Inside Macintosh Volumes I, II, III (PDF)

Here are all three volumes of the original 1985 edition of Inside Macintosh as a searchable PDF:

Inside Macintosh Volumes I, II, III
(1284 pages, 18 MB)

Inside Macintosh consists of three volumes. Volume I begins with the following information of general interest:

  • a “road map” to the software and the rest of the documentation
  • the user interface guidelines
  • an introduction to memory management (the least you need to know, with a complete discussion following in Volume II)
  • some general information for assembly-language programmers

It then describes the various parts of the User Interface Toolbox, the software in ROM that helps you implement the standard Macintosh user interface in your application. This is followed by descriptions of other, RAM-based software that’s similar in function to the User Interface Toolbox. (The software overview in the Road Map chapter gives further details.)

Volume II describes the Operating System, the software in ROM that does basic tasks such as input and output, memory management, and interrupt handling. As in Volume I, some functionally similar RAM-based software is then described.

Volume III discusses your program’s interface with the Finder and then describes the Macintosh 128K and 512K hardware. A comprehensive summary of all the software is provided, followed by some useful appendices and a glossary of all terms defined in Inside Macintosh.

I have been told that there are several people in Apple’s operating system kernel team today that are younger than the original Macintosh, therefore I see this as act of preserving retrocomputing documents; the times when someone cared about the copyright of this must have long been gone.

24 thoughts on “Inside Macintosh Volumes I, II, III (PDF)

  1. BOFH

    Unbelievably! Thank You for this contribution!!! One time I did search for hardware part of “Inside Macintosh” really hard (webarchive, mirrors) with no success. Only dead links and nothing more.

    Indeed, there are later editions of “Inside Macintosh” on Apple but they are incomplete. You will find no information about hardware part.

    P.S. I’m really enjoying by reading Your blog posts. Keep good work!

  2. 512k Hacker

    DOH! And I just bought the all-three-in-hardcover edition from a book seller in California! (meh, it was only $1.99).

  3. Yuhong Bao

    “You will find no information about hardware part.”
    That is quite deliberate, starting with IM:V, hardware info is no longer included in IM. You have to get separate books like the Guide to the Mac Family Hardware for the hardware info.

  4. UniDyne

    I have the first editions of these that were published by Apple and Addison-Wesley in 1995. This was before PDF, so it’s all in Apple’s DocViewer format. It seems clumsy by today’s standards, but it was a godsend back then.

  5. UniDyne

    EDIT: I meant to say in my post above that it was one of the first editions on CD-ROM. Odd how eliminating one word can completely change the meaning of the sentence…

  6. BOFH


    This CROM is an very interesting historic artifacts. Can You make dmg image and share it with community? I think there is no needs to worry with licensing issues. It’s abandonware by definition and Apple already shared most of it’s IM books.

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  8. fabione

    The link is broken, I have the Inside Macintosh Volumes I, II, III. If Anyone is interested by this, i can upload all the volumes.

  9. Greg

    I’m a fan of early Macs and finding them gem has made my day.
    …I would love that copy of the CD-ROM that UniDyne posted a while back if anyone still has it?
    Any chance someone can re-upload it?

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  11. Solra Bizna

    I found myself in the situation of having to write a driver for System 6 the other day. This post saved my life. THANK YOU!

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