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Memex

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Memex

Bush's Memex concept

MEMEX0L

The Atlantic Monthly article

In 1945 Vannevar Bush introduced the idea for a a microfilm based machine for storing and retrieving knowledge. He called this machine the memex and it is widely considered the first conception of the home computer.

After thinking about the potential of augmented memory for several years, Bush laid out his thoughts on the memex in the essay "As We May Think," published in the in July 1945 edition of the Atlantic Monthly.

In the article, Bush predicted that, "Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified." (Some believe this idea was the precursor to the modern Wiki.)

A few months later Life magazine published a condensed version of the same article, accompanied by several illustrations showing the possible appearance of a memex machine and its companion devices. This version of the essay was subsequently read by both Ted Nelson and Douglas Engelbart, and inspired them to independently formulate the various ideas that led to the development of hypertext.


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