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Apple's First Flops 434

Posted by timothy
from the what-might-have-been dept.
Sabah Arif writes "Apple began the eighties with two major flops under its belt: the Apple III and the LISA. Both machines were attempts at breaking into the business market. They were technologically advanced, but major flaws prevented their success."
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Apple's First Flops

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  • by siropel (802188) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:33AM (#12552796) Homepage Journal
    Where can i get one of those babes? I want to replace my 95 cause it's beginning to be insecure and unstable...
    "The press declared the machine and its software revolutionary. In a matter of months, the Macintosh had revolutionized Apple and the computer business" - they revolutionized and other company rules the market ? ...deja vu ...
  • Sounds reasonable. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Televisor (827008) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:35AM (#12552812) Homepage
    I'd say two major flops are a pretty good hit/miss ratio compared to the number of products they've had out, 2:50 or so.
    • by MoonFog (586818) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:40AM (#12552852)
      That may be true, but Apple never really got any sort of hold in the business market. If they had succeeded, things may have looked very different.
      • by Televisor (827008)
        But then, is it possible to hold both the business and art/design/music/general creativity markets?
        • Certainly, many businesses make use of the design market. If Apple had succeeded ,they would most likely be a bigger company than they are right now, giving them more resources to focus on two areas. MS has done pretty well with both Office and Windows.
      • by el_womble (779715) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:03AM (#12553015) Homepage
        Imagine everyday coding in Cocoa and XTools as standard in businesses... bliss. Core Data is probably enough to shift the TCO and ROI on Apple Hardware in Apple's favour, but then what CFO in his right mind would get locked into a single vendor for the OS and hardware, especially with the initial investment in x86 hardware? If I were Apple I'd think seriously about licencing the fabled x86 build of OS X for business use only. Not only would they get a boost from support contracts, but more people would be exposed to the software at work, and hopefully, start thinking seriously about buying the hardware for home. They might even start to shift a few more XServes! I guess the biggest problem they'd be facing then is piracy but that could be curbed by limiting the processor compatability to Xeons and Opterons, kind of the anti Windows XP Starter Edition.
        • by MoonFog (586818) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:28AM (#12553150)
          I'd love to use OS X on x86 hardware, but aren't Apple's main source of revenue their hardware?
          They would probably require assurance that OS X could actually be a real revenue source before they make the switch.
          • by hey! (33014)
            Yes.

            However, we are talking about a hypothetical situation where Apple is the desktop monopolist, not Microsoft. Naturally, they'd want you to buy everything from them, but very likely they would be forced to allow competitors to build competitive hardware, just like IBM was in the 70s.
        • by grahamlee (522375) <iamleeg@HORSEgmail.com minus herbivore> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:30AM (#12553168) Homepage Journal
          I agree with your sentiment; using the Apple developer tools and environment as standard would be sweet as. Even back in the mid 1990s the NeXT developer environment was absolute luxury. The problem is most heads of IT (and most IT support staff) depend on Windows for their livelihood so aren't about to endorse a switch to Mac, Linux, OpenVMS or anything else.
        • by DenDave (700621) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @08:03AM (#12553343)
          I think the biggest technical problem for x86 OSX is that they would have to suppprt a plethora of hardware options that really wouldn't earn them enough money in the end to pay it off. Tiger goes for around 130 retail so then what would they charge for x86 volume licenses? maybe 30 bucks? I doubt they could muster the current level of support and quality on 30 bucks a seat. Nope, better that users who really see the need dish out for the hardware as well, I mean think about it, you cannot turn a dodge into a mercedes just by changing the badge.

          Growth is now the biggest threat to Apple because it is not so simple to scale your business to meet the demands of the market. Already Apple is feeling the strain, employees are being worked dang hard and the company is struggling to keep up supply. Success of Ipods, Ibooks and Mini's is so high that new OEM's are being used and all the long while, they still need to keep the quality and standards up to par with their reputation. If the mini's all started to exhibit failures and poor workmanship than that would harm the crossover (new mac users) market more than anything the competition could hope for.

