Phil Gyford

Writing

Monday 29 March 2004

PreviousIndexNext Bye bye HyperCard

Awww, HyperCard is no more. I haven’t touched HyperCard for ten years or so1 but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. As far as I know my college didn’t have the internet in the early 90s, although I’d heard tales of a computer in the library that was on JANET, but I could never substantiate such foolish rumour-mongering.

So anyway, absent the Net, fiddling with HyperCard was my only experience of hypertexty multimedia things for a couple of years. For a college project I spent some time in 19922 sat at the little black-and-white-screened Macs and created a stack about tea. (I have no idea why I chose tea.) You can download a copy here, although you’ll also need the HyperCard Player, and some of the type appears to have become too large to fit the screen. It must have soaked up some water in the cellar over the years and swelled somewhat.

I never finished that stack — hence some non-functioning buttons — but I’m not sure it was ever finishable; I wanted the user to feel they could get information about anything, with tea being just a starting point from which they would head off on a branching path towards all kinds of unrelated and esoteric knowledge. What crazy, crazy days they were.

  1. What the fuck!? Ten years!? What happened!? I must have blinked!
  2. What the fuck!? Twelve years!? What happened!? I must have blinked!
Comments

What sweet sadness to see it go. I built and accounting app in Hypercard. It was a very, very bad app, but it was the first app I ever built. That's a common story, I suspect.

Posted by Ian Grove-Stephensen on 29 March 2004, 11:30 pm | Link
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HyperCard RIP
Ah rest in peace, HyperCard. One of the most important applications in the history of personal computing, in my humble opinion. Responsible for the amazing bloom of ideas and applications noted by Ben Hyde, and picked up by Matt Jones.
At 'cityofsound' on Sunday 4 April 2004, 9:07 PM