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Apple Computer Reading List
Books covering the history of Apple Computer, Inc.

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Books Published in the 1980s
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So Far: The First Ten Years of a Vision
cover of So Far

by Apple Creative Services (Bob Price, Jill Savini)

February, 1987; Apple Computer; ISBN: 1556939744; 172 pages

Scans from book: front | back | page 96 | employee list

This rare, oversized hardcover book was given to Apple employees on the company's 10th anniversary. It contains a running text, many photos, pullouts and a timeline of Apple's history and products. In the back are the names of every employee that worked at Apple the first 10 years.

One of the book's designers wrote this comment on a blog in 2006: "It’s cool that people still like this book. I was on the small team that designed and produced it. Apple’s Creative Services designed and produced the book from scratch in about 6 weeks. For me that is a big part of it’s beauty. Normally, in that day and age, it would have taken 6 months to design and produce. The photography came from the “Day in the Life” books photographers lead by Rick Smolen and David Cohen. So we had all these cool images and a budget to provide a suitable gift for the upcoming sales meeting. Instead of getting a lame pen and pencil set or something similar, we used the photos to produce a book on the history of Apple “So Far”. The truck with the books arrived just two hours before they were handed out. It was a memorable project.

Human Interface Guidelines: The Apple Desktop Interface
cover of Human Interface Guidelines

by Apple Computer

October, 1987; Addison-Wesley; ISBN: 0201177536; 144 pages

Amazon reviews | Search for a used copy

While not a history book per se, the philosophy, rationale and history of the the fundamental design of the Apple Desktop (first seen in Lisa and on into the Macintosh line) is well-worth reading if you want to investigate the concepts underlying the interaction between a user and their computer. The ten fundamental design principles of the interface are a highlight. An updated version (384 pages) was published in 1993.

Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple - A Journey of Adventure, Ideas and the Future

cover of Odyssey

alternate cover of Odyssey

by John Sculley, John A. Byrne

1987; Harper & Row; ISBN: 0060157801; 450 pages

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John Sculley was Apple's CEO from 1983 to 1993. He apparently gave each Apple employee a copy of his book with this note attached.

Steven Jobs successfully tempted Sculley into leaving his position as Pepsi's president and CEO to lead Apple. Sculley ended up ousting Jobs from Apple within a few years!

The Third Apple: Personal Computers and the Cultural Revolution
cover of Third Apple

by Jean-Louis Gassée

1987; Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; ISBN: 0151898502; 212 pages

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From the bookflap: "In this wide-ranging collection of non-technical essays, Gassée, the former head of Apple's southern European division and current vice-president in charge of product development at the firm's California headquarters, reflects on the PC revolution from within. Gassée teaches us the computer business from the inside, explaining how (and how not) to nurture entrepreneurs, how to finance a growing company, how new products are researched and developed, how competition is met by strategies brilliant or stupid. The future of work, and how personal computers will shape it, is explored. And Apple Inc. - past, present, and future - is closely examined."

Steve Jobs: The Journey is the Reward

cover of Journey (hardcover)

cover of Journey (softcover)

by Jeffrey S. Young

1988; Glenville, Scott, Foresman; ISBN: 0673188647; 440 pages
Softcover: December, 1988; Lynx Books; ISBN: 155802378X; 467 pages

Amazon reviews | Search for a used copy

Puts an equal emphasis on both how Steve drives people nuts, and how people who have been driven nuts can do great things. [Amazon]

Accidental Millionaire: The Rise and Fall of Steve Jobs at Apple Computer
cover of Accidental Millionaire

by Lee Butcher

1988; Paragon House; ISBN: 0913729795; 224 pages

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Inventors At Work: Interviews with 16 Notable American Inventors
cover of Inventors At Work

by Kenneth A. Brown

1988; Tempus Books (Microsoft Press); ISBN: 1556151233; 388 pages

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The highlight of this book is the 20 page interview with Steve Wozniak. Even contains several 1979 Apple computer patent drawings. Worth seeking out.

West of Eden: The End of Innocence at Apple Computer
cover of West of Eden

by Frank Rose

1989; Penguin Books; ISBN: 0140093729; 356 pages

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Detailed history of the 1983-1986 period at Apple. Covers Apple's strategies for taking on IBM, the rise of Lisa and the Macintosh, and more.

The Macintosh Way
cover of Macintosh Way

by Guy Kawasaki

August, 1989; Addison-Wesley Pub Co.; ISBN: 0673461750; 210 pages

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Guy's keen sense of humour and reference to examples of what did and didn't work for the Apple Computer Corporation, while he worked there in the early 80s, is a fascinating perspective. [Amazon]

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