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The initial user interface of the Lisa, based on a row of "soft keys," drawn at the bottom of the screen, would change as a user performed a task. These were inspired by work done at Hewlett-Packard, where some of the early Lisa designers had been employed.
The power and flexibility of patterns--the poor man's substitute for color, which, in the early '80s, was too expensive at the required resolution.
Another demo of the initial graphics routines. Atkinson made line-drawing blindingly fast with an algorithm that plotted "slabs" of multiple pixels in a single memory access.