Macintosh XL
Macintosh XL



Setname:  macxl   
Year: 1985
Manufacturer: Apple Computer
Status: good  works
Type: Buisness Computer / Terminal
Parent: Lisa2
Emulation info
Overall emulation:  good   
Color emulation:  good  
Sound emulation:  good  
Graphics emulation:  good  
Savestates:  unsupported   

Tech info
M68000 ("maincpu")cpu 5093760 Hz
COP421 ("u9f")cpu 3900000 Hz
COP421 ("kbcop")cpu 3900000 Hz
M6504 ("fdccpu")cpu 2000000 Hz
Speaker ("mono")audio
Filtered 1-bit DAC ("speaker")audio
Screen ("screen")raster horizontal 608 x 431 @ 60.000000
Media devices
floppydisk ("floppy0") floppydisk1 flop1 dsk, img, image, dc, dc42, fdi, td0, imd, cqm, d77, d88, 1dd
floppydisk ("floppy1") floppydisk2 flop2 dsk, img, image, dc, dc42, fdi, td0, imd, cqm, d77, d88, 1dd
Software lists

Romset info
ROM NameSizeCRC32SHA1Dump StateBIOS option
341-0347-a8192 80add60582215688b778d8c712a8186235f7981e3dc4dd7fgood
341-0346-a8192 edf5222fb0388ee8dbbc51a2d628473dc29b65ce913fcd76good
341-0064a.u9f1024 e6849910d46e67df75c9e3e773d20542fb9d5b1d2ac0fb9bgood
341-0064a.u9f1024 e6849910d46e67df75c9e3e773d20542fb9d5b1d2ac0fb9bgood
341-0281-d4096 e343fe74a0e484ead2d2315fca261f39fff2f211ff61b0efgood
vidstatem.rom256 759047833b0023bd90f2ca1be0b099160a566b044856885dbaddump


* CPU: Motorola MC 68000 5 MHz
* RAM: 1 MB (2MB max. via 3rd party upgrade)
* ROM: 16 KB
* Text Modes: 40 x 32 bit-mapped
* Graphic Modes: 720 x 364 dots
* Colors: Monochrome (12" built-in monitor)
* Sound: Continuously Variable Slope Demodulator (CVSD)
* I/O Ports: 2 x RS232, 3 proprietary slots
* Keyboard: Full-stroke 77-key with numeric keypad
* Built In Media: one Sony 3.5" floppy drive (400 KB)
* OS: Lisa Office System or Mac OS [Lisa 2/Mac XL only]
* Built In Language: Lisa OS
* Peripherals: 5 MB or 10 MB external hard disk


MESS emulates the following systems

* lisa2 [Apple Lisa 2]
* lisa210 [Apple Lisa 2/10]
* macxl [Apple Macintosh XL]

For each driver, MESS supports two floppy drives, "floppydisk1" (flop1) and "floppydisk2" (flop2), for disk images in one of the following supported formats: .dsk, .img, .image.dc


When you boot up the Lisa, you can see a self-test progress indicator. At least one test will fail you must discard the error message by selecting the 'Ignore' or 'Start-up from...' button. Then, you get a boot device menu. Select the floppy drive unit, since it is the only available device.

If the mouse temporarily refuses to work, you may use the keyboard shortcuts Apple+2 and Apple+3 (the Apple key should be mapped to "Control"; you must use the numeric keys on the main keyboard, not on the numeric keypad). If the computer does boot, you will see an icon representing a weird floppy disk with a cross (maybe it actually represents a twiggy disk).


These systems require full keyboard emulation to work correctly. At startup, full keyboard emulation mode is enabled by default. Whilst in full keyboard emulation mode, some key associated functionality may be disabled (like the ESC key for EXIT). The keyboard emulation mode is toggled using the "Scroll Lock" key (by default).

Known Issues

The emulation of both lisa2 and lisa210 is Preliminary and it is still buggy. macxl might work better. However, neither the hard drive nor the serial port are supported. There are many other bugs remaining with MMU emulation. Only Macworks will boot.

History and Trivia

The Lisa project started in the summer of 1979. At the time, the idea was merely designing a powerful business computer, with scheduled release in march 1981. After his legendary visit to the Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) research center, Steve Jobs realized the GUI was the future of computing. So, in March 1980, a GUI was added to the Lisa specs.

Despite huge support from Apple, the project got behind schedule, and Lisa was introduced on January, 19th, 1983.

