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Running A Web Server On An Apple Lisa 2 266

pinqkandi writes: "Saw this come along the MacHTTP discussion list; some one got an Apple Lisa 2 running a web server. Quite an impressive feat. Be quick to check it out - they expect to shut it down about 8am CST on 1/2/02."
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Running A Web Server On An Apple Lisa 2

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  • Ah, poor Lisa 2... She couldn't stand the hits.
  • Down Already (Score:5, Informative)

    by Super_Frosty ( 82232 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @11:57PM (#2772563)
    No comments yet, and the server is already down.

    How many more times do we have to /. some poor fool's web server?
  • Slashdotted (Score:4, Redundant)

    by Henry V .009 ( 518000 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @11:57PM (#2772564) Journal

    Not if we can't shut it down first!

    Too late. I thought this would be pretty interesting, too.

    • Re:Slashdotted (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:43AM (#2772681) Homepage Journal

      Really, can't you imagine that it worked? The more successful of an implementation it has, the more transparent and the least interesting it really should be: HTTP & TCP/IP are standards, and whether it's a Liza or a big piece of ratcrap with some neural nets going in it, the goal of web standards is that it's absolutely, postively irrelevant.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    see Subject :)
  • I expect it to shut down--...

    Oh wait, nevermind.

    Damned /. effect...

  • by lowtekneq ( 469145 ) <lowtekneq@ho[ ] ['tma' in gap]> on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @11:58PM (#2772569) Homepage
    does that mean that there is some chance of getting my atari 1400ST running apache?
  • Ok? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Many of us will see this as hard work and ingenuity on the part of the people who hacked together this webserver. How many here will try to twist this into some kind of example of why "Apple's great because even their 17 year old hardware can be used a webserver" ?

    I remember a few years back the guys ar l0pht had a mac plus (the lisa's younger brother) running as a web server. And some sick people actually made an Apple ][ into a web server.
  • Oh really? (Score:4, Funny)

    by awallgren ( 252208 ) on Tuesday January 01, 2002 @11:59PM (#2772572)
    Netcraft [] says it's running Solaris...
    • Re:Oh really? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Inthewire ( 521207 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:04AM (#2772594)
      "Netcraft says it's running Solaris."

      From the Netcraft FAQ []:
      Why do you report impossible operating system/server combinations ?

      Webservers that operate behind a caching system, load balancer, reverse proxy server or a firewall may sometimes report the operating system of the intermediate machine. Hence reports of 'Microsoft/IIS on Linux' may indicate that either the web server is behind a Linux server that is acting as a reverse proxy, or has configured the Akamai caching system such that the first request to the site goes to one of Akamai's servers [which run Linux], or as in the case of has been configured to send a misleading signature.

      I don't know that this is necessarily the case, but it may have bearing on the matter.
    • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:08AM (#2772605) Journal
      I once had netcraft tell me a server was a FreeBSD box running IIS... Now I'm not saying it was wrong but...
    • WOW, not only did they write a web daemon for the lisa2 but they actually ported solaris and apache. :-)

    • by mccalli ( 323026 )
      Netcraft says it's running Solaris...

      Ye gods, this is a more impressive feat than we thought. They've ported Solaris to a Lisa 2...?


  • Slashdot overdrive (Score:5, Informative)

    by MadCamel ( 193459 ) <> on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:00AM (#2772577) Homepage
    Most older IP stacks for Apples have a low amount of available sockets, such as 16 or 32. Once those are all being used, the machine can no longer accept connections.. Thus this link suffered instant slashdot. Good job!

    • I used to think that people were asking too much of VA software to cache article links; so much work, so much to ask of /.'s bandwidth. But it got me to thinking...

      /.-ing really only occurs in the first 24 hours. Why couldn't a properly designed dynamic webpage set the link to a /. server cache, and after 24 hrs, reassign the link to the original server? This frees up the cache server(s) resources to cache the next day's stories.

