Macintosh XL, MacWorks,
Lisa-to-Mac Migration Kit



Apple developed the MacWorks program as a way for Macintosh owners to use the Lisa's bigger screen, bigger memory, and hard disk. When Apple planned to discontinue Lisa Apple was left without a high-end system. All Apple had to offer at the time was the Macintosh 128K or 512K models, or the Lisa which ran only Lisa software.

Apple's hardware and software engineers quickly developed a special program named MacWorks that allowed a Lisa owner to turn his Lisa into a big Macintosh. Apple produced three versions of MacWorks and later turned over all MacWorks development to Sun Remarketing (Logan, Utah) which went on to develop MacWorks Plus, an enhanced MacWorks that lets a Lisa emulate a Macintosh Plus computer.

With the development of MacWorks Apple changed the name of the Lisa to Macintosh XL. Apple then was able to sell a rather surprising number of Lisas (i.e. surprising to Apple). MacWorks is still a commercial product for Sun Remarketing, tho I wonder how many Lisas/Macintosh XLs Sun really sells now.

For the Macintosh XL Sun Remarketing has been quite prodigious in producing hardware peripherals. This includes larger hard disks and a SCSI board that allows SCSI devices to work with the XL.

The problem of transferring Lisa data to a Macintosh was solved by Apple via the Macintosh XL Migration Kit. This kit consisted of a special Lisa program called Lisa-to-Macintosh and a set of Macintosh data conversion programs. The Lisa program's main function was to place Lisa data files on a Macintosh disk. The Macintosh data conversion programs took the Lisa data files on the Macintosh disk and converted them to the appropriate Macintosh data file. For example, LisaWrite documents could be converted to either MacWrite or Microsoft Word data files for use by the Macintosh.


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