What is Lisa OS, the legendary operating system by Apple to be released for free


Apple LISA (Local Integrated System Architecture) was Apple’s first personal computer and GUI -based operating system.

Both Apple’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates saw the first GUI-based OS, Xerox’s Alto, released in 1979, and were inspired to bring GUI to the masses. Xerox released Star OS first, subsequently Apple released LISA in 1983 and Microsoft released Windows 1.0 in 1985.

The LISA OS was heralded by BYTE as “the most important development in computers in the last five years.” More than any short coming in the OS, LISA’s success was probably limited by its $9995 price tag. The LISA OS was included on a 5mhz Motorola 68000 CPU with a dual 5 1/4″ floppy drive.

LISA OS by apple

The Computer History Museum in California has decided to go ahead and release the Apple’s legendary Lisa operating system for free. The OS will now be available as open source for everyone. However, even back in 1983, Apple had a reputation being forward with its product. The tech giant announced Lisa desktop computer on January 19, 1983. Officially, “Lisa” stood for “Local Integrated Software Architecture”, however, there are multiple reports that state that the name of the OS was also the name of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ daughter.

Al Kossow, a software curator at the museum said, “We wanted to let everyone know the sources to the OS and applications were recovered, I converted them to Unix end of line conventions and spaces for Pascal tabs after recovering the files using Disk Image Chef, and they are with Apple for review.” The Lisa computer barely sold 10,000 units.

The computer offered was one of the first personal computers which offered a graphical user interface (GUI) in a machine. The computer was aimed at business users. However, the computer came with the advanced, of that era, the operating system called Lisa.

One of the features of the OS was that it came with a protected memory which was enabled by a crude hardware circuit. The OS was an improved version which came in after Apple III SOS operating system failed to have any impact three years prior.

The disk operating system on Lisa organised files in hierarchical directories. File system directories were able to make full use of the GUI “folders” with the Lisa. Lisa OS came with two main user modes: the Lisa Office System and the Workshop.

Lisa Office System was one of the advanced systems at that point of time, and it was renamed as “7/7”. This was done in reference to the seven application programs that the system offered: LisaWrite, LisaCalc, LisaDraw, LisaGraph, LisaProject, LisaList, and LisaTerminal.




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