Gerry Doire has been diligently recreating the legendary Apple ][ Reference Manual, commonly known as The Red Book, for its 30th anniversary. His handiwork is available as a PDF file at and Steven Weyhrich’s Apple II History.

Download the Apple ][ Reference Manual v2 from ReactiveMicro

Download the Apple ][ Reference Manual v2 from Apple II History

Scanned copies of the Red Book exist, but like the original, they can be difficult to read. The original material was produced on 1970’s era copier, typewriter and dot-matrix printing equipment so legibility isn’t all that great in some places. Program listings are particularly eye-strain inducing. Gerry has been recreating those listings, along with the rest of the Red Book’s contents, making it easier to read.

The Red Book is famous because it was included with the earliest Apple ][ computers. It contained an array of technical data and schematics that helped establish Apple’s reputation for being an “open” and easy to program computer.

In the late 1970’s, a new trend was emerging — programmers and hardware developers often had to license rights to, or buy expensive proprietary technical documents to get access to a computer platform’s inner workings. Sometimes, the computer manufacturer wanted a slice of the developer’s income for anything produced and sold based on the privilege of accessing that information.

In contrast, the Red Book embodied Steve Wozniak’s personal philosophy of openly sharing technical information, which helped the Apple ][ platform gain developers and market share. The Red Book, like the Apple itself, invited experimentation.

Original copies of the Red Book are sought after by collectors, often selling on eBay for $40 USD or more depending on condition.