          The best situation for Apple now is to stabilize the growth and scale the infrastructure so it all runs smoothly. In EU there have been three month delays in some shops and that simply won't do.

          • "you cannot turn a dodge into a mercedes just by changing the badge"

            It's been done over and over between VW, audi, and Porche; and between Ford and Mercury; and between Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Buick. I see no reason why the difference between a Dodge and a Mercedes can't be reduced to the badge. Brand names are only marketing labels, after all, and have no inherent meaning (at least not if owned by the same people).
          • by Gleng (537516)

            If the mini's all started to exhibit failures and poor workmanship than that would harm the crossover (new mac users) market more than anything the competition could hope for.

            Strangely enough, that seems to be happening [xlr8yourmac.com].

            I've been drooling over screenshots/reviews of OS X for ages now (Unix? Nice interface?), and I was pretty much ready to shell out for a Mini as my first Mac until I saw that report -- and many others like them [google.co.uk].

            It's a shame, but I don't really want to shell out £350+ with the ri


        • but then what CFO in his right mind would get locked into a single vendor for the OS and hardware


          IBM and Sun don't seem to have a horrible time of it. If the benefits outweigh any (percieved) risks, then it'll take care of itself. That's what's happening now. You think having a whole company 0wn3d by spyware is cheap?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        but Apple never really got any sort of hold in the business market
        Visicalc [bricklin.com] nearly did that. But since IBM had yet to legitimize personal computers with their "entry level systems," PCs were still looked upon by the business community as hobbyist toys.
      • Visicalc? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BreadMan (178060) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:05AM (#12553756)
        Dan Bricklin's spreadsheet ran on the Apple first and was the sole reason folks went out and bought an Apple. For a period (think early 80's), Apple owned the desktop computer market, with many more business-oriented applications than creative/educational titles.

        Only after they got crushed by IBM machines did they focus on thier current market. I don't think IBM did them in as much as the IBM clone market, which reduced the cost of the hardware to far below Apple's. With a lower price, more people purchased IBM-compatible machines and the demand for software followed.
      • by TrueJim (107565) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:09AM (#12553815) Homepage
        Apple's PCs never got a strong hold in the business market, but once upon it's most powerful machine did:

        From Wikipedia: "The Apple LaserWriter was one of the first laser printers available to the mass market. Combined with GUI-based programs like Adobe PageMaker on the Macintosh, it is generally considered to have sparked the Desktop publishing (DTP) revolution in the mid-1980s.

        Unlike models from HP, which had been introduced a few months earlier and used their proprietary PCL printing language, the LaserWriter included the PostScript page description language which allowed for far more complex graphics, high-resolution bitmap graphics, outline fonts, and generally much better-looking output.

        The use of PostScript comes at a cost. Unlike PCL and other early printer control languages, PostScript is a complete programming language and requires a complete computer to run it. In the case of the LaserWriter this was a Motorola 68000 CPU running at 12MHz, making it the fastest machine in Apple's lineup, and the most expensive at $6,995 when it was introduced in late 1985."
    • Yes, but try try try to arrange your first two major flops for *after* you've released a system that fully supports both upper and lower case letters and 80 column text if you wish to hold any stake in the business market whatsoever. When Apple finally did make their first dent in the business market, it wasn't even driven by a computer, it was driven by a laser printer.
    • You've got to admit, this: "After being used for a day or two, the mainboard would get so hot it would warp and unseat some of the chips. Apple refused to install a fan to fix the problem and instructed users to drop the machine on their desk to bang the chips back into place." is pretty damn impressive as far as flops go. :P

    • Agreed :)

      MicroSoft only had a few flops in their overall pretty successful range of products, but every now and then people start laughing about Bob again.

      Flops are inherent to doing innovative business. What if we started looking at all the failed attempts at useful software on sourceforge? *grin*

      (i know the last argument is flawed, it's a weak attempt at humour)
  • Apple Pippin (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thedogcow (694111) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:37AM (#12552826)
    What about the Apple Pippin? Few people know about Apples ill-fated console release.
  • by ziggamon2.0 (796017) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:37AM (#12552828) Homepage
    major flops under its belt

    It's ok Steve... it happens to every guy! Maybe you were just nervous!

