September 25: Lisas Head to the Landfill

by Hadley Stern Sep 25, 2010

The Lisa was an ambitious computer. Featuring the first GUI, mouse and integrated suite of programs aimed for mass distribution, the machine was in many ways ahead of its time.

As forward looking as the Lisa was, it also had some fundamental shortcomings. There were very few developers thanks to Apple's decision to write the most widely used types of software in house, the machine was incredibly expensive at $10,000 and there were rumors of a "little brother" to the Lisa that was going to retail for a fraction of the cost. To top it all off, the machine was laughably slow. All these factors added up to very low sales.

Apple tried to make the best of an unfortunate situation, attempting to move the Lisas by renaming them the Mac XL and cutting the price, but the machine was always considered inferior by the Mac guys and someone failed to order parts. Apple's remaining stock of unsold Lisas were unceremoniously pushed into a landfill this month in 1989.


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