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HyperCard Stories

Cool things our readers do with HyperCard

Here is the best way to answer the question, "What is HyperCard?" — with real world examples. Most of the authors below have agreed to accept correspondence. If you would like to write to any of them about their use of HyperCard, just click on the name at the end of their story.

And in case you are wondering, all the user stories on these pages (as well as those in our Readers' Tips area) are stored in a HyperCard database which automatically generates and updates the web pages for this site.

Update: As these are historical pages, it is likely that most of the authors' contact information has changed by now.

Lars-Olof Albertson

Evaluating diplomas, invoicing, project management

I have been using HyperCard for more than 10 years. In 1988 I built an
application for evaluation of diplomas from foreign countries for the
Swedish National Board for Universities and Colleges. There are 13 persons
working with the system. It was aimed to be a prototype for two years, but
are still working. It is a client server application, all built by stacks.
Two years ago they decided to build a new system. A Company got the job.
They used 4D and an Informix database, but they could not get the same
functionality as the old HyperCard system. Two weeks ago they decided to
skip the new system (cost 80,000 $) and continue with my old HC system. The
persons working with the program reminded me that when they asked for some
changes it was always possible to do it. When they asked the guys using 4D
they too often got the answer "The program does not allow us to do that".

Just now I am working with web applications using HyperCard.  The great
success was the invoice writer for travelling expenses, which is very
complicated due to the Swedish taxation laws. Last year there was about
15,000 accesses to the program. The form is very simple to fill in. The
HyperCard program does all the calculations.
The personal data is stored in text files. The first time you have to fill
in the form complete. Next time you use the form you only need to fill in
your social security number.  The result is sent back to the user within 4
to 10 seconds.

The newest program is a "Project Manager Program." It is not a program for
a single project, but it gives a good view over all projects within a
department. It is also a Web program. It is a very good combination to use 
HyperCard's database with the programming in hypertalk. For text
processing e.g. to create html text HyperCard is excellent!

When I started to make Web pages there was no editor that was able to
convert Swedish umlauts aao to html entities so I wrote an HTLM-HyperEditor
myself using HyperCard. I offered this as freeware and it has been
downloaded more than 10,000 times. (http://www.lu.se/info/Editor).

And who am I?  I am 62 years old, self-educated, never touch a computer
before 1986. I have worked as director for the Counselling Office at Lund
University for many years. The last three years I have worked as IT
consultant within the administration of Lund University.  In three weeks I
will retire!

Comments to: Lars-Olof Albertson

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Malcolm Bowers

Role-playing game enhancements

I create various stacks to help with the role-playing games I run. RPGs
are a specialised market, so there is very little software around for
them, and I tend to write what I need in HyperCard—and I can create
*exactly* what I need. I don't want to waste years and brain cells on
mastering and using a low-level programming language, and can get
useful things going reasonably quickly.

I've released one such stack to the Internet: Weather 2.1. Gamemasters
seem to like it, and some writers have used it too, since it got
distributed on a MacFormat CD-ROM. It's available on Info-Mac  under
Games. I released version 2.1 anonymously, but the next version goes out
under my own name, soon (-ish).

Weather is a weather-generating system for any role-playing game. It lets
you add realistic weather and other background information to your game
without spending ages in preparation. You can customise a calendar and
weather pattern for your own world, or simply use one of the calendars
supplied or available. Temperature, precipitation, cloud cover, and wind
are all calculated, along with the hours of daylight, the phases of the
moon or moons, and how far you can see at any hour of the day or night in
all weather conditions.

Comments to: Malcolm Bowers

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Quinn Carver

Circuit board assembly

My partner and I started a precision analog electronics manufacturing
company 5 years ago. The corporation is now a manufacturer of precision
measurement devices for government, contractors, engineers, and education

The key to developing the companies product line was to develop multiple
products from one circuit board. This can be done by substituting
different pieces into various locations on the circuit during the board
stuffing phase. Board stuffing is a process in which the assembler puts
all the necessary chips, diodes, capacitor etc. into the etched, silk
screened circuit board. Once the board is stuffed it can then be wave
soldered and incorporated with the other elements of the product like the
front panels and knobs.

As we were a small company we needed a process by which a minimum wage
employee could come in and stuff the boards containing over 250 possible
parts, into the over 100 different per board. Once more, the boards needed 
to be different from batch to batch depending on the model that was being
produced. As a minimum wage employee could not be expected to read a
circuit schematic and have a scientific calculator handy to crank
capacitor values before the placement of each part. It was determined that 
we would need to arrange some sort of Tele-Prompter to guide the assembler 
through the process.

After researching various software options on both platforms we determined 
that Hypercard was the only program that could act like a teleprompter but 
be flexible enough to calculate the parts needed for different products in 
minutes without the invlovement of management staff. Better still,
Hypercard could do it in such a way that the assembler could do the whole
assembly process from start to finish without the aid of a manager.

The stack we call "the assembly stack", stores scans of the empty
(unstuffed) boards, and has a record of all the parts inventoried. The
assembler tells the computer what products are to be assembled during the
working day. The computer advises the assembler which boards to use in the 
production batch and then guides the user through each spot on each board. 
To minimize confusion the program has the user open each part bin only
once, each time the program calculates in advance the total number of
pieces from the bin that will be needed. For each piece that is to be
placed the program then shows the user a picture of the space on the board 
where the part is to go.

Users like the "assembly stack" because it is friendly. It uses sounds and 
animations. Moving from step to step is easy, once the user is done with a 
part they just hit the forward arrow button to continue.

In a world of memory hungry bloatware Hypercard was invaluable to us, in
the start up days a couple years ago. A stack can run on even the oldest
Mac, some having less than two and a half megabytes of memory, and still
use sounds and animations. These flexible requirements saved the company
alot of money when it needed it most.

Hypercard helped seat the Mac in our company. It is unusual for an
electronics firm to use Macintoshes. The fact is CAD-Star, and Auto-CAD
dominate the electronics manufacturing market and these programs don't run 
on macs. Yet, as time has gone on, HyperCard has demonstrated that
everything else in electronic production CAN be done on a Mac. Hypercard
is also used as a timeclock for production workers, an inventory tracker,
a log book, a quality control procedure stack and much more. Best of all,
all the stacks are connected through a common, familiar home screen.

Hypercard generated an interest in an all PC company that has changed the
platform balance. After learning about Macs, workers preferred them to
PCs. All networked computers at the company are now Macintoshes, and the
Sales and Marketing office is exclusively Macintosh.

Henry Ford would have liked HyperCard, it is an invaluable tool to a great 
manufacturing assembly line.

Comments to: Quinn Carver

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Joseph DiRienzo, Ph.D.

Integration: lectures, tutorials

HyperCard has become for me an integration tool. Several years ago I
started using HyperCard to prepare lecture materials for teaching
Microbiology to first year dental students. I found that the flexiblity of 
HyperCard faciltated the organization of my lecture outlines and slides.
Using these stacks as a foundation, it was easy to develop them into
interactive tutorials that the students could use to review and supplement 
the lecture materials and prepare for exams. The tutorial stacks use
interactive links, animations, and speech to emphasize concepts. The best
feature was that the tutorials could demonstrate relationships between
topics or principles that would otherwise be more difficult to grasp when
presented in disparate lectures. This year I hope to take better advantage 
of the built-in QuickTime features. The tutorials have continued to grow
in size and complexity so that this past year, for the first time, they
were distributed on a CD using a HyperCard stack as a front end launcher.
The integration theme was continued when I modified the stacks for lecture 
and seminar presentations. I can now bring my PowerBook to the lecture
hall and use HyperCard to "run the show". The only limitation so far has
been the lack of cross platform support since a significant number of
students only have access to PCs.

Comments to: Joseph DiRienzo, Ph.D.

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Richard K. Herz

Chemical reactor lab, BASIC reference

In my work teaching engineering and doing research, I use a half-dozen
computing environments on a day-to-day basis, from Fortran to Excel.
HyperCard is my favorite and the one in which I'm most productive.  Why?

HyperCard is complete and scalable.

"Complete" because, with it, I can do all sorts of things:

* keep my calendar and my personal notes 
* maintain a database of research papers
* process manuscripts to add reference citations and a reference list in 
  final format
* do quick calculations of one-line math expressions or complex formulae 
* construct interactive instructional software

"Scalable" because I can use it for very simple tasks involving no
programming (e.g., drawing a funny picture, adding two numbers in the
message box, making a simple database) to complex, large-scale projects
involving dozens of linked stacks with animated graphics and "number
crunching" (e.g., integration of differential equations).

Another reason I like to do as many things in HyperCard as I can is that
it is extremely easy to "customize" stacks.  An example: I still use the
old calendar and address book shipped with the HyperCard package.
However, over the years I've modified the scripts to make these stacks
easier to use (for my wife and kids) and more powerful (for all of us).

Screen shots and download links to two of my instructional software
packages can be accessed at my web page.  Both are "standalones" and do
not require HyperCard or the Player: http://www-ames.ucsd.edu/RESEARCH/HERZ/

"The Reactor Lab" is a simulation of a chemical reactor laboratory. The
interface was designed to allow ANYONE (even you) to run experiments with
no training or instruction. In addition to being an illustration of an
easy-to-use interface to a complex software package, it is also an
illustration that HyperCard, running on today's computers, can be used for 
reasonably serious "number crunching," though, of course, it isn't the
first choice if that were the only task.

"True BASIC Reference" is a guide to the True BASIC computer language
(True BASIC is a trademark of True BASIC, Inc.). It is designed for use
to help teach beginners how to program.

Richard K. Herz, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Department of Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences 
University of California at San Diego 
San Diego, California, USA 92093

Comments to: Richard K. Herz

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Paul Ingemi

Class presentation, games

One of the coolest things I do in hypercard is making games but right now, I
want to talk about one week of school.

It began like any normal week. Then, I had math class. My teacher told us we
had to do a project on a famous mathametician. I chose Ada Lovelace. Since
Ada was the first programmer (She programmed Charles Babbages Anylitical
Engine), I thought it would be fitting to make a hypercard stack about her
as my project (well, it's easy and in some ways, you could consider it
programming). I spent the weekend drawing pictures, making interactive
stuff, and doing other cool stuff. Eventually, I had a nice presentation
that was much better than some slide show or poster board. When I presented
my report in the school library, you should have seen the expression on the
superintendent's eyes. It was really cool and I got a lot of respect from
other students. Hypercard really works for me.

I've made quite a few different kinds of games in hypercard. Some range from
the submersive reality type games (like Myst and Riven, which happen to be
written in HyperCard), to Arcade type games and Adventure games (like
Collosal Cave). I've even done Tile Graphic type adventures (like ultima,
Exile, and many other games). Hypercard is a truly powerful solution
building system.

Comments to: Paul Ingemi

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Jim Kelly

Film captioning

I use HyperCard as a captioning program for my film. I'm a photographer 
and need to provide a detailed caption sheet to be shipped with my film to 
my agent in New York. I use Hypercard for this because it allows me to 
create a searchable stack as well as launch my Federal express software 
etc from within hypercard. I can then print or fax the caption sheet.

Comments to: Jim Kelly

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Mark Klink

Network control, special education, automated data entry

How do I use HyperCard? To do work. To save time. To conjure up a little

I teach children and teachers how to use computers. As part of my job, I
run a network in an elementary school. HyperCard is my mainstay. The
integration of HyperCard and Applescript allows me to remotely controls my 
network of Macs, setting the system volume, monitor bitdepth, restarting,
shutting down, etc., all on the fly. I use HyperCard to keep an inventory
of hardware and software. I also use the combination of HyperCard,
AppleScript, and the scriptable macro program "Keyquencer" to automate the 
input of student records, saving countless teacher work hours that can now 
be devoted to children.

I take special pride in the help I gave to another teacher that allowed
him to create a sound-generating HyperCard stack for a quadriplegic
student. The student was enabled to participate in his school orchestra by 
"playing" the stack.

Keep in mind that when I started with HyperCard, I had no programming
experience whatsoever.

My "affair" with HyperCard began when I made a simple children's game,
"The Haunted House". The game has generated shareware fees and eMails from 
around the world.  While making "The Haunted House", I discovered that
HyperCard was extensible through the use of code resources called XCMDs
and XFCNs. Since I couldn't find XCMDs to provide certain features that I
wanted, I set about learning how to write them myself. To my surprise,
some of the XCMDs I wrote proved to be useful to others. One in
particular, "ColorCover", has been used in hundreds of commercial,
shareware, and freeware projects. My licensees include names such as
Knowledge Adventure and the NASA Classroom of Tomorrow.

None of this would have happened if it weren't for HyperCard. If I had
been told that in order to begin programming I had to start with Visual
Basic or C++, I would never have taken that first step.

As a teacher, I know that few topics are as "hot" as computer education.
In the next decade, the schools will introduce millions of children to
computers. The schools will be providing many of these children with their 
first experience in programming. Will the introduction that tomorrow's
programmers receive come in the form of HyperTalk on a Mac? It's all up to 

Comments to: Mark Klink

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Catherine Kunicki

Prototyping, artwork display, personal productivity

After ten years in animation, I had a fine arts job - working with a
documentary director who was planning her first dramatic movie. Her husband
was a technology buff who'd developed a storyboard/video system while
working on Rumblefish. He liked Macs. He liked HyperCard.  Apple sent us
computers, Apple sent us evangelists, we beta tested software, we had demos
of wonderful prototypes - many made in HyperCard, and had MIT boys visiting
us every week, breathing down my neck as I tried to work. I worked for a
couple of months with a HyperCard author who'd made a wonderful
storyboarding system which worked with HyperScan and  the first Farallon
sound recording software. It was great. I would tell him what would work for
us, and he would sit there and make it IN FRONT OF MY EYES! He'd open a
script and say "later on when you figure this out, you can do..." and then
he would make my Mac do some amazing thing. I was awed.

I was also pregnant. After my baby was born, I spent a long months too
exhausted to do much of anything. But my Plus sat there waiting for me. By
this time, I think a 11cx was the "hot" machine. We couldn't afford a new
computer - we couldn't afford a new BOOK to explain the computer we had. But
I had a copy of HyperCard and I had Danny Goodman's HyperCard Handbook.
Since I couldn't afford software it dawned on me I had the means to write my
own and I proceeded to do every "you do it" in Danny Goodman's book. So
while my baby napped, I learned to script. The biggest thrill was the day I
decided that I wanted to change every phone number in my address stack to
have a 1 in front of the area code. I wrote something and just sat there
amazed watching it go.

