TweetFollow Us on Twitter

HyperCard Products
Volume Number:4
Issue Number:5
Column Tag:Hyperhat™

New HyperCard Products

By Fred Stauder, Contributing Editor

HyperChat is a new section of MacTutor which will bring you new hypertalk programming techniques and lead you into the realm of “User Friendly Programming”.

Each month we aim to inform you of the latest developments in the Hypercard Community, such as new products, ScriptTips, XCMD’s and Articles. I am sure you will enjoy HyperChat as much as we enjoy bringing it to you.

Is Hyperware Vaporware?

At the introduction of Hypercard there was much enthusiasm from the Mac Community, also an outcry from the developers who saw some of their plans dissrupted. What was Apple trying to do? Is this system software? Did people scream out when MPW was introduced? Of course not, it was a tool to be used by developers. Apple has positioned Hypercard the same way, as a tool. There is a difference though in that Hypercard is the tool “for the rest of us”.

Are you having a DejaVu? A lot of people laughed at the Mac when it was introduced. How can this toy do real computing? How can you do a real application with Hypercard? Now we have seen an explosion of Stacks for Hypercard. Take a look at them; a good proportion are garbage. Look at many of the early programs on the Mac, were they not also garbage? I believe it is only a “teething”problem. Now take a look at two professional programs written in Hypertalk, Buisness Class, and Focal point. There is a market for Professional Hypercard Stacks, there is no market for garbage. The sales of these stacks has been remarkable. People are finding them very productive to use in their daily lives. Hypertalk is not a passing phase, just as the Mac wasn’t, it will continue to evolve and grow. Why should programmers be scared of this new thing? Hypercard will give you more oppotunities, it will allow you to do some “look and feel” tests before you write code. You can also do quick jobs that would just take too much time to write in another way for them to be economical. It is also very useful to doccument and spec out projects. A famous Australian expression is; “you’ll never know unless you ‘ava go”.

If you think it too beneath you to program in Hypertalk look at the people who use it, including Bill Atkinson the visionary who wrote Hypercard. Many of us are caught up in the investment time it takes to learn a language, so to go to another one we percieve as a loss. Our aim should be to hack concepts and ideas instead of syntax.

Hypercard at MacWorld: San Fransisco

Hypercard made its commercial debut at MacWorld, with the introduction of dozens of commercial stacks, books and publications.

One of the hilites of the show was seeing Bill Atkinson demonstrate Hypercard. It was such a joy to watch the audience come alive with such enthusiasm. Bill was lucky though because he had the help of the youngest HyperHacker, his daughter Laura (you probably have seen her digitised photo in the slide show stack that came with Hypercard).

Laura would yell out the command keys to her dad to make him get to the good bits faster.

After Bill’s talk I spoke with Amanda Goodenough who wrote “Inigo Gets Out”, “Inigo Takes a Bath”, and “Your Faithful Camel”(for those of you who have not seen them these are a great example of childrens stacks). Amanda told me how young kids are taking to Hypercard. Using their active imaginations and the multi dimensions of Hypercard to create wonderful things. [One of the best ways to test your software is to let children try it. They will quickly point out conceptual inconsistancies.]

Later on Laura Atkinson was using a MacRecorder to input sound into Hypercard. It was such a joy to see a young child doing, without much assistance, what MIS managers with their multi million dollar computers, can’t do.

A lot of people were talking about the limitations of Hypercard. Well I suppose everyone has forgotten that Apple did listen to the users about the limitations of the Mac.

I think the Mac II is a good response to people’s needs. My advice is good products take time; be patient.

There were too many things to mention them all so I will give examples of what I feel are the most innovative.

Focal Point and Business Class

If you haven’t seen these stacks; you should. Danny Goodman did a remarkable job developing these stacks during the time of quite a few revisons of Hypercard. I won’t go into details, but I would like to point out that these professinal stacks made a big impact at MacWorld SF.


Farallon has released the MacRecorder with two programs, SoundEdit and HyperSound. These two programs are very good examples of what should be done to make a good interface; clean, simple, and a pleasure to use. Written by Steve Capps and the Farallon team. HyperSound lets you record a sound and place it directly into a stack, ready to play. (see HyperTests)

Tempo II

This new version of Tempo is a much more powerful version of the original.