    Look at you now - with your impressive... eh... Mac Mini...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:38AM (#12552837)
    I don't know if there are some Mac addicts here who can remember it, but the "AV" machines back then (660 AV and 840AV iirc) with their AT&T 3210 DSP, GeoPort, etc... were nicknamed Mac III

    And of course were an horrible flop :)

    It's funny because back then, the nickname "Mac III" made a lot of people associate it with Apple III, and there was, in the Mac hackers community, a bad feeling about it ...

    Apple: Never again use "III" in a product name :)

    Ben.
    • by CrazyTalk (662055) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @08:16AM (#12553404)
      I had (well have, its still in a box in my basement) a Centris 660AV - at the time I thought it was a phenomenal macine, with a separate processor to handle things like speech recognition and a CD-ROM drive built in (you had to use a special caddy for each CD, never mind slot loading!) Like the Lisa, it was ahead of its time.
    • I don't know if there are some Mac addicts here who can remember it, but the "AV" machines back then (660 AV and 840AV iirc) with their AT&T 3210 DSP, GeoPort, etc... were nicknamed Mac III [...]And of course were an horrible flop :)

      I had a 660AV, and it was a nice machine- I liked it; it was an affordable 68040, and that's why I bought it (I believe- this was almost 10 years ago). Speech recognition was kind of cool, but didn't work all that well. The software modem stuff was crap, the DSP-powered

  • old news (Score:5, Funny)

    by MarsDude (74832) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:40AM (#12552858) Homepage
    "... Apple began the eighties with..."

    If this isn't old news.. I don't know what IS.
  • I call dupe. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mooniejohnson (319145) <mooniejohnson+slashdot@NosPAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:40AM (#12552859)
    I think this is a Slashdot record... a dupe of a story that developed over 20 years ago!

    All sarcasm aside, how is this news? Yes, they were flops. Again, 20 years ago. Some site is just putting up a history now, but that still doesn't make it news. It's just blatant flamebait. Come on, editors, take "stuff that matters" to heart!
    • Re:I call dupe. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I find it interesting and with me probably lots of other people. Does it matter it's not news in the strict sense of the word? BBC news also has "features" that are not directly news but just interesting to know about.
  • by Timesprout (579035) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:43AM (#12552876)
    On top of that, Jobs' insistence that the machine have no fan made for a very hot board. After being used for a day or two, the mainboard would get so hot it would warp and unseat some of the chips. Apple refused to install a fan to fix the problem and instructed users to drop the machine on their desk to bang the chips back into place.
    • I had an Amiga 500 with the 500K RAM expansion, which used to short out against the RF shielding in the case on a daily basis. "Lift up the front right corner about and inch and drop it" was the official Commodore method for dealing with it.
    • by jellomizer (103300) * on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:27AM (#12553146)
      You just cant beat 1980s technical support. A friend of mine use to work for Cray back in the 80s. When the systems timing wasn't just quite right a technician will go to the system and cut the wire a little shorter so the electrons will get there a little quicker. Technology back then if you ever compare the electronics were a lot bigger and more durable. large solder blobs to keep the chip in place with the board. An extra wire soldered on to fix a bug in the design. just filled with ICs. It is great stuff. With this type of stuff you can actually figure out how it works. Figuring that you has the specs of every IC.
  • Some predictions (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This post will be a great opportunity for Apple fans to rave about how fantastic Apple is and that they only produced two flops in their entire history. These posts will of course be modded up as this is macrumors here after all.

    This post will also be a great opportunity for Apple hater to tell us how much Apple sucks and that everything they do is a failure. These posts will of course be modded down as this is macrumors here after all.

    Additionally at least one major discussion about Apple pricing will br
  • Hot Product (Score:3, Funny)

    by ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) <.saapad. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:47AM (#12552915) Journal


    "On top of that, Jobs' insistence that the machine have no fan made for a very hot board."