I also discovered the internet. We had tinkered around with some 300 baud
modem and a terminal emulation program on our PC but decided it was
worthless. Then my husband came home with a 1200k modem. It felt like the
concorde. It worked on the Mac with Compuserve and... I discovered a
HyperCard community.

Along with that community, I discovered that the attitude of the first
author I'd worked with was the rule, not the exception. I gained teachers
who showed me how to do things the right way, and examined and helped
correct every horrible script mess I'd wrapped myself up in. I was very
fortunate - it was like a wonderful gentle grad school without the tuition.

I made a little bit of shareware in HyperCard, but most important were the
skills I learned from people willing to share information. I've gone on to
do commercial multimedia work and web development, but the community I
gained with HyperCard is an important part of my daily life. I've developed
professional relationships with many other HyperCard developers. One of the
neatest things I worked on was software which wrote html using Speech
Recognition via Applescript and HyperCard. (I did color coding and palettes
for it.)

I script in HyperCard to test visual ideas, and to rough out interactive
sequences rapidly. I use HyperCard to control my  Quicktime animations and I
am writing a game with my daughter.

In addition to writing with HyperCard, I *use* HyperCard on a constant
basis. Every day I use a stack my co-worker wrote which automates writing
html to display artwork - I aim the stack at a folder and it  makes a page
for me, and  there are a lot of other HyperCard utilities I couldn't live
without. In the context of my work as a HyperCard Forum volunteer on AOL, I
use software which checks uploaded stacks for compliance with AOL's TOS

HyperCard is great stuff!

Comments to: Catherine Kunicki

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Adrien Leroux

Electricity encyclopedia and schematics

A complete encyclopedia of electricity usage end technology could be a

I used HyperCard because it is easy to program, and schematics in black
and white are adequate. By using PICT files when and where I need to
show reality, I can add a picture of the real machine. Adding movies 
is the next step.

I also use HyperCard to program multiple choice quizes that are

As HyperCard's popularity grows, I plan to help others enjoy using it. By
the way, all my work is in French because I was a university teacher
for the last 38 years. I am retired but not inactive.

Comments to: Adrien Leroux

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Philippe Lestang

Personal organizers

I started using Hypercard because a friend told me: "It's the best
tool to have your work organized exactly as you want it!" The Macintosh
is already very flexible, but Hypercard adds a much higher level of
flexibility. Hypercard is "SuperMac".

My work is very much oriented towards storing and retrieving notes,
information, or creating small tables to correlate data, etc. I also
use hypercard to keep web bookmarks, telephone numbers, etc. A
telephone example will show you how flexible Hypercard is:

I use a stack (call it a window if you prefer) where the left part
shows a list of domains (e.g.: "local shops", "national
administrations", " family", "friends", etc.) Clicking on a line of
this list makes the right part of the stack show a scrolling field of
type "text" where you can type any information, in the form you like. 
To be recognized as a phone number, a string should be prefixed by
"t" and one or more spaces, and be underlined (a style called "group").
The phone numbers are at any place in the text; clicking on a phone
number triggers the modem which dials the number. 

This way I can add any comment I wish for a phone number, such as
"manager: Mr X", "opening hours: 9-19", etc. and modify it at any
time, including while I phone (e.g.  "Mr X will be away until June

Similar principles apply to my "Bookmarks" stack. I also have a
"Hypercard tricks" stack, and many professional and personal stacks
where I add buttons,fields, etc. to perform tasks I need: creating an
index of the words of a text, taking out carriage returns, etc.

My future freeware "Cardtext" will be along these lines; you can have
a look to its general orientations at

Comments to: Philippe Lestang

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Lucinda Miller

Language Lab libraries, verb conjugations

I have the data for the Language Lab Tape Library in HyperCard stacks.
And I print all the labels using HyperCard's built-in "Print Report..."

I also keep information on sources for language tapes, software, audio
equipment, etc. in HyperCard stacks, so I can quickly look up whatever I
need to find, and open a URL (if there is one) in Netscape for more

None of this may qualify as "cool" but it sure helps me with what I do all 

I also made a HyperCard French verb conjugation puzzle for my sister.  It
has draggable buttons with the verb forms on them, and the students line
them up with the right subjects. It gives feedback by matching with the
answers in an invisible field.

Comments to: Lucinda Miller

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Craig Newman

Business management operations, fiber optic lighting control

I use Hypercard for two things, mainly.

First, I manage my entire company's operations in Hypercard, a database and
modular quoting system which is accessed via a peer to peer ethernet network
by two dozen users on two dozen Macs. This system allows anyone to input a
series of parameters in response to a customer query and output a quotation
containing both detailed mechanical and pricing data.

Second, I do what Bill Atkinson did in the early heady days. To paraphrase:
I have have written many, many stacks, which I create, keep and/or discard
as required. These are used in any number of applications, mainly related to
my manufacturing business. The ability to create these tools is the
PRINCIPLE reason I use the Macintosh.

For example, I recently returned from Kuala Lumpur where I installed a
Hypercard controlled fiber optic lighting system in the world's tallest
building. The controller interfaces through the ADB port with custom built
hardware to create user programmable choreographed lighting effects in a
concert hall. There are 2472 separate fiber optic lighting elements, all of
which are addressed and manipulated from a single Hypercard application
running on a PPC performa.

You cannot do this type of thing in ANY other environment. Hypercard is the
last great bastion of "Think Different".

Comments to: Craig Newman

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Sarah Reichelt

Biotechnology hardware control, purchase orders, mailing systems

* Hardware control

I work for a biotechnology company which specialises in bacterial
fermentation. I use a HyperCard stack to monitor and control the
fermenters 24 hours a day. Using Apple's Serial Tool XCMDs, I communicate
with an A/D converter to read various probes (pH, temperature, oxygen,
weight etc). The HyperCard stack sets up the required controls so that the 
probe readings are kept within preset limits, e.g temperature between 28
and 30 degrees C. The data is read in and stored using HyperCard and it 
is mainly using graphs which can display the data over various time
scales. This uses Rinaldi's Chartoid XCMD.

A colleague wrote a similar program in Basic taking about a year. I wrote  
a fully operational stack in 5 days - of course it has had lots of
refinements added since then!

Using Timbuktu Pro, we can even monitor the fermenters from home during    
the night.

Screen shots &/or a demo version are available on demand.

* Automated Purchase Orders

I have a set of two HyperCard stacks that automate all purchase orders for 
our company. One stack is the controller and stores all the suppliers
details as well as different delivery instructions, payment methods, tax
exemption numbers. The second stack is sized to fill an A4 page and
contains the actual order form.

To make a new order, you assemble the bits you need, editing or adding to
the stored data as required. You can even add an electronic signature for
immediate faxing of the order.

We often need to repeat an old order. With a paper system this takes a lot 
of time & effort to locate the last order and write it out again. With the 
HyperCard system, you search for the item and duplicate the order. This
also checks to see that all the details are up-to-date.

When items are delivered, this is recorded on the order so that people can 
search for undelivered orders if necessary. Orders can be assigned to a
specific project so that cost reports can be generated.

* Mail Out System

We run an agency which has to do mail outs of catalogues and magazines
about three times a year. We have about 2300 people on our mailing list
but as we ship to researchers in hospitals and universities, we have lots
of people at the same addresses.

I use a HyperCard database to maintain the mailing list, with the main
problem being to stop people typing in duplicate addresses e.g I don't
want some people at the University of Melbourne while others are at the
Univ. of Melbourne. I solve this by making people choose addresses from
popup fields. When you pick an institute, another popup offers you all the 
departments in this institute. The addresses are filled in automatically
when you select the institute and department.

The more interesting part comes when we need to do a mail out. There are
three possible ways to send the packets - air freight, road freight or
post. The cost of each of these varies according to weight, destination
and the number of packets that can fit into a single large parcel. The
HyperCard stack asks you to enter the weight of a single packet and the
freight costs for each different type. It then goes through the whole
list, works out how many people are at each address, and chooses the
cheapest way to send that packet. It then produces labels for each person, 
labels for each large parcel and packing instructions telling the packers
how to send each packet.

Comments to: Sarah Reichelt

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Matthew Riddle

Molecular modelling

Molecular Models Workshop (MMW) is a program that was developed by the
School of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne with the assistance of
the Multimedia Education Unit and the Science Multimedia Teaching Unit. It 
teaches concepts in molecular modelling to first year Chemistry students.

Its elegant design allows lecturers and students to rotate each model to
study its structure. The package can be used for self evaluation and
formal assessment.

MMW was developed by Assoc Prof Rob Capon with a production team including 
animators, programmers and graphic designers. It was supported by Apple
Australia and CAUT. It was written using HyperCard and makes extensive use 
of QuickTime for 3D animations.

Team: Robert Capon (Concept, Design and Project Management), Ric Canale
(Management Support), John Swales (Programming), Matthew Riddle
(Programming Support), Gyro Interactive (Graphic Design and Cross Platform 
Development), Chris Drake (ICV International, Distribution), Jacaranda
Wiley (Australian and New Zealand Publication)

Contact: School of Chemistry
University of Melbourne
Parkville, 3052
Phone: +61 3 9344 6468
Email: r.capon@chemistry.unimelb.edu.au
Internet: http://Rob-Capon.chemistry.unimelb.edu.au/

Comments to: Matthew Riddle

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Brian Russell

Page layout and printer control

* Page layout

Every year we produce a pocket sized reference book of 70 or so pages with 
information from a data base and based on the calendar. It was a bit of a 
slep for the customer when they had accurately to select the correct data
from the files in their PC for each day and then Harper Collins, the
publishers, sent it to their typesetters who usually made a few typos and
not all picked up by the customer when proofing.

So we imported their data base from their PC into HyperCard (1.2.5 at the
time) and scripted the very complicated rules for the calendar and hey
presto each year HyperCard works out the correct data for the calendar. It 
usd to export it in a text file which we then had to put into a page
layout application but that proved a bit of a slep especially to get the
pagination right.

So now HyperCard exports Postscript text files which are downloaded
already beautifully and more accurately laid out with the correct
pagination (as each A4 page has to have say page n on the left and page
(73-n) on the right.

OK HyperCard seems a bit slow - but whereas it may take about 3-4 hours to 
run the HyperCard programmes at least the result is accurate, the layout
is accurate and it is quicker than say 2 or 3 days of typesetting PLUS the 
time to select the correct data from the PC files.

* School photos

A school needed 500 ID tags - laminated with photo and the child's name
and class etc.  HC imported the school pupils' list from their PC admin
computer and printed the 500 tags (8 per page in 2 columns of 4). The
photos were taken in groups of 4 which after guillotining provided for one 
column on the printed page of tags. Inevitably there were absentees, so by 
excluding marked cards for the absentees, it was easy to print the sheets
with the tags accurately listed for the photos of the pupils present.

Also HC- HT printed the class sontrol sheets for this excercise and the
school commented how smoothly the whole operation went which was no doubt
due to the ease with which we could use HC both as an administrative tool
as well as the production tool.

As for the tags - the common data of course was on the card background. By 
printing a sheet of just the backgrounds by hiding the card pictures we
created a master for litho printing them in red ink.  Then later by hiding 
the background picture and showing the card picture, we were able to
overprint in black, quite accurately located, the particulars for each

Comments to: Brian Russell

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Jeanne A. E. DeVoto

Analyzing Apple Guide files

Elko is a HyperTalk application I wrote a couple of years ago to help me
make sense of the structure of large Apple Guide help files. (You can see
Elko at: http://www.best.com/~jaed/appleguide/elko/ ) To accomplish this, 
Elko imports the source files for the Apple Guide, parses the Guide Script 
language, analyzes the dependencies in the Apple Guide, and displays the
structure in a series of seven stacks.

Elko also generates an automated index for the Apple Guide's content, lets 
you adjust and add to it, and finally exports the finished index as a
ready-to-compile Apple Guide source file. The indexer was designed to be
usable by either experienced Apple Guide scripters, or skilled indexers
with little or no Apple Guide experience.

HyperTalk made it easy to write a parser for the Guide Script language and 
generate a properly-coded index file in Guide Script format. And the
HyperCard interface tools made it easy to present the complex load of
required information to the user, in a way that makes it easy to
understand and navigate even for non-techies. I can't think of any other
tool that would have made creating this application so easy and fast.

Comments to: Jeanne A. E. DeVoto

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Tim Selander

Television subtitling

One of our Japanese TV programs was to air in Hawaii, primary target
audience was Japanese speaking. However, after arrangements to air the
program was made, the sponsors told us they wanted it subtitled in
English so that it would appeal to a broader audience.

Unfortunately there was no money in the budget for this. I could handle
the translation, but just typing all the subtitles into a titling
machine in the studio cost about $800 per program for rental fees—to
say nothing of my time. The machine available to us was old, slow and
cranky; preparation for one program took a full 8 hour day. Of course it
could not do anything so useful as importing a text file and making the
titles automatically. The subtitles were going to kill us financially.

I'd used Hypercard to make a database to track our viewer response, and
it occurred to me that HC could help with the subtitles as well.

I made a relatively simple stack. One button prepped the entire
program's subtitles: It read in a text file, stepped through the data
line by line as it made a new card for each line and put the line in a
field in the lower third of a full-screen sized card. The script, if
needed, automatically broke the line of text into two parts, so that
each subtitle would be at most two lines, centered in the middle bottom
of the screen. The field's text was 36 point Narrow Helvetica, bold.
Text was black, field transparent, card was white.

A second button hid the menu bar and all visible elements except for the

A handler in the background programmed keys to turn the subtitle on and
off (hide the field), and advance to the next card/title. While
listening to the program, I practiced stepping through the subtitles,
turning each one on and off as needed.

