November 29, 2011

The Greatest Feature of the LISA

I just realized that as I'm writing this 'biography of Steven Jobs from my side' I'm sort of going through my personal history with personal computers.
Anyway, I think I saw the LISA in Israel in the spring of 1983, that is a few months before I had my own personal computer.
At the time going to industry fairs to see computers was one of the best ways to interact with them.
So I was hanging out at this fair, like I did many times before. That is me and a bunch of my friends were asking sales reps all kinds of questions, and watching product demonstrations.
It was basically us, say two ogr three kids from the Seventh Grade, and several dozens of 'serious business people'.
I think none of the sales reps had any hope that we would buy these computers (the LISA sold for something like 10,000 dollars at the time...), but in our defense I could say that the reps liked talking to us better than to the 'srious business people' because:

1) We were really excited about their computers.
2) We sort of understood them, which was not true for the 'srious business people'.

Anyway, I was watching this gray suited woman (highly unusual in Israel at the time, because of the suit, not because of the woman), giving a demonstration of the LISA. All the 'Serious Business People' were excited only about the fact that there was this garbage can, and you could throw your files into it (that's right...).
I distinctly recall her being slightly exasperated (after all she was trying to sell a 10,000 dollar Machine), when she said: 'look, the garbage can is NOT the LISA's greatest feature'.
I don't know if she was right though. After all it is all that is left of the LISA.