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HyperCard Gone for Good

pudge posted more than 10 years ago | from the i-am-shocked-shocked-well-not-that-shocked dept.

OS 9 187

Second to Last HyperCard Goddess writes "HyperCard has finally been removed from the Apple website. Read some comments about the passing. I read about HyperCard's demise on the RunRevolution list. It's pretty sad; the unexpected part was that it remained for sale at the Apple Store for six years without an update. Although we've all moved on, we'll certainly miss it." I won't.

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The culprits (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8726545)

The gays were behind this. Trust me.

Any hypercard replacements out there? (1)

cheezus (95036) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726617)

I remember hyperstudio, which seemed to be hypercard lite with multimedia stuff added.

Maybe there's a Free project underway?

Re:Any hypercard replacements out there? (4, Informative)

attonitus (533238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726762)

Maybe this: FreeCard [] ?

Don't know anything about it - just followed the links.

Re:Any hypercard replacements out there? (4, Informative)

TheAJofOZ (215260) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729566)

FreeCard is intended to be a drop in replacement for HyperCard with a lot of nice new updates that people have been hanging out for since HyperCard stopped being updated. Unfortunately the project is struggling due to my not having enough time to work on it.

If you're a Java programmer and want to see an opensource HyperCard clone come to fruition, please drop me a line or jump onto the FreeCard-general mailing list and start hacking away.

Three that I know of... (5, Informative)

ksdd (634242) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726812)

Maybe none of these could be called "replacements." Perhaps "spawn of HyperCard" would be more appropriate:
  1. Runtime Revolution []
  2. SuperCard []
  3. PythonCard []

There may be others...

Re:Three that I know of... (2, Interesting)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727509)

The one we used for one of our classes was MetaCard [] which is a cross-platform Hypercard with more features like color.

Re:Three that I know of... (3, Informative)

mcdesign (699320) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729761)

The one we used for one of our classes was MetaCard which is a cross-platform Hypercard with more features like color.

After coexisting for a few months eventually Runtime Revolution brought the rights and code for the Metacard engine and from Scott Raney of Metacard. So Metacard became Runtime Revolution.

RunRev is not 'buggy' it has bugs but it also as a very active development team working on removing them. Not quite as good as when Scott was The Man when support was second to none but far far better than most of the monolith software companies where bugs turn into features

Re:Three that I know of... (2, Interesting)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728582)

1. RunRev is bugge (last I heard anyway)
2. Supercard is payware
3. Pythoncard is Uuuuugly

Hypercard was unique in a way that it was free, super-stable and totaly intuitive.
But most of all, it never ever pretended to be a GUI builder for any app and the kitchen sink. It was a fun tool. An application to just play around with and by miracle pump out insanely great applications. The screenshots of pythoncard & supercard for instance make it look like it is yet another tool to make adressbooks & morsecode converters and shit like that. Hypercard never pretended any intended usage. It was just.. you know.. just "there when you needed it"...

No other RAD I ever used even came close.

Re:others. . .Applescript Studio (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8730454)

LiveStage Pro 4.5 & QSXE Component (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8727982)

With the recent release of LiveStage Pro 4.5 and the QSXE QuickTime Component, is this a simple coincidence? Maybe.... but if you look at the QSXE reference manual, it specifically refers to HyperCard and how QSXE can now do everything that HyperCard could do and then some. Maybe Apple finally found a replacement app and decided they could now remove it from their site.

Pudge, who asked you, anyway, man? (4, Insightful)

SewersOfRivendell (646620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726671)

What killed HyperCard? Shunting it off to Claris, where it languished. Lots of good applications with plenty of future potential were killed at Claris, not least of them being MacWrite, MacPaint, MacDraw. Damn shame.

Re:Pudge, who asked you, anyway, man? (4, Informative)

skwirlmaster (555307) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726873)

Its funny, I just presented an article on UI prototyping tools yesterday. I included Hypercard, although even my sources from 1996 said it was dying then. I made note of it of course, but I didn't think it would be dead the next day.

I originally found this on ACM, but most of you probably don't have access so here it is:

User Interface Prototyping: Concepts, Tools, and Experience []

Software killed by Claris... (2, Interesting)

MinutiaeMan (681498) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728018)

Not to mention Claris/AppleWorks itself, which hasn't had a real update in more than three years...

Thank goodness FileMaker got spun off into its own company before it was nixed, too!

Re:Software killed by Claris... (2, Informative)

javaxman (705658) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728730)

Hey hey, AppleWorks isn't dead *yet*, a copy of it came with my flat-panel iMac, along with a ton of other useful software. Appleworks now includes a "Paint" document type which looks suspiciously like "what ever became of MacPaint" so I'm not sure it's right to say MacPaint is dead, either.

My 2-year-old loves to use the Paint part of AppleWorks. He does so with one of those "hard-to-use" one-button mice.

Re:Software killed by Claris... (2, Informative)

hawaiian717 (559933) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729425)

AppleWorks's various modules are decendants of the individual applications: MacWrite, MacDraw, MacPaint, and FileMaker. Though FileMaker has now far surpassed anything AppleWorks Database offers. When ClarisWorks first came out, the word processor wasn't quite as full featured as MacWrite Pro, and I imagine the modules were the same way.

Re:Pudge, who asked you, anyway, man? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8728802)

In my opinion, the first and fatal blow to hypercard was when the full version was removed from the system software releases. When it was included with every single macintosh shipped, it promoted the idea that anyone could be a programmer. Anyone could build a tool useful at least to themselves and make their work on the computer more productive. It didn't matter if it was adding a field to the address book, copying a button with a canned script into a new stack, or adding new handlers to the home stack.

