PDA

View Full Version : Hi! Here's my Lisa.



compu_85
June 26th, 2006, 10:00 PM
Hi all! Stumbeled on this site looking for the Setup Disk for my IBM AT. Looks like a nice place to hang out :)

I have nearly finished restoreing an Apple Lisa 2/10. All that's left are some final tweaks on the display. It functions 100%, and I enjoy using it (if only it wern't so slow!)

I have taken many pictures of her, you can view them here:
http://compu85.homeip.net/stuff/Lisa/

Sorry that the pictures all all really big at this point. The movies are huge. I should really re render them.

Here is a post I made on another forum about the unique keyboard:
http://z13.invisionfree.com/OneTrueKeyboard/index.php?showtopic=35

-Jason

bbcmicro
June 26th, 2006, 11:58 PM
Welcome! that lisa is pretty sweet

Erik
June 27th, 2006, 06:17 AM
Very nice!

How did you get the plastic back to the natural color? Or did your Lisa somehow avoid yellowing?

compu_85
June 27th, 2006, 08:13 AM
I was very lucky, the Lisa is hardly faded. I keep it under a cover when I don't have it on.

When I got it 2 years ago off eBay, the power supply was broken. Some new caps and a dual diode fixed that. It also came with an empty ProFile case. I later picked up a very faded looking profile for $30 (!!!) and transfered the guts into that pristene case. The Profile case is not faded at all. If you look, there is an ever so slight difference between it's color and the Lisa.

When I first got the machine, the internal had disk did not work. I had freed the head motor and spindle motor allready, so I knew that wasn't the problem. When you applied power, it would spin up, the brake on the head motor would disengage (CLACK!) and then it would start looking for track 0. Wouldn't find it though. I tried cleaning the contacts on the boards. Tried reseating everything. No joy. Finally out of frustration, I grabbed the spindle on the head motor and twisted it back and forth voilently as the drive was on. Suddenly I felt resistance. I stopped moving the spindle, but it kept going! The drive was working! It completed it's seek test, sector test (it does this every time power is applied), and then booted into MacWorks. The computer was used by a place called Rock River Provision in Illinois.

I also got lucky with the ProFile, it works perfectly, and came loaded with documents! It was used by a company that made semi truck trailers in Detroit. It's loaded with lots of drawings. There's even a detailed drawing of the plant in there... even has the table where the Lisa sat!

When I first got the profile, it was extremelly noizy. The spindle bearings made horrible pinging and screeching sounds. Someone on the LisaList suggested I leave the drive on, upside down, for a day. This would reflow whatever grease happened to be in there. Well, that worked good! It's still loud, but doesn't make the pinging or screeching sounds anymore :)

Here is an audio recording of the ProFile before I left it upside down. (http://compu85.homeip.net/stuff/Lisa/Profile/profile.mp3)

-J

compu_85
September 24th, 2006, 06:38 PM
If you look in a lot of the pictures, you'll notice that the top right of the screen seems to sag some. I fixed that yesterday.

The original CRT was heavily burnt in. I was able to pick up a NOS CRT for dirt cheap. It was in great shape... except for the sagging corner issue. To solve the issue I transferred the deflection yolk over from the original CRT and now the image is nice and true.

Now to just get the last few capacitors replaced and the restoration will be done!

http://compu85.homeip.net/stuff/Lisa/Beauity%20shots/MVC-008F_sm.JPG

-Jason

mpickering
September 24th, 2006, 06:52 PM
Very pretty!

I only ever saw a working Lisa once and that was at a ComputerLand store when I was kid. I walked in and the salesman looked at me like "What are you doing here, kid?". I wandered around and saw it on a desk. $10,000. I played with it for a minute, whistled and left. I was impressed with it. Only learned much later what it was.

That is a fabulous restoration!

Matt

compu_85
April 5th, 2016, 05:06 PM
Amazing to think I started this thread almost 10 years ago.

I'm going to be showing my Lisa at the VCF East, along with the Canon inkjet, daisy wheel, and dot matrix printers.

I've got almost everything together. I noticed a little bit of wobble in the display so I have some new caps coming for the video board and PSU.

