A sidebar to the article “Apple’s bid to stay in the big time,”
published in Fortune, February 7, 1983, pp. 38-39.
While Lisa is powerful visually, she is less handy playing with words. The
text processing program is the weakest aspect of the new computer. Anyone familiar
with the office word processors or even those on some personal computers is likely
to be disappointed by the slow and clumsy way Lisa erases sentences or
moves words around a text. The keyboard is not as sensitive to the touch as
an electric typewriter, and there is a brief but irritating delay between the time
a letter is typed and its appearance on the screen. Apple engineers claim they will
have corrected those problems before Lisa deliveries start this spring.
|Lisa’s monitor screen shows a project-in-progress and the various computer functions available.|
Apple’s ambitious claim is that anyone can sit down at Lisa and be
working on one of the six Lisa programs in about 20 minutes. Like so many other
promises of the computer age, that is unrealistic. It would take perhaps half
a day of patient practice with Lisa and her mouse for someone with little or
no experience to master the basics of the lady’s tricks. By comparison,
it would take at least a couple of weeks to reach the same level of proficiency
on an Apple II. Despite her failure to live up to that grand 20-minute promise,
Lisa could claim as a motto the slogan on T-shirts worn by teenage girls: I may
not be perfect, but parts of me are very good indeed.