Apple's Lisa OS source code to be released for free in 2018

The Apple Lisa computer in 1983. (Source: MacRumors)
The Apple Lisa computer in 1983. (Source: MacRumors)
Apple and Computer History Museum will jointly release the source code for Lisa, one of Apple's first commercial OSs to feature the GUI. The source code, currently being reviewed by Apple, will be made available for free in the public domain very soon.

Apple and Computer History Museum (CHM) will soon be releasing the source code of Lisa, the Cupertino giant's first commercial operating system, for free. Al Kossow, a software curator at the CHM announced that both the OS source and sources for Lisa programs have been recovered. The code is currently being reviewed by Apple post which CHM will be releasing it publicly. 

Released in 1983, the Apple Lisa computer was one of the first to feature a graphical user interface (GUI) and was priced at a staggering US$9,995. The high price meant that it was mostly businesses who could afford it and even then, Apple could sell only about 100,000 units in total. The Lisa sported a 5 MHz Motorola 68000 CPU, 1 MB RAM, and a 5 MB hard drive — pretty powerful for its time. It also came bundled with software such as Workshop for developing programs, and a suite of Lisa Office apps, which included LisaWrite, LisaCalc, LisaDraw, LisaGraph, LisaList, and LisaTerminal. The Lisa soon gave way to the much more affordable Macintosh in 1984 and the rest is history.

While Kossow could recover most of the code, he said that the source for the American Heritage Dictionary for the spell checker in LisaWrite would not be released. CHM will be doing a blog post detailing the historical significance of the software while making it publicly available.


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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2017-12-28 (Update: 2017-12-28)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.