Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th May 2014 14:03 UTC
Apple

I'm more or less assuming all of us are familiar with the Apple Lisa, Apple's and Steve Jobs' first attempt at turning Xerox PARC's work into a marketable product. It was a flop, but many of its ideas carried over onto the Macintosh, and in fact, Macintosh development took place on the Lisa.

Due to the fact few Lisas were sold, it's hard to get your hands on a working model, meaning most of us will never get the opportunity to actually use one. Luckily, there's a very advanced Lisa emulator available, written by Ray Arachelian. It's open source (GPL) and available for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Setting it up is remarkably easy (there are non-hqx Lisa operating system files too), but do note that technically, you need to own a Lisa yourself in order to use the ROMs. But, of course you do.

The Lisa user interface takes a bit of time to get used to, as its terminology is a bit alien, and some things feel quite a bit arbitrary from our modern, harmonised perspective. For instance, it took me a while to figure out how to open a new file in the Lisa office applications; it turns out that you need to double-click a special kind of icon ('stationary'), which the Lisa calls 'tear off stationary', which creates what to me looks like a copy of said stationary icon. This icon is the actual new file; double-click it to open it.

I'm having quite some fun poking around the Lisa, and the emulator has been holding up perfectly - no crashes, and it's remarkably easy to use. I would definitely advise giving this a go if you have some spare time.

Order by: Score:
More direct links
by andrewclunn on Tue 27th May 2014 14:18 UTC
andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

Here's the downloads, so that you don't have to stare at that god awful website any longer than you have to:

Mac
http://lisaem.sunder.net/downloads/LisaEm-1.2.6.dmg

Windows
http://lisaem.sunder.net/downloads/lisaem.1.2.6.win32.zip

Source
http://lisaem.sunder.net/downloads/lisaem-1.2.6.tar.bz2

Reply Score: 7

RE: More direct links
by siraf72 on Tue 27th May 2014 14:26 UTC in reply to "More direct links"
siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

Harsh, but accurate. Thanks.

Reply Score: 3

RE: More direct links
by Ray.Arachelian on Tue 27th May 2014 15:50 UTC in reply to "More direct links"
Ray.Arachelian Member since:
2014-05-27

I'd love to replace it with a nice brand new HTML5/js site that itself looks like the Lisa Office System GUI. If you'd like to volunteer to code it up, I'd happily replace the current website with it.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: More direct links
by M.Onty on Tue 27th May 2014 17:26 UTC in reply to "RE: More direct links"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

There's no need for HTML5. Paste this into the head of each page to make it significantly easier to read (if not a great deal prettier):

<style>
body { max-width: 50em; margin: auto;background:white; color:black;font-family:"Trebuchet MS"}
a{color:blue;text-decoration:none;border-bottom:1px dotted blue}
h1{color:black;!important}
b{font-weight:normal}
table, tr, td{border:none;border-bottom: 1px dotted grey}
</style>

Edited 2014-05-27 17:27 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: More direct links
by andrewclunn on Tue 27th May 2014 17:42 UTC in reply to "RE: More direct links"
andrewclunn Member since:
2012-11-05

The background with that color text. I had to highlight the text in order to read it. I'm not complaining about how the site is laid out. It's just illegible.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: More direct links
by andrewclunn on Wed 28th May 2014 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE: More direct links"
andrewclunn Member since:
2012-11-05

Awesome. It's MUCH better now, thank you :-)

Reply Score: 2

More like this?
by Bobthearch on Tue 27th May 2014 14:33 UTC
Bobthearch
Member since:
2006-01-27

With the increasing scarcity of intact and working vintage machines, and the impracticalities of acquiring and storing bulky heavy electronics, I wouldn't mind seeing more stories like this on OS News.
Thumbs-Up.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by mrAmiga500
by mrAmiga500 on Tue 27th May 2014 15:27 UTC
mrAmiga500
Member since:
2009-03-20

Pity the emulator background image is a dirty, yellowed Lisa 2. I would have preferred a pristine original Lisa.

The emulator screen looks chunky on a Retina Mac. You have to switch to native resolution for it to look normal.

Setting "Display" at "Double Y" with "Turn Skins Off" seems to look best on Retina Mac.