Finally, we outfitted the Mac (a IIcx) with an NTSC/video output card.
This allowed me to take the Mac into the studio and feed the Hypercard
image into the video switcher's key channel. A switcher can take a high
contrast image, let video show through one color (in this case, the
video showed through the white background) and "key" the other color
(the text) over the video image. The switcher could also change the
black of the text to another color, and apply a drop shadow to the text
as well. Then, as we dubbed the program from the master tape to the
station's on-air copy, I pumped the Hypercard subtitles out of the Mac
into the switcher in real time. Thirty minutes later, the program was

At the time this project began, Macs were very expensive—even more so
in Japan. The Mac we dedicated to this project, along with the NTSC
output card and a laser printer, cost close to $10,000. But we ran 130
subtitled programs. Doing it the old way would have cost at least $800
more per program. So I saved the company $94,000.  To this day I, who
wouldn't know a line of C++ code if it bit me in the rear, enjoy
computer-guru status throughout the company. All because of Hypercard --
I know of no other software that could have done this.

(By the way, that trusty IIcx is still in active duty as a word
processor...) (And the stack still works in case anyone else needs to do
subtitles on the cheap!)

Tim Selander
Pacific Broadcasting Association

Comments to: Tim Selander

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Stan Soria

Clinical psychology applications

As a graduate student in clinical psychology I have used HyperCard to create
several applications related to the practice and research of psychology.

My dissertation chairperson and I have used HyperCard to create a scoring
and interpretation program for the Rorshach Inkblot Test.  The "Rorschach
Scoring and Interpretation for Macintosh" (RSIM) application allows for easy
entry of scores via mouse clicks, viewing of the "Sequence of Scores" in an
external window, exporting of scores for future reference, calculation of
summary values, as well as printing of these summaries.  RSIM also generates
interpretive hypotheses based upon current age norms (age 5 to adult) for
the Exner Scoring System.

Another application I have created with HyperCard is "Psychology Data Base."
PDB is a bibliographic data manager that is able to create annotated
bilbliographies or APA style reference pages for research reports. PDB's
unique features include the ability to edit and import data files downloaded
from major CD-ROM databases (e.g., PSYCLit), the export of data to
Rich-Text-Format (styled text) files, complex data searches using multiple
criteria, automated entry of Journal names (including support for creating
your own journal name sets), and setting of file creator types (e.g., MS
Word) for all exported files.

I have also used HyperCard to create an Macintosh version of a PC
application (for a SUNY professor) that is related to a particular research
instrument. The "Attachment Q-Sort" (AQS) provides a brief tutorial on
attachment theory, secure base behavior, and the use of the Q-sort
methodology. The application contains the full set of Q-Sort items, the
rational for their inclusion, and their weighted values.  All instructional
text and item information is exportable to text files.

Another tutorial application I've created with HyperCard is called "Crisis
Intervention." This HyperCard stack is a presentation of general crisis
intervention and prevention techniques, as well as specific focus on suicide
prevention, intervention and "postvention."  The information in this stack
can also be printed or exported as a crisis intervention manual.

Currently, a computerized version of a neuropsychological test is in the
planning/conceptual stage. This HyperCard application will present the
test's stimulus items and the user (client) will indicate their answers via
mouse clicks. The application will score and print the results. This will
be my first project that takes advantage of the powerful relationship
between HyperCard and QuickTime.

Comments to: Stan Soria

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Sunatori, Go Simon

Personal organizers, games, nutritional database

* I have been using HyperCard for virtually everything!  All of my vital
information (projects, patents, inventories, account numbers, contact info,
calendar, curriculum vitae, Christmas cards, etc.) are placed in a series of
HyperCard stacks called "HyperInfo Intelligent Knowledge Object Organisation
System" to maintain consistency and integrity.  All of the HyperCard
handlers and AppleScript scripts that I have coded are stored in a single
HyperCard stack called "HyperCard Object Organiser".  Every HTML and GIF
file on the numerous web sites that I manage is stored in HyperCard stacks
called "HTML File Organiser", from which hundreds of web pages are generated
from components with a push of a button via proprietary HyperTalk and
AppleScript scripts.

* HyperGames [http://WWW.HyperInfo.CA/~HyperGames/] is a multimedia
HyperCard stack, jam-packed with more than 50 exciting games and useful
utilities.  Creative games include an acclaimed Pong clone, a Pac-Man clone,
animations, music makers, mathematical puzzles, educational quizzes, etc.
Original HyperTalk utilities include a Find/Replace function, an Internet
data converter, an automatic index generator, a progress bar, synchronised
multiple scrolling fields, and much much more.  It is also an ideal vehicle
to learn scripting, as well as to demonstrate the awesome power of

* Food Nutrition Knowledge Matrix [http://WWW.HyperInfo.CA/~FoodNutrition/]
organises hundreds of foods and nutrients in a simple and consistent manner.
It focuses on only major helpful and harmful food nutrients, such as
minerals, vitamins, lipids and other important compounds, rather than on
calories.  The properties of the foods are based solely on their nutrients,
which are accessible with a click of a button.

* These HyperCard stacks and standalone applications will be converted to
cross-platform QuickTime Interactive format as soon as it becomes available.

Comments to: Sunatori, Go Simon

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Geoff Duncan

Internet robot, TidBITS automated distribution and processing

I've been developing custom solutions in HyperCard for about ten years, so 
it's worked its way into many aspects of my professional life. Of

Golem: Golem is a HyperCard-based Internet robot, designed to help manage
and analyze large numbers of URLs and Internet resources associated with
sizable editorial and survey projects. Rather than being a Web-spider that 
progressively checks links as it finds them, Golem verifies a specific
list of URLs and produces a detailed report for each item: whether the URL 
has moved or is missing, whether the URL matches your keywords with some
confidence, what servers or Web technologies the URL might be using, etc.
Although Golem isn't currently available for public use, its services are
contracted by a number of high-profile clients in the computing industry,
including Microsoft Corporation.


TidBITS: Over the years, substantial portions of the behind-the-scenes,
day-to-day operations of the Macintosh newsletter TidBITS have come to
rely on HyperCard. HyperCard-based solutions include:

* Automated distribution of weekly issues to FTP and Web archives,
databases, search engines, and other facilities

* Automated processing of subscription requests

* Creation and maintainance of online discussion list archives

* Processing and automated handling of email "bounce" messages received in 
response to issues

* Automated (hourly) updates to the TidBITS home page and other portions
of the TidBITS Web site


Comments to: Geoff Duncan

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Serge Grenier

Business and office management

One of the first projects I have done with Hypercard was for a weekly
newspaper. It did everything from accounts receivable, to counting the
words in classified ads and preparing the bill and generating the sorted
and tagged text file for Quark Xpress.

Then I created a set of stacks to manage a bookstore. After a few years,
the owners of the bookstore decided to split. They each took a copy of my
stacks, and Pierre told me:

"Now that Jacques is gone, we're going to remove this and that..." And
Jacques told me: "Now that Pierre is not there any more, we will add this
and that..." So now, I have two very different solutions for bookstores.

I have also created stacks to manage box offices of summer theatres.
Selling tickets may seem simple, but there is a lot more than meets the
eyes. There are so many exceptions, and the employees hired to operate the 
thing have to learn everything within a few hours of training. And the
board keep finding new packages that wreak havoc with the system (like 3
tickets for 55$ (=$18.333 each).

Good thing Hypercard is very flexible.

I have also written a software to manage a granite manufacture from
preparing and faxing the quotes, to printing the price lists to managing
production, billing, shipping and accounts receivable. And one of the
secretary who has worked for a competitor said that my software is simpler 
to use than the one she had at the other shop (which ran on Unix boxes and 
cost more than 20 times more than mine).

Making a backup of their files took hours and was very distressful.
While my whole system resides in one stack which can be saved on one
disquette (with all the price lists, and info on a hundred customers for
the last three years and room to spare). Well processed invoices are kept
in a separate annual archive stack (which  easily fits on another
disquette). But anyway, making backups is much simpler.

Now, I'm working on ways to create reusable scripts and to improve the
style of my screens so that people can recognize my look and feel.

Comments to: Serge Grenier

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Bill Lynn

Augmentative communication, button scanning

I have used HyperCard to create scanning communication displays for
several adults with severe disabilities who attend our day programs. These 
displays emulate expensive and sophisticated augmentative communication
devices and are extemely useful when the expensive hardware is out for
repair. Using these communication displays, our adults can use remote
switches, activated by a movement of the hand, arm or head, to indicate a
choice from among a variety of routine items and activities.

Comments to: Bill Lynn

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S. D. Wagenseller

Teaching Esperanto

I teach Esperanto to kids who have messed in their other foreign language
courses. I built a Hypercard stack that works like a set of flashcards,
but with some refinements. Students can pick which level of words to work
on, what part of speech to practice, and which language will serve as the
prompt. They can also marked words as learned when learned, to avoid
having them repeat, plus they can keep a running count of words
learned. Using the text-to-speech capability of the Mac, the stack will
also speak each word if the student chooses. The students can also type in 
the Esperanto words to see if they remember them (or since the language is 
phonetic, whether they can transcribe them.) Also, I recently added a card 
for writing letters, with a two-way Esperanto-English dictionary.

I also built a collector stack which will retrieve the learned words from
each kid's stack, and put them into a text file for later vocabulary
tests. (Not a feature that the kids really appreciate.)

Hypercard also lets me hack quick fixes to various text document problems
- misplaced tabs, too many returns, etc. It's great for fixing the
idiosyncracies of a faculty who have no common stylesheet for some of the
things they write.

Comments to: S. D. Wagenseller

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Marvin Wurth

Individual Education Plans, athletic director data management

I have been a high school special education teacher in Wisconsin for over
25 years.  Since 1993, I have used HyperCard to develop applications for
Special Educators and Athletic Directors, and currently market these
programs in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa.  I function under the 
name of the JENWORTH COMPANY, and currently do business with over 180
school districts.

Special educators have the unenviable task of writing Individual Education 
Plans (IEP's) for their students.  Along with these IEP's, there are
additional forms and reports that must be developed throughout the course
of the school year.  The JENWORTH IEP SYSTEM is a classroom management
tool that allows special educators to develop these forms and reports with 
the computer, thus saving invaluable time.  The program also contains the
following components:  Lesson Planner, To-Do List, Address Book, Letters,
and Grade Book.

Athletic Directors (AD's) have an overwhelming amount of paper work
associated with their job.  In the smaller districts, the AD's are often
without the aid of a secretary, and must generate all this paperwork on
their own.  This paperwork is in the form of Game Contracts, Official
Contracts, worker notices, check requests, time sheets, bus schedules,
team schedules, and team rosters.  In addition, student participation
records and budget records must be maintained.  The JENWORTH AD PROGRAM
MANAGER was developed to function as a personal secretary to the Athletic
Director.  After data is entered surrounding the athletic events, the
program generates all the forms and reports in a fraction of the time, and 
also assists the AD in managing the athletic program.

Marvin Wurth
330 E. Dewey St.
Platteville, WI  53818

Comments to: Marvin Wurth

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Oliver Kenkel

Highway signage, statistical analysis, First Class Intranet crawler, 3D movie viewer

I've used HyperCard for quite a variety of tasks, ranging from simple
10-minute text massagers to full-blown vertical apps and commercial

In the order that I built them...

1) A graphics program for generating text for highway signing. This program 
would let the user select a font, and the size, and it would generate
output.  May not sound like anything special, but the key here is the
format of the output - Adobe Illustrator files.  The program would
determine the kerning of the letters based on very specific tables, and
then actually take Illustrator PostScript primitives (the PS definitions
of each font character) and adjust their positions to build a true Adobe
Illustrator file that could be opened and edited - it would contain
precise outlines of the entered text, perfectly kerned. Later I added
dimensioning lines as well.  Finally I made a plotter control utility that 
would let the users output the data (converted externally to HPGL) to a
vinyl cutter. I built this over 7 years ago, and to my knowledge it is
still being used for all the overhead highway signing in Ontario.

2) Order Processing. At the same governmental agency, but a different
department. A system for managing the distribution of reports.  Requests
would come in and the user would go to the accounts and enter the items
requested.  All the requests were done in one batch.  The final step would 
output packing slips for all the customers, and a shopping list for the
user indicating which bins to visit to get the physical reports. It also
had a wide variety of reporting capabilities. I also made a standalone
version of the reports database for users - they could search themselves,
select reports, and it would output an order which they would mail in.

3) Statistical Analysis and report generation. Same department. They were
spending about $50,000 a year on a DOS DBASE II system that summarized and 
reported on how money and manhours were allocated to various R&D projects. 
It was a dog, a mishmash hack that couldn't add.  They even had to hire
someone full time just to manage it and deal with the problems.

The director asked if I could re-write the entire thing with HyperCard.
The DOS consultant said "Macs can't do this stuff!" but I convinced the
director I could do it for a measly $3,500.

The final result was exactly what management had hoped for and more.  It
would import a FileMaker database, do full validation on the data, and
then output a 300 page report complete with logos and borders.  And the
numbers all added up.  You would basically just import, click a button and 
go home and the next morning there's the report waiting on the printer.  I 
don't know if they're still using it, unfortunatly it wasn't Y2K
compliant.  Still, the program took the annual cost from $50,000 to $900.  
The director personally thanked me and actually told me that choosing to
migrate this project to HyperCard was the single best decision he made
that year. Wow.

4)Utility for FirstClass Intranet Server This commerical product (FC
SuperTools) borrowed from some earlier projects of mine.  It did two
particularly cool things.  First, using the comm toolbox, it would log in
to a server and then recursively "crawl" the entire structure and map it
out so you could get an overview of the hierarchial layout. The second
thing is how it could output that structure. Either as an Excel file, as a 
folder structure in the Finder, as a Batch Adming file, or as a gigantic
Adobe Illustrator EPSF file with the full folder structure laid out across 
multiple pages.

I've also made some goofy things like "Homer's Pain" which would string
together Homer Simpson sounds in random ways. I guess you have to hear it
to understand :-)

I still use HyperCard today for all kinds of things, mostly manipulating
data and doing repetitive chores (like dishing out id's and passwords via
e-mail).  I think it will be a long time before I find something that can
replace it.

Oh I almost forgot this one...

