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

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Apple History Links
General Links Covers 1976 to the present, with interesting photos of key people. Also features a tremendous gallery of over 100 Apple computers with descriptions and high quality photos from the Apple I to the iMac. A great place to start your history tour.
An American Icon Reboots Six articles covering Apple's turnaround in 1996, including the replacing of CEO Michael Spindler with National Semiconductor's Gil Amelio (and the return of Steve Jobs).
Apple II History Thorough history of the entire Apple I and II saga. 23 chapters and 4 appendices worth! This is my favorite history site.
Apple I Operations Manual   Here it is! The full manual in html format. Take a trip down memory lane.
Apple I Owner's Club   This site will take you on a 120 page guided tour of the Apple, history, yowza, grab a cup of hot chocolate or ice tea for this one.
Apple II Tree   If you are like me and can't read Japanese, you can still have fun at this site browsing all the pictures. There is a little bit of everything in this extensive collection, including cover scans of many Japanese edition Apple history books.
Apple III FAQ   All the little details you ever wanted to know about the Apple III in this 22 page PDF. Dated February, 2007.
Apple and the History of Computer Design Extensive design history focusing largely on Macintosh computers. Highly recommended.
Apple-at-a-Glance Short company profile.
Apple Computer History WebLog   This site attempts to "capture your Apple experiences, anecdotes and stories about key events in Apple's history." It is filled with a growing collection of stories by previous Apple employees. The site is a project of the Computer History Museum and is highly recommended.
Apple Computer: The Early Days, A Personal Perspective   Paul Laughton recounts his memories of working on the BASIC interpreter and DOS for the Apple II in the late 1970s. He worked for Shepardson Microsystems, which Apple contracted to help with several projects.
Apple Computer, Inc.: A History   This paper covers the beginning through late 1997.
Apple: From Roots to Rehab   A timeline from 1976-1997 with a couple of photos.
Apple History FAQ This faq is from the comp.sys.apple2 newsgroup and answers the following questions:
1) Where can I find an in-depth history of the Apple II?
2) What happened in the final years of the Computer Wars? (<--recommended)
3) How did Woz invent the Apple computer?
4) What did the first Apple ads look like?
Numbers 1 and 3 are repeated in other history links.
Apple Interviews Part of Stanford's top-notch Making the Macintosh site (see link below), this set of interviews with 13 of Apple's employees covers a wide range of early Macintosh development. Interviewees include Andy Cunningham (Regis McKenna/Macintosh launch); Chris Espinosa (employee #8; documenation director); Dean Hovey, David Kelley, Jim Sachs (Mac and Lisa mouse design); Reese Jones (very influential Berkeley Macintosh User Group); Susan Kare (designed the icons for the Macintosh); Sandy Miranda ("Test Drive a Macintosh" promotion script writer); Jef Raskin (employee #31 and first manager of the Mac project); Evelyn Richards (San Jose Mercury News reporter in the 1980s); Caroline Rose (editor of Inside Macintosh); and more.
Apple Lisa Computer: a Retrospective   Superb history of the Lisa. From the introduction: "This paper is an attempt by a longtime Lisa user to clarify the significance of the Apple Lisa personal computer for the computing industry. This paper hopes to show why the Lisa was significant in its time, and how some of what was called 'Lisa Technology'is slowly migrating to other computer systems, notably the Apple Macintosh computer series."
Apple's Garage   You know the place: 2066 Crist Drive, Los Altos, CA. A short piece and a couple of photos. I visited the shrine :) in 2000 and took this photo.
Apple Story, The   This nine-part text takes you up to about 1992. Part of a larger work called Silicon Valley Story.
Apple and Sun: the merger that wasn't   In 1996, rumors were flying that Sun wanted to purchase Apple. Apple was in poor financial shape at the time. This site collects a number of articles on Apple's troubles.
Apple: The First 30 Years   Many sites created timelines to look back at Apple's three decade anniversary. This one covers a lot of ground.
