Reply to post: Lisa was more minicomputer than PC

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again


Lisa was more minicomputer than PC

My ex-boss ran the Lisa team, he went from Data General, where I worked for him, to DEC and then to Apple to run the Lisa program. After Apple he went to Sun where he was VP of engineering and then came out of retirement to run hardware engineering at Google in Google's early days. The Lisa team came from DEC where they had been building minicomputers so Lisa had the capabilities of a minicomputer of the time, it was not a personal computer it was a workstation and it's price was similar to the prices for Sun's and Apollo's workstations, the problem was that Apple was a personal computer company not a workstation company, it's customers were individual's not corporations. The Lisa was a multitasking machine, the IBM PC wasn't, Lisa had a real OS, the PC had DOS which was basically just a program loader. Given the cost of memory and the limitations of microprocessors at the time IBM made the right call, the PC, which cost about $2500, could only do one thing at a time but it worked. The first Mac was designed to be much cheaper than the Lisa but it couldn't even compile a program, for that you needed a Lisa. Memory prices were dropping quickly at the time so that by the end of the 80s you could get a whopping 16M on a Mac which could do a lot on it. Unlike LIsa, the Mac OS wasn't a true multitasking OS, it did what was called cooperative multitasking, but Macs were a lot cheaper than workstations, which ran UNIX a true OS, and they were a lot better than PCs but they were also about twice as expensive as PCs.

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