Before Macintosh there was Lisa and its incredible demo video

Updated ·2 min read

Sitting in the shadow of the revolutionary Apple Macintosh is the Mac's lesser known sibling, the Lisa. The Pete Best of the Apple world, Lisa was released in 1983 and discontinued three years later, left behind in the dust of the Macintosh's overwhelming popularity.

Its major failing was the insane $9,995 price tag, roughly $23,866 in todays dollars. Just one year later the similarly powered Macintosh 128K hit the market at just $2,495. Ultimately, the Lisa's price tag left it out of reach for most consumers. In spite of its powerful graphic capabilities, a number of odd quirks coupled with that crazy price tag kept it from ever truly picking up steam.

While Lisa was eventually driven from the market by its more reasonably priced sibling, it's legacy lives on in this incredibly dated demo video. Set against a delightfully 80s John Carpenter-styled keyboard soundtrack, the Lisa demonstration video walks you through the work process of a well-manicured caricature of a business man. Just listen to him purr "you see, Lisa's screen is special."

Our narrator wouldn't feel out of place in a Die Hard rip off, but the work he demonstrates shows a device already attuned to the needs of future office workers. Powerful spreadsheets that be translated into graphs? Heck, yes! Even while typing with only one finger from each hand, the Lisa allows him to do hours of work in no time flat. It's interesting to note that the video presents the idea that the increased productivity gains offered by computers would lead to more leisure time for workers. There's something adorable about that level of optimism. Even though the Lisa only lived a few short years, it's important she not be forgotten. RIP Lisa.

You can watch the complete video below in two easy-to-view parts.