Steve Hamm is a writer for Business Week who is about to publish a new book: The Race for Perfect: Inside the Quest to Design the Ultimate Portable Computer
Joe Lambert produced a graphic/comic version of chapter 4 of the book, about the development of the laptop and the contributions of Alan Kay, one of the main visionaries of mobile computing. Alan worked on a number of very important innovations: the graphical user interface and the mouse, the portable PCs, and the PDA just to name a few.I think that the illustrations are beautiful, and the story is really interesting. However unlike the case of Google Chrome, I do not think that the comic format does a lot to add to delivering the message of this book. Neither Joseph Lambert nor Steve Hamm are to blame (on the contrary the art work and the story are great). The Google Chrome book confirms that comic graphics can do a great job of explaining complex technology. A historical time line simply leaves less room for creative expression. For more about Alan Kay and his ideas see this video at TED, the source of my inspiration for this blog post.