 2/1983.

“An Interview with Wayne Rosing, Bruce Daniels, and Larry Tesler” by Chris Morgan, Gregg Williams, and Phil Lenunons, from Byte 2/1983 (about the Lisa project).

Know anything about the Lisa? Contact us!

Our large collection of Apple computers and other artifacts

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