Edited 2014-05-27 15:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by mrAmiga500
by Ray.Arachelian on Tue 27th May 2014 15:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by mrAmiga500"
Ray.Arachelian Member since:
2014-05-27

Thanks, keep in mind it was made from one of my own actual Lisas, which is sadly yellowed. Feel free to download the source and look inside the resources and whiten them if you'd like.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by mrAmiga500
by mrAmiga500 on Tue 27th May 2014 15:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mrAmiga500"
mrAmiga500 Member since:
2009-03-20

You're the writer of the emulator? Nice work. ;)

I've just noticed, with "Double Y" set, the pointer stops around 3/4 of the way down the screen. Is that a bug? Is there a way to speed up the pointer movement? It seems a bit laggy. Otherwise, it seems to work fine.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by mrAmiga500
by Ray.Arachelian on Tue 27th May 2014 16:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by mrAmiga500"
Ray.Arachelian Member since:
2014-05-27

That sounds like a bug. You can change the throttle to speed up the emulated CPU, that might help with the speed.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by mrAmiga500
by Ray.Arachelian on Tue 27th May 2014 15:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by mrAmiga500"
Ray.Arachelian Member since:
2014-05-27

Yes, I wrote Lisaem between 1998-2007, there was no retina Mac back then. I'm on a 17" MacBook Pro now, and I'm unlikely to buy a retina macbook pro - they have no, or very few, user replaceable parts, and the soldered on RAM is just anathema me. Plus you can't order them with matte screens anymore. I like shiny and pretty as much as the next guy, but screen glare = headache.

I prefer machines that I can upgrade myself. The current crop of apple wares is high cost, and highly on the built-in-obsolesence bandwagon that goes straight to the landfill.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by mrAmiga500
by mrAmiga500 on Tue 27th May 2014 16:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mrAmiga500"
mrAmiga500 Member since:
2009-03-20

I agree with everything you say there, but it seems like there's no alternative now. I wanted matte too, but this latest MacBook Pro seems less reflective than most - and after the crispness of the Retina screen, I don't ever want to go back to low DPI screens. (...except when playing around with vintage computers, of course)

Edited 2014-05-27 16:07 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by mrAmiga500
by Kochise on Tue 27th May 2014 16:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mrAmiga500"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Mary me !

Kochise

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by mrAmiga500
by steventroughtonsmith on Tue 27th May 2014 16:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mrAmiga500"
steventroughtonsmith Member since:
2012-05-06

Gotta say, really nice work! I've been using it a lot with Lisa Workshop the past couple days. Curiously, I can't link Pascal files that use ifs/whiles etc jumps, and I'm not sure if that's a LisaEm problem or a Workshop problem (some of the sample code included with Workshop won't even link because of it) ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by mrAmiga500
by Ray.Arachelian on Tue 27th May 2014 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by mrAmiga500"
Ray.Arachelian Member since:
2014-05-27

There's a CPU bug with an unhandled NMI exception or address error, I forget which, so LisaEm can't link binaries for some reason. There's a lot of bugs. ;)

Reply Score: 2

steventroughtonsmith Member since:
2012-05-06

Well that explains a lot. Doh! Guess it's time to go pulling apart the LisaEm sourcecode to try and fix ;) You should Github this?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by mrAmiga500
by Ray.Arachelian on Tue 27th May 2014 16:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by mrAmiga500"
Ray.Arachelian Member since:
2014-05-27

I'm attempting to fix it, well, on and off, mostly off. Couldn't find the bug manually, the next steps are to build a CPU comparator and compare LisaEm's generator core against other emulators and see what they do, opcode for opcode - I highly suspect there are a few CPU bugs. You can see one in the desktop scroll bar, one of the scroll arrows is in the wrong place. Another is visible in the Desktop menu - it shows duplicate entries. Yeah, github sounds like a good idea. The latest version is 1.3.0, but isn't functional - had a lot of "fun" when OS X went to 64 bit with wxWidgets, but those bugs are fixed, so what's left are my CPU core bugs.

Reply Score: 2

steventroughtonsmith Member since:
2012-05-06

Really glad to hear you're still working on it! I blogged today about Lisa Workshop in LisaEm : http://blog.steventroughtonsmith.com/post/87007024545/lisa-pascal-d...

Love to help in whatever way I can :-)

Reply Score: 2

Stationery
by Franco on Tue 27th May 2014 16:02 UTC
Franco
Member since:
2014-05-27

I will install the emulator :-)

you talk about stationary, it is like the stationery that we still use on mac by checking it on with CMD-I on a file ?

Thank you

Reply Score: 2

RE: Stationery
by Ray.Arachelian on Tue 27th May 2014 18:04 UTC in reply to "Stationery"
Ray.Arachelian Member since:
2014-05-27

Unlike other GUIs, the LOS has the concept of Stationary as an infinite source of paper. You don't run LisaWrite or LisaList to launch a word processor or spreadsheet.

Instead, you clone the stationary into a new document, and you get to name it. When you double click on that document, then LisaWrite (or whatever app) will launch and you get to do the work. There's no "save" command, your work is saved automatically, and if you shut down the Lisa or restart it, your documents will open where you left them off. Much nicer than what followed in the 1980s.

Also, if you duplicate a document, you'll get two identical documents with the same exact name.

Reply Score: 4

BlueofRainbow
Member since:
2009-01-06

Excellent work (despites any bugs lurking in the background).

Another project motivated only by curiousity and individual fulfillment rather than monetary gains.

