Apple Lisa

Introduced by Apple Computer Inc. in January 1983, the Lisa personal computer was one of the first computers aimed at individual users to offer a graphical user interface (GUI). Development of the Lisa began in 1978, but it resulted in an extremely expensive device. The Lisa’s name was for a reason, as the computer was named after Steve Jobs’s daughter Lisa, born in 1978. On the other hand, the Lisa featured advanced preemptive multitasking.

Apple Lisa

Introduced: 19 January, 1983.


  • CPU: Motorola 68000. 7,89 MHZ.
  • Storage: Two 5 ΒΌ inch Apple FileWare 5.25-inch double-sided floppy disk drives, known as Twiggy. Capacity of 871 kB each (unreliable). An optional external 5 MB. Later, a 10 MB Apple ProFile hard drive. With the introduction of the Lisa 2/10, an optional 10 MB internal proprietary hard disk manufactured by Apple, known as the “Widget”, was offered.
  • RAM: 1 Meg.
  • OS: Apple Lisa GUI (Graphical User Interface). Xenix.
  • Ports: One parallel and two serial ports, mouse port.
  • Possible Expansion: Three internal slots available.
  • Display: 12” monochrome monitor sold separately.

Discontinuation, Price

Price: Original price $9,995 (monitor not included).

Discontinued: August 1986.


  • Lisa’s real-time clock depended on a 4 x AA-cell NiCd pack of batteries that only lasted for a few hours when mains power were not present. Besides the packs often busts open and leaks corrosive acid that ruins the circuit boards.
  • More than 100,000 Lisa computers were fabricated and sold in two years, from 1983 to 1885, as the high price, relatively low performance and unreliable Twiggy floppy disks led to poor sales.
  • The cheaper and better version of Lisa personal computer was released it in January 1984.
  • The final revision of the Lisa, the 2/10, was sold as the Macintosh XL.
  • Apple stated the name Lisa was an acronym for Local Integrated System Architecture. However Steve Jobs’ first daughter was named Lisa Nicole Brennan (she was born in 1978), and rumor says that the acronym was reverse engineered from the name Lisa. Many years later Jobs would tell his biographer Walter Isaacson: “Obviously it was named for my daughter.”


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