Everyone had the tools available to them, everyone could share their work. (It was also fertile ground for viruses, but lets ignore that for the moment. I don't want to speak ill of the dead.) Everyone could peak into the source of a stack and see what was going on.

When Apple started shipping "Hypercard Reader" with the systems for the "users" to have and requiring people to choose to be "developers" and buy the development environment from Claris, Hypercard lost its purpose.

Everything since then has just been a slow decline.

Re:Pudge, who asked you, anyway, man? (3, Informative)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729048)

It may have been fertile for viruses, but as I recall there was only one hypercard virus.

The fun thing about the reader was that it was actualy the full application, it just had a crippled home stack. If you got the regular stack and the ad-ons you could make it the full version.

Re:Pudge, who asked you, anyway, man? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8730257)

There was more than one. See HyperCard Virus Compendium []

Early versions of the reader were the same code but with a stack that had a white image covering buttons to switch to the Authoring and Scripting levels. For those, you could enable the extra levels by typing "magic" at the message window. I don't think that worked for the Hypercard 2.2 reader. It really couldn't switch to the upper levels.

Emailer!! (1)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731700)

I loved Emailer! That's got to be the best MUA I've ever used, at the time. Of course now it's missing features like Bayes classification but still... Emailer was great. I bought a copy of Powermail just because it reminded me so much of Emailer.

Re:Emailer!! (1)

cei (107343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731888)

Claris Emailer / Claris Organizer was a strong combination, made all the more powerful when Palm conduits were made for them. Too bad they stopped when they did.

I had one person tell me that the Outlook Express client for the Mac was written by the Emailer development team, but was never able to confirm...

I had completely forgotten about HyperCard. (3, Interesting)

schmoli (105622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726691)

While I used it all the time in middle school, I had managed to completely forget that this application ever existed. All of a sudden I wish I could look at all the games and stuff I used to make with this. I think after learning basic this was the next 'programming' language/tool I ever used.

So many uses... (1)

cryptochrome (303529) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727672)

Back in high school, I used Hypercard to shut down At Ease and gain access to the regular OS and play Crystal Quest of a floppy, or fool around with our video capture card. The one hack I figured out for myself.

Re:So many uses... (1)

crackshoe (751995) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731665)

Dude - Crystal Quest. My solution for getting around at ease in middle school to play crystal quest was to discover that my teacher wrote the password on a postit attatched to her monitor, but... crystal quest, yeah. I also dug hypercard based games (Cosmic Osmo and the Manhole come to mind), and spent waaaaay to long making annoying hypercard games my self.

Re:I had completely forgotten about HyperCard. (2, Interesting)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 10 years ago | (#8730545)

I miss it too. I used to stay up all night making things with HyperCard. When I was just learning it I made my first stack -- it had a line drawing of a naked girl and when you pushed invisible buttons on her body it made noises and played screen effects. Really dumb. But it got me into it, and I made stacks that were really useful, including a database application that helped me manage information about students in my classes (I was a grad instructor at the tim) including grade information, which would be automatically calculated....

It was a great program. Apple should really open source it so someone can make an OS X version.

Demos (1)

Rubel (121009) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726704)

Hypercard was certainly an odd beast, but I miss it. It made demos easier!

What was hypercard? (2, Interesting)

ben_degonzague (222715) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726768)

Well, I'm clueless, what is/was it?

Re:What was hypercard? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8726857)

Essentally a gimmick. Early versions of the Mac were shipped with playing cards (the Ace of Spades with the original 128k Mac IIRC, Queen of Clubs with the 512k, Prince of Hearts with the Mac Plus, etc, etc.)

After the Mac II, they quit with this, and there was a bit of a backlash. Some joker (no pun intended) then came out with "Hypercards", Mac-style cards soaked (supposedly) in caffeine (to reflect the improved performance over the older Macs.) These took off like wild fire. Eventually the idea was bought by Claris, then a division of Apple.

I still have a 7 of Diamonds, goes with my Beige G3. :)

Re:What was hypercard? (0)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726988)

And I know there will be at least 2 people out there, that might buy this account of what HC was!!!

Re:What was hypercard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8728369)

nobody will since you ruined the surprise, poophead. :P

(that tongue is for licking pussy, not poop. thanks)

Re:What was hypercard? (5, Informative)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726963)

Basicaly it was something like powerpoint with scripting and full user interaction. You could write games, animations,and whatever else you wanted tutorials, presentations, interactive demos. Very powerful, very small, very cool. It was also a decent intro to basic programing with seperate functions and such.

Re:What was hypercard? (3, Interesting)

SewersOfRivendell (646620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727497)

Other points:

It was actually a nice introduction to object-oriented programming. Everything was addressed as an object, and events were passed as messages sent to objects.

HyperTalk, the HyperCard programming language, was the predecessor to AppleScript. Lessons learned from HyperTalk were factored into the design of AppleScript, in particular the langauge extensibility features. As a result, AppleScript suffered somewhat from second-system effect.

A lot of people also used HyperCard as a database. Many tasks that people use FileMaker Pro for today could be done with HyperCard.

Re:What was hypercard? (3, Informative)

Radiola (86603) | more than 10 years ago | (#8730040)

I learned programming on HyperCard. Everything essential was there: loops, conditionals, variables (local by default, global if you declared it such), subroutines, and a pretty powerful object orientation.