Apple Trivia   Test your Apple knowledge with this 19-question multiple choice quiz.
Apple's Longest Serving Employee Chris Espinosa has been at Apple longer than Woz and Jobs. He started working in Jobs' garage at the age of 14 and was officially 'employee #8'. Also check out the list of the first seven Apple employees.
Birth of an Industry: 1976-77 Bill Kelley gives an account of his time with Regis McKenna Advertising, Apple's first advertising firm. He recounts Jobs and Wozniak's first visit to persuade the agency to take them on as an account. Contains photos of a presentation by Jobs in May, 1977 and pictures of the first Apple ad brochures. Bill also managed the Byte Shop account.
Birth of the Apple Computer Steve Wozniak posted this reply to a question asked in a newsgroup. Covers early programming on the Apple and how he hand-wrote the ROM code.
Brief History of Apple Apple's first president Mike Scott presented this account at the September 12, 1978 meeting of the Call A.P.P.L.E. user group.
Canon's Cat Computer: The Real Macintosh   Jef Raskin designed the Cat after he left Apple and the Macintosh project he initiated. This paper discusses the Cat, the early Mac, and the SwyftCard (I have one of these still in the original box, woo hoo! took me a while to find it). Also visit Jef's home page.
Daniel Kottke's Amazing Apple Relics Dan was one of Apple's first employees. This photo exhibit shows off his collection of early Apple memoribilia including prototype Macintosh and Apple III logic boards. He also developed a prototype Apple II portable that fit into a traveling salesperson's case (and it still works!). This site is part of the larger Digibarn Computer Museum.
Early Apple Business Documents The Computer History Museum acquired two important documents, the 1977 Preliminary Confidential Offering Memorandum, or funding plan for the just-born company (donated by Mike Markkula), and the 1984 Preliminary Macintosh Business Plan, which positioned the new Mac within the realm of the company's other products (donated by Daniel Kottke).
Evolution of Apple - Corporate timeline An extensive timeline of key events from January, 1976 to May, 1995.
Fall of an American Icon   An in-depth article published in early 1996 that discusses Apple's then enormous troubles. Spindler was out and Amelio took the helm of the company. Several links within the text lead to additional material. Recommended.
Genesis and History of the Macintosh Project Macintosh original project lead Jef Raskin authored this 1981 paper. "This is a short history and background of the Macintosh research project on the eve of its becoming a product. [The original release was planned for late 1982; Steve Jobs, having been ejected from the Lisa project, complained that my development schedule was too long, and that if he took over the hardware he could have it out faster.]"
History of Apple's Operating Systems Covers the technical history of Apple's multiple operating systems, from 1976 through the present, including those that were never released. It also touches upon the influence of other systems such as the Xerox Star.
History of the 1st Apple II word processor John Draper's account of the creation of EasyWriter.
History of the Macintosh by Jef Raskin (and comments by Bruce Horn) Recollections by the person who initiated the Macintosh project. He named it too! Wonderful stuff. Also has Bruce Horn's comments on the sources of design for the Mac. Bruce worked on the Mac from 1981 to 1984. Also visit Jef's home page.
Homebrew Computer Club Memoir Contains a scan of a 1976 diagram of Steve Wozniak's on some programming info for the 6502 cpu, used in the Apple I and II.
How Mac Changed the World A 1994 Time article discusses the Macintosh in light of its 10-year anniversary.
Implementing VisiCalc VisiCalc was one of the early spreadsheet programs and the Apple II had it first. The importance of this program for Apple is legendary, as it helped open the business community's eyes to Apple. This article by one of the program's authors goes into loving detail about its history on the Apple.
Inside the mind of the man who fired Steve Jobs A few quotes from a talk John Sculley gave in June, 2011.
Interview with Susan Kare In-depth discussion about Susan's design work on the original Macintosh (she designed the original Mac icons). Topics include: Background and Work Before Apple; Working on the Macintosh; PR Material and Macintosh Publicity; Women and Apple; Apple Management; and Working with Steve Jobs.
