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You can download the source code for the iconic Apple Lisa from 1983

Relive history with the full source code for 1983's Apple Lisa home computer, the first to introduce a GUI for apps, folders, and windows.

You can download the source code for the iconic Apple Lisa from 1983
1 minute & 15 seconds read time

The Apple Lisa home computer first hit the scene forty years ago, and even though it launched for USD 9995 in 1983, which works out to be over 30K with inflation, it brought several ground-breaking additions to the world of PCs. It introduced the idea of a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to interact with a desktop home computer, plus a crazy new concept called a computer mouse.

The Apple Lisa (1983)

The Apple Lisa (1983)

Thanks to the Computer History Museum (CHM), you can grab the complete source code for the Apple Lisa, which includes system and applications software. As part of the announcement, the CHM mentions one of computing history's most talked about stories. That time Steve Jobs and Apple visited Xerox and saw it was sitting on a potential killer feature in the form of a GUI. And so they "borrowed" the idea for the Apple Lisa.

The simple idea of windows for different applications, folders, and point-and-click navigation was something that the Apple Lisa brought to the masses. And it did all of that with only 1MB of RAM. That's not a typo; we're talking 1 Megabyte of memory - which was considered huge at the time. It also featured a 32-bit Motorola 68000 processor and a 364 x 720 resolution bitmap display.

The Apple Lisa 2's GUI

The Apple Lisa 2's GUI

That said, the Apple Lisa wasn't a commercial success, and many consider it a failure. It even sparked the launch of the more price-friendly Lisa 2 the following year - which also failed to meet expectations. But it led to the eventual release of the Apple Macintosh - which became one of the most popular home computers of all time thanks to the groundbreaking additions of things like a GUI and a mouse thanks to the Lisa.

Windows was a little late to the GUI party, adopting the new interface style after the Lisa and Mac.

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* Prices last scanned on 5/28/2023 at 3:21 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Kosta might be a relatively new member of TweakTown, but he’s a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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