I wrote a stack for the newspaper I once worked for, that took the daily nationwide temperature reports and massaged them into something suitable for printing. I was rather proud of that at the time.

The object orientation even included inheritance, of a sort. There was a handler (HC's term for method) called openCard that was called whenever a new card was shown. If there was no openCard handler attached to the card that was opening, the background's (series of cards with a shared layout and handlers) openCard handler was called. Then the stack's. If it still wasn't handled, the handler in the "Home" stack was called.

If you did handle that somewhere along the way, you could elect to pass the message on and let the "superclass's" scripts take a whack at it.

The Home stack was a superclass of sorts for every stack in HyperCard. You could modify behavior globally from there (it could be overridden, of course, by individual cards, stacks, etc.). You could also insert arbitrary stacks into the search order. Some of Apple's demonstration stacks did that, as I recall.

The search order was the same for pre-defined handlers as well as user-defined handlers.

- Aaron

Re:What was hypercard? (4, Informative)

radicalskeptic (644346) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726987)

This should help []

Re:What was hypercard? (5, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727463)

In some ways, HyperCard is (er was) analagous to Logo, only oriented towards persistent data rather than graphics oriented. By that I mean it is an entry level, interactive programming system that encouraged setting small incremental goals and giving immediate feedback (and satsifaction). Since it was data oriented, it was very useful on a day to day basis.

Data was oriented into "stacks" of "cards". Each card was of a certain design (I forget the HyperCard terminology), which basically consisted of a number of layers on which objects were placed. Widgets, layers, cards and stacks had scripts associated with them and could interact by message passing (or somethign like that - it's been ten years now). Layers could be turned off and on providing a rough and ready way to reorganize the interface based on user interaction. Data was kept in "fields" which are UI widgets and represent, roughly speaking something like a table schema. However things were pretty loosy-goosy -- a card in abstract a card is kind of like a hash which has data slots created by the card design's field UI elements. The reason I bring this up is that you could add new fields and widgets to an individual card if need be.

You could put these elements together in various ways. For example you could treat a stack sort of as a database tightly bound to UI (like Filemaker - very good for non-experts although obviously not scalable). In this kind of design each card design was kind of like a table and each card was kind of like a row, and each field is kind of like a column.

Or, you could use the elements in various ways; maybe creating a single card stack whose job was to control a laserdisc, or be a calculator, or some such thing.

My wife used a one card HyperCard stack at work to manage her to do list. Each item was kept on a line of a text control. Being the kind of person she is, she had several hundred lines of things on her to do list, each prepended with a numerical priority. When it came time to sort (on these 16MHz 68000 machines) it took over a minute to sort. I remember replacing the bubble sort with a shell sort to get the sort time down to something like 15 seconds.

Re:What was hypercard? (1)

WaterTroll (761727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728429)

> In some ways, HyperCard is (er was) analagous to Logo

darn, when i read Logo i accessed a memory in my brain that has been lying dormant, unaccessed for atleast eight years. good ol' grade school days. i will cherish them forever.

Re:What was hypercard? (1)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728635)

I remember replacing the bubble sort with a shell sort to get the sort time down to something like 15 seconds

ehm.. ever heard of quicksort [] ?

Re:What was hypercard? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 10 years ago | (#8730251)

Yep. One of my favorite soft algorithms.

Note that quicksort has a pretty significant worst case: when the data is already sorted. Pretty common case unfortunately.

Really there's no such thing as a sort algorithm for every purpose.

Re:What was hypercard? (1)

mjc_w (192427) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731336)

I like heapsort. It has a guaranteed n*log(n) worst case and average case, and uses no storage other than the input array. Quicksort is often preferred because its average time is, IIRC, about half of heapsort's.

Heapsort is discussed in Knuth vol 3 and in "Combinatorial Algorithms" by Nijenhuis and Wilf. The latter has a generic, high-level implementation and a (not easy to understand) 23 line fortran version.

Open Source (5, Interesting)

MrBlackthorne (722062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726808)

Apple should really think about releasing the source code and letting the OS community take it over. HyperCard was a great development environment, and I really think it influenced the way current environments work. HyperTalk was the first language that I learned on the Mac, and it was my second overall language, first being AppleSoft BASIC. Rick

Re:Open Source (3, Interesting)

deleuze (199965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727504)

Rumors are that there is a very advanced search technology inside of HyperCard :-D. Remember, you could to full-text searches in your stacks at an amazing speed for the technology at this time?

Then there were plans to integrate a color-HyperCard into QuickTime (i think it was QuickTime 3.0), which would be the flash-killer today. I once implemented a windowing-interface complete with mouse-triple-click handlers and drag and drop, all in HyperTalk.

Awesome. Sad. Good Bye HyperCard.

The remainings can be found here:
plusLibs []

Re:Open Source (2, Funny)

Ann Coulter (614889) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728770)

I would look at Knuth's The Art of Computer Programming Volume 3 Chapter 6 to find information about string searching. I bet that Hyper-Card uses a combination of algorithms in that chapter.

Re:Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8728817)

They should, but they won't. They're still a corporation, and giving something away without getting something back is pretty much against the rules. Plus, they're notoriously anti-open source internally, though they won't admit to it publically (because they'd lose karma with the Slashdotters probably). They're willing to take BSD software, but never to give much back that won't directly improve product offerings on OSX.

Re:Open Source (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729079)

Question: Why would apple spend time giving back changes that don't improve the software?

