The Lisa That Started It All

Every time Apple talks about its history during a keynote, they focus on the Macintosh. Its 1984 debut was industry-shifting. However, nearly every groundbreaking idea it embodied stood on the shoulders of its lesser-known predecessor. The Apple Lisa was a much-chunkier computer released 40 years ago. It was a complete flop.

Apple poured boatloads of resources into its list of firsts: GUI, a mouse, menus, file systems, multiple apps, usability, and friendly computing. The Lisa was also incredibly expensive. The machine started at $9,995 (equivalent to $27,190 in 2021).

But, without the Lisa, the Macintosh would never have been the success it needed to be. With the notable anniversary upon us, The Verge has produced a 10-minute retrospective on this important piece of Apple's history. When you look at what this computer accomplished, it's important to remember nearly everything about the Lisa was new. A mouse was a foreign concept to everyone!

I loved seeing how this computer was shaped and how its shortcomings would be quickly addressed by Apple in the form of the Mac. Lisa's time on this earth was short (6 months longer than the lifespan of the G4 Cube (RIP)) but absolutely shouldn't be forgotten.

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