I also used HyperCard to make a program called 3D Quicktime Viewmaster.
It's a nifty gizmo that lets you view certain QuickTime movies in 3D
Stereo (I'm not kidding). Working from the basis of the "Pulfrich Effect"
it provides stereoscopic vision of a movie by simulating the effect with
two side-by-side frames of the same movie, shown at different time
indexes.  It requires an eye trick called "free fusing" where you kind of
cross your eyes to merge the two images together so that each eye sees a
different pane.  The program includes some training tools to help you do

As I said, it only works with certain movies, ones where the camera is
travelling to the left or the right, but not panning (like shooting out
your passenger window).  It isn't hard to find shots like this on TV or in 
movies. Basically once you have a movie loaded, and you free-fuse, then
you can just move the mouse left and right to move through the movie, all
in perfect 3d.  This works because any two frames taken of the same scene
from slightly different angles will provide the brain with enough
information to see depth. And a movie where the camera was tracking but
not panning provides exactly that... views of the same scene from a whole
line of perspectives.  It also works great for movies of rotating objects

Find it at:

Comments to: Oliver Kenkel

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Ben Lawson

Broadcast news satellite uplinks, data transmission, hardware control

I made a good living from HyperCard several years ago as the one-man I.S.
department of Standard Broadcast News. SBN was a Canadian news service
providing audio and text via satellite to over 100 radio stations across
the country.

HyperCard was integral to our 24/7/365 operation, and enabled us to
achieve considerable operational economies and flexibility. I used
HyperCard, primarily in conjunction with the Comm Toolbox serial port
externals, to:

- Transmit several thousand wire stories a day to our satellite uplink.
These wire stories were written and formatted in custom-designed HyperCard 
stacks and collected by another HyperCard stack that parsed them into
"ANPA" structured text format. This system also operated in several news
bureaus across the country, essentially without technical intervention.

- Downlink, filter, reformat and re-broadcast several thousand weather
reports a day.

- Control client's remote tape decks via DTMF tones on the satellite audio 
feed with HyperCard's "dial" command.

- Send alphanumeric pages to field staff. (This was a bit of a hack, there 
are better commercial products now.)

- Interface with some particularly nasty mini-computers through a scripted 
serial connection to retrieve news stories from a local affiliate. (This
system was called "NewStar" but I preferred to refer to it as "NewsTar".)

- Generate and uplink real-time 1995 national referendum results on only a 
few weeks preparation time.

- We were beginning the design stages of converting from a
"folders & files" -based structure inherited from an earlier system to a
using HyperCard as the front-end to a Butler SQL relational database. I
was sorry to have to drop it when a better opportunity came along...

The satisfying thing about the whole system was that I was able to respond 
to user feedback very rapidly and add features in a matter of hours or
days. HyperCard's interpreted programming language made it possible to use 
an "interactive" style of development, with changes often made to the live 
system on a test-and-revise basis. All this was done on extremely modest
capital outlay, and very reasonable payroll.

Where I was not able to solve problems using HyperCard's extensive and
unambiguous HyperTalk language I usually found a free code module, called
an "XCMD" or an "XFCN", that gave me the feature or the speed that I
needed (there are literally thousands of XCMDs available on the internet). 
In the final stages, we began using CompileIt to turn optimised HyperTalk
code into lightning-fast XCMD code modules and WindowScript to design
custom windows for data display or sophisticated user interfaces.


Comments to: Ben Lawson

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Heinrich Arn

Databases on the web, automatic HTML formatting

I use Hypercard, among many common things, to manage databases on the Web. 
The simplest example for such a website is the program of an upcoming
scientific meeting. Participants submit their titles and abstracts through 
an HTML form. The Hypercard stack then reads the incoming data from the
Eudora folder and creates a new set of HTML files containing updated
abstracts and a list of speakers. This website can be found at

Another example is a database on the chemical structures, gas
chromatographic retention indices and sensory properties of naturally
occurring flavor chemicals. This website, conceived by Terry Acree at
Cornell, is located at http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/flavornet/. You need
the right plug-in, but then it's fun to see the molecules rotating through 
space. The original information is kept on a Filemaker file. After each
update, data are exported as a plain text file, sent to me by e-mail and
converted offline to a new set of HTML files.

The most elaborate web database created in this way is the Pherolist, a
documentation on the sex attractant pheromones which are produced by
female moths to attract the males. This database is located at
http://www-pherolist.slu.se. Pheromones are important in today's pest
management where one tries to get by with a minimum of insecticides. They
are used to monitor insect populations and control pests via an
environmentally safe technique called mating disruption. Each insect
species uses its own bouquet of sex perfume. There are about 2000 HTML
pages in this website containing chemical structures, insect pictures and
numerous index pages. These are all interlinked in various ways, so a few
changes can affect numerous files. For this reason I often end up
rewriting the entire set, at the click of a button of course. The original 
database is kept in the same 2700+ card stack that runs the update.

The scripts for updating these websites are often long and complicated,
but they use just a few functions for creating tags, replacing strings,
sorting lines and handling files. I am working on a direct linkup to the
server, using externals like Marionet. The idea is to build custom
applications for the part-time webmaster who is not at all familiar with
Hypertalk, HTML or FTP.

Comments to: Heinrich Arn

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Devin Asay

Computer-assisted instruction and testing

For the last eight years I have worked as a developer of Computer Assisted 
Instructional (CAI) materials, first at Ohio State University, now at
Brigham Young University.  During that time HyperCard has been a
workhorse. I have created or assisted in creating CAI programs for
teaching Russian, Chinese, French diction for singers.  I have also
created too many utilities to remember them all.

At BYU we teach classes in CAI development to students majoring in
Humanities.  We have used HyperCard for Macintosh development for years,
and have found it an ideal environment for teaching the intricacies of
program design without the huge upfront investment of a programming 
language like C or Java.  I have seen amazing things come from students
after just one semester of HyperCard.

In our labs here we offer our students access to many computer-based
tutorials, most of them programmed in HyperCard and served from an Apple
Workgroup Server.  We have tutorials for Arabic, Japanese, Russian,
Chinese, Spanish, Introduction to the Arts, Italian, French, and more.
And they aren't just simple grammar drills. Several of them use complex
multimedia and offer features such as centralized student record keeping
and report printing.  HyperCard is a stable, easy-to-learn, extensible,
scalable environment that just keeps getting better.  We can't wait for
HyperCard 3, which should give us the ability to quickly deploy this large 
body of software in our Windows labs.

We also run a 35-station computer based testing lab, where we administer
multimedia tests to thousands of students each term for all first and
second year Spanish classes, beginning German, beginning Humanities
classes, and several others. Do I need to tell you what environment the
testing software is developed in?  You guessed it--humble, reliable old
HyperCard. I continue to be amazed at its flexibility.

To see some examples of our HyperCard-based tutorials, go to our Web page: 
http://humanities.byu.edu/HRC/products/catalog.html/ .  Most of the
Mac-based software is done in HyperCard.

Comments to: Devin Asay

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Bruce Carter

Mathematics placement exams

Well, I do a lot of little quick-and-dirty stuff in HyperCard, including a 
little thing to parse the InfoMac digests and download all the files, a
few device control thingies, and some prototyping stuff.  The most used
things I've worked on recently, though, are the BSU Math and Chemistry
Placement Exams (which were supposed to be a one semester quick fix, and
were just retired this year after serving more than 8 years of duty).  A
way was needed to give placement exams on demand when we went to year
round registration.  The math department did not want to use up faculty
time giving and grading these tests.  HyperCard to the rescue!  I wrote a
quick little shell that allowed the entry of the math problems, including
special symbols and graphics, presented the test, scored it, and told the
student which math courses he or she qualified for based on the score.
Now that it is no longer in use at BSU, I'm refurbishing and generalizing
it, and it may show up as shareware somewhere along the line.

Comments to: Bruce Carter

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Quentin Long

Buddhist Yellow Pages

The coolest thing I've done in HyperCard? Probably the stack I created for
the International Buddhist Meditation Center, which they commissioned and
used for their 25th Anniversary Celebration. The IBMC is deep in the heart 
of Los Angeles, by the way.

At any rate: My stack, which could be described as a "Buddhist Yellow 
Pages", is a searchable database of over 100 Buddhist temples, most of
them found in the LA region. Each record has fields for the temple's name, 
head abbot, address, etc. Users can search for temples that fit any
criterion, or combination thereof; naturally, I used HyperTalk's native
FIND command to implement the searching function.

Since the stack was to be used in what amounts to a "kiosk" setting, open
to the general public, I had to "idiot-proof" both the stack and the Mac
(a Classic) it was running on. The solution I chose to implement: Set the
userLevel to "browse", and take away the Classic's keyboard. Of
course, this made life a bit more interesting for my search function. To
work around the keyboard's absence, I set up a sort of "virtual keyboard"
that lets the user "type" with the mouse. The user clicks on a field; uses 
the "v-board" to enter his search criterion for that field; and so on,
until he's set up all the different criteria he wants to. When the user is 
done, he clicks on the "find 'em all NOW!" button, and the stack marks all 
the cards that match the criteria.

The last thing worth mention about this stack is the "go to the Help card" 
button that appears on every card. Its icon is a yin-yang symbol... and
the sucker rotates, gracefully and continually. I created wholly automatic 
processes that run by themselves, completely without human intervention.

I've done other stacks, but this one is my biggest success story.

Comments to: Quentin Long

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Michael A. Brucato

Instructional software in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, German

I use HyperCard exclusively to write instructional software for the
languages of Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and German. I have also
used HyperCard to write a comprehensive school master schedule program
which we currently use at our school in Cincinnati, Ohio (The Academy of
World Languages). HyperCard is also excellent for easily creating
instant-self- grading quizes and tests. I've used HyperCard to teach
computer programming to 11 & 12th graders.

HyperCard is one of the greatest computing inventions since the monitor!!
It is the ultimate programming "swiss army knife."

I can't wait until it goes cross-platform.

Mike Brucato
Cincinnati Academy of World Languages

Comments to: Michael A. Brucato

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Ed Cawley

Biology databases, statistics, graphing, and presentations

I'm a 67 year old Biologist that started with an old Apple in 1980. The
only way you could do anything was to program it yourself, so I became a
BASIC programmer,self-taught. I developed a number of programs for
Ecology, primarily simulations and computation. When the first Mac came
along I talked the department into getting one, but I continued to use the 
Apple IIe for most of my class oriented work since you couldn't program a
Mac in BASIC.

Then I discovered HyperCard!!!

My first project was a stack which made herbarium labels, with maps, and
at the same time became a data base of our herbarium collection, which
would automatically update as new student collections came in.

Next, a data base of the department's undergraduate theses, easily updated 
and easily searched.

Next a data base of a Diatom culture collection. These could have been
done with a data base application but Hypercard was already on the Mac and 
15 years later the stacks are still functional and we can modify them and
add graphics if we wish.

As our old Apple II's were phased out I started to convert the BASIC
simulations to HC stacks and discovered that I could do mathematical and
statistical manipulation and graphing easier than with BASIC.

Next HyperCard became my presentation application of choice. I built a
simple stack which could show text, graphics and PICTs, from scanned
illustration or photos. We then got a camcorder and  video capture
software and added movies into the mix.

Building on this, and the help of a state environmental education grant
I've been developing a series of multimedia stacks on local biomes, plant
and animal communities. The stacks have been used in local schools and the 
Mississippi River Museum in Dubuque. Now that I've retired I'm in the
process of expanding the stacks to include all the biomes in the U.S. The
major problem now is not the programming but access to illustration and
video clips. Oh, and expansion to that other platform! Where are you

That's my story, and it started with a biologist in his fifties with no
programming experience.

Ed Cawley, Ph.D
Professor Emeritus, Loras College

Comments to: Ed Cawley

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Dr. Stuart Grauer

Integrated school management system

The Grauer School has developed a database using HyperCard which
essentially drives the school.  We enroll, track, notate, keep addresses,
etc. with this database. More importantly, we have used it to make many
kinds of reports including such things as report cards, weekly report
cards, guidance counselors reports, attendance, and even whole school
reports.  For example, our Weekly Reports are  far more detailed than any
report cards I have ever seen in  my 7 schools over 25 years - needless to 
say, most schools can only generate reports quarterly.

HyperCard gives our school an amazing edge; it enables us to communicate
with parents, students and teachers with unparalleled timeliness and
precision.  We continually exceed everyone's expectations for most types
of school evaluation.  If something happened to our HyperCard, I think I
would commit hari kari.

We have been developing and refining the functions of this database for 7
years now, and it has evolved in tandem with the school.  With minor
refinements, individual teachers could use this program to their great
benefit, as could department heads and tutoring services. It's completely
flexible.  We can evaluate and generate reports easily on anything we can 

Dr. Stuart Grauer, Director
The Grauer School

Comments to: Dr. Stuart Grauer

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John Hudson

Accounting, property management

To many, it may not seem like much; but to me, it's incredible that I can
"program" and do useful things.  HyperCard and HyperTalk have made this
possible.  I have a property management firm with our own shopping
centers. I utilize stacks I've written for accounting, property
management, 1099's, vendor and tennant information, and the like.  I use
version 2.2 with an SE30.  My next project is to build a stack for fixed
asset depreciation; with arrays(items) it will be a cinch.  The boring
part will  be to enter the monthly percentages.  HC and HT are very
helpful. Also will be doing checkwriting tied in with  accounts payable
and general ledger.

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Bill Westfield

Automatic generation of print publications, speech-based HTML authoring

The coolest thing I do with Hypercard?

Utilities For Speeding Programming Tasks (in various languages)!
Automation Software for text processing! Speech Assisted Programs for the
Handicapped or (like me) lazy! I have accomplished so much with straight
hyperTalk, and even more by mixing HC, AppleScript, and compiled code,
it's hard even to start.

To see (what I feel is) the "Coolest" thing, go to www.wsmarketing.com,
and then follow the links to the "Websites" page. There you will find a
short story about a program called "WebWrite." In short, WebWrite is a
"turn-key" solution for putting any type of "listing" publication on the
web. Currently being used in the realestate market by Osborne Publications 
of Gaithersburg Maryland, WebWrite runs on a network of 21 Macs and
produces 8000 perfectly formatted web pages a month, including converting
the company's "TIFF" images to "JPEG", starting with raw text and
requiring no (as in ZERO) user intervention. None of the 30 (aprox)
people responsible for the company's 10 monthly print publications can
type the first line of HTML, yet an entire searchable site is created,
maintained and updated for them while they produce those printed versions
(WebWrite even creates a Spanish version of their publications).

The question is, could it have been created in another environment? Sure!
At over 4 times the cost and man hours.

