Retro computer enthusiasts will soon be able to take a trip down memory lane.
The Computer History Museum has announced that the source code for the Lisa, one of Apple’s first computers and a desktop that predates the significantly more popular Mac, had been recovered and is currently being reviewed by Apple.
The announcement was first made by Al Kossow, a software curator at the Computer History Museum. Kossow explained that the source code for the OS includes both the operating system and specification applications. Once Apple has finished examining the code, the Computer History Museum says it has plans to make it publicly available at some point in 2018.
Lisa emulators have been around for years, but being able to access the operating system’s original source code, without the need for a third-party app, is completely new.
“Just wanted to let everyone know the sources to the OS and applications were recovered, I converted them to Unix end of line conventions and spaces for Pascal tabs after recovering the files using Disk Image Chef, and they are with Apple for review. After that’s done, the code that is cleared for release by Apple will be made available in 2018. The only thing I saw that probably won’t be able to be released is the American Heritage dictionary for the spell checker in LisaWrite,” said Kossow in a statement.
Back in 1983, the Lisa was released for $10,000, a price tag that comes to an even more astounding $25,000 when adjusted for inflation. The computer was a colossal flop for Apple but remains a significant part of Apple’s early history.
Many believe the computer’s failure is a big reason why Jobs eventually left Apple, before returning to the company years later to launch the iPod and a variety of other products. The OS is also reportedly named after Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Steve Job’s daughter, who he denied being the father of for a number of years.
Source: Computer History Museum