Apple Lisa 1 demo – the mother of GUI

Thanks to John Wodall from I could copy the rare LOS (Lisa Office System) version 1.0 disks. This video is a result of my work:

John sent me the rare LOS 1 Boot and System Disk on Twiggy media. I made some copies of LOS 1.0 for him and for me. The problem was that only 2 from 10 Twiggy disks were still working. I replaced the magnetic surface inside the Twiggy disks with a normal 1,2MB HD diskette and could finally format and copy all Twiggy disks.

In the video I show the booting off the profile with installed LOS 1.0. Then I copy the LOS 1.0 boot disk, start again from the LOS 1 diskette and format and install the 5MB Profile external hard disk with Lisa Office System 1.

I did not know that you need 2 working Twiggy drives in a Lisa 1 so that you can successfully install LOS 1 on a Profile. The disk 2 (system) has to be placed in Twiggy drive 2… I made a mistake in the video πŸ˜‰

The Apple Lisa 1 is a very very rare machine: it is believed that only 20 machines survived. When Apple released the Lisa 1 in 1983 it came with the hardly working Twiggy drives – an Apple own development. These 5 1/4 inch diskette drives used a special kind of diskettes – the Twiggy diskette or Fileware diskettes. They had 2 read holes and were physically different from the original 5 1/4 inch diskettes. Apple replaced the Twiggy drives very soon with the 400k Sony 3,5 inch drive – a free upgrade to all Lisa 1 owners was offered and nearly everybody took this upgrade. So there are very very few original Lisa 1’s left…

I’m very glad that my machine survived.. and both Twiggy drives were working. Some weeks earlier I repaired my Twiggy drives; one drive was missing a cable and the read/write heads were polluted; also one drive was missing the small felt hat that presses the diskette surface to the read/write head.

This was the video after I repaired the drives (shot at 2 o’clock in the morning as I was so happy to have 2 working Twiggy drives πŸ˜‰






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3 Responses to Apple Lisa 1 demo – the mother of GUI

  1. Wow! Congrats! I’m surprised I haven’t seen this earlier, but many thanks for the walk down memory lane. I’ve never seen a Lisa 1 in person, this video is very close to what I imagine that experience must be. Many thanks.

  2. Michael Ng says:

    Hi, will you consider selling one of your Lisa 1?

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