When the Apple /// was released, there was very little software available for new owners and most of the few titles Apple had pre-announced were delayed while the company struggled to deal with a product recall and all the bad press. After the all the problems were solved and newly-enhanced version was released, the /// was selling well and there were plenty of titles available, both from Apple and a number of third-party developers.
To clean up the ///’s tarnished image, Apple launched a big PR campaign in 1982, called “Let Me Reintroduce Myself“. As part of this effort, a guide was printed to address the misapprehension that the /// still had no software that was written to specifically to take advantage of its unique and powerful features.
From the introduction:
Will Someone Please Tell Me What an Apple Ill Can Do? is a comprehensive guide to the more than 300 application software products available for the Apple Ill personal computer… The purpose of this guide is to give you a brief overview of software features, where to write or call for more information, and the manufacturers’ suggested retail price.
The 96-page booklet shipped with all new Apple ///’s and could be obtained directly from Apple and local dealers for $3.00.
Several editions of the guide were produced during the life of the Apple /// (this scan is from September 1983). It is important to note that they don’t serve as a comprehensive list of everything ever made for the Apple ///, but instead provide a snapshot of the state of the Apple /// software ecology around the times of publication.
In an effort to keep the guides current and relevant, Apple was careful to include only products, vendors and services that were available to users at the time of publication. This makes sense from a business standpoint – who needs information about products no longer on the market, or vendors that went out of business months ago, when you’re looking to keep your small business data management systems up to date?
When Apple announced the /// Plus, a new edition was produced. The guide was renamed, “The Resource Guide for Apple /// and Apple /// Plus Hardware and Software” and now included hardware listings, and a greatly expanded section for users international to the US.