Re:Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8731226)

They will release code back (to the Konqueror guys, or PPC optimizations for GCC), but they will not release code to the open-source community if it does not directly benefit Apple "primarily", or if it stands to substantially improve their "competition", Linux. They won't add features to GCC, for example. They will, however, improve GCC's performance on the PPC. But we're not interested in helping the "open source" community at all.

Re:Open Source (3, Interesting)

moof1138 (215921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729371)

I read somewhere that this was brought up at a WWDC session at one point, and an Apple dev explained that "we dont want to use Open Source as dumping ground for dead technology."

Re:Open Source (2, Funny)

punkass (70637) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731737)

How's that phrase go? "One man's dead technology..."

Re:Open Source (1)

pherris (314792) | more than 10 years ago | (#8732268)

Apple should really think about releasing the source code and letting the OS community take it over.

One problem: Jobs wants HC dead which is really sad. When HC came out it blew me away. It was fun and mildly productive. People did some pretty cool stuff with it. People that never programmed before and many that haven't programmed since.

Because of all the low level XFCN stuff I don't know how well it would translate to cross platform life but allowing the open use of the langauge would be a good start.

Dumping it out under a BSD license (GPL would be better but that's a whole other war) would be sweet but IMO it will never, ever happen which, again, is sad. A lot of great stacks and hundreds of thousands of programming hours will be lost because Jobs wants it gone.

I love macs (I still use an eMac for video work) but everything else is on my gentoo box because of crap like this. You'd have a better chance of Apple bring back the Newton (what a sweet machine).

Maybe something like pythoncard might pan out some day but HC will never be replaced. RIP

Six Years? (4, Funny)

bfg9000 (726447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8726907)

It's pretty sad; the unexpected part was that it remained for sale at the Apple Store for six years without an update.

Being in the market for a new PowerBook (and waiting anxiously for new revisions), this is a truly terrifying statistic.

Re:Six Years? (0, Redundant)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727059)

Why? It only runs on Mac OS 9 and less.

Re:Six Years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8727396)

I don't think you get the joke.

Re:Six Years? (1, Informative)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727408)

I think the joke was that Apple had an item up for sale that was 6 year out of date with no updates. And that we're expecting a powerbook update sometime soon.

Sad news ... Hypercard, dead at 16 (4, Funny)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727048)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Rolodex/Programming tool Hypercard was found dead in it Cupertino, California home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss it - even if you didn't enjoy its output, there's no denying its contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Sad news ... Hypercard, dead at 16 (1, Funny)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729599)

Hypercard and Stephen King on the same day, what a shame.

Re:Sad news ... Hypercard, dead at 16 (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 10 years ago | (#8730327)

Anybody look at Netcraft to see if they confirm this, or count the number of usenet posts about HyperCard over the years? It's fine to have your assertion about its death but I want some real data.

admit it, you HAVEN'T moved on! (2, Insightful)

xMac (766834) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727101)

>the unexpected part was that it remained for sale at the Apple Store for six years without an update. Although we've all moved on

you followed diligently for 6 years! and didn't give up hope that it may be updated!

i'd say you are gonna have a tough time moving on... good luck. :D

Me neither... (0)

csoto (220540) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727103)

Everybody writes applets in Java, now, right?

Re:Me neither... (1, Insightful)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727189)

0) Java sucks.

1) HyperCard filled an entirely separate niche, so no.

Re:Me neither... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8727652)

java requires an IDE, compilers, reading through books, etc.

Hypercard was more like flash (or VB for dummies). You can draw pretty pictures, add text fields, buttons, etc. without knowing any programming, and have them do stuff. Or if you were more advanced, you could write code in HyperScript, which was very english-like.

What made it especially powerful was persitent storage - add an entry to your rolodex and it saves when you quit, no prompting, no saving step.

I'll miss it (4, Interesting)

jht (5006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727157)

The only "software" I ever created from scratch was HyperCard-based. I built a guitar tuner and a lotto game player (input state rules to a randomizer), both of which got a decent number of Compuserve downloads back in the day. I also used to hand out a version of my resume as a browsable stack, which was kind of cool and helped me get a few Mac-related jobs as well.

Of course, I stopped writing stacks entirely by about 1991 or so, and haven't written more than a shell script since. But I still have fond memories of it as a tool and environment. It's a pity that HyperCard died when it did (really about 10 years ago), but it was always the "neither fish nor foul" of Apple products.

That and Pippin.

Dead? (3, Interesting)

Gropo (445879) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727224)

My dad [] still uses the Hypercard Address Book stack under Classic. I keep urging him to take the time to transcribe the hundreds of entries so something uh, more... XML-ey [] :P His main gripe is that there's no cheap/free "dial selected number with the modem" augmentation available--freeware, OSS or otherwise.

On a side note, my good friend recently joked about a 'skinny' port of Hypercard for the iPod. GID input might be a pain, though scrolling through buttons/fields might work?

Address Book dialing (1)

rjung2k (576317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727426)

Doesn't MacOS X's Address Book let you click on a telephone number and choose to dial it from a pop-up menu?

Re:Address Book dialing (1)

Gropo (445879) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727498)

Doesn't MacOS X's Address Book let you click on a telephone number and choose to dial it from a pop-up menu?
No, it simply allows you to see it REALLY REALLY BIG so you can reach all the way over to the touchpad and kick it oh-so-20th-century 'monkey action' style :P

Re:Address Book dialing (1)

Incadenza (560402) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727988)

It does for Bluetooth enabled phones. Sure works with my T68i, I even can send SMS messages through Address Book. Oh, and you get caller-ID on your Mac as well.

