My talk on Vannevar Bushs MEMEX vision and on our interpretation of this vision was recorded and can be watched at the media archive of the CCC (german only).
Interactive exhibit at “Das Netz” in the “Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin” – cooperation with Felix Scharstein
The MEMEX is a historical vision of an american scientist, published in 1945, but never realized. It is a „device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library“ based on microfilm technology. The most important idea is the creation of “trails”: links between pages – the first hyperlinks.
This interpretation of the MEMEX vision is based on digital components. The user can search the library, browse documents and create trails in a way that is very close to the original idea. The user interface is very simple but powerful.
|Hardware||4x Raspberry Pi, Arduino with 64-button-shield, TFT
PC as database server
|Software||distributed python-based sofware, communicating over XMLRPC|
(All images by Bruno Torres Suñén – click image for a larger version)
I recently started building a MEMEX device for a new exhibition “Das Netz” in the Berlin Museum of Technolgy. The MEMEX is a vision of a scientist from the 1940s about future knowledge management based on microfilms.
The exhibit will use computer components instead but it will simulate the look and feel of a microfilm device. At the moment I have fully functional software simulation (coded in python) of the device to define and test the complete user interface and the typical processes.
In the next step we will build the components (database, displays, keyboard and camera) as independent modules. These modules will communicate over a standard ethernet connection.
The current design is the following:
|Database||fanless PC with a MongoDB server (Linux)|
|Monitors||Raspberry Pi with a 13.3″ Display (software: python)|
|Keyboard||Arduino with a 64-Button-Shield, Buttons and a transport lever|
|Camera||Raspberry Pi with a RaspiCam (software: python)|