Also, it seems that your web site was focused on content rather than eye-candy. This would be a rarity nowadays.

I can see one highly valuable use of such an emulator - even if one does not quite have a dead machine with the necessary ROM license. It is the possibility to extract old information from discovered hidden. How about an unpublished game or novel? How about the sequential suite of edits of a music score? How about the correspondance between two authors?

Up to 50 years ago, all that raw information about the creative process of an individual was on paper and could be found - unless destroyed by unlikely circumstances. Nowedays, it still exists albeit in a format which could never be readable again once all the machines capable of doing so die!

Reply Score: 3

Ray.Arachelian Member since:
2014-05-27

1.2.6 is "ROMless" - you don't need a ROM if you want to run LOS or LPW. The emulator internally handles a lot of the ROM subroutines that are needed to start these operating systems.

Edited 2014-05-27 18:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Tue 27th May 2014 17:10 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

[q]The Lisa user interface takes a bit of time to get used to, as its terminology is a bit alien, and some things feel quite a bit arbitrary from our modern, harmonised perspective. For instance, it took me a while to figure out how to open a new file in the Lisa office applications; it turns out that you need to double-click a special kind of icon ('stationary'), which the Lisa calls 'tear off stationary', which creates what to me looks like a copy of said stationary icon. This icon is the actual new file; double-click it to open it.[/q}

Interesting comment. Those who argue that Apple simply embellished the PARC GUI to create the Mac would, if confronted with an actual PARC machine, be very lost because almost nothing would work like the modern GUI they are accustomed to using. PARC invented the alphabet of the modern GUI but Apple invented the grammar, and that grammar is what all modern PC operating systems were based upon. The Lisa already had some of that modern GIU grammar but big chunks of it still consisted of just the PARC alphabet.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th May 2014 17:20 UTC in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Interesting comment, as the jump from PARC to Apple is WAY larger than the step from PalmOS to iOS - yet people like you insist iOS is a massive huge mega step forward.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by steventroughtonsmith on Tue 27th May 2014 17:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
steventroughtonsmith Member since:
2012-05-06

You mean Newton to PalmOS, right? :o)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 27th May 2014 17:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Switching UI metaphors is a bit more substantial :o).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Tony Swash
by tylerdurden on Tue 27th May 2014 21:01 UTC in reply to "Comment by Tony Swash"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

I don't agree with the metaphor; PARC invented one of the grammars, and Apple composed some of the first verses with it. Neither PARC nor Apple are the end all be all of GUI inception/commercialization.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Tony Swash
by Tony Swash on Wed 28th May 2014 19:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Tony Swash"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

I don't agree with the metaphor; PARC invented one of the grammars, and Apple composed some of the first verses with it. Neither PARC nor Apple are the end all be all of GUI inception/commercialization.


OK - but Apple did all the glyphs and kerning

{Joke alert}

Reply Score: 2

Page styles
by Drunkula on Tue 27th May 2014 17:22 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

In FF/IE, View menu; [Page] Style; "no style".

Reply Score: 2

Lisa documentation
by Ray.Arachelian on Tue 27th May 2014 18:13 UTC
Ray.Arachelian
Member since:
2014-05-27

BTW, there's tons of documentation here:

http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/apple/lisa/

Reply Score: 2

Is http://lisaem.sunder.net down?
by h5n1xp on Tue 27th May 2014 20:28 UTC
h5n1xp
Member since:
2013-08-24

I think Thom might have accidentally "Slashdotted" the site, as I can't access it :-)

Reply Score: 2

Finally got it
by h5n1xp on Tue 27th May 2014 22:46 UTC
h5n1xp
Member since:
2013-08-24

That was fun!

Thinking back to my ZX81... the Lisa really was a revolution!

Reply Score: 2

Stationary
by dnebdal on Wed 28th May 2014 13:48 UTC
dnebdal
Member since:
2008-08-27

The Lisa user interface takes a bit of time to get used to, as its terminology is a bit alien, and some things feel quite a bit arbitrary from our modern, harmonised perspective. For instance, it took me a while to figure out how to open a new file in the Lisa office applications; it turns out that you need to double-click a special kind of icon ('stationary'), which the Lisa calls 'tear off stationary', which creates what to me looks like a copy of said stationary icon. This icon is the actual new file; double-click it to open it.


Isn't this fairly close to how OS/2 works?

edit:
Ah, yes. OS/2 had a templates folder where applications could add their own, and you could drag those to another location to create a new empty document of that type which you could then open.

Edited 2014-05-28 13:52 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Stationary
by bryanv on Wed 28th May 2014 16:04 UTC in reply to "Stationary"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

Mac OS Classic (6/7/8/9) had Stationery as well.

Even OS X lets you create Stationery documents you can use in a similar fashion to the Lisa.

http://www.macworld.com/article/1161619/stationary_pad.html

Reply Score: 3