    Why on earth would he object to putting a fan in it? Did he think it'd make too much noise?

    My favorite part of the article: "Apple refused to install a fan to fix the problem and instructed users to drop the machine on their desk to bang the chips back into place."

    What a concept! Usually when you drop things, they break. But when you drop an Apple, well, it just works (TM).
    • Re:Hot Product (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:55AM (#12552956)
      Why on earth would he object to putting a fan in it? Did he think it'd make too much noise?

      Absolutely. In this day of multi-ghz processors and video cards requiring their own cooling, people forget what it's like to have a dead silent computer. Remember back then that many/most computers didn't even have hard disks, so unless you were accessing the floppy, there was no noise at all. Notice that he made the same edict when it came to the original Mac's.

      What a concept! Usually when you drop things, they break. But when you drop an Apple, well, it just works (TM).

      Actually this was a common problem with all computers of that era. Wasn't uncommon at all to have chips work their way loose, esp new computers. I'd get new units and the first thing I'd do is re-seat all the socketed chips, esp the memory dips as trouble shooting your computer locking up or randomly rebooting (ahhh, some things never change do they?) because one of your 36 64k dips was loose was not fun.
    • What a concept! Usually when you drop things, they break. But when you drop an Apple, well, it just works (TM).

      Similar to what I used to call Apple Disease. The vibration from the Apple ][ power switch (the BRS) would eventually cause the socketed chips to walk out and gall the contact surfaces. The quick fix was to open the top and re-seat the chips with your thumb. I used to pull the chips, treat the pins with Tweek (now known as Stabilant [stabilant.com]), re-seat them and charge $25 for the job. Good spare chan

    • Re:Hot Product (Score:3, Informative)

      by jellomizer (103300) *
      I remember my old Amstrad 8086 512k. When it wasn't accessing the drives The system was silant-minus a high pitch sound coming from the monitor, whenever it had to change what it was displaying). Modern computers with CRTs may do the same thing but with the fans I just cant tell. Even my laptop makes more noise then the Amstrad. About 5 years ago I powed back the amstrad and I was amazed how silent it was. I thought it wasn't going to boot because I wasn't hearing anything in the time it takes to power up
  • by Anonymous Coward

    As I recall, Apple was the first to integrate SMALL 3.5" flops (on the Macintosh)

  • by oboylet (660310) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @06:53AM (#12552949)
    Bring back eWorld [vanvr.com]! It was soooooo cute.

    Sorry, I need a minute. Have to run to the bathroom...something in my eye. Just thinking about it gets me all bleary-eyed.

  • by allanc (25681) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:00AM (#12552993) Homepage
    FTFA:
    >where he led a dozen engineers (including future Apple CEO Larry Tesler)

    Larry Tesler was never CEO of Apple. He was Chief Scientist and VP.

    Kinda makes me wonder about the veracity of the rest of the piece...
  • by KDR_11k (778916) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:06AM (#12553030)
    Nowadays companies count in Teraflops.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:07AM (#12553037)
    Disclaimer: I'm an Apple fan, owner, and former employee (certainly not a high-level one, though).

    That said, Apple screws up a lot, particularly in first versions of a new product. As the article says, the Lisa was a flop, but it led to the original Mac, which led to the real hit, the Mac II.

    The Mac Portable was a terrible product--but it led to the Powerbook, which defined the laptop computer. The Cube was overpriced and didn't have a market, but it led to the Mini, which is kicking ass.

    The iPod was a hit from the jump, but the Newton was dead from its announcement date (we knew it was in trouble when they started handing them out as employee awards).
    • The Cube was overpriced and didn't have a market, but it led to the Mini, which is kicking ass.

      If Apple had just priced the G4 Cube correctly it would have been a hit, because its desktop footprint is really not much bigger than the currently fashionable Mac Mini. And it would have allowed people to buy less-expensive monitors, keyboards and mouse pointers, too.

      The iPod was a hit from the jump....

