Macintosh XL: how a girl turned into a boy

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<pre>Macintosh XL: how a girl turned into a boy

During the podcast (# 292), the uncontrollable stream of contradiction left me on the fateful shallows: not everyone understood what I meant by “remaking a girl into a boy”. Sounds a little … defiant? I realized that I can not do without explanations.

Everyone knows that Lisa has become one of the most painful failures of the young and inexperienced Apple Computer. It was not for sale, nobody needed it, and in the end, the last 2,700 copies of this computer ended their lives under the wheels of tractors at one of the landfills in Utah.

Actually …

I'm leaving the topic? There is behind me such a sin, so I do not like performances on a free topic. About the failure of Lisa tell, a little later. While about the transformation of the girl into a boy, promised in the title.

Macintosh XL in the USSR

In the fall of 1987, I was transferred to the ACS of Stanko-Instrumental Production (SIP) of AZLK, to the post of … chief. I was an absolute dilettante. My predecessor, the former liberated secretary of the Komsomol organization of the SIP, with such ecstasy pronounced the word “modem” that I … But I will not shy away from the topic.

Why and why in some units AZLK took an unusual 32-bit technique due to the iron curtain , in spite of the ban on its supply to the USSR, I do not know. But instead of the EU and SM, I was waited for by VAX / VMS and lonely, but very popular in the CIP Mac, behind the glass wall from my boss workplace.

On the day when I first came to ACS SIIP as a chief, there were no folk legends around the VAX / VMS yet, the ACS was connected to the VAX a few days before me. I got a fault log of SMs such and such (I do not remember digital indexes at all), with an access number so-and-so, opened on the last page. It seems that this fruit of civilization more often “lay paws up” than it worked. The morning of his last day began with another “coma”, from which the loaders took him.

But the Mac has already acquired myths and tales. Sharp to the tongue ASUshnye girls loved him, and with pleasure they retold.

Once, a long time ago (in 1986?) On the site of the Macintosh Plus was Lisa, about which so far few knew, so the girls could thoroughly get acquainted with it, and help the planners to get used to this miracle of technology. Those were delighted, and quickly spread the glad tidings throughout the SIP.

Production is a factory in a factory, thousands of people, six huge workshops and all kinds of services. SIP occupied about a third of the “old” territory of AZLK, which is near the metro station Volgogradsky Prospekt. Suddenly, someone again does not understand? Neither Google nor Wiki will give the right information, most likely – although I did not try.

And time did not stand still, and one day, the same mysterious A., because of which all these VAXs, Lisa and Mac'i appeared on AZLK, personally came to the ACS, and, in half an hour , remade everyone's favorite Lisa in the Mac. From what you can conclude about the Lisa model, you could turn only the Lisa 2 into a Mac XL.

In the evening of the same day, the mysterious A. (I could not figure out how his post was officially called!), Users got acquainted with the Mac 'ohm. Compared to the soft and soft in Lisa's communication, the Mac seemed to them sharp and straightforward. Well, boy! But he, too, was nothing, instantly became friends with him, and … But I will not leave the topic.

Then the same A. brought the tape drive (tape recorder for backup), helped to make an archive copy of everything that accumulated on the 10MB drive of the former Lisa (become a boy), and … So in the ACS CIP appeared Mac Plus, a streamer and a 40- megabyte SCSI-disk, which the previous head of the automated control system, transferring to me business, very proudly called “hard drive”, then left the automated control system, and went somewhere up, along the party line.

In 1992 or 1993 he had a big business in supplying some equipment for oil production, I never heard of him again.

The greatest and most revolutionary failure in computer history

Lisa is considered one of the most serious failures of Apple Computer in its entire history, it is constantly mentioned in the same row as Apple III, Newton and Copland. Sold only 100 thousand copies, in competition with weeping cheap clones IBM PC Lisa lost with a crushing score …

It was a great computer, a company that could develop it had no experience, in commerce they were arrogant and self-confident dilettantes, she made all the mistakes that were possible – but now it was absolutely clear that Apple has a great future.

Because what does not kill us makes us stronger. And Lisa brought the company profits.

The development of Lisa began in 1978, the terms of reference and the project objectives changed radically several times, almost five years passed from the beginning of the project to the presentation of the first Lisa. Apple Computer spent 50 million dollars on testing and error. More than NeXT and Be, combined, spent on their firstborn.

Do not remember how many copies of their computers sold NeXT and Be? For three years, from 1983 to 1986, doing everything absolutely wrong, Apple Computer sold a little more than a hundred thousand Lisa. Lisa produced a wide range of peripherals – 5 and 10 megabyte disks, Twiggy drives and 3.5-inch floppy disks …

After spending a fantastic $ 50 million (1983) on Lisa, and two hundred man-years , Apple Computer earned about a billion dollars on it. Such a failure is shame and shame.

About what stupid mistakes made Apple Computer, and Steve personally, in the project Lisa, did not write just lazy. I will not repeat the well-known, moreover, in the written about Lisa there is a lot of untruth.

Lisa designed some of the best engineers in the industry, run by the future superstar computer business Steve Jobs. It's only these best engineers who have never worked on the development of personal computers before, and as a result of their creative efforts, another workstation appeared.

And they tried to sell it as a normal personal computer. PC for 9,995 dollars in itself was nonsense.

IT'sh managers were slow to buy a workstation with a short female name, it was untenable. Now if the name was XDC-TRR 23011/721 KD or something like …

Workstations require specialized technical support and special software – but no one thought about it.

With some stretch, Lisa could even be called a multiprocessor workstation. In addition to 68000 with a clock speed of 5 MHz (that's saved!), The configuration had a dedicated processor 6504, which was used for the Woz-machine.

Lisa was an order of magnitude more technically advanced than the Mac's of the first generation, and in some ways it surpassed all Mac's before Apple's return to Steve Jobs.

Here is a partial list of what Lisa was the first among the personal computers of our civilization:

– full support for local networks;
– printing to a laser printer;
– protected memory;
– programmable module for managing page memory
– graphical user interface;
– icons for the designation of files;
– User-moved windows (and the very concept of windows).

This is not all, only the most important thing.

Lisa is not the first computer with a graphical user interface in history. Alto, the workstation with a graphical user interface that Xerox released homeopathic print runs, cost $ 40,000 and was never considered Xerox as a serious commercial project. It was, more likely, a curiosity.

Sometime, in 50 years or 100 years …

Apple presented Lisa on January 19, 1983. It was a failure.

Continuation, perhaps, someday will be. This is not the beginning of a new series, a response to the reader's response.

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