Getting files coped and ready for the demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5trDsOqKOI

Thanks,

-Jason

KC9UDX
April 5th, 2016, 06:59 PM
The Lisa was one of the biggest travesties of modern computing. Clearly better than the Macintosh.

Capt. 2110
April 9th, 2016, 08:04 AM
Except for the fact that, from what I've heard, it wrote the serial number to your floppies, meaning you can't really sell your software. Can you confirm if that's true? Nonetheless, I totally agree.

pski
April 14th, 2016, 07:24 AM
I'm going to be showing my Lisa at the VCF East, along with the Canon inkjet, daisy wheel, and dot matrix printers.


I will definitely be stopping by your table for a full demonstration, Jason!

SomeGuy
April 14th, 2016, 07:57 AM
I'm going to be showing my Lisa at the VCF East, along with the Canon inkjet, daisy wheel, and dot matrix printers.
Excellent. Printers are often underrated, but they were what people needed to get real work done.


I've got almost everything together. I noticed a little bit of wobble in the display so I have some new caps coming for the video board and PSU.
Is it otherwise still in as good condition as described earlier? Sounds like it is quite a machine.


Except for the fact that, from what I've heard, it wrote the serial number to your floppies, meaning you can't really sell your software. Can you confirm if that's true? Nonetheless, I totally agree.
Yes, it would refuse to run if the Lisa's serial did not match what it had recorded. I recall reading there was a documented procedure somewhere to clear that serial. If the disk were dumped to an image file I think it was a simple matter of editing a few bytes and writing it back. Of course, these days a collector would want them for the physical disk and manual, and run the system from working copies obtained elsewhere.

compu_85
April 14th, 2016, 11:11 AM
The machine is still in fairly good condition. I wouldn't call it museum quality - there are a few scratches here and there, and some of the plastic has faded a bit (I corrected some of this last weekend with a gentle RetroBrite session). If one really wants to nitpick the power supply is rather non original... the original TO 18 package dual diode had failed and all I could find was a TO 225 package one, which now sits off the board with a random heatsink clipped to it. The machine is very usable though, and that's my goal :) I just re-replaced all the foam pads in the keyboard and it types really nicely. That's a job I'd like to not repeat...

I got the new caps installed and the display improved. It passed the smoke test (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOItm8ypv6s), but still has some issues... I'm thinking it's something in the horizontal circuit. I've adjusted around this issue and the display is quite acceptable. It still has the issue where the overall screen brightness changes with the brightness of displayed graphics. I observed the Lisa 2/10 at the Computer History Museum in WA doing the same thing so perhaps they all do this? :confused:

RE: Copy protection: The Lisa does write its serial number to "master" software floppies for copy protection. This is easily undone with a hex editor on another system.

As I was testing the machine the other night the safety cap in one of the Profiles blew up :eek: I got that repaired too. Interestingly the PSU in that Profile was different than the other 2 I have... it's a very late Profile from 1984, and the PSU has an extra board bodged on the side with a giant filter cap on it. I'm guessing the original 1981 design let out too much EMI.

The bearing noise on the Profile I posted about in 2006 didn't go away... it had gotten much worse. I used a little Scharffer's Penetro on it and it seems to be better... it should make it through the show. If not, hopefully people are around if it fails! :onfire:

I've prepared a number of VCF related sample documents for visitors to browse and copy / paste from.

See you at VCF East '16!

-J

compu_85
April 20th, 2016, 09:26 AM
Here are some pics from the festival:

https://picasaweb.google.com/113574813556450463594/VCFEast2016#

Thanks to everyone that stopped by!

Later this week I'll write up some notes on how the system performed. I ran into a couple problems, but overall it did great for a 30+ year old machine.

-J

NeXT
April 20th, 2016, 11:38 AM
If and when your Profile's HDA drops, because it's a Seagate part you can swap in the HDA assembly and it after a LLF you will be off and running again.

compu_85
April 20th, 2016, 12:32 PM
Yup, but not a ST506... I'd have to track down an ST412.

Boswell
May 4th, 2016, 05:12 PM
Those are great photos and a beautiful machine. I have two Lisas, a 2/5 and 2/10, both in semi-functioning condition. The 2/5 came with a 10MB Profile (apparently what you have) with MacWrks XL installed; it also has legacy battery leakage issues. I plan to start working on both of them soon and I'm sure will be posting questions on this board.