John Sculley Audio Interview In this 33 minute interview from 1987, Sculley talks about his book Odyssey: From Pepsi to Apple and how he became the CEO of Apple.
John Sculley Playboy Interview (1987) Long and in-depth interview of John Sculley by Playboy Magazine in September, 1987.
John Sculley: The Secret of Steve Jobs' Success This October, 2010 interview is reportedly the first John Sculley has granted on the topic since 1993. It's quite long and a good read. A condensed summary is here.
MacAddict's Exit Interview with Gil Amelio This August 22, 1997 interview was given by Gil after he resigned as CEO of Apple.
Macintosh At 15: A Birthday Celebration   There are 17 entries in this well-done series that traces the Macintosh from its 1984 beginning. Read it all and you will have a fine grasp of most of Apple's history and a glimpse into its future. Part of the excellent Low End Mac site.
Mac Model History A four page guide comparing the capabilities of the entire Macintosh family (up to 1995).
Macintosh Prehistory: The Apple I and Apple II Era Short piece covers the start of Apple up to 1979.
MacPaint Oral History: Bill Atkinson and Andy Hertzfeld This 2004 interview is quite extensive (69 page PDF) and discusses early 1980s Apple history in the context of one of Apple's first important software programs.
Mac System History Covers the early history of the the Mac OS from versions 1 through 5, including screenshots.
Making the Macintosh: Technology and Culture in Silicon Valley An online project documenting the history of the Macintosh computer. This is the most thorough and complete site I've come across. It has original design documents by the creators of the Mac and sections covering technical documentation, marketing the Mac, the importance of user groups to the success of the Mac, the Apple mouse, counterculture and computing, the early Mac under Jef Raskin and more. One could spend hours!
Microsoft, Apple and Xerox: History of the Graphical User Interface Essay arguing that Apple did not appropriate the graphical user interface from Xerox's Star computer. Microsoft, on the other hand...
Museum of Apple Computer Loads of stuff here: the Encyclopedia of Apple Computers, Apple History Timeline, Apple Product Timeline, detailed info on the early Mac operating systems, History of the Graphical User Interface (the Apple desktop), Apple Code Names, Apple advertisements, and more.
My Apple Shrine Great little collection of 1970s era Apple advertisements, manual covers, and a letter from Steve Jobs. Also see the site author's Virtual PC Museum.
101 Ways To Save Apple Extensive 1997 Wired article with serious and tongue-in-cheek suggestions for then-struggling Apple. Also a 'Wired' and 'Tired' list of Apple's ups and downs (a great little history timeline).
Original Mac Engineers Reunion   Eight of the engineers who were part of the first Macintosh team gathered for a roundtable discussion at the 2001 MacHack conference. Included are pictures of most of the original crew: Randy Wigginton, Don Denman, Caroline Rose, Andy Hertzfeld, Bill Atkinson, Jef Raskin and Dan Kottke. Steve Wozniak gave a fireside chat at this same event.
Owen Linzmayer's Mac History column (not working at this time)   Owen wrote a 10-part history of Apple in the monthly ezine Apple Wizards. Much of it was based on his book, The Mac Bathroom Reader, but was updated for the ezine. The Nov. 1998 column is a preview chapter from his book Apple Confidential. You can find his articles under the Apple History column of the Jan. 1998-Nov. 1998 issues of Apple Wizards. Update: 1998 issues of the ezine are no longer on site, you have to request them via e-mail.
Power Players: John Sculley Interview   This 1997 interview largely covers Sculley's current projects, but predictably, Apple enters the conversation in several places. Also check out a 1999 audio interview in RealAudio format that covers his transition from Pepsi to Apple.
Public Broadcasting Service's Triumph of the Nerds Apple history is sprinkled throughout. Even has a picture of a Homebrew Computer Club meeting!
Secret Guide to Computers: Apple One can learn a lot from this quick trip through Apple's product line over the years. Also lists computer features that Apple first popularized.
