APPLE LISA. Microcomputer, Cupertino, CA, 1983, with built-in monitor, 2 5.25-inch floppy disk drives,
Lot 641W
APPLE LISA.
Microcomputer, Cupertino, CA, 1983, with built-in monitor, 2 5.25-inch floppy disk drives,
Sold for US$ 31,250 inc. premium

Lot Details
APPLE LISA. Microcomputer, Cupertino, CA, 1983, with built-in monitor, 2 5.25-inch floppy disk drives,
APPLE LISA.
Microcomputer, Cupertino, CA, 1983, with built-in monitor, 2 5.25-inch floppy disk drives, and with original keyboard, mouse, Apple Profile Hard Drive, Apple Dot Matrix Printer and a collection of software and manuals.
Provenance: Purchased by the consignor as new in 1983.

The Xerox Corporation's Palo Alto Research Center, known as Xerox PARC, had been established in 1970 in order to foster new ideas in the digital realm. Alan Kay, one of the visionary computer scientists who worked there, had a vision for a personal computer, which he called the "Dynabook," that would be simple enough for even a child to use. The computer would trade the command lines and DOS prompts for a graphical user interface (GUI). Steve Jobs had already been working with a team to create a computer that would be many steps ahead of the competition thoroughly integrating graphics and text before he made a deal with Xerox during the summer of 1979 where he allowed them to buy 100,000 shares of Apple stock in exchange for access to Xerox PARC's technology. At first, some of the Xerox PARC team resisted the instructions sent down from the head office and showed the Apple team very little, but eventually, after Jobs complained to the Xerox venture capital division, they were finally given full access.
"When Tesler (Xerox scientist Larry Tesler, who would eventually leave Xerox for Apple) finally showed them what was truly under the hood, the Apple folks were astonished. Atkinson (who would design the Apple Lisa's GUI including the revolutionary overlapping windows and later become a member of the original Apple Macintosh development team) stared at the screen, examining each pixel so closely that Tesler could feel the breath on his neck. Jobs bounced around and waved his arms excitedly. 'He was hopping around so much I don't know how he actually saw most of the demo, but he did, because he kept asking questions,' Tesler recalled. 'He was the exclamation point for every step I showed.' Jobs kept saying that he couldn't believe that Xerox had not commercialized the technology. 'You're sitting on a gold mine,' he shouted. 'I can't believe Xerox is not taking advantage of this.'" Jobs later recalled the event: "It was like a veil being lifted from my eyes. I could see what the future of computing was destined to be" (Isaacson p 97).

Jobs closely guided the Lisa's development. The project was so personal that he named it after his own daughter even though the company officially stated that the name was an acronym for "Locally Integrated Software Architecture." He often rankled John Couch, who was supposed to be in charge of the project, by dealing with the engineers directly. He pushed for a white background rather than a dark one, a smooth rolling mouse that used a ball rather than the two wheels that the Xerox example utilized, and to make the computer simple and inexpensive. But Couch and a number of others were aiming for a corporate market and eventually Jobs was removed from the project.

The Apple Lisa was released in January of 1983 at a price of $9,995. It was one of the first personal computers to offer a graphical user interface. Unfortunately, due to the high price and the unreliable "Twiggy" floppy disks, only 100,000 units were sold. A year later the Macintosh was released, also based on a Motorola 68000 microprocessor, but running at a faster speed and for a much lower price. The present unit was purchased new by the consignor in 1983. As of October 2018, the computer, including the notoriously unreliable "Twiggy" floppy drives, is operational - an extreme rarity on the market. Isaacson. Steve Jobs. NY: 2011.
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