Memex

DARPA's MemexDARPA's Memex programhypertext system
The memex (originally coined "at random", though sometimes said to be a portmanteau of "memory" and "index" ) is the name of the hypothetical proto-hypertext system that Vannevar Bush described in his 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article "As We May Think".wikipedia
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Vannevar Bush

Bush, VannevarBushV. Bush
The memex (originally coined "at random", though sometimes said to be a portmanteau of "memory" and "index" ) is the name of the hypothetical proto-hypertext system that Vannevar Bush described in his 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article "As We May Think".
He is known particularly for his engineering work on analog computers, and for the memex.

As We May Think

The memex (originally coined "at random", though sometimes said to be a portmanteau of "memory" and "index" ) is the name of the hypothetical proto-hypertext system that Vannevar Bush described in his 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article "As We May Think". Bush describes the memex and other visions of As We May Think as projections of technology known in the 1930s and 1940s in the spirit of Jules Verne's adventures, or Arthur C. Clarke's 1945 proposal to orbit geosynchronous satellites for global telecommunication.
Bush expresses his concern for the direction of scientific efforts toward destruction, rather than understanding, and explicates a desire for a sort of collective memory machine with his concept of the memex that would make knowledge more accessible, believing that it would help fix these problems.

Hypertext

hypertextualityhypertext markupmetatext
The concept of the memex influenced the development of early hypertext systems (eventually leading to the creation of the World Wide Web) and personal knowledge base software. This idea directly influenced computer pioneers J.C.R. Licklider (see his 1960 paper Man-Computer Symbiosis), Douglas Engelbart (see his 1962 report Augmenting Human Intellect), and also led to Ted Nelson's groundbreaking work in concepts of hypermedia and hypertext.
In 1945, Vannevar Bush wrote an article in The Atlantic Monthly called "As We May Think", about a futuristic proto-hypertext device he called a Memex.

World Wide Web

WebWWWthe web
The concept of the memex influenced the development of early hypertext systems (eventually leading to the creation of the World Wide Web) and personal knowledge base software.
Both Nelson and Engelbart were in turn inspired by Vannevar Bush's microfilm-based memex, which was described in the 1945 essay "As We May Think".

History of hypertext

proto-hypertext
The memex (originally coined "at random", though sometimes said to be a portmanteau of "memory" and "index" ) is the name of the hypothetical proto-hypertext system that Vannevar Bush described in his 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article "As We May Think".
All major histories of what we now call hypertext start in 1945, when Vannevar Bush wrote an article in The Atlantic Monthly called "As We May Think", about a futuristic device he called a Memex.

Personal knowledge base

The concept of the memex influenced the development of early hypertext systems (eventually leading to the creation of the World Wide Web) and personal knowledge base software.
Undoubtedly the most famous early formulation of an electronic PKB was Vannevar Bush's description of the "memex" in 1945.

Office of the future

Considered together, these memex machines were probably the earliest practical description of what we would call today the Office of the future.
The Memex article in The Atlantic is most often cited because of its longer text which details the proposal of a system of shared microfilm based hyperlinks which could be considered as a precursor to the World Wide Web.

Social software

SocialSocial software for academic researchsocial concepts
Modern hypertext systems with word and phrase-level linking offer more sophistication in connecting relevant information, but until the rise of wiki and other social software models, modern hypertext systems have rarely imitated Bush in providing individuals with the ability to create personal trails and share them with colleagues – or publish them widely.
In 1945, Vannevar Bush described a hypertext-like device called the "memex" in his The Atlantic Monthly article As We May Think.

Hyperlink

linkshyperlinkslink
The memex proposed by Bush would create trails of links connecting sequences of microfilm frames, rather than links in the modern sense where a hyperlink connects a single word, phrase or picture within a document and a local or remote destination.
In the essay, Bush described a microfilm-based machine (the Memex) in which one could link any two pages of information into a "trail" of related information, and then scroll back and forth among pages in a trail as if they were on a single microfilm reel.

MyLifeBits

Bush's influence is still evident in research laboratories of today in Gordon Bell's MyLifeBits (from Microsoft Research), which implements path-based systems reminiscent of the Memex, is especially impactful in the areas of information retrieval and information science.
It was inspired by Vannevar Bush's hypothetical Memex computer system.