Susan Kare: User Interface Graphics Design Guess who designed those original Macintosh icons? Where would we be without Clarus the Dogcow? Visit Susan's website to see and read about her influential design work. Also see The Designer Who Made the Mac Smile and Legends: Susan Kare.
The iMac's Ancestors One page discussion of Apple's computers prior to the iMac (with photos).
The Rise and Fall of Apple Computer Part one of a huge 30,000 word Rolling Stone article by Jeff Goodell (1996). Also see part two.
They Coulda Been a Contender A 1997 Wired article by Jim Carlton that discusses "strategic blunders" that prevented Apple from dominating the personal computer market. Contains a copy of the Bill Gates memo beseeching Apple to open the licensing of the Mac OS.
Thirty Pivotal Moments in Apple's History Highs and lows written by Owen Linzmayer, the author of Apple Confidential.
Three Eras at Apple Very brief summary of the Jobs, Sculley and Spindler eras.
Through It All: Thick & Thin, How Apple Computer Survived Everything An online book written around 2001-2002. Each of the 17 chapters focuses on an important individual or two who have contributed to Apple (examples: Allan Baum, Bill Fernandez, Alex Kamradt, Dan Kottke, John McCollum, Nancy Rogers, Captain Crunch, Chris Espinosa, Ron Wayne, Randy Wigginton, Paul Terrell). The author also covered history in his "A Byte of the Apple" column. An example is a 2002 column on "what went wrong with Apple".
Unofficial, Unauthorized Apple Online Museum A very personable site with write-ups on models from the Apple I to the Mac II. Great photos.
Where Are They Now? Learn about what many of Apple's major players were up to as of 1997. Includes photos and short pieces on Steve Capps, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Michael Spindler, Regis McKenna, John Sculley, Mike Markkula, Jean-Louis Gasse, and even the oh-so-elusive Ron Wayne!
Wikipedia: Apple Computer This free encyclopedia entry about Apple is remarkable in that you can click on most any word and be taken to additional material. This ends up making it a very well done history piece.
Woz Links
Steve Wozniak's home page Interviews, biographies and even the legendary WozCam. A great recent addition are Steve's replies to questions arising from the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley. One could spend hours! Also has info on Unuson and the US Festivals. Includes the articles:
- Wizard of Woz from People (1994) with photos
- How We Failed Apple from Newsweek (1996) with photos
A Conversation with Steve Wozniak This is the first of a two-part interview given in June, 2003. Covers early history of Apple.
An Evening with Steve Wozniak You can watch this 83 minute December 2002 talk at the Computer History Museum in WMV format. The description from the site reads: "Join Woz as he serves up Apple Computer history in his own unique way. Steve will describe a sequence for providing a rational understanding of many of the innovations leading to early Apple designs. He'll look at early company structure, the personalities that influenced him, and personalities within the company. In addition, he'll discuss the reasons he wants to be an engineer for life but not a CEO. Don't miss this sure to be entertaining, informative, and very personal view."
Another profile of Steve Wozniak More Woz info with photo.
Apple Co-founder Wozniak Speaks Short piece covering a talk by Steve on Apple's beginning (with photo).
Apple Icon Remembers Past, Looks to Future 1998 interview prior to Steve's commencement speech at UC Berkeley. Topics include: Life at Cal and the Future of Computing; the Commencement Speech and Map to Success; Wozniak's Home of Technology; and the Personal Side of "Woz".
Homebrew and How the Apple Came to Be Steve Wozniak wrote his recollections for the book Digital Deli (1984).
How I met Steve Wozniak John Draper's (aka Cap'n Crunch) account of how he met the Woz. More Cap'n Crunch history here.
Power GS Woz Interview   This 1995 interview is certainly one of the most informative and in-depth I've run across. All about Stephen Wozniak and his wonderful work with Apple.
Revolutionaries: an Interview with Steve Wozniak Good long interview covering Steve's upbringing and how it influenced him on his way to co-founding Apple (with photos). Also covers Steve's thoughts on teaching and technology. Small audio interview too.
