Tuesday, October 21, 2014


When I googled "Memex", I found many good articles and other content about Vannevar Bush's concept of the Memex. One thing I found rather interesting was a website dedicated to the virtual replication of the Memex under the original specifications of Doctor Bush. They named their project the Memex Simulator, or MemexSim. The MemexSim attempts to replicate all of Bush's specifications of it's information input from the "Walnut", information display on the two screen interface, information retrieval from a scanning machine capable of scanning through hundreds of imagines a minute, and the user interface made up of a button panel with 35 button, a lever, and a separate button. The replication of Bush's concept of the "Walnut", a device very similar to today's flatbed scanner, is mimicked by dragging and dropping imagine files and mentions research into providing support for flatbed scanners and other digital imaging devices. The MemixSim also includes the ability to create digital files that include the trails that Bush specified needed to be used to retrieve the image from storage.

The website mentions that "Because of the prohibitive complexity and cost of film and hardware for a device such as the Memex, this project uses modern software and computer hardware in the place of film, projectors, and analog mechanical controls." I find it really interesting that even today, Bush's concept is nearly impossible to replicate fully. It makes it possible to believe how Bush's article could be very capable in inspiring many, many scientists to pursue his idea of expanding our mental capabilities with technology and sparked the computer revolution.

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