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Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16
"This software runs on Macintosh and Lisa"

Mac&LisaSticker

So, I was curious about early (System 1 ~ 5) Mac software that seem to have a Lisa counterpart. Some early Mac software, like Through The Looking Glass, seemed to be available both for Macs and Lisas, and come with the sticker shown above. This raised some questions for me:

- Were such Mac-Lisa software the same binary? Or were they separate binaries, perhaps each stored in a different partition of a floppy? (For Mac, MFS, and for Lisa, whatever file system Lisa uses.)

- Was there a standard way to build Lisa software (and Mac-Lisa software, if such software indeed existed) on a Mac? Perhaps with MPW? And what about building the same on a Lisa? Or was an Apple II and the like used instead?

I never touched a Lisa, but I'd still like knowing some of these things. I figure nearly all Lisa and early Mac software were all coded directly with 68k assembly, at the very least.

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Daxeria's picture
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Joined: 2009 Apr 8

Although the Lisa wasn't marketed as the Macintosh XL until 1985, Apple introduced the MacWorks emulator that let the Mac OS run on Lisa hardware as early as April 1984. The sticker certifies that a given Mac program is compatible with MacWorks on the Lisa.

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

Ah, interesting, that explains everything. Many thanks. For a second there, I'd wondered if there were Fat or Universal binary equivalents between Lisa and Mac, but now it's clear.

capt_chuckl3s's picture
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Joined: 2019 Sep 17

I don't know a lot about the Lisa. Did it run a variation of System 1 or something?

Jatoba's picture
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Joined: 2018 Apr 16

Crudely-speaking, it's more like it ran what would later inspire System 1. At first, the Macintosh Systems were aimed to be simpler Lisas, so to speak. Optionally, people could also use XENIX.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Emaculation has some notes about Lisa and you may give the Lisa emulator a whirl on OSX or Windows.
I found LisaEm quite usable (with macOS Sierra IIRC).
https://lisa.sunder.net/
As written elsewhere, there is not that much software to play around with and no games.
Afaik Lisa was the development environment for early Mac software, so it may be worth to have a look how things started.

See comment from 19/01/28 on the page below for a picture of LisaEm (Lisa 2) running:
https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/lisa-office-system-20

Just saw that there is a treasure trove of Lisa documentation available too:
https://lisaem.sunder.net/books.html

Lisa2-Owners-Guide-Cover