With an XCMD called PostEvent written by Dewi Williams you can call a Tempo II macro directly from hypercard, run the macro, and return control to hypercard. This allows you to automate things that you always wanted to do. Such as issuing click commands for dialog boxes. Hypertalk won’t allow you to invoke desk accessory menu items via doMenu. This can be done now with a simple macro.

PostEvent can also be used with Quickeys.

Bright Star

Some people may have missed this item at MacWorld Expo in SF and if you did it is a pity.

It is based on Bright Star Technology’s real Time Animation and Vivification Engine, the RAVE, and it’s RAVEL language. It drives a face in Hypercard that will mouth the words from ASCII text, and simultaneously speak the text. The power of this language is amazing. The images are digitized (the one in the figure is of yours truely) with a video camera.

The number of images used for the phonemes can be as few as 5 images or for greater precision 50 or more. Ravel allows color images as well, and is language independent. For example if you can have French text typed in and you will see your face move to French words. Bright Star have produced some applications for teaching purposes. The potential of such technology holds a bright future for Bright Star.

Hottest Development Stack

Developer Stack 1.1, written by Steve Drazga, contains, XCMD’s, XFCN’s, Scripts, and a bunch of other goodies. It is designed to be a resource for Hypercard development. The interface is very clean and not cluttered like some other Hypercard Development tools (In most cases when you design Stacks; more is not better). Steve is developing an upgrade stack that will update the Developer Stack. This Stack is available on most Bulletin Boards and from user groups.

Most Useful XCMD

ResCopy written by Apple’s XCMD Guru Steve Maller is a utility that allows you to copy resources from one file to another directly through a dialog box or by using scripts.

ResCopy works in a similar fashion to the Font/DA mover. You call install ResCopy into your home stack typing ResCopy into the message box brings up a window (see figure 6). You can copy, remove, rename, renumber resources, and play sounds. One really useful feature will allow you to convert different snd resources to Hypercard format.

ResCopy allows direct resource copying from scripts. This is useful, for example, if you want to install a cursor or other resource into the Home Stack. The copying takes the form:

ResCopy fromFile, toFile, “XCMD”, 10000.

This XCMD is a must for Hypercard developers.


The first ScriptTip allows you to edit the script of a stack, Background, Card, Field, or Button. You can put this script into the Home Stack so it can be used in all stacks. To edit a button or a field hold the mouse button down over a field then move the mouse up with the button still depressed. The script editor will then be envoked. To edit a stack script choose part of the card that does not have any buttons or fields then move the mouse to the top of the card, (or past it if you have a large screen) while holding down the mouse button. To edit the background script, move to the left of the card with the mouse button down, and to edit the card script move right. I have found it helps when you are debugging and it will work in most stacks.

-------------- AutoScriptEdit by Fred Stauder ----------

-- Put this Script into your Home Stack
-- To use keep mouse down over Button or Field and move mouse up
-- To edit Bkground Script keep mouse down - move to very left of card
-- Card Script - move right
-- Stack Script - move up

on mousestilldown
  set cursor to 4
  put char 6 of the target into C6
  if C6 is quote then AutoScriptEdit
  if C6 is “i” then AutoScriptEdit
  if C6 is quote then exit mousestilldown
  if C6 is “i” then exit mousestilldown
  if the mouseV <item 2 of rect of target then edit script of target
end mousestilldown

on AutoScriptEdit
  if the mouseH < 2   then edit script of this bkgnd
  if the mouseH > 510 then edit script of this card
  if the mouseV < 2   then edit script of this stack
end AutoScriptEdit

-- Non-Comercial use only - All Rights Reserved
-- Fred Stauder, Hypercard Editor, (HyperChat) MacTutor March 1988

This second ScriptTip is a convenient method to bypass a card that is not normally important for everyday use, such as an about card. It is also a good place to hold information that the user does not have to see. You can easily set a flag to access the card when you want to get information from it.