Re:Dead? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8727772)

This is 8 bucks... Is that too much? :)

It's even Applescript aware so you can get your "program" on and do some really neat stuff. Does classic applescript send commands to OSX apps? :)

Re:Dead? (1)

Arkham (10779) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727980)

This isn't exactly what you're looking for, but it's close. From AddressBook help:

Dialing your cell phone

If both your computer and cellular phone are Bluetooth-enabled, and you have paired both devices using the Bluetooth pane of System Preferences, you can use Address Book to place outgoing telephone calls.

Click any phone number label, such as "home," on an address card.
Choose Dial from the pop-up menu, then use your cell phone to listen for the person you're calling to answer.

Click the Bluetooth button in Address Book to search for paired phones that are within range.

For more information about pairing Bluetooth devices or using Bluetooth, open Bluetooth File Exchange, located in Applications/Utilities, and choose Help > Bluetooth Help.

Re:Dead? (1)

brauwerman (151442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728548)

In what sense is Address Book XML-ey ?

It is, however, faxy.

From the page you linked:
"S ending a fax
When you choose to print a document from an application, the Print Panel now includes a Fax button that lets you send the document as a fax using your computer's built-in modem. You can choose cover page options from a pop-up menu in the Print panel. The Address field automatically fills in addresses using fax numbers from your Address Book or you can enter a fax number manually. It shows only contacts with a fax number."

Re:Dead? (1)

Gropo (445879) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729051)

In what sense is Address Book XML-ey ?
Well, should papa ever want to export his modernized Address Book database in to another PIM app down the road, he'd find his data easily exportable (and inevitably importable) using the well established vCard-XML standard [] .

Re:Dead? (1)

Chucker23N (661210) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728549)

Wait, what's XML-ey about Apple's Address Book? The internal format is binary; vCard is a plaintext format.

As to dialing, you can if your cellphone does Bluetooth...

Re:Dead? (1)

Gropo (445879) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729146)

Wow, you're right. Never opened an Address Book exported vCard to look at the syntax, rather rested on my outdated (and apparently flawed) research of the format. :slapped!

Re:Dead? (1)

coldcup (15234) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731010)

Address Book dials numbers, sends SMS, answers calls, receives sms. What more do you need?

Dialing with Modem in Address Book (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8731168)

(* Written by Cecil Esquivel
Requires DialModemOSAX from Javier Diaz Reinoso
J avier Diaz-Reinoso <>
Place this script in ~/Library/Address Book Plug-Ins/
property national_prefix : "1"
property international_prefix : "011"
property length_of_local_number : 8 -- number of characters in a local number (no prefix needed to dial). Include dashes.
property my_version : "v1.0"

on prefixed_num(num)
if first character of num is "+" then
-- if number starts with a +, it's international.
return international_prefix & "-" & characters 2 thru (length of num) of num
else if ((characters 1 thru (length of national_prefix) of num) as string is not national_prefix) and &#172;
((characters 1 thru (length of international_prefix) of num) as string is not international_prefix) then
-- if number starts with neither national nor international prefix, assume local unless has more digits than length_of_local_number
if (length of num) > length_of_local_number then
return national_prefix & "-" & num
return num
end if
end if
-- number is already starts with a national or international prefix
return num
end prefixed_num

using terms from application "Address Book"
on action property
return "phone"
end action property

on action title for aPerson with aPhone
set thephonenum to (value of aPhone) as string
set thephonenum to prefixed_num(thephonenum)
return "Dail " & thephonenum & " with Modem"
end action title

on should enable action for aPerson with aPhone
return true
end should enable action

on perform action for aPerson with aPhone
initModem "/dev/cu.modem" with "~^M~AT&F1E0S7=45S0=0L2^M"

set thephonenum to (value of aPhone) as string
set thephonenum to prefixed_num(thephonenum)
delay 1
dial modem "ATDT" & thephonenum
display dialog "Dialing " & (name of aPerson) & "'s " & (label of aPhone) & " at " & return & (thephonenum) & return & &#172;
"You can pick up the reciever, then click OK to hang up modem." buttons {"OK"} default button 1
hang up
end perform action
end using terms from

Slashdot Editor Cynicism... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8727404)

we'll certainly miss it." I won't.

*sigh*. It's easier to be negative that positive isn't it? And so I'll be likewise: maybe we don't care if you do or not Pudge. I certainly remember it fondly. And as someone who uses "classic macs" for fun, find it a very convenient tool to still use. So let the rest of us have our say.

Re:Slashdot Editor Cynicism... (2, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727727)

I agree. I used to fool around in hypercard and enjoyed looking at other people's hypercard creation. It was a good introduction to programming, as you could usually see how a stack was made and easily test/modify what the script did.

Pudge won't miss HyperCard, CmdrTaco thinks the iPod is lame. At least Jon Katz got fired.

Myst (4, Interesting)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727483)

I was surprised while reading about the death of Hypercard (like 3 days ago, way to stay on top of things Slashdot) to find that Myst was written in Hypercard.

Not that Myst is anything special, I hated that damn game. But still, its interesting to note.

Re:Myst (1)

sirmikester (634831) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727811)

While it certainly could have been, I doubt that it actually was. Maybe it was prototyped with hypercard, because to my knowledge Hypercard never ran on windows-based systems...

Re:Myst (1)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728058)

It was made with HyperCard.

I don't think Apple's HyperCard ever ran on Windows, but I know there were plenty of HyperCard clones that did. They probably ported it to one of those for the Windows version.

