The Lisa 2 Took to the Stage For “Motorola 68000 Week”

The latest contest over at /r/RetroBattlestations was “Motorola 68000 Week.” To participate, contestants had to post a photo or video to the subreddit of a Motorola 680×0-based machine with a short greeting displayed onscreen (or written on paper and taped to the screen in the case of a broken machine). Five winners were chosen to win the standard prize of two retro computing stickers.

There were lots of submissions—43 in all—ranging from Macs to Amigas to calculators to arcade boards. As I saw the entries file in, I began to consider which of my machines containing a member of the 68K family to tap for the task (I believe I have twelve).

Lisa 2/10

One of the rarest 68K-based units I’ve got down in my “Byte Cellar” is the Apple Lisa 2/10. The Lisa family were the first computers with a graphical user interface to arrive in the consumer market. And what’s more (and I thought this was a pretty neat detail), it utilizes one of—if not the—slowest implementations of the Motorola 68K series ever released; it sports a 5MHz 68000. (For comparison, the 68000 in the original Macintosh is 7.8MHz, the Amiga 500/1000 is 7.14MHz, and the Atari 520ST is 8MHz.) And so, Lisa it was.

My Lisa 2/10 is in great shape and boots right up but, unfortunately, I found the vertical hold a bit out of range when I fired it up for the competition. I had to go in and adjust one of the CRT control pots inside the case to get things back to stable. (Happily, replacement pots can easily be sourced and soldered in if the situation worsens.) Of course, I filmed the whole adventure.

So, there you have it, my Motorola 68000 Week submission. And I was a winner! (My Apple ][ and TI logo stickers are sitting on my desk, waiting for me to pick the right spot on the wall.) Oh, I also made a bit of a goofy, secondary contest submission as well. The 486-class DOS PC I recently put together contains an advanced SCSI controller (the DPT-PM2021), which is powered by a 10MHz on-board 68000, and so I submitted it for laughs. But, I’m pretty sure it’s the Lisa that got me the stickers.

Reddit’s /r/RetroBattlestations is a good bit of fun.


A complete list of the fun I've had with r/Retrobattlestations' challenges over the years can be seen below. Good times!

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