------------ HideCard by Fred Stauder  ----------
-- This script allows you to “hide” cards
-- For example an about box card
-- It does not completely hide the card it just passes it
-- Put it in to the Card Script

on opencard
  if the optionkey is down then exit opencard
  -- put in any type of flag eg:
  -- if FlagUnLock is true then exit opencard
  if the number of this card >the number of recent card ¬
  then go to next card
  if the number of this card <the number of recent card ¬
  then go to previous card
end opencard

-- Non-Comercial use only - All Rights Reserved
-- Fred Stauder, Hypercard Editor, (HyperChat) MacTutor March 1988


Farallon’s MacRecorder, HyperSound, and SoundEdit

The MacRecorder is a sound digitizer that is slightly larger than a mouse. it draws is’s power from the serial port, so there is no power supply needed. It has a built in microphone, mic jack, line jack, and volume control. Using two units you can record in stereo. Beeps sound incredible going from one speaker to the other. The MacRecorder is packaged in a handy bookshelf box containing, a MacRecorder, cables, a great manual which includes theory of sound, and three disks.

Hypersound is a hypercard stack that looks like a tape recorder and best of all acts like one it is a very simple stack and a good example of a clean interface. (see figure 7 next page)

First you check the input level and adjust the volume control on the recorder. Then all you have to do is hit the record button and the sound will be recorded as a “snd “ resource. There is a button that allows you to copy the sound to a stack. You choose the stack, the snd is copied and a button is created that plays the sound. There is a button that launches the second program of the package; SoundEdit.

SoundEdit allows you to edit sounds in a very natural manner(see figure 8), such as copy and paste if you have a color monitor you can take advantage of it by coloring particular bits of the sound waveform.

There are many different effects from echo, to a graphic equaliser filter. Naturally you can record with SoundEdit and you can store sounds in many forms as well as hypercard, including, VideoWorks, JamSession, and StudioSession.

Farallon pioneered the use of Hypercard to demonstrate products. They developed a stack called “The PhoneNet Demo Stack” which is an interactive stack wich uses sound to hilite the demo. Developers are now seeing the merit in putting help stacks with their products, and also using Hypercard to Demo some of the product functionality without releasing a crippled demo version. This way you can guide your audience to the features without them having to blindly explore on their own.

Two other stacks are included in the MacRecorder package one is called MacRecorder which is a guide and includes some good sound examples.

The second is a stack called MacRecorder Applications and this shows examples of applications that can be made with sound. A good example is a face and as you click on parts of the face, up comes the name in English and French and you here the French word Spoken. Don’t get your hopes up too high, nobody yet, has written a script that will allow you to speak into a MacRecorder in English and have the sound come out in French.

If you are planning on doing any serious Hypercard development I would recommend the MacRecorder package from Farallon it is one of the most professional packages I have seen and at under $200 it is great value.

Please send your ScriptTips, Stacks, HyperArticles, Comments, and Ideas to:

Applelink D0280 for fastest turnaround or

Fred Stauder
Ecofin Research and Consulting
Lavaterstrasse 45
Zurich 8002 Switzerland

or to the MacTutor office.


