Rare Apple II manual, prophetically inscribed and signed by Steve Jobs in 1980:
Extraordinary original spiral-bound Apple II Reference Manual, 6 x 8.5, 196 pages, signed and inscribed opposite the Table of Contents in blue ink by the iconic Apple co-founder, "Julian, Your generation is the first to grow up with computers. Go change the world! steven jobs, 1980" and by Apple's angel investor and second CEO, "Mike Markkula, 1980." Jobs's inscription, penned in the year of Apple's stock market flotation, powerfully conveys his grand ambition and vision for the future of Apple Computer, Inc. and personal computing as a whole. At the time they signed, Jobs and Markkula were in the UK to promote Apple—cultivating it from Cupertino start-up to global phenomenon. In fine condition, with a few small stains on the front cover. Accompanied by full letters of authenticity from PSA/DNA and Beckett Authentication Services. Accompanied by a letter of provenance from the original recipient, Julian Brewer, whose father, Michael Brewer, negotiated exclusive distribution rights for Apple in the UK in 1979. Several associated images are included to further establish the provenance: of Jobs’ telex welcoming Brewer to Apple, of his Apple Computer business card, and of young Julian in an Apple t-shirt, among others.
Whereas the Apple I was primarily for hobbyists, with less than 200 units made, the Apple II truly "changed the world" by giving around 6 million homes and businesses their first taste of personal computing. Apple II’s revenues supported Apple’s successful floatation, the biggest tech IPO of the time.
Jobs’ inscription was prophetic, with Generation X-ers such as Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk truly "changing the world" with technology after being the first to "grow up with computers."
The manual itself details the technical architecture and operation of the Apple II and even features a fold-out schematic of the computer’s main logic board.
"Julian" was a teenager at the time, son of entrepreneur Mike Brewer who had negotiated exclusive distribution rights for Apple products in the UK and later became the first Managing Director of Apple Computer (UK) Ltd. Julian recalls, "I was sitting in my bedroom writing games on my Apple II when Dad called me down to meet some guests. To my amazement it was Steve Jobs and Mike Markkula. I had the manual with me and only later understood how rare it was for Jobs to sign anything, let alone to write an inscription like this. He got on well with Dad, so I feel the inscription was made with care."
Like Jobs, Mike Brewer had a keen technological and entrepreneurial mind. Born 17 years before Jobs, Brewer worked as an electrical engineer for the Ministry of Defence, for the BBC, and for J Lyons on the world’s first business computer, the room-filling LEO I in 1959. He turned entrepreneur in 1964 when he co-founded Data Efficiency Ltd, which sold to Micro Business Systems plc in 1984. In 1979 he founded Microsense Computers Ltd which established a network of over 400 Apple dealers. Microsense was bought by Apple in 1981, becoming Apple Computer (UK) Ltd with Brewer as Managing Director.
The Apple II’s success in the UK was thanks in part to a strong campaign in the national press, from which Julian has shared with us a number of impactful marketing pieces from his collection and in which Mike Brewer is pictured on a photoshoot with Patrick Lichfield.
Julian wrote game reviews for Apple User magazine before going on to read Computing Science at Imperial College London and then to work for IBM. After completing an MBA at Wharton, Julian set up several successful small businesses including a software venture whose games were distributed with JVC video cameras.
He remembers meeting Jobs on one other occasion, “I’d accompanied Dad on a visit to Apple in California. I’d just bought an Apple II game called ‘Temple of Apshai’ and couldn’t wait to get it back home to the UK to play. Dad took me to an office where Steve was sitting with his sandals on his desk. I couldn’t believe my luck when he took me to an Apple II and let me load up the game and play it! Fun was always part of Dad’s work. Once he demonstrated an Apple II to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, having asked Apple to program it to play ‘The Sailor’s Hornpipe’, one of the Prince’s favourite tunes. At the time, it would have been quite astonishing!”