EagleTG
May 4th, 2016, 06:16 PM
It was a beautiful exhibit, and very cool all around, looked great in person too! Nice job!

compu_85
January 4th, 2017, 07:59 AM
I realized I never wrote my follow-up, so here goes:


The fan I installed in the PSU seems to work great. The top of the machine never felt too warm.
No problems with the Widget - if the machine sits for a while the stepper gums up but a few resets gets it moving freely again.
No problems with the ProFile. I only used one, the one with the worse bearing sat as a display.
Some problems with the software: I would try to pre-launch all the tools so that the system would be quicker for visitors. If I had done this with all the Apple tools, and the Phone Dialer tool, the system would get unstable and crash to the debugger screen. With 2mb of memory I didn't think this would be an issue.
Many people filled out the Guestbook database :D
Taking the Widget out of the system and transporting it on finger foam worked OK, there was no damage in transport.
I need to do more work on the daisy wheel printer. The encoder on the carriage motor is dropping "ticks" leading to misaligned output.
Only a few things were printed on the Canon Inkjet. I was hoping this would have been more popular.
I really need to get a 2nd parallel card. Swapping cables is a pain.


I think I might do something with Xenix at VCF East this year :)

-J

Al Kossow
January 4th, 2017, 08:46 AM
No problems with the Widget - if the machine sits for a while the stepper gums up

Widget actuators are servo motors. They have a fairly elaborate fine/coarse servo system which is the big problem
with them; the coarse servo uses a glass optical encoder, and the glue fails, causing it to fall off inside the HDA.
If you hear something rattling around inside your dead Widget, that's where the sound is coming from.

AdamAnt316
January 4th, 2017, 09:30 AM
Very cool! I have a Lisa 2 of my own, as seen in my avatar. In contrast to yours, mine is one of the units which was modified by Sun Remarketing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Remarketing) to run as a Macintosh Plus using their MacWorks Plus software. It has 2MB of RAM installed, as well as an 800KB disk drive of some sort. It's had the ROM replaced with one which gives the display square pixels; consequently, it'd probably never work as a real Lisa unless I were to replace said ROM.

Instead of an external ProFile HD, it has a 20MB MiniScribe 3.5" MFM drive installed inside the drive cage, hooked to a controller card of some sort which connects to the ProFile connector via a ribbon cable which sticks out of the back of the case. Unfortunately, the HD has suffered stuck heads, and the System 6.0.8 install has become corrupted. I'm not exactly sure what it would take to resurrect this unit; I have a Seagate 20MB 3.5" MFM drive and a copy of the MacWorks Plus software on floppy disks, but I have no idea whether or not the controller card would be able to format the "new" drive. Anyway, here are a couple of pictures:

http://www.electronixandmore.com/adam/temp/lisa1.jpg
http://www.electronixandmore.com/adam/temp/lisa2.jpg

Al Kossow
January 4th, 2017, 09:52 AM
it has a 20MB MiniScribe 3.5" MFM drive installed inside the drive cage, hooked to a controller card of some sort which connects to the ProFile connector via a ribbon cable which sticks out of the back of the case. Unfortunately, the HD has suffered stuck heads, and the System 6.0.8 install has become corrupted. I'm not exactly sure what it would take to resurrect this unit

The disk was a Sun Remarketing product. Unfortunately, there is no code on the controller board to reformat the disk, and so far no one has done a low-level dump
to verify what the actual sector format should be. This was discussed at some point in the past few years on the Lisa googlegroups mailing list
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/lisalist

compu_85
January 4th, 2017, 10:31 AM
Widget actuators are servo motors.

Thanks for the clarification. I've posted that reply enough times on the Widget videos I uploaded you'd think I'd have remembered when making that post :sleepy:

If the miniscribe's stepper is simply stuck, spinning it manually could free it up. Presuming we had access to a working Sun disk, how would the low level format information be captured?

Of course, I presume the Sun 20 can't be used with LisaOS anyway :(

-J

Al Kossow
January 4th, 2017, 10:37 AM
Presuming we had access to a working Sun disk, how would the low level format information be captured?