      I remember Taco(?) mentioning that it would be unfair to the server's advertisers, but I don't think its implausible to have someone contact the feature's producer and ask them permission to cache the story. Sure they lose the 1st day hits, but they were going to be /.-ed anyway. They still get the residual buzz from being a /. story (hopefully one that can handle residual /. traffic). Timeliness is a problem, but I've noticed many a story coming up weeks after its debut.

      The level of caching service required is limited. /. puts up 15 new stories per day maximum. You're only going to cache "amateur" sites. I can't see why contact permission can't be handled by either the story editors or one person. The cache servers could be limited to a couple of machines. The cache process (and dumping) could be automated. Caching doesn't mean you need to provide for all the story server's services (if its special, tough luck).

      So expenses are limited to time for personnel to contact server owners (not much for a "journalistic" enterprise), some hardware, and some bandwidth (already procured). The biggest expense would be to modify slashcode to support it and tools for caching. The economic benefit (more like cost offset) to VA would be the added hits that would be otherwise (not) going to the story's server. It also adds value to /.'s service by making available content that would not be accessible to its readers.

      Is this really unfeasible?
      • I thought the point of this article was to check out a web server running on a particular (old) computer. Caching the content on that server kind of defeats that point.
  • Err (Score:1, Redundant)

    by danheskett ( 178529 )
    I'd mirror the page, but I don't that it'd really be worthwhile.. now I might just have to go dig up that old beast and she if she still boots.
  • by tunah ( 530328 ) <sam.krayup@com> on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:01AM (#2772582) Homepage
    That was the sound of a lisa 2 exploding.
  • Nice. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Matt2000 ( 29624 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:03AM (#2772592) Homepage

    This has got to be one of the best slashdot linkages in recent memory. How do you expect anyone to see this reeking Lisa 2 thing if people with pretty major servers go under when slashdot links to them?

    "Hey guys, check this out, some guy has managed to wire up an ethernet cable to his parrot's brain, they say if they get over 200 hits/hour his legs will explode. Anyway, here's the link."

    • Re:Nice. (Score:5, Funny)

      by darkov ( 261309 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:09AM (#2772606)
      Exactly. Apple bashing has reached a new low here at Slashdot when the editors take to slashdotting a poor, defenceless Lisa 2. After this trauma it may never serve a page again. It probably won't even boot up. Poor thing.
    • Now if they can get the parrots brain to stream a live webcast of itself..

      then u'd really get some page imprints as the thing reach critical mass...
    • Not only that, but it is connected to the Internet via an iMac with a 56k modem. Slashdot will easily saturate that line with requests alone.

      Kill the computer and the Internet connection (and probably the iMac doing the routing)
  • We could use budding technology like that at not@home []internet service.
  • by cshotton ( 46965 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:06AM (#2772600) Homepage
    This is the original message as posted to the MacHTTP discussion list for those interested in the Lisa's details:

    Hello All,
    Due to the many requests, I just put on-line my Apple Lisa2 web
    Since I am not finished with my site content I am only going leave her
    up till about 8:00am on 1/2/2002 US Central Time. Check it out at:

    Let me know what you think. As far as I know, She is the only Apple
    based web server in the world, and she may be one of the oldest PC's
    on the net!

    My current config is:
    Apple Lisa2
    Lisa Screen Mod.
    800K disk Mod.
    1 Meg slot RAM
    MacWorks+II Ver 2.5.5
    XLerator 18 with 8 meg Fast RAM
    Sun SCSI with QuickBoot ROM
    500 Meg SCSI Drive with Apple ROM
    Mac System 7.01?
    MacTCP 2.06
    MacHTTP 2.2.2

    TCP/IP via MacIP to my RevB iMac running IPnetrouter.
    iMac Modem @ 50K to net.

