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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 1998
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a beautiful book showing the evolution of Apple's industrial design. Apple is the only company whose industrial design is worth such a book. The history is interesting, and it's fascinating to see how designs evolve.
There are two problems with this book which caused me to give it only 3 stars. The first is that it desperately needs a copy editor. The spelling and grammar errors would be unacceptable from a college freshman. Several times, a reference to a picture gives the wrong plate number. I expect much better from a book on excellent design.
A minor gripe is that it's not clear who the intended audience is. Some technical terms are defined (though for the lay audience it would help to have a couple of pictures to illustrate terms), but many are not. As a lay reader, there were ideas I just didn't get, even as I appreciated the beauty of the work they described.
If these two problems were fixed, I would give it 5 stars.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
* Have you ever wondered why there's so many horizontal lines on a Macintosh case?
* Would you believe that Apple was the first company to move a laptop keyboard to the top (which other companies now emulate), yet they almost didn't go ahead with it?
* Or did you realise that a LaserWriter II is exactly the same size as a Macintosh IIfx?
Unlike other written histories of Apple Computer which concentrate on Jobs & Sculley, this is a history of the computers themselves.
For anyone who has grown up with an Apple ][ or an early Macintosh, this is a fascinating insight into the computers we've grown to love. You'll learn how design is just as important as the MacOS when it comes to selling a computer.
The book starts with the Apple //c era, and covers all Macs up to the Quadra, plus printers, screens and the Newton. Unfortunately, it was produced prior to the iMac.
Apple enthusiasts should buy or borrow a copy just to re-live the history. Design students should read it cover-to-cover to learn both good design and the politics of design philosophies.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
The other reviews here already cover the important content issues and the fact that a document such as this is a godsend in so many ways. As a lover of both Apple technology and great ID, I've found it impossible to put this book down. However, I'd just like to put in my .02 that this book is BADLY in need of a copy editor and a second edition. I'd be able to forgive the technical errors (e.g., stating that the Quadra 9X0s share the Quadra 800's form factor) if it weren't for typos and "write-os" ON EVERY SINGLE PAGE! It's as though they ran spell check, pressed Command-P, and never looked at the copy again. Honestly, I didn't think I was going to be able to finish this book, the copy quality being as embarassingly bad as it is. I've finally settled on pretending that I've been sent a galley, and that all the errors will be excised before the "real" version ships. One other gripe, then I'm done: A lot of the photos were scanned at too low a resolution to be used at the sizes in which they appear. There are noticeable "stair-stepping" patterns on many of the pieces, particularly when the "Snow White" striping appears at an angle. I could do a better job on my home Mac (maybe they used a PC, who knows). ;-) Anyway, the book still rocks, you should buy it right now, etc. But if you're one of those annoying people like me who expect Apple-like quality in things like editing, you've been warned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Detailed, rich history of Apple's industrial design.
Given the effort that this book signified, I was very surprised at the hundreds of typos, and many other factual/historical errors which reduce Appledesign's credibility as a definitive reference.
This book deserves a second edition, with better editing & fact-checking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
While this book doesn't include anything made in the past several years, it does have detailed descriptions of how the older Macs came to be. It's a large book and full of photographs as well as detailed text explanations. I got mine in September 2001 and regularly study it from time to time. Every time I read it I learn something new.

This book isn't for the Apple novice, nor is it for someone who simply uses computers. The ones who appreciate this book are those who have used Macs for years (I've used them since April 1989) and appreciate them not just as machines but as a little more. As a computer technician since 1992, I have come across nearly every model in this book and have liked many of them (in particular the Macintosh 512K and Macintosh Classic) so much that I've acquired some. With this book it shows how each computer came to be. Mac IIsi owners, past and present, may be surprised to know that the name IIsi was on a few other concepts before being applied to the pizza box 20Mhz machine that it grew into when it came out in October 1990. This is just one example of what this book is like.

Supposedly this one's hard to find. True Apple enthusiasts will look for one.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Appledesign disappointed me. It feels like an in-house corporate history that has been expanded into a coffee table book. The bulk of it consists of photographs of Apple's products, preproduction models, and design ideas, and there is a lengthy and very dry written history of Apple's design work. The book does not deal with the technical makeup of Apple's computers, it is solely about the boxes they came in.

Although this sounds very simple, the end result falls short. The photographs and text concentrate heavily on design concepts from the mid to late 1980s, almost to the exclusion of all else. The Apple 2, Lisa and original Macintosh are barely covered. The Macintosh is almost designed "off-page", and there is one single solitary photograph of an original Apple Mac; a stock photograph that you have seen before. In contrast, concepts for the Apple Newton are spread leisurely over half a dozen pages. The book has a lot of design concepts which simply aren't as good as the finished product, and mid-80s / early-90s Apple computers were visually very dull anyway.

And then there's the text. Lots of it near the start, not so much later on. It's a very dry, corporate history of Apple's design, full of projects and companies with DoubleWords and e. e. cummings-esque lower-case text. The designer of the original Mac, Jerry Manock, is briefly mentioned near the beginning. Steve Wozniak, who designed the Apple 2 hardware and was one of the company's founders, is eliminated by page 14. He does not appear in the cast of characters at the end, although minor design assistants do, and Steve Jobs appears twice (he had just rejoined the company when the book was published). The only designer whose name I remember is Hartmut Esslinger, who comes across badly.

It's fascinating if you're into Apple's LC, IIFX era. Although the book sometimes seems like a Steve Jobs corporate whitewash job, it does have thorough coverage of John Sculley's Newton, and the eMate. For the price, however, I would rather buy a second-hand Mac Classic, and study that instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I just received my much-awaited book early this month a couple of days after my birthday. I found it absolutely stunning and enlightening in some ways.
The sheer extent of products by the Industrial Design Team was overwhelming and found the history behind the design team very useful.
Can't wait for the next updated edition with iBooks, iMacs, PowerBooks, PowerMacs and ASDs and all. :)
This is definitely a must-buy for Mac users as well as those who appreciate well-thought industrial design and innovation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a beautiful book. It had a short run, and copies are now very rare. It seems like it was too expensive for them to produce or something, but it's quite a book.

Yes, it could be edited a bit, but the photographs are the important part. Printing quality is wonderful--good enough to make high-quality scans (if you do that sort of thing).

This is an art book, NOT a history book.. The designs in this book are iconic, striking, and represent a fundamental change in the history of the computer industry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
For those of us who like to use computers as an extension of our creativity, there has only ever been one choice - the Mac.
This incredible book shows you the history behind some the most important computers ever to be invented, along with prototypes for ideas too wacky for even Apple to release. Rick English's photography shows these beautiful machines as they should be shown, as artistic masterpieces as well as innovative pieces of technology.
Breathtaking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic "insider" look at the work of Apple's Industrial Design Group. Tons of beautiful photography illuminated by intriguing background information on many projects such as "Blackbird" and "PopEye." A must have for any Apple fan-- especially artists and designers! My only disappointment was that we may never see many of these projects! (And i wish there were even MORE photos and concept art!)
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