      I have to disagree with that. It was only when the version for Windows that included USB 2.0 support came
    • by Logic Bomb (122875) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @03:16PM (#12558632)
      I've now seen several comments that the Lisa led to the Macintosh. That is a mischaracterization. The two machines were being developed at the same time! Check out Revolution In The Valley by Andy Hertzfeld, one of the members of the original Mac development team. It's a fun book, but it also will show you that the Lisa and Mac teams were in fact competing with each other and hardly communicated. Steve Jobs had a great deal to do with this. It's certain that some of the same basic ideas were inspiration for both groups, but it's not like the Lisa was developed, then Apple decided to develop the Mac based on it.
  • by Zorilla (791636) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:08AM (#12553044)
    From article:
    By April 1984, Apple had managed to sell only 65,000 units, loosing money on the model.
    Geez, Slashdot's power to make people misspell words is so powerful that it's leaking into linked articles!

  • by beetle496 (677137) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:21AM (#12553120) Homepage
    Here's a nice list of real (ongoing?) flops: LEM Road Apples [lowendmac.com] They include the G4 Cube which, along with the Apple /// and Lisa, I would argue the only failure was the unrealisticly high MSRP.
  • by Gopal.V (532678) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:28AM (#12553155) Homepage Journal

    Apple had a sort of adolscent crisis when the compan y got to a stage when the hormones took over (this might look like a metaphor, but most companies have a childhood, youth and middle age like the people who run it). The business side started leaning on the creative side and sort of screwed each other. Apple had a bunch of cool people coding for them (I wish ... Amiga...). But the business was more concerned about sellability than the raw coolness of the app in mind (see Google right now, it's going through the same loss of innocence).

    Here's my list of top apple flops :
    • Apple Pippin (nice name !!)
    • OpenDoc
    • Lisa
    • copland (no, not the movie)
    • eWorld (what ?)
    • Dalmatian Imacs
    • Mac Portable
    Btw, if it hadn't been for iMac and it appearing EVERY other commercial - apple might have just gone down silently. Now Ipod is bringing back the original proprietary wizards (Apple > Sun > Microsoft in this attitude ... they're no angels).
  • writer? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by _Shorty-dammit (555739) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:31AM (#12553174)
    how do people get jobs writing anything when they don't even know the difference between 'loose' and 'lose' or 'to' and 'too' or that all sentences should end with some form of puncuation? Article's somewhat interesting as far as the information goes, but this guy can't write worth a damn.
    • I've always wondered this myself. Now, I have a degree in CS, but I'm still concerned about my writing. People judge you by the way you speak and write. It kind of sucks, but I like to at least pretend I learned something in college.
    • I kind of doubt LowEndMac is paying writers a lot of money for that drivel.

      They're certainly not spending any money on competent copyediting.

  • When I was a kid my father's coworker loaned us a LISA for a couple of weeks. All I remember about it was a Death Star Trench game, but it and my dad's first amber-screened Compaq are what got me interested in computers and programming.
  • Apple History (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hendridm (302246) *

    I always found the history of Apple, Inc. and their technology fascinating. I'm 26, and the first computer I used at school was an Apple IIe. My first computer my parents bought me was a IIgs. That was a great machine in its day, if only it had a hard drive it would have essentially been a Mac since it had an early version of the Mac GUI. At that time, anyone who was anyone in BBS land wanted a PC though, so I switched and am still using x86 hardware today (I don't care to start an argument - terminal s

  • Apple IIGS? (Score:3, Informative)

    by master_p (608214) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:33AM (#12553190)

    Wasn't that [oldcomputers.net] a flop?

    • Re:Apple IIGS? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MouseR (3264) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:50AM (#12553273) Homepage
      Oh no that wasn't.

      That machine was the last of the Apple //s and did very well. It introduced a number of additions that eventually made their way into the Mac world, such as ADB input bus. It had 16-bit graphics when Macs were still black and white, 16-chanel sound chip (the Mac had a 4-way back then I believe).

