A happy belated birthday to the Apple Lisa and the Apple IIe! As of January 19th they both turned 30 years old. The two computers pretty much launched Apple and chances are that, without either, none of us would be using our MacBook Airs, iPads, or iPhones today. As someone who is barely older than Apple’s two thirty-somethings, I never had a chance to use either (my first computer was a Commodore 64), but Macworld has a nice history of the two.
Both computers were unveiled at Apple’s annual shareholder’s meeting in 1983. It’s crazy to think that at the time the Apple Lisa cost US$9,995, or a whopping $23,000 in today’s dollars. For that price you got a lot of plastic, some floppy drives, and a 5MHz processor. Compare that to the $499 you pay today for an entry-level iPad with a touch screen and 1.4GHz A6X processor.
For those of you interested in learning even more about the Lisa and Apple IIe be sure to pick up Walter Isaacson’s biography on Steve Jobs. Both computers feature heavily in the opening chapters and the history behind each is fascinating.