Next, pop on over to AOL and do a software search for "ScriptScraps." This 
shareware stack is really helpful to anyone who codes in several
languages. It supplies it's user with a means to organize "snippets" of
code by language, function name, etc, and to retrive them quickly when

And lastly (but certainly not least), if you visit my web site or any of
the sites from our "examples" area, I want you to know that very little of 
the HTML in any of the sites you view is edited by hand (and no, I'm not
using an HC based HTML editor like the ones you've probably seen). All of
the sites are coded with an application called "SpeakEasy," and as the
name implies, the code for the pages is produced by selecting passages of
text and speaking into a plaintalk microphone. It's faster than any
WYSIWYG editor on the market, more convenient to use by far, and is 99.9%
pure HyperTalk!

Comments to: Bill Westfield

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Joseph F. Buchanan

Managing a dental practice, importing to a Palm Pilot

I have three stories.

1. I wrote a system for a dental practice consultant. It was origially
written in Fortran. I saw the value of Hypercard in providing a lot of
services that I would have needed to write myself. I did need to do some
customization as external commands to speed things up a bit (this was
written for an SE back in 1988). Well, the same system has been carried
forward with very little adjustment, now running on a G3 machine and speed 
is no problem. It just surprises me how little I have had to work to keep
this system going. The consultant goes years without asking me for any
help. The last problem was fixed simply by moving from Hypercard 2.1 to
version 2.2. Since I am not in this for making a lot of money, but just
for helping this guy out, I haven't missed a great financial opportunity
that this could have been if I had written it using some Microsoft product 
on a WinTel machine.

2. When I need to craft some data for any purpose, Hypercard is my first
choice. I needed to convert data from a network accessible UNIX based
database (usually accessed by a Windows program), I wrote a HyperCard
program to take and extract the data and send out email messages to
patrons surveying them about our service. I was able to get HyperCard to
keep track of everything and make it easy to send email messages via
AppleScript to Eudora and then analyze the responses from the patrons,
entering the data into another Hypercard-based database. It also produces
a report summarizing those responses. This was written in less than a day
with adjustments made very easily when necessary.

I also use Hypercard via AppleScript as my CGI processor for my web server 
(try http://laanjak.cc.utah.edu/doCalendar.html).

3. When I got my Palm Pilot, I needed a good way to keep track of my
different address databases, one of which comes from an archaiac DOS
system at my church (I would love to convert them to the Mac and
Hypercard). I export the data in text form of a printout and process it in 
Hypercard and create a file that I can then import into my Palm Pilot
database. It was quick to write and is slick to use.

Comments to: Joseph F. Buchanan

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Dexter Chan

Conflict management software

Create a commercial interactive educational software title designed to
teach children about conflict mediation techniques and how to reduce
violent behavior. The software program, Conflict Smarts, used QuickTime
video and contains exercises, such as facial recognition, that use photos. 
We even used 3 second Quicktime clips to "animate" topic buttons with

Taking only 6 months to develop, Hypercard was the key to keeping costs
and production time down. We're eagerly awaiting Hypercard 3.0 so we can
share this marvelous and important software program with Windows users.

Drop by http://www.mindspring.com/~dschan/ConflictSmarts.html and take a
peek at what the program has to offer.

Comments to: Dexter Chan

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Brent Goss

Online banking application

Several years ago on-line banking became available in our area. It uses an 
automated touch-tone phone mechanism to prompt the caller for actions such 
as getting account balances and paying bills. I initially used it only
with the phone and got tired of the repeated entry of numbers. Having
played with HyperCard scripting previously I figured I could program all
the sequences and build a push-button interface that my wife could use

So, after a couple of evenings of HyperTalk programming, we were paying
our bills on-line. My wife uses it all the time and just loves it—no
more trips to the bank to pay bills or check the account balances. The
program allows us to: pay any of our 14 bills immediately or post-date
them (we use this feature all the time to avoid missing payment dates);
get account balances; transfer money between accounts; and, scan our
payment history.

The program connects to the bank and using the modem speaker we can hear
all the transactions as they occur. At any point in the process we can
cancel the transaction. It is very easy to use and logs all actions when

We still use this program even though our bank recently added on-line
computer banking. The new service is only for PC users via a custom PC
application. Intuit has a form of on-line banking with Quicken, but only
for certain banks and not in Canada where I live. They also have extra
charges for their use. Using my HyperCard version does not incur
additional charges.

Comments to: Brent Goss

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Sidney A Powers

Calculating jet aircraft drag

I have generated a Hypercard stack containing a set of methods for
generating the data needed to estimate the drag of modern jet aircraft.
The user selects the various components of the aircraft and a Hypercard
card is presented on which the user enters the geometric parameters (
length, width, height, sweep angle, etc) in appropriate slots on the data
sheet. The Hypercard stack calculates the needed areas for most
components. For few types, the user must enter the area himself. The
result is a text file that is read by the drag evaluation program which is 
written in C. This works like a charm and needs almost no manual since it
is so intuitive.

Comments to: Sidney A Powers

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Jeff Reynolds

Commerical multimedia applications

I am a multimedia developer that specializes in natural history education
exhibits, CD-ROMs, and web sites. One of the main reasons I got into being 
a multimedia professional is due to Hypercard. In 1988 I began using
HyperCard to develop a data base and training system for Humpback whale
cooperative feeding behaviors in Southeast Alaska. Hypercard allowed me to 
rapidly develop both an interactive data base to hold all our research
data and also an interactive training course that was integrated into the
database to provide training to new research volunteers. The combination
of Hypercard and my little old fireplug SE allowed me to easily take my
Mac out into the field, shipboard, before the days of laptops!

Since then I have used HyperCard to develop interactive kiosks at places
like the Saint Louis Zoo where we developed a series of interactive
exhibits on Missouri Streams. These exhibits utilize full screen digital
video and dual laser disc players, all of which is controlled from
HyperCard. I have also used Hypercard to rapidly prototype many exhibits
for clients that are strictly PC based. After the prototypes are done, the 
PC version is built and many times (especially in the early days) the PC
version could not deliver the same functionality, speed, and presentation
that the HyperCard prototype could!

I have also had wonderful experiences using Hypercard for producing
CD-ROMs. The first major title I used Hypercard for was the Earth Explorer 
Environmental Encyclopedia. This $2.7 million National Science Foundation
project required a multimedia interface system that could also handle a
half a million words of text and over 30,000 data points of data. We used
HyperCard to program the Macintosh version and Visual Basic for the PC
version. The Mac required only one programmer, while the PC version
required 2 programmers for an equivalent length of time. The Mac version
also provided and reformatted many of the assets for use in the PC
version. Additionally, the Hypercard version required about one half the
testing (since the HyperCard program was ahead in the schedule, it’s
testing also included most of the content testing) of the PC version and
little or no tech support calls.

I have also recently used Hypercard to produce the Macintosh version of a
CD-ROM we produced with Jean Michel Cousteau. Cities Under the Sea: Coral
Reefs is a fully interactive multimedia CD-ROM with 50 minutes of
QuickTime movies, over 700 color pictures, and 70,000 words of text. The
Macintosh version was produced for a similar programming budget of the PC, 
Visual Basic version, but incorporated many extra features into the system 
and required less testing. Again, Hypercard allowed us to develop much
more for the money.

Finally, I continue to use Hypercard as my internal project data base
engine. For every project I create a data base in Hypercard that contains
all the text content, media file references and other detail information
for the project. The data base is then used to manage this content during
production, then the data is exported in whatever format is required of
the final multimedia system for use. This system using Hypercard to manage 
the content of large projects has saved time and money and allowed us to
run projects distributed over consultants living all over the place!

Hypercard has really been both my introduction to doing multimedia as a
profession and my mainstay as a multimedia production tool. Its
flexibility, stability, value, and ease of use are unparalleled!

Comments to: Jeff Reynolds

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Chuck Boody

Media catalog, clipping excerpting, CD-ROM cross-referencing

It is difficult to limit this statement! The most extensive things I
have done with Hypercard include:

1) A media catalog and booking system that allows reserving of some 8000
media items and keeps track of who request what when. It is essentially
a three file relational database. The program also prints catalogs and
is searchable at a high speed.

2) A series of programs called "Clip Creator" that simplify excerpting
Audio CDs, Laserdisks, MIDI files and QuickTime Movies. Sets of
clips can be accumulated and used in a series of drill and practice
exercises or used interactively along with comments and hot spots
in the comments to automate a multimedia presentation. Also included
in the set is "Clip Chart" which allows users to created an analysis
of a musical work along with a related graphic representation
of the analysis and comments that pop up as the analysis is played. 
This set of programs is in use at colleges and K12 institutions
around the world, and I'm (impatiently) waiting for version 3 of Hypercard
to bring the capabilities of this very useful tool to music instructors
who insist on using Windows machines.

3) A set of spelling drill programs what allow instructors to create sets
of spelling words, common misspellings, sample sentences and voice
recordings of the word and the sentences. The program will produce pencil
and paper tests, and a series of interactive spelling "games" that allow
the student  to learn to spell. They can even hear their own teacher say
the word and the sentence. Various kinds of help are provided when errors
are made.

4)  A set of programs that interact with a CD-ROM produced by the state of
Minnesota FACs project that provide linkages to ninety some samples of
world music and 50 or 60 art works (in JPEGs). Extensive cross-referencing 
of these works is provided and a simple means of marking cards and
following progress through the cards provides ways for teachers or
students to organize the information to make presentations from it. These
materials were distributed statewide to the K12 schools.

5)  A Hypercard interactive front end to the award winning University of
Delaware Video Disk Music Series that provides simple access to the
musical works (with analysis of those works) and to the mre than 5000
still images on the video disk set.

I could multiply these examples, but the point is clear. Hypercard is a
fast efficient database and multimedia tool. It is my tool of choice for
many projects, and is one I would use much more if it were update and
provided a means for Windows users to take advantage of the things I have

Chuck Boody
ISD 270

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Stewart Macdonald

Reptilian database

I have recently started a stack in HyperCard that is a database of every
reptile species that can be found in and around my capital city. I have
text fields for things like size, appearance etc, and then colour
pictures, movies, and sounds. I chose HyperCard because it lets me design
the stack the way I want it. I can also save it as a stand-alone
application, and distribute it to others.

Comments to: Stewart Macdonald

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Jason Ruhl

Classroom management system

Ok, let me just tell you that I have not finished this program yet, but I
will be very very soon - It is a complete organizational system for
teachers in which to keep track of everthing from attendance to marks to
lesson plans, times and special days, as well as little things such as
reminders on student birthdays, individual performance graphs,
personalized thank you notes, even ways to dismiss the class at the end of 
the day. My latest addition that I am currently working on is an emergency 
medical help feature - eg. a student is having a seizure or something and
it will tell you what to do. I'm running out of ideas for more things to
do with this stack!

I've also made some different versions of games like Clue, Monopoly, and
Balderdash, too. I just recently bought a new Mac G3-266 with 96 RAM and a 
15" monitor and the switch between it and my old 9MHz Classic with 2 RAM
and a 9" B&W monitor was seamless.

Thank you, Apple computer, for making such a great product.

Comments to: Jason Ruhl

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Bob Stelloh

Garden Information Manager

After retiring after some 30 years of programming and management, I spent
more time gardening. But, being an engineer, I needed to keep track of the
plants as well as enjoy them. The things to keep track of for a plant
include its name, shape, size, color, ..., etc., and where it is, because
labels disappear.
So I bought a Mac with HyperCard, and started developing the "garden
information manager", or "gim" (pronounced "jim") which is essentially an
inventory control program for a garden. After it was working pretty well
for me, I decided to see how it would work for other gardeners.

That led to six months working with a public garden to add other features
they needed. Some of the challenges including handling really BIG fields of
plant names, etc., handling large numbers of cards (gim uses one card per
plant as an accession record, and some gardens have many thousands of
plants), making it work for first-time users who don't have a clue as to
delicate a computer program really is, restricting certain features by user
level, and maps.

gim is now quite bullet-proof, and has a rather nice mapping capability
which allows scrolling over your garden, moving plants around in your
garden, "growing" your plants, showing just selected plants, zooming in in 
a particular area of the garden, etc.

gim customers now include public gardens and private gardeners, located
from New York to Hawaii. In all but one case, the customers are first-time 
Mac users, and most of the private gardeners are first-time computer users.

Oakhill Associates
585 Ransier Drive
Hendersonville, NC 28739

Comments to: Bob Stelloh

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Alexander Thomas

HTML editor, utilities

I have made a complete HTML editor in HyperCard, called "HTML TagWriter".
I wrote my first webpages in TeachText, but I soon got bored having the
same tags again and again. In stead of buying an editor, I made my own.
With 6 years of scripting experience (I started when I was 14), it was
really easy to write the necessary handlers. I've tried to learn C, but I
gave up: way too difficult. The things which could not be scripted without 
a severe slowdown, like pop-up menus and text convertors, are handled by
XFCNs which can be found in most XFCN archives.

A great advantage of HC is that it's tremendously easy to modify things or
add new elements. When I discover a bug, or something which doesn't work
good enough, it's fixed within a few minutes.

I didn't even take lessons to learn HyperCard. I just started working with
it and by looking how the example stacks worked, I first modified them, and
then started to make new stacks, first funny stacks which weren't
particularly useful, but after a while I made adventure games... The only
reason why these games are not available is that they're not finished...
It's so hard finding a decent ending for such a game!

I made other utilities too, like a stack which makes a list of the contents
of floppy disks (becoming outdated, indeed!) and a stack to manage my tons
of past e-mails (I really can't throw things away).

I even made a stack which converts images into cylindrical projections
which can then be merged into a QTVR panorama... But I must admit that
that one is pretty slow. However, it shows that HyperCard is pretty good
at Maths too, and I used this feature to make stacks which draw graphs and 
3D-wire models of mathematical functions.

For who might be interested in the HTML TagWriter stack:

The Panorama stack is available at:
Other utilities (mostly mathematical) can be found at:

Comments to: Alexander Thomas

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Robert Toreki

Periodic Table Challenge

Hypercard is the brains behind the Periodic Table Challenge web page
(http://www.chem.uky.edu/misc/periodicquiz.html) recently featured in both
the New York Times as well as Chemical & Engineering News. Alas, Hypecard 
was not mentioned by name, but then again neither was I!

