Memex to Hypertext

September 22, 2009

Learned something new in class today, that happens a lot! But anyways, today we have been discussing the differences between the internet, world wide web and internet 2 (yes, there are differences). Then, we got to talking about hypertext and its history. Everyone who has ever used the world wide web has seen hypertext, even if they didn’t realize it. Its everywhere!

Click here!

I find hypertext to be very useful. Its nice to be able to find other pages that are associated with the topic that I am studying. Its free information without a new search.

The memex is a precursor to hypertext. It was formulated around 1945, which is a long time ago!

Wikipedia (thanks Web 2.0) has a good description of what a memex is. A brief description would show a desk with two monitors, a stylus, a joystick and a slot on the right. A print document goes into the slot and is scanned onto microfilm. Then, it can be pulled up on a monitor. A person could use the stylus to link documents together (based on topic etc) and the links would show up every time either document was accessed after that.

The memex was theoretical, clunky and impractical at that time. Its just interesting to think that the idea of hypertext has been around for so long!

I find it amazing that someone can be so forward thinking. He (Vannevar Bush) created a concept in such detail that the technology of the time did not support it.

That type of forward thinking made me wonder what my generation has come up with, that will be realistic in a later time.

STAR WARS! Well, it came around a bit later, in 1977. Not quite my generation. Or, Star Trek from 1966.

Still, the idea of spaceships… or …teleportation sounds nice. At least it would save some gas money. Perhaps that is the technology we should be researching, instead of all of these electric cars and biofuels.

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