Macintosh XL: how a girl turned into a boy

During the podcast (#292) unchecked flow krasnorechie brought me to the fateful shallows: not everyone understood what I meant by “alteration of girl in boy”. Sounds a bit…challenging? I realized that without an explanation is not necessary.

We all know that Lisa has become one of the most painful failures of the young and inexperienced Apple Computer. It was not sold, was useless, and, in the end, the last 2700 copies of this computer ended his life under the wheels of the tractors on one of the landfills in Utah.


Deflect. I have such a peccadillo, therefore, do not like speech on any subject. About the failure of Lisa will tell you later. Until about the transformation of a girl into a boy, promised in the title.

Macintosh XL in the USSR

In the fall of 1987 I was transferred to ACS Stanko-Tool Production (CIP) AZLK, for the position of… supervisor. I was an absolute Amateur. My predecessor, the former released Secretary of the Komsomol organization of SIP, so enthusiastically pronounced the word “modem” that I am… But I will not shy away from the topic.

How and why in some parts of AZLK took the unusual 32-bit technique from behind the iron curtain, contrary to the prohibition on supply in the USSR, I don’t know. But instead of the EU and the CM I was waiting for VAX/VMS and lonely, but very popular SIP in the Mac, behind a glass wall from my overbearing workplace.

In the day when I first came to ASU CIP in the role of head around VAX/VMS folk tales have not been, to VAX’have ACS hooked up a few days before me. I got a log of faults, SEE so-and-so (digital indexes don’t remember), inventory number such that the open on the last page. It seems that this fruit of civilization, often “lying paws up” than working. The morning of his last day began with another of its coma, from which he was brought to movers.

But Mac already overgrown with myths and tales. Sharp tongue Bosnia girls loved him, and their retold.

Once, a long time ago (1986?) in place of the Macintosh Plus stood Lisa, which is still little known, so girls could thoroughly get acquainted with her, and help planners to appreciate this miracle of technology. They were delighted, and quickly spread the joyful news throughout the SIP.

The production is a plant in the plant, about three thousand people, six large workshops and all sorts of services. CIP was approximately a third of the “old” AZLK, which is near the metro station Volgogradsky Prospekt. Suddenly, someone again will not understand? Neither Google nor Wiki will not give the correct information, most likely – although I haven’t tried.

But time has not stood still, and one day, the mysterious A. for which all these VAX’s Lisa and the Mac, and appeared on AZLK, personally came to ASU, and for half an hour, redid all loved Lisa in the Mac. From what we can conclude about the model Lisa, to turn into a Mac XL was just the Lisa 2.

The evening of the same day, the mysterious A. (I’ve never been able to figure out how was officially called his office!), users met with Mac’om. Compared to the gentle and mild in dealing Lisa, Mac seemed to them harsh and straight. Well, boy! But he was also nothing with him instantly became friends, and… But I will not move away from the topic.

Then the same A. brought the tape drive (tape backup), helped make a backup copy of everything that has accumulated in the 10-megabyte drive to the former Lisa (now a boy), and… So ASU CIP came the Mac Plus, streamer and a 40-megabyte SCSI drive that the previous owner of ACS, passing me, very proudly called “hard drive”, then retired from ASU, and went somewhere up on the party line.

In 1992 or 1993 he was good business for the supply of some equipment for oil production, the more I about it never heard.

The great revolutionary failure in computer history

Lisa is one of the most serious failures of Apple Computer’s history, it is constantly mentioned in the same row with the Apple III, the Newton, and Copland. Sold 100 thousand copies, in competition with mushrooming like weeds cheap clones of the IBM PC Lisa lost with the devastating account.

It was a great computer company which managed to develop no experience in Commerce, they were arrogant and cocky Amateurs, she made all the mistakes that was possible – but now it was absolutely clear that Apple has a great future.

Because what does not kill us makes us stronger. And Lisa brought the company a profit.

The development of the Lisa began in 1978, terms of reference and objectives of the project several times radically changed, from beginning of project to the presentation of the first Lisa’s been nearly five years. Apple Computer spent on trial and error to $ 50 million. More than NeXT and Be together, spent their firstborn.

Don’t remember how many copies of their computers sold NeXT and Be? For three years, from 1983 to 1986, doing everything absolutely wrong, Apple Computer has sold a little more than a hundred thousand Lisa. For Lisa produced a wide range of peripherals – drives in 5 and 10 megabyte drives, “Twiggy” and 3.5 inch floppy…

Lisa spent the fantastic sum of $ 50 million (1983), and two hundred man-years, Apple Computer earned about one billion dollars. Here’s a failed project – a shame and a disgrace.

What a stupid mistake made by Apple Computer, and Steve personally, in the Lisa project, not only wrote lazy. I’m not going to repeat the well-known, especially in written about Lisa many lies.

Lisa has designed some of the best engineers in the industry, under the control of the future sverdsvette business computer Steve jobs. That’s just the best engineers have never before been engaged in the development of personal computers, and the result of their creative efforts, there appeared another work station.

And to sell her tried as an ordinary personal computer. PC for 9 $ 995 in itself was nonsense.

IT shnye managers are not in a hurry to buy a workstation with a short female name, it was undignified. Now, if the name was XDC-TRR 23011/721 KD or something…

Workstations require specialized technical support and special software – but about it anybody and has not thought of.

With some stretch, Lisa could even be called a multiprocessor workstation. In addition to the 68000 c clock frequency of 5 MHz (that’s saved!), configuration was a dedicated 6504 CPU that was used for the Woz-machine.

Lisa was an order of magnitude better technically than the Mac and the first generation, and in some ways it was superior to all Mac and produced before the return of Steve jobs at Apple.

Here is a partial list of what Lisa was the first amongst personal computers of our civilization:

— full support for local area networks;
printing to a laser printer;
— protected memory;
— programmable control module page memory;
— graphical user interface;
— icons to indicate files;
— the user moves the window (and the very concept of Windows).

That’s not all, but most importantly.

Lisa is not the first computer with a graphical user interface in history. Alto, a workstation, a graphical user interface that Xerox produced homeopathic copies that cost 40 thousand dollars and never considered Xerox as a serious commercial project. It was rather a curiosity.

Someday, in 50 years or 100…

Apple presented Lisa 19 Jan 1983. It was a failure.

The sequel may someday be. This is not the beginning of a new series, the response to reader feedback.

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