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Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company: The Real Story of Apple Computer, Inc. Paperback – 11 Jan 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 2 edition (11 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593270100
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593270100
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 2.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 529,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Amazon Review

Owen Linzmayer's Apple Confidential is subtitled The Real Story of Apple Computer, Inc., and while nobody will ever know the complete, "real" story about Apple, Linzmayer's is probably as close as they come. Having covered Apple news since 1980, he offers extensive insider details about Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, John Sculley, Gilbert Amelio, Bill Gates and other major players whose lives were (and are) intertwined with Apple's history. And along the way, we also learn about lesser-known figures whose stories have remained hidden in the Apple myth: Ronald Gerald Wayne, for example, who was actually a partner with Wozniak and Jobs in the original incarnation of the company, but who sold his share when he realised he would be financially vulnerable if it should fail. Linzmayer's tale does have a few drawbacks. Because he mixes a chronological narrative with chapters that focus on key points in the Apple story, he sometimes repeats himself. Case in point: the chapter "Big Bad Blunders" makes a great record of Apple's failures, but the story of the exploding Powerbook 5300s is duplicated at later points. Nonetheless, Apple Confidential is rife with gems that will appeal to Apple fanatics and followers of the computer industry. Especially enjoyable are the revelation of "Easter eggs" that are hidden in several versions of the Mac operating system; the many screen shots, timelines and telling quotes from Jobs, Gates, Wozniak and others that populate the margins and concluding sections of each chapter; the "Code Names Uncovered" section that makes public the monikers of several secret Apple projects; and Bill Gates's 1985 letter to John Sculley and Jean Louis Gassee pleading for Apple to license Mac technology and develop a "standard personal computer." --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

The best book ever written about Apple (I hope)
If you read only one book about Apple, make it Apple Confidential.

As a journalist covering Apple Computer since the early 1980s, I have read nearly everything ever written about the company. Rather than rehash old myths and repeat conventional wisdom, I’ve uncovered the truth about Apple by rummaging through forgotten archives, interviewing key players, and never taking anything at face value.

Apple Confidential chronicles the best and worst of the company’s first two decades. Follow Apple as it grows from upstart media darling, becomes an industry-leading powerhouse, falters under a series of disastrous executive decisions, takes its licks as technology whipping boy, and rebounds to profitability after the return of legendary founder Steve Jobs.

No boring business case study, Apple Confidential is the only book* that tells the complete history of Apple through revealing stories, illustrations, and quotes, all backed by meticulous research and presented in an engaging format. I’m confident that you will find Apple Confidential as fascinating as it is factual.

*Some material in Apple Confidential originally appeared in my previous book, The Mac Bathroom Reader, but has been significantly revised and completely updated with an entirely new layout. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the author's relentlessly self-promoting Introduction to his own book, he writes, "If you read only one book about Apple, make it Apple Confidential." After the first chapter, I realized that if I finished this book, I had better make sure it *wasn't* the only book I read about Apple.
(Note to No Starch Press: it's fine to have someone praise a book's "meticulous research" and "engaging format", but such praise tends to lose its credibility when it comes from the author himself.)
I agree with other reviewers that the book is full of Apple lore that will interest Apple fans, and the style is readable and lively. However, the book doesn't hold together either as a narrative history or as an investigation into what makes Apple work or not work. The chapters are liberally sprinkled with sidebars, marginal quotations, timelines, illustrations, and so on, much in the style of the Mac magazine articles that the author writes. However, the same style doesn't work well for a full-length book, with perhaps the exception of the author's previous "Mac Bathroom Reader." (How many people really want to read ten pages' worth of code names for Apple projects? Another puzzling feature is the marginal quotations, which are often attributed to a speaker without any other indication of context, sometimes expressing dramatically different points of view than those being explored in the pages where they appear.) The resulting impression is that this isn't a complete history-just a collection of stories the author considers most interesting.
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Format: Paperback
This is a must-have book for any fan of Apple. It's possibly the most thorough - yet still readable - history of the company. It mixes business facts, behind-the-scenes secrets, and pop culture tidbits beautifully. Along the way, you'll learn the ins and outs of other computer companies (Microsoft, IBM, AOL, NeXT, Power Computing, Xerox PARC, etc) and a lot about the history of the industry in general and the players in particular.
Linzmayer is the author of "The Mac Bathroom Reader," and knows what he's talking about. Not only does "Apple Confindential" add more history that wasn't in that volume, but it's redesigned, updated to this year, and includes Steve Jobs' return and the iMac success.
In a word, breathtaking: It has quotes from everyone involved, timelines, products lists, a history, a little opinion, analysis, stock info, classic pictures. It's all here.
I'd write more, but I'm going to read it again. And I now know what to give other Apple fans for gifts.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Incomplete and far from definitive, but this contains some interesting tit-bits, as well as quite a lot of advertorial and waffle, and much that was never confidential. Speaking as someone typing on a Mac in 2014 with my original 1978 Apple ][ manual still at hand, far more could be said, and when it is this book will be just a footnote.

Andy Hertzfeld's book Revolution in the Valley, is a lot truer to the Apple spirit, though focussed on the early 80s and the original Mac development, while Steve Wozniak's iWoz does a similarly illuminating job for the Apple ][ years. But they were there at the time, doing the fundamental work that made Apple; Linzmayer was not, and it shows.
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By A Customer on 22 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is hands down the best book ever written about Apple computer. I read the entire thing in one sitting, and started re-reading the really good bits the next day. Newton aficionados will particularly enjoy the chapter relating to the the worlds first PDA. My knowledge of the history of that little device more than doubled. Also enjoyable is the chapter dedicated to the signatures found inside the case of early Macs. Each signature is reproduced along with information about each person, both at the time of the Mac's development, as well as his or her current whereabouts. The pictures, and sidebar quotes help make this book a real can't-put-down-page-turner. I've read many books relating to Apple and the Macintosh, but this one has earned a place of honor in my technology library.
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Format: Paperback
This was a good read and undoubtedly captures a lot of what happened at Apple. Sometimes the detail is a bit numbing like the 11 pages of Apple Product code names. A few things were missing. I was surprised to not see any mention of the attempt by Apple to buy up a lot of DRAM chips in the expectations that prices would go up. Also, I remember a computer faire in San Francisco where Wozniak predicted that the Mac would really be great (but I've tried to find someone else who remembers that and I have failed thus far. Still, this book was hard to put down.
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Format: Paperback
This book is really great, written in a very readable easy to read style. It is full of juicy stuff. The discription of the main characters in particular Steve Jobs is excellent!. I am not a MAC fan, in fact I knew not much of apple at all, I am a PC user, but I really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down. reccommended!
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