The Periodic Table Challenge is a *blank* periodic table. Users are
challenged to fill in the table and then submit their entry. Hypercard
scores their answers, makes a comment or two and even adds a line of
chemical trivia before returning a response to the user. It's a valuable
tool for learning (not merely memorizing) the periodic table and is of
particular use to higher level chemistry students.

Comments to: Robert Toreki

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Glen L. Bledsoe

Educational software for a market of one

You want to know what the problem with educational software for the
classroom is? It’s designed by people who don’t really know what’s needed
in the classroom—especially _my_ classroom. They don’t know where my
students’ weaknesses are or their strengths; they don’t know what kinds of 
tasks I wished someone (or some other intelligent agent) would take care
of for me. Those tasks and needs might change next week or next month or
next year—or they might not. Only I can tell. And even if they did know,
they wouldn’t do it because there’s no money in it, because I am a market
of one. I want to create the programs needed in my room. And I want to do
it quickly. I want to do it without having to learn C or some other
life-consuming programming language. That’s why I need HyperCard. That’s
why teachers need HyperCard.

In 1990 at age forty I entered the Masters of Arts in Teaching program at
Willamette University. I had no previous computer experience. Within six
months I was creating my own classroom software using HyperCard. Over
these past eight years I have refined a large group of very sophisticated
HyperCard stacks which I use to manage my classroom and my students use to 
practice a variety of skills. There are no comparable products available
commercially or as shareware. They work so well because they are ours and
they suit us.

Comments to: Glen L. Bledsoe

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Georgette Gorchoff

Dance notation

LabanWriter introduced me to the Macintosh where I soon discovered that
the notation created in LabanWriter (movement notation software) could be
copied and pasted and that HyperCard provided a background for notation
that could be "read" by animated stick-figure demonstrators in the

Thus began my addiction to HyperCard, and thus, a
choreographer/notator/teacher was transformed into a published software
developer. A paper describing HyperCard's value as a positive teaching
tool was presented at the 1991 conference of the International Council of
Kinetography Laban and soon, several attendees began to use the software

Students have learned so much more quickly and thoroughly as a result of
this very user-friendly program. Literate dancers can be accompanied by
music as they sightread excerpts from a score, and beginners who lack
access to a teacher may learn the basics in front of a Macintosh. I have
looked forward the the marriage of HyperCard to QuickTime and trust that
the marriage will, indeed, take place.

Georgette Gorchoff

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Kurt Keller

Teaching programming, Mac evangelism, and educational software

HypoerCard for me is the core application of my Macintosh universe (and I
AM a Macintosh evangelist!); I do almost everything with or together with

- making educational software for my students at the Interlaken High
- teaching my students to have their Mac do what thay want it to do.
- giving them their first experience in programming
- controlling other programs through HyperTalk/AppleScript
- making data management software for my fellow teachers at our school
- defending the Mac by showing them the incredible power of good old
- making Mac evangelism by having them read several interviews with the
Apple genius Bill Atkinson

For me, HyperCard incorporates all the promises made by the famous 1984 TV 

Comments to: Kurt Keller

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John McClenon

Learning organic chemistry and quantitative reasoning

I use Hypercard to write programs to help students learn organic chemistry 
and the history of science.  I also use it to test students ability to do
quantitative reasoning, a new requirement at our college.

Comments to: John McClenon

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Gary Parker

Music & video production, staffing, and statistics

Music & video production. Renaissance entertainment staffing.
Table hockey statistics.

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Jason Parker

Business solution prototypes

Business solution prototypes. Personal information tools galore.

Comments to: Jason Parker

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Doug Rogers

Business management for graphics and illustration company, teaching tool

I have used Hypercard for almost everything to help me run my home based
business since I had my SE - which by the way still does service downstairs
next to the phone running a stack I created which serves basically as a
telephone message pad with database abilities. It also runs a recipe
database stack. I pull recipes from rec.food.veg and reformat them with

I manage entirely my graphics and illustration business with self-created
HyperCard stacks for Invoicing, Time Logs, and Contacts. I use HyperCard to
prototype multimedia projects for one of my clients and I also use it to
format storyboards.

I teach an Introduction to Macintosh course at the local community college.
Most of these students have never touched a Mac, using only Intel/Windows
products. I have built Stacks demonstrating Mac interface and networking
basics as tutorials, and have showed many students the ease and power of
English -like scripting languages - HyperTalk and AppleScript. I know the
numbers aren’t big, but out of 15 students at a time, over two or three
sessions, that yields 10 to 15 Macs sold in this middle sized town based
solely on first time experience through me and HyperCard.

I can’t imagine a more productive, creative, satisfying user experience on 
any platform without such a simple accessible and powerful, all around
useful program.

Comments to: Doug Rogers

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Gypsy King Software

Shareware games and clip art storage

HyperCard is the best way for someone with no programming experience or
knowledge to actually create programs. I started with HyperCard 2.0,
which was a free version, but soon upgraded to HyperCard 2.3 for the
additional features it offered such as color and stacks into standalones.  
Having no knowledge of a programming language, with nothing but a vision
of what I wanted to create, HyperCard, and two HyperCard how-to books, I
wrote a shareware game called Fortune Puzzles. I was awed by this wonder
I had created. And found that my heart's desire was to create games.
Killer Dice soon followed, and then internet access came my way via a gift 
from a friend, and Gypsy King Software was born. I now had the means to
send my creations forth unto the world. Within days of it appearing in
the Info-Mac Archives, Killer Dice was chosen as one of ChezMark's
MacPicks of the Week. I've got several other games in the works, all
created in HyperCard, and the excitement of creation is ! absolutely
wondrous. Though I am utterly baffled by one small question... HyperTalk, 
which is HyperCard's programming language, is so intuitive, being in plain 
English, I do not understand why the rest of the languages are so cryptic, 
and why HyperTalk is not made into a full-fledged programming language.
Programmer's would flock to a language as intuitive as HyperTalk, bundled
with the ease of use of HyperCard itself, if it offered fully the features 
of the other languages without its current limitations.  Programmer
wanna-be's would be tripping over each other trying to get their hands on
HyperCard if they had any idea what you can create with it.

Clip art storage is another use I've found for HyperCard.  It used to be
that my clip art was in several different programs and formats, and I'd
have to jump from program to program searching for that perfect piece of
art for a project. RAM limitations complicated the search even further,
as I had to quit one program to launch another, and then quit again and
relaunch, wasting valuable time and energy. I organized all of my black
and white clip art into stacks: Animals, Buildings, Holidays, Sports,
Office, Nature, etc. Then created a card in the home stack with buttons
linking to each of the categories. Now, all in one program, with a click
of a button, I can go right to the piece of art I need. No muss, no fuss.

Comments to: Gypsy King Software

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Steve Collins

Contact management software

HyperCard's extraordinary versatility allows expert programers to build
useful application quicker and better than with any other offering. I came 
across a multimedia/database application for comic book enthusiasts,
written in HyperCard, at the largest comic book trade show in the world.
The business and product were so popular I barely got to talk to the
author. He told me how very disappointing it was to hack together for
Windows an application that went together so elegantly with HyperCard.

Four years ago I started working with HyperCard. Its uniquely easy
starting point allowed me to learn how to build applications as a
layperson. Today I say with confidence, astonishment, and much
appreciation to Apple, that I am a programmer. This could only have been
done outside of academia so gracefully through the nurturing qualities of

Today I have 2, 40-hour per week user/beta sites who rave about how great
my full-featured contact management application is compared to the ones
that came free on their Macs such as Now Contact, and the demos they have
tried of Act! Nearly 1,000 pages of code and 4 years of intense,
meticulous development have brought a commercially competitive contact
management application nearly to market. The application will be ready for 
larger beta testing in a couple months.

Steve Collins

Comments to: Steve Collins

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Toby Earp

English grammar tutor and progress tracking

One of my best stacks lets adult language learners practice English
grammar. They get spoken feedback on right and wrong answers, animated
presentations and the ones who don't know the keyboard yet can do the
exercises by clicking and dragging. Teachers can customize the stack and
get a printout of students' progress. And for the classes or schools that
have only one Mac in them the teacher can set up the stack as an archive
of printable exercises. The print version is laid out properly for the
page, while the screen version takes proper advantage of that medium. My
school board paid me to develop this stack and distributes it fee to
schools. The name ? Gram'a'fun.

The other good work I've done is a student file management stack. It does
grades and attendance which is nothing very new but it does one thing
which is unique to us. Our adult learners have to finish their courses
within a deadline. Each course is supposed to take a certain number of
hours depending on its difficulty and the adults are supposed to work at
their own speed. Well, they don't often realize they're falling behind --
or even that they need to plan their work—until it's too late and they
have to abandon their hopes for a diploma. My stack calculates their
deadlines for them and lets their teachers stay on top of any changes. The 
teachers who use it say their students start working faster and better
within a month after their progress starts being tracked.

Of course this stack does more—generates reports, excahges data with
other stacks and soon with other programs, updates itself and more. But
one of the neat things about HyperCard is that stacks can be updated and
redesigned so easily. A teacher will come to me asking for a feature or a
change and often she gets it the next day. Our school wired up with an
AppleShare server and an Ethernet network because of my work.

I've done more: exercises for groups of students to use in class, file
massagers and animations—but the first two stacks are the ones I'm most 
proud of.

Comments to: Toby Earp

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Michael Pease

Customizing and automating the publishing industry

I work in the publishing industry doing everything from magazines to
newspapers to catalogs to web sites.

HyperCard allows me to customize any publishing environment. It fills in
the cracks, spans the gaps, and makes "French Pastry" out of plain old
flour and water.

Consider my HyperDummy. This stack takes a Unix file of ads of various
dimensions running in the next publication, automatically stacks them on 
virtual "pages" in HyperCard (allowing the user to drag them to any page
and position), and then not only builds an entire Quark publication based
on the ad placements, but also fills the Quark picture boxes with the EPS
ads and makes headline and story boxes around the ads and fills them with
appropriate stories from a FileMaker database. Entire publications are
built this way with minimal staff time. Show me an app that does this, for 
less than $10k, that I can customize to the nth degree.

Or consider the importance of tagging systems: HTML, Quark Tags, RTF,
whatever. There is no other programming environment that allows faster
or better handling of automation of publishing tasks via tagging systems.
Do you really think designers learn Perl or C? HyperTalk is understandable 
and USEABLE by non-techs. No data typing to deal with, for example.
Everything is text. It's English, not symbolism. It's light years ahead of 
its closest rival (AppleScript) for ease of use by people who are experts
at something other than computer programming.

Used as a front end for AppleScript, HyperCard becomes even more powerful, 
easily controlling other applications (except Microsoft apps, of course).
And AppleScript gets an interface.

It's not that HyperCard is relatively cheap, which it is. The fact is, it
is insanely robust at a variety of tasks. I couldn't use C or Pascal
Visual BASIC or Java or JavaScript. But I can use HyperCard and HyperTalk
with ease, for so many things. I think I'm in the vast majority. What
other product allows so many to do so much?

I think HyperCard, like AppleScript, is a key advantage of the Macintosh

Comments to: Michael Pease

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Paul James Podnar

Commercial medical ophthalmology software

Accommodata Corporation, an Apple Developer and approved indirect VAR,
provides a complete solution to medical professionals in the field of
Ophthalmology and Optometry. We produce a number of products based on
Hypercard™: The Portal™ Exam Station, The Portal™ TeleCapture Station, and 
The Portal™ Review Station. These represent a complete visual acuity
testing package, medical image capture, stereo image processing, monocular 
and stereo viewing, telemedicine and education. Our systems have been used 
by  doctors at Johns/Hopkins, Wilmer Eye Institute, The Cleveland Clinic
Eye Institute, The Midwest Eye Institute, and The Ohio Eye Alliance.

Many noted doctors in sub speciality fields, pediatrics, neuro, etc  have
remarked upon the quality, accuracy and ease of use of the systems. Many
product development leaders within the industry from Nikon, Topcon and
Essilor are impressed with the quality of the interface and the ease of
use. I will be glad to supply specifics if requested. Hypercard™ is our
software of chioce!

Paul James Podnar

Comments to: Paul James Podnar

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Sergey Tolkachev

Neural networks and web access

I am using HyperCard since 1988. I came to HyperCard having background in
scientific and commercial software development. My software experience
included Assemblers, PL/I, FORTRAN, Algol-68, Lisp, IDS and many other
languages on different platforms, but HyperCard impressed me forever!
Today I have two computers on my desk: PowerMac and Pentium II, and I need 
Mac only because of HyperCard.

I am consulting big enterprises here in Russia and you'll be suprised, how 
HyperCard help me in developing knowledge base with information about
complicated business. I connected HyperCard with Intranet and with
corporate SQL servers. I am using stacks to collect ideas, facts, data,
etc. about the business, and to link everything with everything. Nobody in 
the company ever asked me—"Why you need Mac on my desk?", the most
frequent question is—"Why you need PC on your desk?".

My first commercial application in HyperCard was developed for clinical
decision making. The neural net based solution helped in making correct
and quick decision in urgent abdominant illness. After presentation that
stack on the Software Expo in Russia, I got a number of suggestions to
develop decision making application for business executives. So, I got
contracts with the shipyard, local government and the construction
company.  As the result of working with business experts, I developed NNB
-- XCMD toolbox for experts and consultants in business.

I am continue to use HyperCard and found the absence of internetability.
To make HyperCard open to the Web I developed HyperHTTP—the set of
XCMDs to communicate with the Internet. This set allows easy develop
Internet oriented applications in HyperCard. I even making few dollars
selling this tools over the Web as shareware now!


Comments to: Sergey Tolkachev

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Jonathan Cooper

Scheduling an art museum

I have created a HyperCard-based scheduling system for the Art Gallery of
New South Wales, the major public art museum in Sydney, Australia. It is
used for scheduling guided tours, lectures, performances, films, workshops 
etc. into four specific spaces as well as the general gallery floor. It
handles the allocation of staff and other resources and produces various
types of printed output such as daily summaries, statistical reports and
confirmation letters.