Re:Myst (2, Informative)

Meowing (241289) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731501)

I don't think Apple's HyperCard ever ran on Windows, but I know there were plenty of HyperCard clones that did. They probably ported it to one of those for the Windows version.
The PC version used Macromind Director. Director's Lingo bears a strong resemblance to Hypertalk, and porting wouldn't be so horrible.

Re:Myst (4, Informative)

shane_rimmer (622400) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728233)

Straight from the horse's mouth []
Graphics and Construction tools:

HyperCard (Apple)
Think Pascal (Symantec)
Photoshop (Adobe)
Premier (Adobe)
Illustrator (Adobe)
Painter (Fractal Design)
Morph (Gryphon Software)

Images and animations were modeled and rendered on six Macintosh Quadras using StrataVision 3d by Strata, Inc.

HyperCard was colorized using a proprietary version of Symplex System's HyperTint, written by John Miller.

Re:Myst (1)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731507)

I remember stealing the HyperTint XCMD out of something (I think it was one of the Atlas CDs that would Sad-Mac some computers if it was in during boot) for a teacher's presentation.

Children of HyperCard (5, Insightful)

karnat10 (607738) | more than 10 years ago | (#8727508)

HyperCard was waaaay ahead of its time. Years before the common user knew about HTML, JavaScript, or Wikis, all those concepts were already beautifully united in HyperCard. Well, the network was missing, but it was already WYSIWYG (en contraire to today's Wikis).

Seriously. I learnt to know HyperCard like 15 years ago and developed some nice applications, and I haven't used it again until recently, and then I was like saying: Wow, shit, it was all there already!

It wasn't perfect though because only a few people had macs, and I think it was too intuitive and required too much creativity from average Joe (OK, mod me down for my arrogance, come on, come on, give it to me, yeah)

Wars are God's way of teaching Americans geography.

Re:Children of HyperCard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8728841)

Hey, shitface, I turn sigs off for a reason. That means I don't want to see em. Put that boatload of Michael Moore shit in your sig file where I don't have to look at it, capice?

Re:Children of HyperCard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8730657)

Shitface? I like that one! I'll remember it next time I climb off your mum.

Well, Michael Moore (or whoever said it) seems to have hit a nerve...

As a courtesy I'm posting it again, so other shitfaces get their chance too:

Wars are God's way of teaching Americans geography.

And thanks for the sig file advice, shitface...

Most underrated mac app ever? (4, Interesting)

sokoban (142301) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728109)

I can't believe that Hypercard was still was just recently killed. I always thought that Hypercard was WAY more powerful than people let on. It was really the Mac OS of programming. On the surface level, it was an easy to use, fairly limited, programming environment. What most people didn't know though is that Hypercard was capable of just about anything any other language could do at the time. The "guts" of Hypercard were hidden from the user (and most programmers), but with some effort you could have a tool that was flexible as hell.

Re:Most underrated mac app ever? (2, Informative)

vallette (762759) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728982)

I totally agree. One thing that I haven't seen mentioned in this discussion was the way it could be extended by little compiled widgets called XFCNs and XCMDs. If HC didn't have some piece of functionality that you needed (or it was to slow when implemented as HyperTalk) you could whip one of these up in C or Pascal, stick it in the resource fork of a stack (or the HC app itself for global access) ,and call it from your scripts just like any other function or command. Allowed you to use compiled code where you needed it without having to worry about constructing a friendly UI.

Re:Most underrated mac app ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8729792)

The one time I tried to write something in Hypercard (in high school), I quickly figured out the environment was missing really basic features like random number generation. The non-solution was to learn C and write a plug-in.

Fond memories of Hypercard (4, Interesting)

nvrrobx (71970) | more than 10 years ago | (#8728344)

I had a teacher when I was in 7th grade (1990?) that used a Laserdisc player, Hypercard and a projector to teach us life science. All of his lectures revolved around that setup. That was my first major exposure to a Mac. He had the Mac controlling the Laserdisc player and everything. Hypercard will be missed.

The closest I ever really saw to Hypercard on the PC was IBM Linkway. I played with it briefly, and it just couldn't compete with Hypercard.

Re:Fond memories of Hypercard (4, Interesting)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 10 years ago | (#8730479)

A long time ago High Times had a great article about somebody growing weed in a warehouse and controlling everything via a HyperCard program. The cameras in the warehouse let him see what was going on, he could turn water on and off remotely, change the light settings, etc., so he rarely had to actually visit the warehouse until harvest time. I think he connected to his mac with Timbuktu or somesuch and then everything was controlled through his HyperCard interface.

Re:Fond memories of Hypercard (1)

punkass (70637) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731840)

An Apple user involved with weed?! NO WAY!

Apple killed HyperCard (1)

Sonic McTails (700139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729026)

If memory serves HyperCard was created with System 6 (or was it 7) and I remember still seeing it about the time Mac OS 8 became popular. The reason HyperCard wasn't updated is because Apple replaced it with AppleScript. In Mac OS X, AppleScript can use C/C++ Code, have it's own interface, talk w/ other AppleScript applications. Although HyperCard was easy to use, AppleScript has more power, and I rather have more power then easy to use software.

Applescript doesn't have more power than Hypercard (1)

cr0z01d (670262) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729598)

Applescript is a tool for sending messages to other applications, mostly. Hypercard is a database / presentation system, mostly.

