Reading Usable Help
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Gordon R. Meyer
Apple's first manual
January 3, 2003 marks the 20th anniversary of the Macintosh computer. Before the Mac, Apple ignited the personal computer revolution with the Apple - 1 system. Here's an HTML facsimile of the cover page the user's manual for that system, courtesy of Emulation.net. Click the page curl images to browse the 13 page document. Befitting the Apple 1's intended audience, it's a detailed technical specification for the computer.
Today, Apple's computers come with a ~100 page book about the computer, a 25 page book about Mac OS X (12MB PDF), and ~1800 pages of onscreen Help. Technical specifications, while not as extensive as those included with the Apple 1, are published on the Web.