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The introduction to the book “Apple Lisa: A user-friendly handbook,” pp. ix-x.

Welcome to Apple® Lisa™ A user-friendly handbook.

Apple’s Lisa is a unique and extraordinary computer that puts maximum computer power in your grasp without requiring you to obtain a doctorate in computer science. With a minimum of instruction and frustration, Lisa enables you to organize information, prepare reports, calculate, graph, schedule, or draw.

Whether you are a new user or a relatively experienced one, this book will enable you to take full advantage of Lisa’s powerful features. It will help you to identify the features that will prove most useful in your work, then practice and experiment with the features of interest to you.

The Lisa revolution

With the introduction of Lisa, Apple Computer launched the first wave of a revolution. It is quite possible that Lisa will set the standard for the next generation of computers. What makes Lisa revolutionary? Is it Lisa’s powerful memory, copious storage capability, and complete built-in software? Not really. Lisa does indeed offer more power and better integrated software than any other computer, but it’s something else that puts Lisa in the vanguard – Lisa is easy to use. Within moments after it’s set up, you can begin using Lisa to do meaningful work.

Lisa is user friendly

The phrase used most often to describe the main idea behind Lisa’s revolutionary design is “user friendly interface.” With the exception of Lisa’s little brother, Macintosh, no computer on the market today offers a friendlier interface.

Of course there’s nothing revolutionary about user friendliness, but Lisa is perhaps the first computer to make it a reality. It’s the way that Apple set out to achieve it that’s new. Lisa’s designers, in effect, threw out all the old assumptions and current approaches. They started from scratch. The result? A mouse and screen combination that is visual and intuitive. Want to display a document? Use the mouse to point to the picture of the document on the screen and click the mouse button. It’s that easy. Lisa’s user interface takes advantage of innovative design and computer capability to make computer power readily accessible, to remove the obstacles to computer use while offering the complete range of computer benefits, and to bridge the gap between state-of-the-art high tech and the executive.

Lisa is foolproof

A chief cause of anxiety among new users is the fear that they might press the wrong button and inadvertently ruin something. With Lisa there is always a reprieve – you can almost always undo what you have done. In those cases where you cannot undo, Lisa alerts you first with a whistle and an alert box that asks you to make sure you really want to do it.

In short, Lisa is perhaps the first computer that puts you first. Lisa meets you more than halfway. Lisa does not require you to become a computer expert; Lisa is a person expert.

About this book

The best way to find out what this book is all about is to thumb through it, look at the numerous figures, and skim the contents.

As you can see, this book is primarily an exercise book that enables you to try out Lisa’s capabilities. But if Lisa is so easy to use, and since it comes with first rate manuals, why do you need this book at all?

Well, first of all, the exercises help you to zero in on the Lisa features of most importance to you. They offer “real world” situations that enable you to relate Lisa’s capabilities to your needs.

The exercises help you use Lisa more creatively and, by providing helpful hints, help you use Lisa more effectively.

The exercises offer a fresh approach to problem solving. Understandably, the Lisa manuals are mostly concerned with showing you everything that Lisa can do. The exercises in this book, on the other hand, present tasks that you need to do and show you how to handle these tasks on the Lisa.

For example, the exercises in Part 5 help you to master LisaGraph. The exercises present tasks that you might encounter in your work. By performing the exercises you learn the best way to accomplish the tasks and sharpen your skills in the bargain.

Chapter 1, How To Use This Book, discusses the exercises in more detail. Be sure to read Chapter 1 before continuing with the rest of the book.

Working with Lisa is a pleasure. I hope that the exercises in this book provide you with fresh ideas and insights, and that they make your relationship with Lisa even more satisfying.

Page added on 22nd January 2005.

Copyright © 2002-2006 Marcin Wichary, unless stated otherwise.