Thanks to HyperCard's AppleEvents support, it is a multi-user system,
using a server/client model. Each day-card on the client stack is updated
from the server only if necessary (referring to a hidden time-stamp
field). If a booking is edited on the client, a temporary file is created
on the server's hard disk, to be processed the next time the server is not 
being used directly. An advantage of this method is that a client stack
still works (with some provisos) even if the connection to the server is
temporarily lost.

Other features include:
* Sub-bookings, or bookings within bookings
* Repeated and cloned bookings
* Statistical functions,broken down according to topic, geographical area
  and type of group
* Auto-entry of school contact details, using an external database
* Automatic and 'one button' back-ups
* Booking filters on day-cards, to show only certain kinds of bookings
* In-built contextual help.

This scheduling system (called Museum*ARTS—for "Museum * Activities -
Resources - Time - Space") has been in use at the Art Gallery since May
1996 and over 50,000 bookings have been made on it, as of Feb 2004. 
(To download a demo of Museum*ARTS, visit 

We are aware of the potential problems with using customised software,
particularly when it (currently) only runs on Macintosh computers and the
rest of the Gallery uses IBM-compatibles. But at the moment we know of no
viable alternatives. We have actually tried a commercial software package
that is advertised as an event scheduler for museums but we have found it
unnecessarily complex for 99 per cent of our needs and completely unable
to handle sub-bookings (an essential for us). Like most commercial
software, it was created by professional developers who made assumptions
or guesses about their end users' needs. So, at the moment at least,
management is willing to tolerate a separate sub-network of Macintosh
computers because my software is mission-critical and unique.

Creating Museum*ARTS, and seeing it being used successfully in a real life 
situation, has convinced me more than ever that HyperCard is a software
platform without equal when it comes to creating solutions to problems you 
are very familiar with. You don't have to be a professional programmer to
create useful HyperCard stacks: you are either the user yourself or the
users are people you work with. As a result, you get instant and constant
feedback and so the software can be continually improved as required.

HyperCard's open-endedness is its biggest advantage. You dream of what you 
want to do with a computer and then you just create something that does

Comments to: Jonathan Cooper

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John Droz, jr.

Debt collection software for law firms

I am a Mac consultant with hundreds of clients.

In 1988 a law firm asked me to automate their substantial debt collection
business. After searching through all the software available at that time
(including non Mac), it was determined that none met all of their

The brief version is that I wrote for them a new application that did
everything they wanted. It was in HyperCard. I called it Total
Collections. They have used this EVERY day since 1988, collecting money
owed from tens of thousands of debtors. Starting in 1992 I started selling 
this program to others interested in collecting debts, and continue to do
so today.

You can see our web site, with screen shots, at

Again, EVERYTHING was and is in HyperCard. Simply a marvelous tool...

Comments to: John Droz, jr.

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Jeannie Lawrence

Wedding cakes before your eyes

I am a baker and a wedding cake designer and I have a small bakery that
specializes in only wedding cakes. I have created an invoice on HyperCard
that makes my *Wintel* oriented brides and grooms jump out of their chairs 
and ask me *Where did you get that program?* I tell them I wrote it
myself. (They are often employees of huge corporations used to working
with obtuse, inflexible programs with odd quirks that must be memorized.
Some have even watched me edit the  invoice background while they are
sitting there.) "WHAT program IS that!?!?" I tell them it's basic to my
Mac... (I grin with glee!)

"It's hypercard. Been around since '87 or something." They just go nuts!
The invoice includes all their information, ie; time, date, contacts,
etc. then moves on to calculate the cost of the cake with different prices 
for each flavor of each layer. Then it figures delivery costs and sales
tax (ho-hum...) Then it brings up my bookkeeping program where I enter the 
sale...then I bring up diagrams of cake designs and paste their choice on
the invoice, adding flowers, lace and fountains where they want them...
(By this time they are hanging over my shoulder!) "How can you DO that?"
"Oh, you can do anything when you're MacEnabled," I tell them.

Then I print it so they can take it home. They usually go away mumbling
under their breath about IBM and MicroHard..... Without any prior
experience I created my web page, www.thecakery.com/ on hypercard in 2
days. See, you can do anything when you're MacEnabled!

Comments to: Jeannie Lawrence

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Edward Nutter

Inventory, billing, and scheduling

I've used HyperCard to build custom databases since I got it with my
newfangled Mac SE in 1987. I've held onto a couple of jobs because of
HyperCard's ability to let me tell it how I want it to work. I could click 
a link and get the necessary info faster than anybody else. Full fledged
database apps are often faster, but none are as versatile and
customizable. Currently I'm using it as the billing/inventory/scheduling
backbone for my business because, guess what, FileMaker Pro won't do what
I need done.

There's no other program that gives the Macintosh a unique software

Comments to: Edward Nutter

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Adrian Sutton

Multimedia and matchmaking

I started programming with HyperCard at the age of 12, and have continued
to program with it ever since, till I am now 17. In that time, I have
programmed everything from games, to multimedia, to cgis, to musical score 
writing aids.

Twice, I have come up with stacks that wowed even my staunch IBM loving
friends.  The first was a very simple multimedia stack which ran on 6
different computers in a lab at once, communicating via appleEvents over
an AppleTalk network. While there was nothing fancy about the stack, the
effect of pressing a button and having 6 computer screens change was
something that amazed the entire audience.

The second time was with a novelty stack I wrote, called "Match Maker". It 
simply asked a heap of questions and then searched a database for a person 
which matched those questions.  All that made it great was a soft pink
colour scheme and some soft background music provided by a QT MIDI movie.  
That stack was a sure fire way to attract an entire classes attention.
Hopefully, with the onset of HC 3.0, this stack will run over the internet 
providing a way to waste time and dream for millions.  :)

There is so much more to tell about what I've done with HyperCard, but
many others have said that kind of thing, and so my testimony to HC needs
to be no longer.  If you do want to know more, feel free to email me.

So long, and happy scripting,

Adrian Sutton

Comments to: Adrian Sutton

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John Burgess

Personal power—vital statistics

I have several personal information stacks—one includes all of my
"vital statistics" including bank accounts, insurance, credit cards, and
the complete contents of my safe deposit box.

A second mimics my circuit breaker box, except that it is searchable and
includes detailed information about what outlets are on each circuit.

My favorite is my Wines database.  I've kept track of every wine I've
purchased over the last decade including price paid, how many bottles are
in the cellar, as well as the usual type, vineyard, and tasting info.

My kids all have used Hypercard to create "Inigo" like stacks, some
starting with the original "Inigo gets out". My son, now age 13, is
creating a Maze, and is learning to put scripted puzzles and other more
advanced stuff into his.

Comments to: John Burgess

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Lawrence D'Oliveiro

Plasticine for your mind: testing toolbox calls

To me, HyperCard is a software scratchpad--a place for a programmer to
doodle. Or perhaps it's more like software plasticine, that you can mould
into any shape you like.

I've been a software developer on the Mac for over ten years. In that
time, Apple has come out with all kinds of interesting technologies
(QuickTime, AppleScript and so on). Getting to grips with these
technologies can be hard, particularly when the documentation, as good as
it is, fails to clarify some important little detail.

The only thing you can do then is write some code to try it out. But
writing a whole Mac application to try out one system call is just too
much work. Which is where HyperCard comes in--it's much simpler to write
an XFCN or XCMD than an application. Then it becomes easy to write a few
lines of script to try out some function, or even to type a system call
directly into the message box!

From there, it's a small step to prototyping an entire application in
HyperCard. I particularly like this way of programming, because my code is 
visible to anybody who opens my scripts in the script editor. More than
that, they can change my code if they don't like it, and have their change 
take effect immediately. HyperCard becomes an interactive learning tool
for programmers!

I have also made several of my toolkits of XFCNs and XCMDs available for
other people to use at


There you will also find several stacks that make use of these toolkits.

Comments to: Lawrence D'Oliveiro

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Jason F

Automate your life

HyperCard runs my life. Well... ok, perhaps not my entire life. But runs my
computer. Really: imagine you have an alarm clock on your computer. Now
imagine that instead of just being an "alarm" the clock can do anything
your computer can do-- any time you want your computer to do it. Like:

- As the webmaster for two web sites, HyperCard automatically updates the
home page and a calendar of events page
(http://vsa.vassar.edu/~qcvc/calendar.html) for me daily. It's like being
a webmaster and not doing any work!

- My destop image is changed every day, selecting a random pattern or

- My computer sends e-mail to everyone I know on their birthday.

- My weekly time sheet of freelance work I do is automatically e-mail to my
supervisor every Friday night at midnight.

- I can set reminders for myself for anything I ever want to remember.

I use it to do just about all database management on my computer.

Comments to: Jason F

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Swami Gurupremananda

Meditation aid

We put out a correspondence course in meditation. HyperCard is used since 
the last ten years to run the whole course. Who gets what lesson, who gets 
billed, what inserts go with which lessons; Inventory of the lessons and
which lessons need to be ordered from the printers.

We are a small non-profit organization and are not able to hire a
programmer. HyperCard is the best solution for us.

Swami Gurupremananda

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James J. Croft III

Leveraging the user

I have been using Hypercard since in was first released.  It is actually
the main reason I have continued using Macs instead of switching to PCs.
Virtual Basic is getting very good but Hypercard is still much faster to
use and build applications with even though it is currently more limited.  
It seems like apple could expand Hypercard to acheive more than what MS
has done with VBasic.

Some of the applications I have developed for various organizations with

- Complex point of sale, retail accounting systems
- Databases for hospitals
- Customer/patient tracking systems
- Data navigation systems for authors (some for Apple)
- Loudspeaker engineering and development tools
- Enclosure/cabinetry development systems
- Landscape architecture database
- Games
- Electronic circuit simulators for switchmode power
and much more...

I have made very good money in the past programming Hypercard applications 
for organizations.  They are always pleased and impressed with what can be 
done quickly and can be used easily by everyone in their organization.  I
can modify to their needs on the spot most of the time. I can even tell
them how to modify it for themselves.

I don't think there has ever been an application for the Mac that
leveraged the user in the same way that the Mac leverages the user from
hardware standpoint.  Actually the Mac is software not hardware but HC
augments the user in the same way that the Mac does.

Jim Croft
VP of Audio Engineering
American Technology Corporation

Comments to: James J. Croft III

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Charles Lever

Interactive foreign languages

We have authored over 2 gigs of interactive software to assist students in 
their goal of learning a foreign language at the University of Auckland,
New Zealand. Hypercard is ideal for us in many ways. You don't have to be
a 'computer programmer' to use it. It's straight forward structure means
we can cut and paste functionality into different lessons. It's
interpreted nature means we can change external files (like vocab
lists,reward graphics etc) without changing the stack itself.  We use the
quicktime movie format to store our sound and movies files. It just works
without hassles or tweaking. We use other authoring tools and for flexible 
parsing of text entry hypercard is the best. Try doing that with director. 

Hypercard and Quicktime are the reason we have computer labs with macs in
them. For us Hypercard is the killer application which isn't available on
the pc.

Comments to: Charles Lever

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Matt Reagan

Random plot and character generator

As well as making my own adventure games in my spare time (in HyperCard of 
course!), I also enjoy fictional writing. However, I constantly have the
problem of coming up with new plot ideas, new characters, and things like

Recently I was thinking how cool it would be if I could have a program
that created random plot and character ideas for me. "No problem," I said. 
I whipped out my copy of HyperCard 2.4 and cooked up a customizable idea
generator in about 2 minutes. Then I entered in the idea "fragments" I
wanted. Now I can get random plot and character ideas with one click of
the mouse, and it's all thanks to HyperCard. It may not sound like that
big of a deal, but it's just another example of how HyperCard has solved
my problems!

Matt Reagan

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John Rule

Music and MIDI Tools

I will never forget my first Mac (the Mac Plus) and the curious little
application that came bundled with it...Hypercard. I have always preferred 
the Mac, and it was not until recent months that I realized that one of
the main reasons I held on to the Mac platform was HyperCard. Hypercard
was part of the original spirit of the Mac; an easy interface to a
powerful system. I have developed my own software in Hypercard:


This software represents years of work for me; I am a programmer and a musician. Hypercard gave me the freedom to create solutions to my own
problems. To this day, I own a copy of Metrowerks CodeWarrior that just
sits on my shelf collecting dust. A truly non-inspirational piece of work. 
A 'PC' compiler on my Macintosh...blech!

John Rule
RCS Programming

John Rule

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Brad Allen

Comics—but serious work

In 1993, I custom designed and implemented a package of retail software
for Keith's Comics, a Dallas-based chain of stores, which is still used
and supported today. I used Nine to Five Software's Index and Reports
Datapro to add powerful database capabilities to HyperCard. It includes:

* customer database
* customer requests and orders database
* video rental software
* customer subscriptions system (pull and hold service for periodicals)
* ordering database which imports various text file catalog formats from
distributor, and exports orders in the format required by the distributors
* inventory tracking system
* many different database reports

It still lacks:
* Point of sale interface to barcode readers...maybe someday.

Keith's Comics (main store)
5736 E. Mockingbird
Dallas TX 75206

Comments to: Brad Allen

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R Charles & Charlene Flickinger

EuroTrader, a European exploration game

We have used HyperCard to create software widgets since we first saw it in 
1987.  Back then it was MacPaint cards and bit-map fonts for text. In
1992-ish, our Scriptor's Pal stack won us a copy of MacWrite Pro.  In
1994, we produced our wilderness exploration game, Idle Wild on an LC III
with 8 megs of RAM, using HyperCard.

In 1999, we released our European exploration and trading game,
EuroTrader. EuroTrader was produced periodically across three years.  In
1996, the scenes from Europe were organized and a navigation interface was 
created for them.  During 1997, a gaming interface was created that
facilitated buying and selling from a list of goods and prices.  During
1998, we used Ray Dream Studio and Poser to create rooms from some of the
buildings in the pictures and create animated characters.

What we learned was how to mix stereo sound with QuickTime animations
created from our design tools, and use HyperCard to address them on
CD-ROM. The result is an entertaining and educational software product
that introduces one to Europe and Economics 101.

