Building a Memex by Andrew Louis

Getting the Memex ready for beta

If you haven’t enjoyed my meandering rambles about literature and Memex-related history, this newsletter edition is for you! This update is all business.

I spent most of this week polishing the Memex desktop app so it’s ready for beta testing. In particular, the onboarding flow is ready to use. Here’s what it looks like now:

A recap of the Memex architecture:

This solves the a primary design goal of ensuring that user data is only accessible by the user alone. There are many downsides: no cloud API for mobile devices to connect to, Docker is resource-intensive, and deploying updates and fixing bugs is way harder than pushing a fix to a single server. But this lets me get a working version out to people so I can get feedback and direction.

If you don’t want Docker running your computer and want to run the API/importers on your own server, it’s possible to configure the frontend to make external calls.

If you’re interested in having your own Memex and want to be a guinea pig let me know! Ideally, we would do the installation together in person so I can get a high fidelity view of all the things that might will go wrong.


A few other specific things that got done this week:

Things to code still (but not essential for beta users with high tolerance):