    • <redundant-and-obvious>
      And someone expected *that* to withstand /.?
    • by x136 ( 513282 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:22AM (#2772650) Homepage
      Ah, this is no ordinary Lisa... This one's running at 18MHz with 9MB of RAM.
      This is one hot-rodded Lisa... (A stock Lisa has a 5MHz chip and either 512k or 1MB of RAM)
      • by aberkvam ( 109205 ) <aberkvam@berq[ ]com ['ue.' in gap]> on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:36AM (#2772669) Homepage
        Also it's running the MacWorks+II software which pretty much turns the Lisa into a Mac Plus. This thing really isn't a Lisa anymore. Of course I don't think a TCP/IP stack was ever implemented for the Lisa so it would be pretty much impossible to get a real Lisa up and running as a web server....
        • No longer a Lisa! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by freshmkr ( 132808 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:59AM (#2772712) Homepage
          Mod the parent up! aberkvam's right, it's pretty much been modified to the point of not being a Lisa anymore. The square pixel screen modification alone is enough to keep it from running 7/7 (aka the Lisa Office System, the Lisa's groundbreaking OS), nevermind the CPU and memory modifications.

          This aside, it might not be impossible to get a stock Lisa 2 (or even a Lisa 1!) on the net. Microsoft (if you can believe it) had a version of Xenix for both Lisa models. One could potentially program some "http server" that operates over one of the serial lines or perhaps do something more baroque than that (e.g. implement serial line PPP+web server in user mode).

          If someone can find me a copy of Xenix on 5.25" Twiggy media and a spare ProFile external HD (5 megabytes!), I'll put my Lisa 1 on the net. Yes, I own one.

          I used to have a webpage about the Lisa. The server that held it (a 386) suffered an untimely demise after another administrator ran rm -rf /. Fortunately, you can still view the old content online with the help of the Internet Archive. Go here [] and here [] to see some of the old content.

          The Apple Lisa Web Page will return someday, I promise...


    • hmm, TCP/IP via MacIP - that's TCP/IP tunneled over AppleTalk, which would presumably be running over a LocalTalk connection. One problem: the iMac doesn't have LocalTalk (serial) ports. Either he's using a USB-to-LocalTalk adapter, an Ethernet-to-LocalTalk adapter, or has soldered a port onto the motherboard (but I don't think you can do that on the Rev B, my memory's a bit shaky on this issue...).

      Anyone care to shed some light?
    • I assumed he'd somehow managet to squeeze apache down to run under the Lisa Unix (which was swap based and limited to actual memory on hand for mac app size [kinda like a 7.1 mac :-] ...)
  • by x136 ( 513282 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:07AM (#2772601) Homepage
    I've seen a server or two running on Mac Pluses (8MHz 68000 vs. the Lisa/Lisa2/MacXL's 5MHz 68000), some Classics (8MHz 68000), LCs (16MHz 68020) and SE/30s (16MHz 68030), but never a Lisa.

    Good show to whoever got it set up. Too bad it could never hope to handle a slashdotting...

    Believe it or not, Mac Pluses and other 68k Macs (running either MacHTTP or some form of 68k BSD) seem to make pretty good servers for sites with fairly low traffic (Not to mention cheap!). Of course, you'll never see Slashdot running on a Quadra. :)
  • by SuperguyA1 ( 90398 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:08AM (#2772604) Homepage
    Putting up a link to a lisa2 webserver on slasdot is like tickeling the old lady's feet who is holding up your car with her bare hands while you change your oil... Nice going... it's crashed.. I bet you're very proud:)

  • Nothing in my experience comes close to the iPic []. I suppose if they started weaving webservers into currency, that would be even more impressive (and quite a bit scarier). Still, the matchhead-sized server is quite cool.
  • A beowulf-cluster of Lisa's running machttp in a massive geriatric webfarm. Kind of a silicon heaven.
  • by nick_burns ( 452798 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:14AM (#2772634)
    I'd like to congratulate the readers of slashdot for a new slashdot record of 2.8 seconds for shutdown. It'll probably be broken when I finish my webserver on a NES.
  • by darkov ( 261309 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:15AM (#2772636)
    I won't be truly impressed until I see an a site being served with a turing machine, run manually by a guy drawing dots on a paper looking at a T1 line terminating in a green LED.

    The only danger of this is that is may be the first recorded death due to slashdotting.
  • I dicovered (a bit by accident) that my Casio QV3000EX digital camera makes a pretty good web server. Of course the 1G IBM Microdrive makes it ever more tempting. If I had an AC adapter I'd probably make it live on an off port, just for fun. Unfortunately the batteries only last about 15 minutes with the disc spun up.