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

World of Tanks Generals guide - Tips and...
World of Tanks Generals is a brand new card game by the developer behind the World of Tanks shooter franchise. It plays like a cross between chess and your typical card game. You have to keep in consideration where you place your tanks on the board... | Read more »
TruckSimulation 16 guide: How to succeed...
Remember those strangely enjoyable truck missions in Grand Theft Auto V whereit was a disturbing amount of fun to deliver cargo? TruckSimulation 16 is reminiscent of that, and has you play the role of a truck driver who has to deliver various... | Read more »
The best GIF making apps
Animated GIFs have exploded in popularity recently which is likely thanks to a combination of Tumblr, our shorter attention spans, and the simple fact they’re a lot of fun. [Read more] | Read more »
The best remote desktop apps for iOS
We've been sifting through the App Store to find the best ways to do computer tasks on a tablet. That gave us a thought - what if we could just do computer tasks from our tablets? Here's a list of the best remote desktop apps to help you use your... | Read more »
Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade guide - How...
Warhammer 40,000: Freebladejust launched in the App Store and it lets you live your childhood dream of blowing up and slashing a bunch of enemies as a massive, hulking Space Marine. It's not easy being a Space Marine though - and particularly if... | Read more »
Gopogo guide - How to bounce like the be...
Nitrome just launched a new game and, as to be expected, it's a lot of addictive fun. It's called Gopogo, and it challenges you to hoparound a bunch of platforms, avoiding enemies and picking up shiny stuff. It's not easy though - just like the... | Read more »
Sago Mini Superhero (Education)
Sago Mini Superhero 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: KAPOW! Jack the rabbit bursts into the sky as the Sago Mini Superhero! Fly with Jack as he lifts impossible weights,... | Read more »
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes guide - How...
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is all about collecting heroes, powering them up, and using them together to defeat your foes. It's pretty straightforward stuff for the most part, but increasing your characters' stats can be a bit confusing because it... | Read more »
The best cooking apps (just in time for...
It’s that time of year again, where you’ll be gathering around the dinner table with your family and a huge feast in front of you. [Read more] | Read more »
Square Rave guide - How to grab those te...
Square Rave is an awesome little music-oriented puzzle game that smacks of games like Lumines, but with its own unique sense of gameplay. To help wrap your head around the game, keep the following tips and tricks in mind. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via

13-inch 128GB MacBook Air now on sale for $79...
Best Buy has just lowered their price on the 2015 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air to $799.99 on their online store for Cyber Monday. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale... Read more
Best Buy lowers 13-inch MacBook Pro prices, n...
Best Buy has lowered prices on select 13″ MacBook Pros this afternoon. Now save up to $200 off MSRP for Cyber Monday on the following models. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Cyber Monday: Apple MacBooks on sale for up t...
Apple resellers have MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, and MacBooks on sale for up to $250 off MSRP for Cyber Monday 2015. The following is a roundup of the lowest prices available for new models from any... Read more
Cyber Monday: Apple Watch on sale for up to $...
B&H Photo has the Apple Watch on sale for Cyber Monday for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - Apple Watch Sport: $50 off - Apple Watch: $50-$100 off B... Read more
Cyber Monday: 15% off Apple products, and sto...
Use code CYBER15 on Cyber Monday only to take 15% on Apple products at Target, and store-wide. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-... Read more
iPad Air 2 And iPad mini Among Top Five Black...
Adobe has released its 2015 online shopping data for Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day. The five best selling electronic products on Black Friday were Samsung 4K TVs, Apple iPad Air 2, Microsoft Xbox... Read more
All-in-one PC Shipments Projected To Drop Ove...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that all-in-one (AIO) PC shipments may drop a double-digit percentage on-year in 2015 due to weaker-than-expected demand, although second-largest AIO make... Read more
Sprint Offers iPad Pro
Sprint now offers Apple’s new iPad Pro with Wi-Fi + Cellular, featuring a 12.9-inch Retina display with 5.6 million pixels. Customers can pick up iPad Pro at select Sprint retail locations. It can... Read more
Cyber Monday: Target offers 15% discount on A...
Target has discounted Apple Watches by 15% for Cyber Monday. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: - Apple... Read more
Sunday roundup of Holiday weekend Mac sales:...
Take up to $500 off MSRP on the price of a new Mac at B&H Photo today as part of their Black Friday/Holiday weekend sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only. These prices are... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Site Security Manager - Apple (Unite...
# Apple Site Security Manager Job Number: 42975010 Culver City, Califo ia, United States Posted: Oct. 2, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Apple Site Read more
iOS Wallet & *Apple* Pay Engineer - App...
# iOS Wallet & Apple Pay Engineer Job Number: 40586801 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 16, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The iOS Read more
*Apple* Online Store Expansion - Apple (Unit...
# Apple Online Store Expansion Job Number: 41191932 Santa…1, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Online Apple Store is seeking a person to lead its Read more
Software Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Apple (U...
# Software Engineer, Apple Watch Job Number: 38181776 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 2, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Apple Read more
Technical Program Manager, Strategic Merchant...
# Technical Program Manager, Strategic Merchants - Apple Pay Job Number: 44001177 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Oct. 30, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.