I had the absolute pleasure of listening to Dame Wendy Hall on the BBC Podcast ‘A Life Scientific‘ Yesterday and she referred to a 50 minute TV programme from 1990 by Douglas Adams called Hyperland. They also played a small clip, where the ‘Software Agent’ played by Tom Baker came out with the following quote
“I’m a software agent and I only exist as what we call an application in your computer. I have the honour to provide instant access to every piece of information stored digitally, anywhere in the world. Any picture or film, any sound, any book, any statistic, any fact, any connection between anything you care to think of. You have only to tell me and it will be my humble duty to find it for you and present it to you for your interactive pleasure”
That’s Google, but before Google.
You can see it in full here
But this just proves what a genius Adams was and that Google certainly weren’t the first to come up with the idea for what they do, they just came in and did it better than everyone else. There’s lots to learn from that.