Apple and the Mac

Essay by swayerCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2004

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Module 1

Section 7

7.1 Apple and the Mac - Introduction

Microcomputers used command-line interfaces

The Apple II: had been the best selling microcomputer.

The Apple III: had some initial flaws which gave the computer a bad name, from which it never really recovered.

The idea at Apple was to build a machine that would be as easy to operate as any household appliance, one which would be 'user friendly'.


7.2 The Lisa

The Lisa computer: is a microcomputer that uses GUI.

Factor which made The Lisa expensive when it was released

It was based around the powerful Motorola 68000 microprocessor (Apple use Motorola chips instead of Intel ones)

It required 1 megabyte of memory (a lot at the time)

It needed a hard drive (unusual for the time).

Factors which removed The Lisa from the market

It was expensive.

It was slow compared with the IBM PCs.

Examples of very powerful metaphors:


A blank sheet of paper on a word processor

A computer folder

The key to the GUI was the desktop metaphor, originally developed at Xerox PARC.

How the desktop was considered as a metaphor

The screen resembles the top of a desk, with various files on it and even a waste basket.

If you want to move a file you simply grab its icon with the cursor and drag it where you want it, as you would move real items around on your desk.

There are some elements of the desktop metaphor which are not found in the real world - for instance scroll bars, menus, etc.

There are also some confusing elements - for example, on the Macintosh dragging a floppy disk icon into the waste basket ejects it, and doesn't, as one might expect, dispose of it.

Released in 1983, the Lisa did...