The graphical user interface was probably one of the most important inventions for the rapid rise of computers.The model Apple Lisa is one of the first computers with a graphical user interface. The source code of the operating system will be soon freely available.

Apple Lisa

There are some computers and programs that are credited with a very special place in the development history of the entire industry. Institutions like the Computer History Museum strive to preserve as much of the important milestones in the development of hardware and software as possible for posterity.

As the software curator Al Kossow announced shortly before the end of the year, he could recover the source code of the operating system, which was used in Apple’s well-known Lisa computer from 1983. In addition, he had also completely reconstructed the supplied programs of the computer, which had been co-developed by Steve Jobs. Lisa is one of the first personal computers to have a mouse and an operating system with a graphical user interface.

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As Kossow further elaborates, he has now submitted all the collected source code to Apple, which will make another review. The Group can now decide which parts it then wants to make publicly available in the episode, then the released source code would be freely available to all. The software curator will write in due course a blog post, which takes into account the “historical importance of the software”. “The code released for publication by Apple will be deployed in 2018,” said Kossow.

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Of course, the release of the Lisa OS source code is an exciting news, especially for real enthusiasts. For example, as user Tom Stepleton writes, he looks forward to finally providing Lisa with the patch Y1.995K – an allusion to an update “on which Lisa has been waiting for about 28 years”. The Lisa-Os will be available next year at the Center for Software History on the museum’s website and will join the source code of software milestones such as Microsoft Word 1.1 and Apple II.

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