Apple Lisa OS source code released to celebrate 40th anniversary

Apple Lisa OS source code released to celebrate 40th anniversary

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Apple Lisa computer, the American Museum of Computer History released the source code for Lisa OS 3.1 with permission from the manufacturer. You can download it from the organization’s official website after filling out the form download page.

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The Lisa Office System 3.1 platform was released in April 1984 – it was the ancestor of modern macOS and Windows. The Pascal source code package occupies 26 MB – it contains more than 1300 files with comments, the file structure is divided into subdirectories: the operating system itself, applications and the Lisa Toolkit development environment are included in the kit.

The first Apple Lisa computer went on sale on January 19, 1983. This is an important milestone in the company’s history – the first graphical interface with mouse control appeared here, which migrated to the Macintosh series only a year later. Despite many truly innovative solutions, the product never became popular due to the lack of support and the cost of $9995 (about $30,300 today). A year after releasing the Macintosh with the same capabilities, Apple significantly reduced the Lisa’s price.

Of course, Lisa was not the first computer with a graphical interface – this title belongs to the Xerox Star – but right here were such important features of Windows platforms as the drag-and-drop function, moving windows, a trash can with deleted ones Files, a horizontal menu with drop-down submenus, copy and paste shortcuts, control panel, cascading windows, and one-touch automatic system shutdown.

Researchers and educators in educational organizations can now examine how Apple implemented all of these features 40 years ago – the license allows use of the code “for non-commercial, academic research, teaching and self-education only”.


About the author

Robbie Elmers

Robbie Elmers is a staff writer for Tech News Space, covering software, applications and services.

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