ESL 91
SPRING, 2002


Exilus Junior
ESL 91
Spring, 2002

Essay Topic: Go to the web site Unsung Heroes of Computing: 5 Visionaries Who Changed the Face of Technology. Choose ONE of the visionaries profiled on the site, and do an in-depth exploration of how that person changed the face of technology.

My essay is about a hero of the computer. His name is Vannevar Bush. Vannevar Bush was a great man and is still a great man because almost everyone is still talking about him. Vannevar Bush played an important role in the development of the computer. He created a system called contour maps. Vannevar Bush was also the one who developed the first analog computer in 1994. He really played an important role in the development of the computer. Because of Vannevar Bush, those things exist.

The role that he played that was really important was when he created a system of machines that could be used in wartime. That system was really fast. It was 1,000 times faster than any calculating machine. That machine was called ENIAC. It was the first stored-memory computer, able to store 200 digits. Bush created that first analog computer to help and make it easier to fight against the enemies. Vannevar Bush was working very hard to do what he was supposed to do. He also created the profile tracer, which recorded the elevation of land to create contour maps. At the same time he was part of the team that created the product intergraph and he created an analog computer that could solve first-order differential equations. Vannevar Bush was really helping people by creating things. Like contour maps, the first analog computer and the machine that he created that could be used in wartime. That’s how his experience helped Bush invent the World Wide Web.

Vannevar Bush was really special because during World War II, he served as science advisor to President Roosevelt during a period of enormous technological development. That was part of his job. In 1945 Bush wrote an article that was published in the Atlantic Monthly, entitled "As We May Think." In this article, he described his experience with an overwhelming amount of information--something almost everyone suffers in the modern world. Vannevar Bush came up with a solution that could help those people who were complaining of information overload. The solution that he came up with was a desk- sound device that could record all kinds of personal information, index it, and retrieve it whenever it was needed. This hypothetical device, which he called a memex, was a Rube-Goldberg-type contraption- an extremely complex microfilm reader with mechanical indexing- but his description of how it managed information was something magical. It was something nobody could believe.

That was the fact of Vannevar bush. He created things that no one would be able to imagine before. Bush was working on how to develop technology, and how to develop new things about the computer. Vannevar Bush was the type of man who was always busy. I would be happy if I could be like Vannevar Bush because I always want to come with something that nobody ever thought of. I think if everybody could be like Vannevar Bush, things would be good in the world. If everybody could copy him, there would be no crime, no violence, no drug dealers. I think that way the earth would be a better place to live. I think everybody should think of something to make the world a better one. Bush did a lot of things for us to copy. He worked hard so we could have a better computer today.

Studying and reading about Vannevar Bush’s work really pushed me to work harder than I’m doing. He was the kind of scientist who liked to keep himself busy. A man like Vannevar Bush was always thinking about how he was going to come up with a new system. He was the kind of man that everyone should be and follow in life.

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