Thursday, March 17, 2005

Vannevar's Vision Thang

One of the inspirations for the design and development of Trexy is an article written way back in 1945!

"As We May Think"
by Vannevar Bush (The Atlantic Monthly) 1945.

At the time the article was written computing machines were clunky contraptions - more mechanical than electrical. Despite the physical and computational limitations of the technology, Vannevar Bush, the Chief US Scientist, saw the huge potential to use these rudimentary machines to augment human mental powers individually and collectively.

The idea was wild! The meme contagious.

The influence the article has had on the development of computer science, the Internet, and the World Wide Web cannot be overstated.

Even 60 years on, Vannevar has correctly predicted the future by directly influencing it. There is a clear trail of ideas/memes from "As We May Think" to "As We Do Think". :-)

Looking back at it, what Vannevar wrote can be boiled down to a simple functional specification - but there are still major bits unimplemented.

I'll be uncovering steps in the meme trail from "As We May Think" to "As We Do Think" in future blogs and showing how these have lead to the design of Trexy and the implementation of the final and most significant parts of Vannevar's spec.

Stay tuned ...

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