I think it's clear you aren't very familiar with Hypercard. You could put Applescript code in a Hypercard stack. You use C/C++ code through XCMDs. When I was in elementary school I created a sequencer in hypercard... you clicked on a drawing of a piano keyboard and could record / play back songs you wrote. The songs appeared in a field that I could copy and paste into a different stack which was a computer game I was working on.

The only reason I gave it up was because it was so slow, not that it wasn't powerful enough. I had written my own XCMDs to add color pictures, get the state of the keyboard, anything a game normally does with the Mac APIs.

The interfaces that are created in Applescript programs are a pale shadow of Hypercard. Applescript also isn't that great with persistent data. If you really want power, stick to C. Actually, you can't do coroutines in C, so you should stick to assembler. Wait, you really should be programming in FPGAs. Er, just wire the logic gates by hand.

Re:Apple killed HyperCard (2, Insightful)

chillybean77 (767182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8730892)

I don't think Apple has killed Hypercard at all.
I think the fundamental principles behind Hypercard have been translated into Objective-C, Cocoa and many of the MacOSX technologies relating to these - Applescript, Delagates, outlets, forward chains, the runtime message lookup, object introspection, cocoa bindings, and most of the current Mac OS X frameworks are based on or around the principles and OO patterns of Hypercard.
These architectural principles have been available in other languages for a while, but Apple has paid careful attention to the designs of MacOSX, and I think they've learnt from the Hypercard experience of yesteryear, and brought that experience into the new age of software development for the Macintosh.
The difference between the development environment that Apple provides today (xCode), and what it used to provide (HyperCard) is that today's tools give all the seasoned C/C++/Java programmers the ability to develop however they want to AND in addition, Apple provides the opportunity to use the frameworks MacOSX provides (which, to labor the point, I think are Hypercard-like in principles, hence the elegance of Cocoa app designs) So we get our cake, and get to eat it too! :)

While everyone debates about the fact that Apple has given Hypercard the flick, I disagree. It's fundamentally there in MacOSX if you look beneath the surface.
Software development is about learning from your experience and using that to your advantage, and this 'experience' is what software engineering using systems of patterns is all about. The developer documentation is pretty heavy on the patterns, architectures and designs inherent in MacOSX because they want people to use them and benefit from them, beacuse, in turn, Apple benefits.
I think Apple has combined both the business and programming experiences they got from the 'Hypercard days', with the culture and benefits of the opensource community and that's why they are steadily gaining a strong foothold in the marketplace with MacOSX and their products.

Hypercard still kinda-sorta lives on. At least, that's what I rekon. :)


Re:Apple killed HyperCard (5, Informative)

idlewild (767214) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731957)

Nothing in OSX frameworks has anything to do with HyperCard. All of the OSX frameworks have their roots in the NextStep technologies that were developed at NexT computer, the company Mr. Jobs formed after his oust from Apple Computer.

I've used HyperCard since 1987 when it was introduced, and bundled with all Macs. That was the same time that Mr. Jobs was ousted out of Apple.

Actually, Apple's new leadership in 1997 killed HyperCard.

When Mr Jobs returned to Apple, it was no surprise that he hated HyperCard. He hated all things Apple and launched the "think different" campaign that killed off all things "Classic". His job was to deliver on what Apple paid for, bringiing the NextStep OS to Mac OSX.

I can't say why Mr. Jobs hated HyperCard. It always helped sell Macs to educators in the same colleges and universities Mr. Jobs was trying to woo over to NexT. The Macs were selling because of HyperCard to these educators, it was easier for a scientist to mess with HyperCard on a project than with NextStep.

Still is easier to use HyperCard.

There are no similarities between Cocoa or AppleScript with HyperCard. On the surface, many languages advert they are object oriented. Under the hood, HyperCard simplified a lot of things for beginning users. Unintimidating, the language looked like plain-English, and the software used a message-passing heirarchy between objects that I have not seen in any other object oriented environment, save "xTalks".

Before the G3 appeared, all software was getting slow. HyperCard on modern Macs runs like a fine tuned watch, it is very fast. And if I had to pull something out of the tool chest to write code that would translate spreadsheet data into uploadable ASCII for any mySQL server database, I'd use HyperCard. and get the job done in a fraction of the time. The HyperTalk language excelled at munging text, much easier to write a utility (in minutes) with HyperTalk than BASIC or C any day.

What else have I used HyperCard for? Just about everything Apple might wexpect me to do with Apple Script Studio or Cocoa with much greater effort. HyperCard made creating interactive CDs child's play. I managed employee benefit plans with it; excellent for creating input data forms, posting and reporting. Also creating many stacks that produced clean HTML code, and more recently have written scripts that translate a stack's data to XML and other formats.

HyperCard died becasue there has been a real shift in what the computer companies are willing to develop and bring to users. Their decisions are now based on demand-driven technologies. The companies know that people generally are not interested in computing, they want products that perform tasks at the click of a button and require little or no thought.

Today, there is no need to "open up the box" for users to learn and understand what a computer is all about; few want to anyway. Back in 1987, that was an important part of marketing a computer, and HyperCard fit in very well. This environment no longer exists today.

So what was once a computer renaissance in the '90s has digressed to a rather dark age for computing, as we are no longer seeing tools that let us expand how we understand the technology, tools like HyperCard. I do see a lot of tools that let us do things that the programming factories "think" is best for us, best for what we want to to with these wonderful works of technology. Many of the iApps looked like remakes of things I had already created with HyperCard.

