Monday, October 20, 2014

Memex animation -Vannevar Bush's diagram made real

After searching Google for the word “memex”, I came across a video called “Memex animation –Vannevar Bush’s diagrams made real”. The video, which was uploaded on November 18, 2009, was exactly that. The 2:33 video was simply a narrated animation of the memex both illustrating and visualizing the invention Bush mentioned in both of his articles. It explained the various functions that Bush idealized and even fit the description including the control keyboard and desk structure he envisioned.

            Watching the video was interesting to see the memex in action. Although the idea was monumental at the time, it seems very old fashioned and out dated viewing it in the present. Technology has advanced significantly since the first article was written. The original article “As We May Think” published back in 1945 talks highly of various inventions of the time such as photography, or telephones. I doubt that Bush had any idea that a device would be developed that could perform both those actions and much more. Similarly aftering reading the commentary on the original article which mentioned “new ways of human/machine interaction” I do not think anyone at the time could believe how engrained technology has become within out society. Bush’s idea of a memex has been fulfilled in a more advanced way then he ever could have imagined. These days many handheld devices can perform all the functions he imagined at an incredibly fast rate. Touch screens on electronics completely discard the idea of control keyboards and the idea of rechargeable batteries makes the idea portable and quite prominent in everyday life. This animation only further illustrates how advanced technology, and how quickly it has progressed.


  1. Very interesting animation. It matches with the Mimex Simulator I found when I searched google. I definitely agree with you that back in 1945, these concept could never have been replicated like they are today. I believe this drive to reach these goals inspired many at the time and sparked the computer revolution to make the technologies we have today

  2. I thought that was a very interesting video about the Memex. It is interesting to see how much technology has grown since the time of Bush's device.