The first graphic RPN calculator emulator was made by Apple in 1983 !!


Today I was "playing" with my Apple Lisa 2 computer and I noticed that the calculator included with the OS had a RPN mode ! I found a link that shows the several options of this calculator, see

I think this is the very first graphic RPN calculator emulator ever made, and it was back in 1983 ! Or maybe has someone found an older one ?

By the way, it's amazing what this machine could do for it's time: it had a word processor, a spreadsheet, a project planner, a drawing software, a database, a graphing software, etc. !! Bill Gates came only 2 years later with his Windows 1.0 which didn't have overlapping windows, had only a word processor and a calculator (but no RPN).


Clearly Windows 1.0 was not as advancede as the Mac-OS in Apple Lisa!

Lack of RPN mode proves it!



The Lisa didn't run MacOS, unless you ran MacWorks. The native operating system, which included the calculator with RPN mode, was the Lisa OS.


. . . the Lisa OS, which was actually written in an early object-oriented language called Clascal. It was multitasking, had overlapping windows, and a lot of other features; it was way ahead of its time.


--- Les



The Apple Lisa was definitely way ahead of its time!


...and then the Lisa failed because it cost as much as a nice car, and a stripped-down version of its OS was developed which became the MacOS 1.0 we all know and love.
And then Apple sold the MacOS source code to Microsoft, which enabled M$ to transform their product into something you could actually use...
Isn't it amazing that MacOS has stayed ahead of Windows in terms of quality, for so long? :-)

Oops, I'm getting seriously off-topic. Obligatory calculator reference: the original MacOS calculator was *very* basic. I have no idea about recent MacOS versions -- I haven't used Macs in years. The Windows 98 calculator is nice, if you can live with the fact that it has no RPN and is not programmable...

xcalc is probably a bit later than the Lisa calculator. Anyone know? xcalc is interesting because it, too, has algebraic *and* RPN modes.

- Thomas


a stripped-down version of its OS was developed which became the MacOS 1.0

The only thing in common between the Lisa OS and MacOS was the QuickDraw graphics library.

then Apple sold the MacOS source code to Microsoft

No, that never happened. Apple sold Microsoft a limited license to use certain aspects of the Mac user interface in Windows 1.0. That didn't include any transfer of MacOS source code.


The Lisa's system was dropped and replaced by the new MacIntosh computer. MAC OS as you know it, was born back at that time. Read on.

Today's FYI History Lession:

Jef Raskin, who dreamed up the affordable, user-friendly computer that became Apple's Macintosh and replaced the Lisa, died this last February,26, 2005 at his Pacifica, CA, home.

He was employee No. 31 at Apple when he joined in 1978.

Raskin, who had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a few months ago, was 61. He was employee No. 31 at Apple when he joined in 1978. By the next year, he began to pursue his goal of simplifying the computer user's experience, focusing on a faster and more logical interface. And the computer should sell for less than $1,000. He named the project after one of his favorite fruits as a child in Manhattan: the McIntosh apple. The computer's moniker was spelled differently to avoid trademark issues. He recalled, "I figured if I was going to name an Apple, it might as well be my favorite

But when he clashed with another Apple visionary, co-founder Steve Jobs, Jobs took over Raskin's team "by fiat," Raskin once said, and he resigned in 1981. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said many of Raskin's groundbreaking user-interface features remained part of the Mac when it was released in 1984 -- at a price of $2,495. "Jef's dream changed the world," Wozniak said Sunday. "Making technology work simpler, he was at the heart of that from the first days at Apple." Wozniak said Raskin also convinced Jobs to spend time at Xerox PARC to see how to develop cutting-edge technology. "Jef Raskin is one of the most important people in personal computers, to this day," he added. Raski n contended over the years that Jobs had taken credit for his work developing the Mac. But most Apple observers credit Jobs for the marketing genius behind the Mac.

After leaving Apple, Raskin coined the term "information appliance" -- the name of his company -- and developed the Canon Cat, with backing from Canon. Though he incorporated features learned from extensive study of cognitive psychology, the Cat never gained popularity. Raskin believed a computer should be as easy to use as any other household appliance, like a toaster or a washing machine. "Have you ever noticed there are no Maytag users groups?" he once asked a Mercury News reporter. "That's because you just put the clothes in, push the button and they get clean." Raskin was also an accomplished musician and artist. His artwork was once displayed at New York's Museum of Modern Art and he conducted the San Francisco Chamber Opera Society. He also was a model airplane designer, an archer and an occasional race car driver.

Edited: 2 Apr 2005, 3:00 p.m.

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