Lisa was the original code-name. Supposedly, the Lisa was named after Steve Jobs' eldest daughter, Lisa Nicole. The Lisa project cost over $50 million and was the result of more than 200 person-years of research and development. It was supposed to be the Next Big Thing. It was not however the first personal computer to use a Graphical User Interface (GUI). Several Xerox systems developped in Palo Alto, utilized the STAR operating system. STAR contained a very innovative icon-based interface as well as a built-in word processor and calculator.

Contrary to the "legend", Lisa was not the ancestor of the Macintosh. Lisa and Macintosh were two distinct projects. The original Lisa couldn't use Macintosh programs and Macintosh couldn't run Lisa software. The LISA OS (Office System) was a true preemptive multitasking operating system.

The Lisa was an impressive computer for its time. It had TONS of memory (1Mb on Lisa 1), a high-resolution graphic display, and it was fairly expandable. Its OS (weirdly called "Lisa 7/7 Office System") featured a complete GUI, and full preemptive multitasking with memory protection (something neither Windows 98 nor MacOS offer!). Its 68000 CPU was one of the fastest microprocessor in its time.

Unfortunately, Lisa was never too successful. It was quite expensive, and relatively few units were sold (possibly about 10,000 Lisa 1 and 80,000 Lisa 2). Little software was developed for it. Also, it was extremely resource hungry: it was reportedly slow, and its memory requirements were the major cause for its high price.

On 24th January 1984, Lisa 1 was replaced by Lisa 2, with 3.5" 800 KB floppies instead of the old 5.25" "twiggy" ones, and several small hardware changes.

In January 1985, Lisa 2 was replaced by Macintosh XL (the Lisa 2 could become a Mac XL through the replacement of a ROM chip on the inside of the machine), which had a modified video hardware, and used a variant of the Macintosh system instead of the 7/7 Lisa OS. Mac XL was presented as a development system for the Macintosh (Don't forget - in 1985 there was no hard disk available for the Macintosh). The Macintosh XL was discontinued in May 1985 (even if it has been sold until 1986) and became obsolete when the new "True" Macintoshes were launched (Macintosh II and Mac SE in 1987).

The remaining stocks were sold to another company (Sun Remarketing) which did manage to sell them.

Though ill-fated, the Macintosh XL was an interesting machine. It was slow, slower than even the original Macintosh, but it supported up to 2 Megabytes of RAM (while the original Macintosh came with 128kb or 512kb only), had a larger screen, supported hard drives units (which the original Macintosh could not do until the Hard Disk 20 was introduced), and it had three expansion ports (it was thus the first expandable Macintosh, more than 2 years before Macintosh II and Macintosh SE were introduced). A number of these was bought by developers who needed the hard drive and appreciated the larger screen (anyway, Macintosh development was originally done
on Lisa, so the transition from Lisa Workshop on Lisa to Macintosh Programmer Workshop on Macintosh XL was a natural one).

After the Mac Plus came out, all owners of Lisa's and previous Macintoshes were offered the option to exchange their old computers for the new Plus (for a fee of course).

Rumor has it that an enhanced, 68020-based Lisa was in development when Apple discontinued the Lisa.


Three versions of the Lisa 2 were successively released:

* Lisa 2 basic version which had rather less memory (512 KB instead of 1 MB) and storage capability than the first Lisa,

* Lisa 2/5, the nearest to the Lisa 1 at approx. half the original price, was sold with a 5 MB 'Profile' hard disk unit,

* Lisa 2/10, which offered up to 10 MB of storage on an internal hard-disk. All Lisa's were expandable systems thanks to three slots in the back, mainly used for RAM expansion cards. Up to 7 drives hooked up at once on the same interface.

== The significance of Lisa ==

Lisa is a milestone in the history of computing. Arguably, the Xerox PARC research center invented most GUI concepts (along with Object-Oriented programming and Ethernet) 10 years before Lisa was introduced. However, although Xerox research was public, and some Xerox Altos were actually sold, or given to universities, these experiments remained little known, and raised little interest. I guess this was because computing was mostly the field of highly-trained professionals who did not care about ease of use (you know, the same kind of guys who laughed at Macintosh and worshipped the early IBM-PCs). So, Lisa made the world aware that GUI could exist, all the more since Apple was a major computer maker. Also, Lisa (along with Macintosh, Atari ST and Commodore Amiga) introduced GUI to hobbyists and home computer users, which enabled GUI to live.

(info from


* Apple History --
* Applefritter (Excellent site about all Apple models,clones,prototypes,etc...) --
* Lisa Spotlight --
* Lisa's World!! --
* Lisa at --

Other Emulators

* IDLE (Icomplete Draft of a Lisa Emulator) --
* Lisa Emulator (for Unix) --

Edit the History info for this game.


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