Think of what we've seen for progress in software since 1997. The only software that has appeared works basically the same as it did five or more years ago, only retrofitted to run on the new OS. Still the same MS Office or Works, Quicken, web browser, games mix. I thought speech recognition would have arrived by now. The only software innovation I've seen has not come from computer companies, but from the open-source community as so much has become web-centric.

The reason Apple kept HyperCard at the Apple Store for the past six years is because they did not want to tarnish Mr. Jobs' reputation announcing they were about to drop support for a product that had such a profound impact on computing and the average person's ability to create something valuable and useful on a computer. There are still a lot of HyperCard users, many of them can be found at Mr. Jobs knew we all expected Apple to continue with HyperCard and bring it native for the new OS. Mr. Jobs even appeared and CAUSE '98 and publicly quipped that "rumors of us cancelling HyperCard are totally bullshit" only days after internally dismantling the HyperCard development team for Quicktime. We have the recording at for anyone to hear the truth from "the man" his'self.

Apple believes that there's no money in empowering users. It's more profitable to drop successful products, segment users, and ask them to upgrade to replacemenmts.

Innovative? Isn't it?


I wonder (4, Interesting)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8729193)

It always struck me as odd that Apple kept hypercard around all these years, after all even Appleworks got more updates, and given that when Apple moved to OS X, they killed off a lot of calssic stuff (and steve's declaration of the death of classic) it seemed odd they would keep it arround.

I wonder if we may see the next generation of hypercard from Apple in the near future? Something like that would be an awsome addition to OS X, and it seems to me like it could be Apple's iLife version of Keynote.

Re:I wonder (1)

chillybean77 (767182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731000)

I think you're on the right track here with this thought, see my reply post to the thread "Apple killed HyperCard" about the principles of Hypercard existing in the MacOSX frameworks. I think Apple have kept the Hypercard principles alive, but let the Hypercard product die. :)

Alas, HyperCard dead at 53 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8729713)

Hypercard was a wonderful product.

But let's not forget that Microsoft beat Apple to market by years. Microsoft's program was out for years before Mr Jobs dreamt up "HyperCard" in the early 1990s.

This just goes to show you that Microsoft is the leading innovator of the field, and everything that made Steve Jobs rich was taken from more inventive people.

I'm not saying that HyperCard wasn't a great product, let us just put this in prespective.

Re:Alas, HyperCard dead at 53 (1)

Person with Taste (767207) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731334)

You've got the middle two things in reverse, you idiot! Apple was there long before Microsoft was; in the personal computer industry, in the software industry, in the graphical user interface, everywhere. Microsoft took everything from Apple, not the other way around. Get your facts straight.

Wow, this is something I might really like... (1)

josh glaser (748297) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731483)

Okay, I'm not supersmart like the rest (well, most) of you. I'd like to do some simple programming to make stuff, but I have no idea where to start, what language to learn, etc. I know basic HTML, but that's it.

So I have some questions on this Hypercard...I assume it's Mac (and OS9) only? Is it really outdated or something? Will somebody come out with something similair (is there already?) or would it be worth using today?

a mystery of Apple's priorities... (5, Insightful)

highbrow (716454) | more than 10 years ago | (#8731780)

I have always seen HyperCard as a great opportunity lost by Apple.

I had my first development job in 1993 producing university teaching materials using Hypercard & Quicktime. Back in those days developing using a Mac only product wasn't a problem, as the majority of our labs were Mac anyway. As Apple as a platform slumped in the mid-90's people's expectations changed- they wanted things to run on PC too.

All that needed to happen was to produce a Windows runtime, and Apple could have maintained a stranglehold on straightforward multimedia creation. No-one's saying it was a great tool, but as a simple mechanism to convey rich content to users, it couldn't be beaten.

Why Apple never dedicated the resources required to do this I will never know- perhaps it was so tied to Quickdraw that a port would have amounted to a complete rewrite... there were rumours too that playback was going to be built into QuickTime, but perhaps that was just wishful thinking.

Anyway, it never happened, and it was pretty obviously after a few years of point upgrades that it was never going to.... the lame way that colour was bolted onto the original 1 bit code (using a plugin or XCMD) didn't bode well for where the product stood in Apple's priorities.

I tried SuperCard, which at least natively supported colour and multiple windows, but the end result could still only be run on a Mac. The product changed owners so many times, it never boded well, and a Windows player or, better still a plug-in (Roadster, anyone?) were always just around the corner.....

So I, and many others I imagine, moved to MacroMind Director v4. It was clunky as hell back then, interactivity strapped onto an animation package. But it has got better ;-). Coming from a Mac-dominated environment, we also discovered that you could use these tools on PCs too- perhaps not as elegantly, UI-wise, but with the price differentials in hardware, many grew up creating content on PCs for PCs. That can't have helped Apple at all.

Hypercard and Bill Atkinson (5, Interesting)

MacTechnic (40042) | more than 10 years ago | (#8732073)

Hypercard was the wonderful creation of Bill Atkinson, along with MacPaint and Quickdraw. Although Bill spends most of his time now as professional photographer, and not actively programming for Apple, he still uses Hypercard every day. Rumor has it that Bill has the certain retained rights to at least a good sized portion of the source code of Hypercard, which become active if Apple does not actively sell Hypercard. While more recent features of Hypercard such as Quicktime 3.0 might remain Apple's property intellectually, I would be interested to see if Bill Atkinson would be interested in putting Hypercard core code out in the Open Source area for development. It would require at least some grudging cooperation by Apple. So, the fact Apple has dropped it from its active inventory may actually set part of Hypercard free sometime in the future.
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