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

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

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 Parent Score: 2

steventroughtonsmith Member since:

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 Parent Score: 2

Ray.Arachelian Member since:

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 Parent Score: 2