Of course, I presume the Sun 20 can't be used with LisaOS anyway :(

-J

Correct, the Sun disk has no tags.
You can use Dave Gesswien's MFM emulator board to read the disk.

AdamAnt316
January 4th, 2017, 06:37 PM
The disk was a Sun Remarketing product. Unfortunately, there is no code on the controller board to reformat the disk, and so far no one has done a low-level dump
to verify what the actual sector format should be. This was discussed at some point in the past few years on the Lisa googlegroups mailing list
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/lisalist

Ugh, I was afraid of that. :( The existing drive (why the hell did Sun Remarketing have to use a lousy Miniscribe drive?! :curse:) developed a nasty case of head stiction, and wouldn't spin up unless I tapped the drive with a screwdriver handle or another blunt object. It worked to get the drive spinning, but it didn't take too many tap-starts before the MacOS install got corrupted enough to cause a boot error (MacWorks Plus still works enough to get System 6 to start booting, but MacOS throws an error before too long into its loading process). The instruction manual (https://web.archive.org/web/20080212184824/http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~woz/lisatech/page34_35.html) which went with the MacWorks Plus software says something about using the software to format a HD, which gave me hope that there was a possibility of using it to install MW on the 'new' Seagate, but I've also heard that reformatting a ProFile drive required an Apple /// with the HD interface and a special LLF disk, so I wasn't sure. Hopefully, there's a way to restore some functionality to this unit, rather than it becoming a shelf queen.......... :cry:
-Adam

Al Kossow
January 4th, 2017, 07:28 PM
Ugh, I was afraid of that. :( The existing drive (why the hell did Sun Remarketing have to use a lousy Miniscribe drive?! :curse:) developed a nasty case of head stiction, and wouldn't spin up unless I tapped the drive with a screwdriver handle or another blunt object. It worked to get the drive spinning, but it didn't take too many tap-starts before the MacOS install got corrupted enough to cause a boot error (MacWorks Plus still works enough to get System 6 to start booting, but MacOS throws an error before too long into its loading process). The instruction manual (https://web.archive.org/web/20080212184824/http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/~woz/lisatech/page34_35.html) which went with the MacWorks Plus software says something about using the software to format a HD, which gave me hope that there was a possibility of using it to install MW on the 'new' Seagate, but I've also heard that reformatting a ProFile drive required an Apple /// with the HD interface and a special LLF disk, so I wasn't sure. Hopefully, there's a way to restore some functionality to this unit, rather than it becoming a shelf queen.......... :cry:
-Adam

well as long as one track still works, the format can be determined. maybe you can visit dave and get him to read it

d5aa96
January 5th, 2017, 07:25 AM
I think I might do something with Xenix at VCF East this year :)

-J

I was just playing with Lisa Xenix monday night...

35232

d5aa96
January 5th, 2017, 07:31 AM
.... and the System 6.0.8 install has become corrupted.



If you had in fact upgraded to System 6.0.8, that may be why it's crashing. MW+ only works with up to System 6.0.3.

Rick

AdamAnt316
January 5th, 2017, 08:25 AM
If you had in fact upgraded to System 6.0.8, that may be why it's crashing. MW+ only works with up to System 6.0.3.

Rick
I very well could be mistaken on what this Lisa runs/ran, as it's been several years since it's successfully booted up. Whatever version of MacOS it has on the damned MiniScribe was there when I got this unit. Before the HD started going wonky, it worked fine apart from the odd tendency for the Lisa to sometimes shut itself off while printing.

Anyway, that's good to know, thanks. I'll have to look for a copy of System 6.0.3, then, because the only System 6 boot disk I have around here is indeed 6.0.8. I haven't tried it with the Lisa yet (it goes with one of my Mac Pluses), but was thinking of using it to boot the Lisa for testing purposes, at the least.
-Adam

compu_85
January 5th, 2017, 12:53 PM
I was just playing with Lisa Xenix monday night...

35232

Were you able to get any of the apps going?

d5aa96
January 5th, 2017, 01:22 PM
Were you able to get any of the apps going?

Didn't try to run any apps that night, I just was playing around with shell commands. I was mostly curious how XENIX looked on the external display. I had snapped a quick (pretty crappy) photo and happened to have it on my phone when I saw your post.