Short Biography of Steve Wozniak A concise 2200 word summary with several photos.
Stephen Wozniak, From the Garage to the Gigabyte Another brief biography with a nice Smithsonian photo of the Apple I.
Steve Wozniak: Hacker & Humanitarian   Online version of a chapter in MacEvangelist Guy Kawasaki's book: Hindsights-The Wisdom and Breakthroughs of Remarkable People (1993).
Steve Wozniak: One-on-one (not working)   Video interview using RealPlayer.
Steve Wozniak, Still Fathering the Computer Revolution   A short essay from the Positive Light series.
Steve Wozniak Unbound   A great January 2000 interview on Slashdot.
The Failure Interview   The online Failure Magazine interviewed the Woz in depth in July of 2000. Want to know what Woz thought of Commodore, Atari and Tandy? Also check out their interview with Michael Malone, author of the book Infinite Loop.
The World According to Woz   The September, 1998 Wired interview. This article covers a lot of background on the Woz, as well as his current efforts in the education field.
Steve Jobs Links
Brilliant Careers: Machine Dreams   A colorful look at Steve's always eye-opening journey. Where he'll stop, nobody knows...
Commencement Speech, Stanford University I don't think Steve accepts all that many speaking engagements. The graduating students of Stanford University were fortunate to hear him on June 12, 2005. In 2200 words, he talks about his early life, time at Apple, and mortality. Also available as a video.
Creating Jobs A long article from January 12, 1997 that covers Steve's return to Apple and Apple's purchase of NeXT.
Game Changers: Steve Jobs This 45 minute video was produced by Bloomberg in October, 2010. From the description: "Interviews include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, former Apple CEO John Scully, journalist turned Venture Capitalist Michael Moritz, Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, former Apple "Mac Evangelist" and Silicon Valley Entrepreneur, Guy Kawasaki and Robert X.Cringely, technology journalist and former Apple employee."
Playboy Interview (1987) Steve was 30-years old and would soon leave Apple to start his company NeXT. He discusses the struggles between the Lisa, Mac and Apple II groups, and the first years of the Macintosh.
Smithsonian Oral History Interview with Steve Jobs (1995) A fairly in-depth interview while Steve was president of NeXT. Discusses Apple Computer, education, the Internet, Pixar, NeXT.
Steve Jobs, Apple Visionary, Dies at 56   Sniff. New York Times obituary from October 5, 2011. Also check out the timeline of his life, a 2009 timeline of his time at Apple, an article about him stepping down from Apple on August 25, 2011.
Steve Jobs: Can He Do It Again   A 1988 Businessweek article that explores Steve's return to the limelight with the unveiling of the first Next computer.
Steve Jobs' Resume   Steve's one page resume from 2002, with contact information. Just you try and lure him away from Apple!
Steve Jobs: The Next Insanely Great Thing   The February, 1996 Wired interview. Steve discusses his work at NeXT, web objects, and his thoughts of where things are going with personal computing.
Steve Jobs: The Rolling Stone Interview (1994)   Steve was still with NeXT when Jeff Goodell conducted this 1994 interview. Covers a lot of ground.
Steve Jobs Timeline   Notable points in Steve's life from 1955-1996. Several links on this page (towards the bottom) have info on Steve's return to Apple, the sale of NeXT to Apple and more.
Steve Paul Jobs   A moderate length biography written in 1994.
Steve's Job: Restart Apple Time magazine featured Steve on the August 18, 1997 cover. The feature covers his return to Apple and his controversial deal with Microsoft's Bill Gates.
Steve's Two Jobs Steve made the cover of Time yet again for the October 18, 1999 issue. In addition to the cover story there is an interview and an inside look at Steve's Other Company, Pixar. Unfortunately, Time magazine now makes you pay to read the article--darn!
The Steve Jobs Way Covers some of the high points of Steve's career.
What Steve Jobs Learned in the Wilderness New York Times article written by Randall Stross (author of The NeXT Big Thing) reviews Steve's time at NeXT.
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