Apple’s Lisa project might be the most loaded chapter in the company’s lore, and thanks to the Computer History Museum, you’ll soon be able to play around with one of the first graphical user interfaces in history right there on your shiny state of the art screen. And you won’t have to pay $10,000 that the original Lisa computer cost in 1983.
Al Kossow, a Software Curator at the museum, recently announced that source code for Lisa’s operating system and applications has been recovered and a conversion of the code is currently under review by Apple. He wrote that after the review is done, the museum will release a text on the significance of the Lisa project and make the code available for all in 2018.
In an incident that would kick off a feud between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, the Apple team visited the Xerox PARC lab to check out its work on graphical interfaces. As the story goes, Xerox had essentially figured out the key to the modern PC but sat on the technology. Apple was riding high on the success of the Apple II and Jobs offered Xerox the option to buy 100,000 shares in his company at the pre-IPO price of $10 apiece in exchange for allowing his engineers to play around with Xerox’s tech for three days. The engineers took what they learned from Xerox and created the Lisa.