This app is more of a biographical ebook dressed in apps clothing than it is an app. The original story presumably available in print is written by Leanne Jones. Once you open the app the premise seems a bit self serving and clearly the Creators intention may have been lost in this digital montage of the life and mind of Edson C. Hendricks.
If you are a history buff and enjoy story telling in a first person factual way then this app has great appeal for you. There are many retrospective videos, interviews, reports, and personal theories related to the processes that eventually led to the invention of the Internet. There are great stories about creative thinking, about imagining that which isn’t and those involved with the core process of invention. At one point Edson speaks of the realization that they had no idea they were on the path to uncovering one of the most significant discoveries in the history of mankind.
Throughout the app the Edson seeks to enlighten you on topics ranging from how vertical problem solving agendas led to the invention of the internet; how bullying during his early years led to a toughened resolve to explore his inner mind and expand his knowledge. As you dig further down into the app Edson discusses the processes of invention and the importance of starting from scratch with little to consideration of outside influence.
I took the time to preface this review with the remarks above to highlight the obvious in hopes of convincing you to stick in there and fully explore the apps inner workings as it really holds a lot of good information and insight told mainly from the person who was there from the very beginning, every inch of the way. That of course is Edson Hendricks himself and this app is about him, his life and his accomplishments.
The app delves into interpersonal experiences and in some case offers advice directly from Mr. Hendricks. He discusses how he thinks about, invents, and copes with the adversities that life presents to him as well as all of us.
There are several featured sections, for lack of a better term, that you can explore starting with “The Story” itself. A navigation menu is located on the top left of the page that reveals the table of Contents and gives you the option to listen as Edson reads his story aloud to you. The pages magically scroll along with the narration and any new chapter transitions are introduced with some soothing classical, swing jazz infused piano arrangements.
You can pivet back and forth to the home screen by using the home hot key at top right of any inner page and in doing so we decided to take a look at the “Clever Minds” section. In this area Edson tells us how he thinks his mind works and what drives his thoughts, you can view a bunch of early family photos with captions and listen to some original musical scores arranged by the books author Leanne Jones. A couple of key areas exist here as well, those being Edson’s views on the “Origin of Earth’s Water” and “Wither Tektites”. Both of which are scientific diatribes of Edson’s understanding of these two phenomenas. Both of which seek to explain how these two matters came to occupy the Earth. I suppose it takes a genius to questions this in the first place as the subjects seem a bit bland. But, after reading the chapters I have formed my own personal opinions on the matter. I’ll save those for a later date 😉
Returning to the home page we then go on to investigate how Edson was single handedly responsible for inventing the design which led to the internet. I think Edson did a great job of explaining this and he goes into details about the teams he work ed with in and outside of IBM. Plus he discusses how work on other projects eventually led them to stumble upon the connection of the VNET design that led to the intenet being invented.
But that is not all you’ll find under the “Inventing the Internet” tab as there is some great conversations and historical documents related to early networks, the internets first virus and even has a segment where Edson offers advice to other programmers.
We saved the last section of this app for last as it is a bit more serious. When listening to Edson speak about the issues related to this section “about bullying” you can’t help but feel sorry for his circumstances and get a sense for where the difficulties he and so many other young people have to deal with while growing up.
Unfortunately for all of us Edson has not cracked the code which leads to a softening of this awful behavior and it is quite realistic to believe this will never be overcome. I suspect that Edson felt it necessary to discuss these otherwise personal experiences in hopes that it would shed some light on the issue and bring it forward in conversation. As the only real solutions for resolving this issue is through conversation, guidance and teaching of tolerance to others.
Personally I feel the app is very interesting as I have always been drawn to intellectual conversation and most notably have always been amazed by those who have a far superior intellect and have used it to their advantage. I somehow feel though that the author lost an opportunity to inspire the readers to reach for more.
I found one striking contrast in Mr. Hendricks’ explanation of how he clears his mind of any worldy influences when reckoning an invention. This seems to contradict the relationships that spurn such creativity and these relationships, especially in his case led him to lead the team that invented these early processes. In otherwords I believe inventions come from solving everyday problems as well as pondering the mysteries of life and to devoid your mind of any recollection to spur ideas seems like bad advice. But then again he’s the genius not me so we’ll have to grapple with what works for him plus mingle it with what works for you. Somethings are just meant to be interpreted differently and this seems to be one of those cases.
- Great interface and expertly conceived
- Well written and thorough
- Interesting historical details about the early ages of computing
- The information seems incomplete and I am left wanting more in most cases especially when it comes to the video testimony
- The segment on bullying is not the main focus and is more of an also ran
- TMI on the person as the tone took on a lot of the me, me ,me mentality though it is fair to point out that this is much to do with Edson Hendricks and he has some amazing accomplishments.