Ted Nelson

Geeks Bearing GiftsTheodor NelsonThe Curse of Xanadu
This idea directly influenced computer pioneers J.C.R. Licklider (see his 1960 paper Man-Computer Symbiosis), Douglas Engelbart (see his 1962 report Augmenting Human Intellect), and also led to Ted Nelson's groundbreaking work in concepts of hypermedia and hypertext.
In this way the Nelsonian network is more similar to blockchain technology than the ancestor of the Memex that Nelson envisions.

Deep web

invisible webDeep web (search indexing)dark (unused) address-space
DARPA wants the Memex technology developed in this research to be usable for search engines that can search for information on the Deep Web – the part of the Internet that is largely unreachable by commercial search engines like Google or Yahoo.

Portmanteau

portmanteau wordportmanteausportmanteaux
The memex (originally coined "at random", though sometimes said to be a portmanteau of "memory" and "index" ) is the name of the hypothetical proto-hypertext system that Vannevar Bush described in his 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article "As We May Think".

The Atlantic

The Atlantic MonthlyAtlantic MonthlyAtlantic
The memex (originally coined "at random", though sometimes said to be a portmanteau of "memory" and "index" ) is the name of the hypothetical proto-hypertext system that Vannevar Bush described in his 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article "As We May Think".

Microform

microfilmmicrofichemicrofilmed
The hypothetical implementation depicted by Bush for the purpose of concrete illustration was based upon a document bookmark list of static microfilm pages and lacked a true hypertext system, where parts of pages would have internal structure beyond the common textual format.

Jules Verne

VerneJules-Vernethe French author
Bush describes the memex and other visions of As We May Think as projections of technology known in the 1930s and 1940s in the spirit of Jules Verne's adventures, or Arthur C. Clarke's 1945 proposal to orbit geosynchronous satellites for global telecommunication.

Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C ClarkeSir Arthur C. ClarkeClarke
Bush describes the memex and other visions of As We May Think as projections of technology known in the 1930s and 1940s in the spirit of Jules Verne's adventures, or Arthur C. Clarke's 1945 proposal to orbit geosynchronous satellites for global telecommunication.

Geosynchronous satellite

geostationary satellitesgeosynchronous satellitesgeosynchronous
Bush describes the memex and other visions of As We May Think as projections of technology known in the 1930s and 1940s in the spirit of Jules Verne's adventures, or Arthur C. Clarke's 1945 proposal to orbit geosynchronous satellites for global telecommunication.

Google

Google Inc.Google, Inc.Google LLC
DARPA wants the Memex technology developed in this research to be usable for search engines that can search for information on the Deep Web – the part of the Internet that is largely unreachable by commercial search engines like Google or Yahoo. The closest analogy with the modern Web browser would be to create a list of bookmarks to articles relevant to a topic, and then to have some mechanism for automatically scrolling through the articles (for example, use Google to search for a keyword, obtain a list of matches, repeatedly use the "open in new tab" feature of the Web browser, and then visit each tab sequentially).

Wiki

wikiswiki markupWikitext
Modern hypertext systems with word and phrase-level linking offer more sophistication in connecting relevant information, but until the rise of wiki and other social software models, modern hypertext systems have rarely imitated Bush in providing individuals with the ability to create personal trails and share them with colleagues – or publish them widely.

Life (magazine)

LifeLife MagazineLife'' magazine
The September 10, 1945, Life magazine article showed the first illustrations of what the memex desk could look like, as well as illustrations of a head-mounted camera, which a scientist could wear while doing experiments, and a typewriter capable of voice recognition and of reading text by speech synthesis.

Camera

camerasstill cameraplate camera
The September 10, 1945, Life magazine article showed the first illustrations of what the memex desk could look like, as well as illustrations of a head-mounted camera, which a scientist could wear while doing experiments, and a typewriter capable of voice recognition and of reading text by speech synthesis.

Typewriter

typewriterselectric typewritertypewritten
The September 10, 1945, Life magazine article showed the first illustrations of what the memex desk could look like, as well as illustrations of a head-mounted camera, which a scientist could wear while doing experiments, and a typewriter capable of voice recognition and of reading text by speech synthesis.

Speech recognition

voice recognitionautomatic speech recognitionvoice command
The September 10, 1945, Life magazine article showed the first illustrations of what the memex desk could look like, as well as illustrations of a head-mounted camera, which a scientist could wear while doing experiments, and a typewriter capable of voice recognition and of reading text by speech synthesis.