    Granted, I've not toyed with it under Linux, but it works just peachy in Windows.

  • by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:26AM (#2772656) Homepage Journal
    You heartless bastards. Couldn't you have given it 'till 7:55 AM?

    - A.P.
  • If you read the comments the guy made, he just put it up temporarily because some people asked him too, but there isn't any content, so he's taking it down at 8am, presumably to add content and fiddle with it some more. So for those of you complaining because it was slashdotted, it will be back, but I doubt he'll let /. find out so quickly if he can help it.
  • I know this will be modded OT, but it needs to be said.

    There are too many lazy bastards on Slashdot.

    Look at the 50 some odd redundant comments about the Slashdot effect on the poor Lisa box. I know it's hard people, but Edit/Find "slashdotted" would have prevented all the worthless posts.

    • ... there was some other purpose to the post.

      Honestly. They put up a link to a Lisa 2 Web server and expect that it will stay running? The only redeeming conversation that's going to come out of this whole post is going to be the jokes made of it... (I personally like the Parrot-Brain one...)
    • You were close, but not quite right. The readers read just fine, it's the posters that don't read.
  • by Mike the Mac Geek ( 182790 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @12:56AM (#2772706) Journal
    Poor little Lisa. She was just serving up pages to a few hundred or so of the Mac faithful when the Penguin known as Slashdot set it's lustful eyes upon it. Now, it's bandwidth stuffed to overflowing, the Lisa sits in a corner, weeping openly.

    Slashdot: When bashing Apple and beatifying Linux is a way of life!
    • I'm currently working up a web server on my first computer, a mechanical binary computer I built when I was six, in 1963. The ip stack is two tin cans and a piece of string. Unfortunately, it can be slashdotted by jumping up and down next to it.
  • Not really. I've seen a lot of "embedded" webservers and webservers running on old hardware really. And when you think of it, well how hard can a minimal tcp/ip-stack and minimal implementation of http be?

    Besides, the Apple Lisa has more than enough RAM for such a task (512kB), there's room for both a real tcp/ip stack and a real webserver without having to wrestle for space. And I am sure it has a serial-port you can run PPP over (which is a really simple protocol, if you choose to implement only what you need).

    And, as someone already has mentioned earlier in this thread, the Lisa mentioned is so upgraded that it is no longer really a Lisa. Which makes it even less impressive.

  • by batobin ( 10158 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:27AM (#2772758) Homepage
    I bet the feds shut it down.

    "WHAT? A little girl named Lisa, only 17 years old, and she's on the Internet? We've got to stop this, fast!!!"

    We didn't take it down, THEY took it down.
  • by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:30AM (#2772768)
    I used to sell Lisas back when they were new. A fair percentage of them went to government research offices. Some of them were wiped of LisaOS and they put SCO Xenix on them, and went straight onto the net. I also used to sell the old original Apple Portable (you know, the huge one with the lead-acid batteries) with AIX and they went on the net too.

    So this bozo is going about it entirely the wrong way. It's not like its the first time anyone used a Lisa on the net. It's just that there was no HTTP back when the Lisa was new. Most people used UUCP and FTP.
    • surely thats A/UX (apple unix originally for 68k then PPC) not AIX (IBM Unix originally for POWER then PPC)?
  • Slashdotting in itself is funny, but slashdotting a lisa 2? three users at a time could probably "slashdot" a lisa 2.... I'd be surprised if the traffic didn't set the thing ablaze!
  • Justice (Score:2, Funny)

    by QuickFox ( 311231 )
    In return for the slashdotting, now I want to see the /. site deployed on an Apple Lisa 2.

    Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @01:52AM (#2772795) Homepage
    Sadly, it's a Lisa 2 running as a Mac. MacOS System 7, no less.

    The Lisa, unlike Macs until the 68030 machines, had an MMU, and hence could support a protected-mode operating system, which it did. So running a server on an original Lisa with the original software wouldn't be unreasonable. (You'd have to implement a TCP stack, probably in Lisa Pascal, but so be it.)

