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It's Time To Revive Hypercard

alangmead Applescript & Automator? (299 comments)

I don't think Applescript and Automator bridge the gap between non-programmer and programmer as slowly and as fluidly as Hypercard did. A non-programmer could start using Hypercard as a simple flat file database without programming. The sample Addressbook etc. Hypercard stacks were perfectly usable and there was a large quantity of freeware and shareware stacks that (inherently) came with complete source code. If someone had just a small wish for how it behaved differently ("I wish the addressbook had a nickname field:) many could be added through the GUI tools without programming. At some point, they may wish for behavior that involved changes in code, if they reached that point, the code had a fairly strong mapping to the concepts they had learned so far (stacks, cards, backgrounds, fields, etc) that they may be able to suss out what the code was doing and figure out simple changes. Once doing a fair amount of modification of the existing code, some may choose to strike out on their own and create something new.

Applescript and Automator seem to be more about simple automation of tasks. Which is a great power to give someone. ("Ugh, I hate doing this same drudgework every day|week|whenever_the_situation_bothers_me") but seems to me still a larger jump from non-programmer to programmer.

about 3 months ago

It's Time To Revive Hypercard

alangmead Hypercard could have been the internet (299 comments)

It did have network features, if by network you consider Appletalk. The code 'go to stack addressbok on machine "Andrew's Powerbook"' was valid Hypertalk.

about 3 months ago

The Most Expensive One-Byte Mistake

alangmead Re:Missed the point (594 comments)

Saying "PDP" instruction set makes them sound all the same. C is very similar to the PDP-11 instruction set, Unfortunately, it was produced after C was developed. I strain to find similarities between the PDP-7 instruction set and C. Most of the PDP-11-isms that people see in C are the post-(increment|decrement) instruction variations and the MOV variations that dereference an address register.

more than 3 years ago

Schneier Says We Don't Need a Cybersecurity Czar

alangmead Re:Pedantry (173 comments)

I assumed that the Russians wrote Tsar in their Cyrillic alphabet and both Czar and Tsar are transliterations.

more than 5 years ago

How Do I Put an Invention Into the Public Domain?

alangmead Re:Publish the invention (233 comments)

This is why back in the day AT&T and IBM (still today) have publications like The Bell System Technical Journal, IBM Systems Journal, etc. It gives them platforms to publish the inventions that they don't wish to patent, but still show prior art.

more than 5 years ago

Black Holes From the LHC Could Last For Minutes

alangmead Why the LHC scares me (672 comments)

The way I remember the sequence of events last fall is this:

  1. CERN starts the LHC.
  2. Lehman Brothers announces that all of their money disappeared.
  3. CERN shuts down the LHC because of a malfunction.

Isn't it obvious? All of Lehman Brothers assets got sucked up in a black hole created by the LHC!

about 6 years ago

Blogs Are Eating Tech Media Alive

alangmead Re:Anyone remember BYTE ? (247 comments)

Did you read anything the the Byte editors wrote about the end of the magazine? Tom Halfhill's Tom's Unofficial BYTE FAQ: The Death of BYTE Magazine ? The advertising was drying up well before CMP purchased McGraw-Hill technology publications (including Byte.) By that time, enough magazines with a strong focused interest existed that it was tough for a generalist like Byte to sell advertising. If Microsoft wanted to advertise NT4, they could reach more of their potential customers by advertising in Information Week, rather than Byte. If NuMega wanted to sell a memory leak tester to developers, they could reach more of their audience in Dr. Dobbs Journal. Texas Instruments DSP group could reach more hardware designers by advertising in Microprocessor Report.

Byte was a great magazine for someone like me who was interested in how popular technology was currently used today, what advantages and disadvantages alternate technologies had, and what was coming up in the future. Articles from chip design to heterogeneous user management. I wasn't a good target for many of the advertisers though. (I wasn't interested in the Microsoft NT ads, because I wasn't trying to set up an windows network. I wasn't interested in the NuMega ads, because I wasn't developing for Intel hardware. I wasn't interested in the TI DSP articles, because I wasn't doing hardware design, etc.) and those advertiser didn't want to pay for me to see their ads. The end result is a high subscriber base for a tech magazine with lower per subscriber ad revenue. Not a good business model.

more than 7 years ago


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