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    An interesting anecdote about the Lisa operating system: Apple’s warranty for the Lisa covered software bugs in addition to hardware. This apparently caused a large number of returns over relatively simple bugs.

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      Do you have any links or citations for this? I’ve never heard it but it sounds fascinating — why did they add this to the warranty (assuming Apple II, e.g., didn’t have this included), how do you define what a “bug” is, how does that differ from today’s warranties (I assume that modern warranties would cover software bugs that prevent advertised operation, but am not certain), which bugs did Apple take returns over, etc etc

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        Just Wikipedia and this article, which may just be referencing the Wikipedia article.

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          Given that it has a stray unfixed “[citation needed]” in the middle with no particular sign that this is a deliberate affectation, I assume large chunks of it were copied from Wikipedia.

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      I was hoping the article would talk about the OS — I have a vague recollection it was Unix-based. It definitely had multitasking and protected memory. The article I read on Ars Technica said Apple built an external MMU chip for it because the 68000 didn’t have one (that came with the 020.)

      The sacrifices Jobs’ team made to cram a similar UX into a machine with 1/8 the RAM were pretty awful, and caused so much trouble for the Mac OS up until the OS X transition. I don’t mean writing things in assembly, but the total lack of encapsulation — OS-wide global variables at hardcoded addresses, major data structures with exposed public fields, etc. Those made adding features, from color graphics to multitasking, very hacky, and of course made the OS very fragile and easy to crash.

      If anyone finds a deeper dive into the Lisa OS, please post it.

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        It wasn’t Unix. If it’s inspired by anything, IIRC, there was some HP minicomputer influence (which is noticeable in the very early screenshots; the soft keys is a very HP thing).

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          The original Mac team performed a feat of engineering to squeeze the better part of a Xerox Star into 128k and then make it usable in 512k at 1/5 the cost of a Star. I agree better encapsulation could have enabled the OS itself to evolve much more gracefully. That does not negate in my mind the achievement that no one else came close to pulling off nearly as well for many years. (And largely still haven’t)

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          github mirror or alike?

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            From the included APPLE ACADEMIC LICENSE AGREEMENT:

            You may not and you agree not to: redistribute, publish, …

            So publishing it on Github is not covered by the agreement.

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            Thanks for the hint; I downloaded and had a look at the source code; some Pascal dialect mixed with some kind of scripting; wonder if someone manages to compile and run it.

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              mixed with some kind of scripting

              The constructs like {$XYZ} are actually not scripting, but compiler commands (pragmas) of the Lisa Pascal dialect, see http://lisa.sunder.net/Pascal_Reference.pdf. And there are also some MC68000 assembler files.

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                I give it a month. There’s so many people who love that Apple period and have lots of skills…

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                @irene @wrs @derReineke

                I dug up the old thread where I asked if anyone knew about this and y’all had expressed interest as well so…here ya go. :)