    Unfortunately, Motorola was years late with MMU support for the 680x0 line, and Apple had to homebrew their own MMU. This didn't work very well due to limitations of the M68000 (fixed in the M68010, years too late), and added considerably to the parts count and cost. It also required that all Lisa programs be compiled without using register incrementation on instructions that accessed memory, because the 68000 couldn't back those out on a page fault.

    Motorola was so close. If only they hadn't been late with the 68K support chips, we might have avoided the whole x86 era.

  • ...then running one on an Apple Lisa is No Big Deal.

    Look here [] to see what I mean.

    Has anyone ever done any web server for the Apple ][? (Back when Apple made good computers! Remember when Steve Jobs said "Apple ][ forever" in 1989?)

  • It looks to me like this box is not, in fact, a Lisa. We're killing some poor box at Netsol for no reason at all! :o}

    Default Server:


    Non-authoritative answer:



    • isn't a Lisa, but it gives an HTTP redirect to an IP address. Here are the server headers (from the Netsol box):

      HTTP/1.1 302 Found
      Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 07:00:24 GMT
      Server: Apache/1.3.3 (Unix)
      Connection: close
      Content-Type: text/html
  • Has anyone ever heard of a computer museum? With systems actually up and running?

    A few years ago, I intercepted a computer the size of a large deep-freeze, with a built-in keyboard and monitor, and the hard drive had platters slightly larger than a record. I was told it cost the business well over $10k when new. Unfortunately, I had no place to keep it, and it disappeared. Does anyone have information on a computer like this?

    • It could be anything! It's not so long ago that things that big were common. Only last year we finally sent our DEC VAX 6300 system to the junkyard: 7 boxes the size of LARGE deepfreezes, 2 CPU cabinets (not chips, cabinets), 2 disk controller cabinets, 2 cabinets full of dual-ported RAID disks, some are 8-inch platters (I kept a couple as souvenirs). That was a large, but not huge system built around 1991.

      Lovely engineering, and our comms room will never be short of three-phase power as a result.

      [the last cabinet was a wiring loom and multiload tapedrive (like a DLT library with TK50 tapes)]
  • by scrytch ( 9198 ) <> on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @02:42AM (#2772863)
    but it just took ages every time there was a hit having to PRESS PLAY ON TAPE
  • Oh yes (Score:2, Funny)

    by john_boy ( 110600 )
    One Apple Lisa, garage sale....$45

    Earthlink dial-up access, one month....$14.99

    One 2400-baud modem, used....$15

    The pure sadistic delight of slashdotting an 18-year-old computer....priceless
  • by adadun ( 267785 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2002 @03:20AM (#2772906) Homepage
    If you think this is cool, you might want to check out this []. It is a Commodore 64 that is running as a web server, and has been up 24/7 since november 2001. It is connected to the Internet via a 38400 bps SLIP link so it is quite slow.

    For those of you who doesn't remember the Commodore 64, it was a very popular home computer in the 80's and early 90's. It has 64k RAM and an 8-bit 1 MHz 6502 CPU.

    The C64 web server is running the small uIP TCP/IP stack [] that is less than 4k large and uses only a few hundred bytes of dynamic RAM. Since it is written in C, it has been ported to numerous other systems such as the 8-bit Ataris and a number of embedded processors such as the Hitachi H8S.
  • any mirrors? :P
  • A lisa 2,and you've sicced Slashdot on it?

    You cruel, cruel person...
  • One of my college roommates (this was about 16 years ago) managed to set up a Hewlett Packard HP-41CV calcuator as a terminal to a PDP 11/70. It was amazing how much effort he put into creating a 3 baud LCD terminal.

    This was right before he fried the box by connecting it to a home-built 5 VDC power supply that had a 30 VAC hum.

  • C'mon, a Lisa had the same hardware that people were running Unix variants (Xenix, SCO) on, I don't see that making it a web server in any big deal (except that the hardware is still running).

    Now this software [], which lets you serve pages on a Newton handheld, pushes the envelope a bit.

A successful [software] tool is one that was used to do something undreamed of by its author. -- S. C. Johnson