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Vannevar Bush first wrote of the device he called the memex early in the 1930s. However, it was not until 1945 that his essay "As We May Think" was published in Atlantic Monthly. The frequency with which this article has been cited in hypertext research indicates its importance.

The memex is "a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanised so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility".

A memex resembled a desk with two pen-ready touch screen monitors and a scanner surface. Within would lie several gigabytes (if not more) of storage space, filled with textual and graphic information, and indexed according to a universal scheme. All of this seems quite visionary for the early 1930s, but Bush himself viewed it as "conventional".

Source :

Vannevar Bush "As We May Think", The Atlantic Monthly, July 1945.

Memex represents a way/mechanism how an individual manage knowledge/information/data in a systematic way. However, does memex really exist nowadays after the article "As We May Think" been published about 50 years ago?

Bush viewed this machine as conventional. Taking example of Internet, I do not think that it allows human to manipulate the information as such a flexible way suggested by Vannevar Bush. What do you think about it?

Footnote added by author


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