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.

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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 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by mrAmiga500
by mrAmiga500 on Tue 27th May 2014 15:54 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by mrAmiga500
by Ray.Arachelian on Tue 27th May 2014 15:55 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by mrAmiga500
by mrAmiga500 on Tue 27th May 2014 16:03 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 Parent Score: 1

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

Mary me !

Kochise

Reply Parent Score: 4

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 Parent Score: 2