The Apple Lisa computer first hit the streets in 1983 with a list price just shy of $10,000. It had a 5 MHz processor, 1MB of RAM, and a 5MB hard drive. It was also one of the first desktop computers to feature a graphical user interface and it pave the way for the much more popular (and affordable) Macintosh line of computers that launched the following year.

Now the Computer History Museum and Apple are working together to release the source code for the Apple Lisa computer in 2018, making a piece of computing history available to everyone 35 years after it first launched.

By Source, Fair use, Link

The code will include the core operating system and bundled apps including LisaWrite, LisaCalc, LisaDraw, LisaTerminal, and others. Museum curator Al Kossow notes that it’s possible some software, such as the American Heritage dictionary for the LisaWrite word processor might not be available, because Apple doesn’t necessarily have the rights to release that.

This isn’t the first time the Computer History Museum has been involved with preserving and releasing source code for an important operating system that paved the way for the desktop operating systems we use today. In 2014 the museum worked with Microsoft to release the source code for MS DOS 1.1 and 2.0, as well as the code for Word for Windows 1.1a.

Of course, while there are still some educational reasons you might want to poke around this old code, there’s not really all that much you’d probably want to use a 30+ year old operating system for today. Fortunately fans of free and open source software have plenty of other options: source code for GNU/Linux-based operating systems such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Arch, Linux Mint, and Gentoo has been available for as long as those operating systems have been around.

via Gizmodo

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5 replies on “Apple Lisa source code to be released in 2018”

  1. Is there an emulator availabel to run the code? Would love to try it out.

  2. I think it would be cool if Microsoft released the code for Windows XP. I have seen some people who still use it.

    1. In about 35 years, they might. They won’t release the source code while it still has value. Releasing the source code for XP would be great for consumers because it’s still a good OS and security fixes and other improvements could be made to make it better. However, it would hurt sales of Windows and would help projects like ReactOS. I’d go back to XP in a heartbeat if it was still getting security updates. I miss how light and quick it is on modest hardware. I’ve grown weary of how bloated and unpredictable Windows 10 has become. I’ve migrated some of my machines back to Windows 7 and 8.1. I guess I’ll use them till support runs out.

  3. Do not forget that if you really need a DOS operating system to run some legacy software, there is FreeDOS (now at v1.2 released on 25 December 2016 and continues to be maintained and improved along with helper applications) which can be run as standalone or within a GNU/Linux DosEMU terminal.

    And without any need for paying the Microsoft tax for a Windows license, there is ReactOS which has made great strides in the last year or so, although considered to still be in the Beta phase.

    1. I have tried ReactOS but have yet to get it installed. I am looking forward to using it instead of Windows.

      I have also used the FreeDOS. It is a really advanced version of MS-DOS / PC-DOS.

      While ArcaOS is not free, it is an advanced form of OS/2 Warp / eComStation. I am using it on a laptop computer.

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