Apple is reviewing the code thanks to the Computer History Museum.
The original Lisa computer, named after Jobs’ eldest daughter, came out in 1983 and was generally considered to be a flop. It was a hard device for consumers to embrace because, at the time, it cost approximately $10,000. However, its operating system laid the foundation for the macOS we’re familiar with today.
Jobs reportedly got the idea for the Lisa OS after seeing visual interfaces with mouse support during a visit to Xerox PARC. Jobs took what he saw and made his own version of it—the Lisa operating system featuring a GUI, mouse support, and a file system. While the Lisa computer wasn’t as popular as Jobs hoped it would be, its operating system was a blueprint for the many graphic OSes available today.
Emulators that run the Lisa OS have been available for some time now, but enthusiasts will be excited to explore the operating system’s original source code on their own. Kossow notes that the only thing that likely won’t be released is the American Heritage Dictionary for the spell checker in LisaWrite. But spell-checking your own work is a small price to pay for free access to a major piece of computer history.
When creating Ultima Online, Richard Garriott had grand dreams. He and Starr Long planned on implementing a virtual ecology into their massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It was an ambitious system, one that would have cows that graze and predators that eat herbivores. However, once the game went live a small problem had arisen…