      That machine would have made Apple big, had they had not spent all their marketing efforts onto the Mac (whose hardware was inferior in many areas to the GS, but whose OS was superior).
  • Lovverly Lisa (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cally (10873) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:43AM (#12553239) Homepage
    The Lisa wasn't a commercial success but it certainly was a technological success, paving the way for the Mac. (If you haven't seen a picture of one, google around... they looked a bit like an original Mac (aka 'Mac Classic') rotated through 90 degrees. It had a revolutionary WIMP interface. I remember as an awestruck almost-teenager reading a breathless review in the UK's then only PC mag, "Personal Computer World" which said "the only bad thing we could find to say about it is that some of the icons look a little whimsical. How long could you look at a whimsical icon before it becomes irritating?" It was also over eight grand sterling, four times the price of the ugly, clunky CGA IBM PCs that were the competition...
  • by Ancient_Hacker (751168) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @07:51AM (#12553278)
    Some errors in the article:
    • It was the "Sophisticated" Operating System".
    • The clock chip in the Apple III was unreliable, but that wasnt Apple's fault, it was an intrinsic problem with the IC.
    • It's doubtful that the Apple III got hot enough to unseat the chips.
    • It would be nearly impossible to add a fan to the Apple III without a major hack job on the case, power supply, and the large rear heatsink. It's not something that could be just tacked on.
    • Jobs did insist the Mac would have no fan.
    • Bill Atkinson did not work at PARC.
    • It's not Apple's fault that they used an unreliable IC? Strange logic here.

      My company (DeskTop Softare Corp, out of business now) wrote software for the III and it failed because there were a large number of 100% out of the box failures. The hardware stunk. Who can we possibly blame other than Apple?
    • >It's doubtful that the Apple III got hot enough to unseat the chips.

      That would make it difficult to explain why Apple recommended lifting the machine two inches and dropping it to reseat them . . . you can argue for a different cuase, but that was Apple's explanation back then . . .

      hawk
  • That's nothing. They're up to about 10 teraflops now.... mmm BigMac :)
  • I don't get it, it was more than 15 years ago, who cares about their flops then???
  • Maybe this should be linked SOMEWHERE on slashdot, but it sure as hell isn't front page news. I'm suggesting that rather than post flames about things like this we IGNORE them in the future. If we stop clicking through and viewing adds on crap like this, maybe the loss of revenue will convince someone to start actually publishing CONTENT again.
  • Only one picture was ever officially published of the Giotto stylus/tablet as I remember, and I'm not sure if it was a Newton on steroids or fully functional PC, but as an artist, writer, and MAC enthusiast, I knew I wanted one. I could find no surviving references during a quick search. It is sad and wonderful seeing great ideas appear before their time even when they then die; the creative spirit is indomitable!
  • Jobs, if anything, was focused and visionary. A few screwups are nothing compared to the IBM PC Jr, and assorted junk that arrived from loads of other vendors. If nothing, he's consistent and found religion when he jumped to NeXt. The Darwin kernel and other human-factor profiles, along with sheer beauty make Job's stuff like Sony's product lines used to be.

    The list of other flops is miles long. Flops are good: they test engineers and the market place. Some items are ahead of their time, others behind, a

  • Your not trying hard enough/ taking enough risks. Noone/ company is perfect. Of course something were bound to fail (New Coke), but everything is clearer when looking back at it.

    Learning from mistakes and not repeating them is the hard part.
  • by regen (124808) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @09:57AM (#12554417) Homepage Journal
    By April 1984, Apple had managed to sell only 65,000 units, loosing money on the model.

    It turns out according to the Apple sales database they sold exactly 65,535. :)

  • lisa a flop? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by psaltes (9811) on Tuesday May 17, 2005 @01:47PM (#12557517)
    Reading sites like this one [folklore.org], it seems pretty clear that while LISA was a flop in and of itself, the original mac would never have been a success without it. This is both in terms of personnel (several key people were involved with both) and ideas - there was a lot of cross-pollination (though it doesn't sound like the LISA people were happy about that). So as a product, LISA was a flop, but as an investment by Apple, I'd think it should be considered wildly successful.

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