[SIGCIS-Members] Some responses re Lisa/Mac

Ceruzzi, Paul CeruzziP at si.edu
Thu Apr 27 08:53:48 PDT 2017

I'm finding this discussion of counterfactual history fascinating, but I am more intrigued by the discussion of what, exactly, constitutes a "failure" (apologies to Bob Dylan). That topic arose in a recent paper I gave about a failed information retrieval system developed by Calvin Mooers, in which I argued that although he failed commercially, he nevertheless made significant advances in computer science, upon which a lot of modern computing depends. One member of the audience remarked that my discussion of failure/success may not have much explanatory value for historians (I can give more details off-line).

More relevant to this discussion is a recent exchange on Quora over the failure of the IBM operating system OS/2 as it went up against Microsoft Windows. The discussion goes well beyond the journalists who wrote about it a decade ago. Here is the link:


Paul Ceruzzi
ceruzzip at si.edu<mailto:ceruzzip at si.edu>

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