The Memex (1945)
• Vannevar Bush (March 11, 1890 – June 30, 1974) was an American engineer
and science administrator known for his work on analog computing, his political
role in the development of the atomic bomb, and the idea of the memex, which
was seen decades later as a pioneering concept for the World Wide Web.
• The memex (a portmanteau of "memory extender") was the name given by
Vannevar Bush to the theoretical proto-hypertext computer system he
proposed in his 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article "As We May Think". The
memex has influenced the development of subsequential hypertext and
intellect augmenting computer systems.
The technology used would have
been a combination of
electromechanical controls and
microfilm cameras and readers, all
integrated into a large desk. Most of
the microfilm library would have
been contained within the desk, but
the user could add or remove
microfilm reels at will.
• Ted Nelson, or Theodor Holm Nelson (born 1937) is an American
sociologist, philosopher, and pioneer of information technology.
• Although "memex" was never implemented, in 1960 it inspired Ted
Nelson to develop the modern version of hypertext.
• The term hypertext was coined in 1963 by Ted Nelson in his book
"Literary Machines," where he deﬁned it as "non-sequential writing”,
and only later it became considered a medium limited to computers.
Nelson founded Project
Xanadu in 1960 with the
goal of creating a
computer network with a
simple user interface.
Net Pioneers in the 60’s
The Internet was the result of some visionary thinking by people in
the early 1960s who saw great potential value in allowing
computers to share information on research and development
in scientiﬁc and military ﬁelds.
J.C.R. Licklider of MIT, ﬁrst proposed a global network of computers
in 1962, He then went on the develop his ideas at DARPA
(Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)
Leonard Kleinrock of MIT developed the theory of packet switching,
which was to form the basis of Internet connections.
Lawrence Roberts of MIT connected a Massachusetts computer with
a California computer in 1965 over dial-up telephone lines.
Roberts moved over to DARPA in 1966 and developed his plan
Ray Tomlinson adapted E-mail for ARPANET in 1972. He picked the
@ symbol from the available symbols on his teletype to link the
username and address.
The early WWW (1989)
• The World-Wide Web as we know it began in
March 1989 at CERN. (CERN Conseil Europeen pour
la Recherche Nucleaire) now called "European
Laboratory for Particle Physics.”
• In order for all departments to keep track of
research, Tim proposed a system that would use
hypertext to provide “a single user-interface to
many large classes of stored information such as
reports, notes, data-bases, computer
documentation and on-line systems help”.
Tim Berners Lee is an
• Learning from Ted Nelson's ideas , Tim Berners-Lee English developer who
and others proposed a new protocol for information invented the World Wide Web
distribution. This protocol, which became the World in March 1989.
Wide Web in 1991, was based on hypertext - a He is also the director of the
system of embedding links in text to link to other World Wide Web Consortium
text or W3C (which oversees its
The Internet today
The Internet is a worldwide,
publicly accessible series of
networks that transmit data using
the standard Internet Protocol
It is a "network of networks" that
consists of millions of smaller
domestic, academic, business,
and government networks, which
together carry various
information and services, such as
electronic mail, online chat, ﬁle
transfer, and the interlinked web
pages and other resources of the
World Wide Web
There is no central authority that
controls the Internet. Beyond the
various governing boards that
work to establish policies and
standards, the Internet is bound
by few rules and answers to no
Visualization of the various routes through a portion of the Internet.
Share and Share alike
• The internet is available to anyone with access to a personal computer
and a telephone line. This democracy of information has enabled people
from all over the world to communicate freely like never before, allowing
the sharing of news, ideas, knowledge, creativity and trade.
• These ideals can applied to much of the net - with Freeware (free
software) and Shareware (free, but a donation is expected), free online
games, free online email (such as Yahoo mail, Googlemail and Microsoft
• This invariably has led to the increase of illegal sharing too, of music,
software, media and intellectual property.
Many people actually want their creative work to be shared freely.
• Creative Commons (CC) allows authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily
mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry.
• Creative Commons deﬁnes the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright —
all rights reserved — and the public domain — no rights reserved.
• A Creative Commons licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain
uses of your work — a “some rights reserved” copyright.
• Many artists began using the internet in the mid to late 90’s as a medium in itself, often creating
‘useless’ websites, whose only purpose was to play with the ideas and function of the internet.
This was often reffered to as Net Art or net.art
http://jodi.org/ JODI is a collective of two internet artists:
Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmansis. Jodi.org is a website
that throws you onto a randomly selected page where web
usability standards do not apply. Much in the same vein as
early virus, it can be disorientating, sometimes causing the
actual web browser to behave erratically
http://www.superbad.com was created by Ben Benjamin in
1997. Using a collage of jpegs and animated gifs, it plays
on ideas of how internet links work, drawing heavily on
Japanese and popular culture
http://www.irational.org is the personal website of artist
Heath Bunting. Rather than confuse it’s user, it acts as a
repository of past projects and tutorials on topics such as
‘how to set up a pirate radio station’
The net today
• While it has been available in some form or another for nearly 20 years,
it has only been within the last 10 or so that the internet has become
ubiquitous to everyday life.
• The technology is available for anyone to create and upload content to
the internet, even without any previous knowledge. It’s no longer a case
of needing to know HOW it works.
• Social Networking sites (such as Facebook & Myspace), forums, web logs
(blogs) and of course internet shopping provides much of what could be
considered the world wide web today.
• It is about quickly getting the information you need - ﬁnding a map,
doing your banking, or telling the world what you are doing and letting
them see or hear your latest creative endeavour.