We created EuroTrader, and Idle Wild, because we believe Apple HyperCard
is as worthy a tool for addressing graphics and animation on CD as more
expensive alternatives.  We consider our titles to be wonderful
demonstrations of what can be created, easily, with basic Apple

We invite you to experience EuroTrader as an introduction to Apple

Comments to: R Charles & Charlene Flickinger

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Gain self respect and status

School, although boring, happened to have a copy of Hypercard on their
computers. With a few friends, we started to write a game with strange
sounds, images, and many many ways to unexpectedly make the game quit.
Approprietly, we named it "Random" and that's what it was. We had things
such as parodies of every fast food chain, a working electronic keyboard,
lots of cards with strange designs, and more. When we let our classmates
obtain copies, you wouldn't believe the amount of respect/admiration etc.
we gained. Hypercard boosted my status while I was having fun! Since then, 
I've created 8 more stacks with my buddies.

Comments to: Freddie

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John Horner

On-the-fly web pages at the Royal Easter Show

I work for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Sydney.

One of the big events of the year in Sydney is the Royal Easter Show,
which is very popular with children.

We (the Online department of the ABC) had the idea of creating web pages
on the spot for kids, using a Connectix WebCam.

We sat the kids down in front of the Mac, had them pick which page design
they wanted, got a few details, and took their picture, then the page was
automatically generated by Hypercard with their picture in the middle.

The idea was a big hit with kids and parents (we had a lot of people
telling us "I'll email the grandparents overseas with the URL") and we
even did one for the Deputy Prime Minister who dropped by as part of a
different event.

The resulting 120-odd pages (http://abc.net.au/eastershow/) were charming, 
good publicity for the organisation, and cost us nothing. The system,
which I put together in one afternoon, ran happily all day without a
hitch. We're considering using it at a number of future events.

Everyone was amazed that I'd "written a program" which did so much in such 
a short time (and was able to reprogram it on the day in thirty seconds
when we started getting duplicate filenames—doh!).

Comments to: John Horner

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Peter K. Matthews

Organize and catalog museum specimens

For nearly ten years I worked as a volunteer at the Smithsonian
Institution's Naturalist Center. The Naturalist Center is a place where
people can bring objects they have found to be identified, where they can
develop their own skills at identification using real museum specimens and
our library and technical resources, and where they can ultimately learn to
read natural ojbects. My background as a geologist and experience in
developing Macintosh software was early on put to the task of developing an
online database to the Center's mineral collection. We used HyperCard
exclusively to develop databases of the collections, which we expanded to
include all the objects in the Center (about 30-50 thousand), but also to
automate identification keys, background materials ("help" stacks), and
day-to-day collections management tasks (specimen labelling, etc.).

Comments to: Peter K. Matthews

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Ian McKnight

School ID cards and conference scheduling

Parents evenings, where parents come to interview teachers about the
progress of their offspring, can be a nightmare for all concerned. Parents 
seem to come all at the same time to see the same teacher causing long
queues. The obvious thing to do was to have an appointment system where
the interviews could be spread out over the evening.

I wrote a HyperCard stack called Aptas to do just that. It takes the staff 
list and the list of pupils and produces and produces an individual
appointment schedule for each teacher and each parent.

We did have a program years ago runningb on an obsolete computer which did 
something similar but with HyperCard the big advantage was that non
computer literate teachers could produce 'professional looking'
appointment lists themselves in about an hour.

Without HyperCard this solution would not have been available and its
now being used by two other schools.

Pupils attending our school can buy tickets to purchase food from the
canteen. These tickets were normally issued on a daily basis requiring the 
pupils to queue during their break time.

Commercial, plastic idcards were beyond the budget of the school so I
designed a HyperCard stack which produces an 'id card' containining the
pupil's photograph, if available, their name, class and school number.
These are printed three to a page onto coloured card, trimmed to size and

They are now issued by staff at registration time in the mornings and have 
proved so successful that the canteen is reporting increased sales!

Comments to: Ian McKnight

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Kelly Peavey

HyperHandicap Pro calculates golf handicaps

HyperCard has provided me with a method of programing that is both
interesting and extremely functional. I have written stacks for many
things such as Medicare payment documentation, Real Estate contract
payments, numbered ticket printing, phone/address book with dialing, etc.
but by far the most sophisticated is "HyperHandicap Prot", a complete
package for recording, calculating and reporting golf handicaps & slope
index for a large retirement resort in Mesa, AZ. The resort has been using 
this program successfully since 1991 for an average of 450 golfers per

HyperHandicap Pro is a menu driven program that has been updated through
the years to provided complete integration of up to four golf divisions
(both 9 & 18 holes), club dues, inactive participants, one day and two day 
tournament eligibility & calculation, help file, and numerous types of
reports. A runtime version of "Reports Data Pro" from Nine to Five
Software Co. is used for all reports and views.

Comments to: Kelly Peavey

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Hans H. Cordt

Isotope ratio mass spectrometry hardware control

I use Hypercard to control and evaluate data in the isotope ratio mass
spectromtrie environment. We really control the mass-spec and all
connected physical hardware like additional gauges, preparation devices,
DMM«s and others using serial to IEEE 488 converters. HyperCard with its
ability to build up every control as buttons or fields is the interactive
container for all our demands. Data evaluation and storage is be done in
additional stacks which are combined with gauges or meters represented on
screen. Actual we control a Finnigan DeltaE Mass-spec with an attached
equilibration-device, gas-multiport and DIC-isotop-prep-sdystem using IEEE 
488 control to the mass-spec and its peripherals including liquid
nitrogen-support-control, a Keithley DMM 2000 with scanner and a serial
controlled gasbench.

It runs on 3 Macs. iMac #1 controls simultaneously the three devices, iMac
#2 is the print-server and database engine, PPC4400 with G3-accerlation is
the actual MS-controller and the hardware-interface. They are all connected
via 10MB Ethernet and uses program to program-communication between the
stacks. Every Stack runs in a different named copy of Hypercard. We ran up 
to 5000 Samples in the last years and are now able to nearly double the

For long-term storage of data is a Filemaker database involved. All our
other computer-based datamanagement is done by Mac. I worked at the stable
isotope department of the "Leibniz-Labor fur Altersbestimmung und
Isotopenforschung der universitat Kiel".

In the near future it is planned to re-engineer our Kiel-Carbonat-System
to be controlled by Macs instead of Apple IIe! By the way, all of our
quick-and-dirty software development is based on Hypercard. It still ran
with MacOS 9.

Comments to: Hans H. Cordt

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Tim Egan

School runs like clockwork

At school the office staff were constantly forgetting to ring our bell at
the appropriate times. So for a computers project (in a school full of
PC's) I wrote a Hypercard stack that rings the bell and then reads out
what the next class is over the PA - our timetable is not always the same. 
Now the bell is rung by an old LCII.. and its always on time!

Comments to: Tim Egan

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Tom Gilfoyle

Grading program, class records and maintenance

I made a grading program for my classes that I use to take attendance,
calculate and post grades, remind me of events, print all the special ed.
and attendance forms, and e-mail all changes in status- new grades,
absences, discipline- to parent, student, administrator, guidance
counselor, and case manager, depending on preferences for each kid. Friday 
afternoon with a click of a button all records are backed up, forms
printed, standard e-mail sent. I am the only one using a Mac in the high
school, and we are building two new schools for $165 million. No one has
found software that can- or can be customized to-do what I am doing with a 
HyperCard stack. Me- a little bitty social studies teacher.

Comments to: Tom Gilfoyle

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Roman Kalinoski

Budding programmer - Hyper Quest

Back when I was not serious about computer programming and wanted to be an 
author, I was checking out some older files on my Mac II ci, and found
Hypercard 2.1! I asked my Dad if he had anything on it, and he gave me a
binder about 4 inches thick and a 500 page book on Hypercard. Using those
two tools, I began to develop stacks. Then, one day during English class,
(Middle school!) I realized Hypercard's potental: GAMES!!!! I took out my
notebook and began doodling the layout for my first game, Hyper Quest.
Hyper Quest is sort of like Myst in the sence that you go around clicking
on stuff. It's also an RPG with a battle system. After Hyper Quest was in
the works, my company, Rome Entertainment, was born.

When I look back at Hyper Quest, I think about fate. What if I didn't
discover Hyper Card? What if, that one december evening, I didn't get that 
binder or book? What if I didn't make Hyper Quest? I would be an author
now, but, with HyperCard's help, I became a programmer, something I had
dreamed about ever since I first got a computer.

As you can see, HyperCard has been a great help to me and my life.

Comments to: Roman Kalinoski

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Frank Kokomoor

Neonatal computer-assisted instruction

Hypercard has to be one of the most intuitive presentation/language
programs ever developed.  I conclude this because - hey - even I can do
it.  My first efforts in programming were specialized programs for my kids 
to help them with schoolwork (e.g. "Alphabetize This!") Recently, I used
Hypercard to provide computer-assisted instruction in Neonatology (medical 
care of babies)to Pediatric residents at the children's hospital where I
work. The residents give feed-back on reading assignments and can play a
game called "Can you make it to a million" (yes, it's a knock-off of the
popular T.V. game, but the questions cover important medical concepts). I
am currently working with digitized images to create programs that will
help training in medical procedures and help with physical diagnosis.

Comments to: Frank Kokomoor

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Gaylon Lovelace

Geneology program and office tools

I used Hypercard to generate a geneology program which I have used
since the MacPlus era.  I have upgraded it to utilize new features as
Hypercard became a more serious programming tool. I am currently using it
on a PowerPC 6500 with Mac OS9.

There is still no other genealogy program for any platform that has all the
features and capacity of this one that I know of.
I also used my own integrated stacks for estimating, work orders, billing,
maintaining Accounts Receivable & Payable,and compiling P & L and a complete
schedule C summary for about 15 years in managing our own comercial
printing business.  When we retired in late 1998 the new owners of the
business were amazed at the efficientcy and ease of use of the software.

Hypercard is certainly no toy.

Comments to: Gaylon Lovelace

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James D. Parkin

Foreign language tutorials

Since 1993 my company, Idiom Software Inc., has been making
foreign language tutorial software with HyperCard.  It all began for us in
1992, when I was working as a substitute teacher in a district here in
Washington.  My brother, a teacher of Spanish, had received a large grant
for software, and eagerly began a lengthy search for materials to use in his
classroom.  After many weeks, he reluctantly gave up the search, and
returned most of the grant money, because there was virtually NO software
for the Macintosh platfrom that suited his department's needs.  At just
about the same time, I had discovered HyperCard, quite by accident, while
playing games on a Mac-Classic provided to him by the school.  After some
weeks of clusmy experiments, trips to the library to hunt down HC manuals,
and some late (but happy) nights, it became clear that WE could write the
software that he needed and wanted, we two teachers, with no prior
background in computing or programming.

After more than six years, we have produced more than a dozen titles in
Spanish, French, German, Italian and English versions.  Our HyperCard titles
are robust, compatible with many systems from Mac+ to the latests G3/G4's,
and (we think) easy to use, just like HyperCard itself.

The sad part of this story is that we have been forced by circumstances in
the past year to migrate away from HC to the use of cross platform tools,
principaly Macromedia's Director.  The transition has not been a wholly
satifactory one, and the stuggle with expensive, buggy software tools has
made us painfully aware of just how good we had it with HyperCard, and just
how much we will lose if Apple declines to support and market HyperCard in
the future.

Comments to: James D. Parkin

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Peter M. Brigham, MD

Medical records, Gutenberg Reader, and toys!

I've been using Hypercard since I had a Mac. I've done all kinds of
stacks, some just for fun and to test out and develop my scripting skills, 
and some have turned out to be useful for myself and others. I've done
stacks to manage URL's, to extract and store bibliographic citations from
text files, to flexibly tag and manipulate text, to log drug interactions, 
to generate a medication schedule for withdrawing someone from valium, all 
the way down to silly things like a stack that tests to see if an anagram
is accurate. (Did you know that "That's one small step for a man, one giant
leap for mankind.—Neil Armstrong" is an anagram of "Thin man
ran; makes a large stride, left planet, pins flag on moon! On to Mars!"?)

I designed the Hypercard FAQ stack, sectioning Peter Fleck's HC FAQ into
cards with a simple navigation system involving a clickable table of
contents, find capabilities, etc.—a very simple stack, really, but
elegant enough that it has been around for some years now, and apparently
widely used. And what could be more appropriate than the HC FAQ in the
form of a stack?

I collaborated with Glen Bledsoe in revising his Gutenberg Reader stack,
cleaning up the scripting and using a couple of XFCN's to make it three
times faster. In case you're not familiar with it, it has been one of the
most widely used tools for reading and formatting freeware text from the
Gutenberg Project.

In my professional life (I'm a practicing psychiatrist) I've used
Hypercard in two major ways: to manage email (particularly the output from 
a high-volume mailing list) and to keep my patient records. The first is
done with a stack I started designing 10 years ago and have repeatedly
refined since. It allows me to import email messages wholesale from a
given folder, and reformat them with a few mouse clicks, and export them
as a formatted text file complete with table of contents. With this I have 
distributed a selected sampling of postings from a psychopharmacology
mailing list on a regular basis to the psychiatrists and prescribing psych 
nurses in a large HMO. I also use the stack to save all my personal email. 
I can also export the contents of the stack in a format readable by
Filemaker Pro—so I have a 10 megabyte Filemaker archive of reference
postings on psychopharmacology.

My patient record stack is set up so I have a running record of notes on
every patient. Clicking on a button allows me to enter a note headed by
the patient's current medications and the procedure code for the visit.
Boilerplate text (when needed) is inserted with a keystroke. New
prescriptions are easily logged by filling in a few fields (with a lot of
automated filling in from the scripting), and med renewals are logged with 
a simple option-click on the current meds list. When a med is started or
discontinued, a separate card tracks all medications started and stopped,
with the dates and reason for discontinuation, etc. The group practice I
belong to keeps paper charts, so with the aid of the Reports add-on for
HC, a few clicks allow me to print out the last note, any given note in
the record, or a full patient record, complete with demographic info,
allergies, diagnoses, and current meds. And the practice letterhead
appears at the top. The result is that I can turn out an elegantly
formatted note in a couple minutes. Another click of a button exports a
summary of the active cases in my practice, with name, phone numbers,
ancillary contacts, diagnoses, and current meds—so in a few minutes I
have a document I can hand over to a covering colleague when I go on

Hypercard has allowed me to tweak these tools as my needs shift over time. 
I am *totally* attached to Hypercard. Apple is missing a *big* marketing
opportunity by letting it languish.

Comments to: Peter M. Brigham, MD

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