TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Hyperchat Award
Volume Number:5
Issue Number:4
Column Tag:HyperChat™

HyperChat™ Award

By Fred Stauder, HyperChat Editor, Zurich, Switzerland

1st Annual HyperChat Award

Amanda Goodenough author of the Inigo and Your Faithful Camel series, and self confessed “techno-wimp” is the winner of the first annual HyperChat Award for stack design. The award was presented at the January MacWorld in San Francisco.

You may ask why this award goes to someone who has written childlike stacks. Let me tell you a bit of history regarding Amanda’s work. When I first saw Amanda’s stack “Inigo Gets Out,” in the very early HyperCard days, I thought this was done by some kid, and it didn’t have any cool scripts or buttons. The reason was that I was a “techno-macho” as Amanda puts it. My quest in the early days was to look at stacks that had neat scripts and tricks. I saw many really ugly stacks with excess buttons dropped, I assume, randomly on cards. One day I saw people playing “Inigo gets out.” I watched the people. They knew intuitively where to click. Even very small children saying things like click on the tree. Before long we were all involved in Inigo’s adventures, totally forgetting about the Mac.

Here was a great example of the Mac being used for it’s original purpose-a tool. The machine was unimportant, it was what you could easily do with it that was.

I started to look at Amanda’s stacks from a design and human interface perspective. I discovered that Amanda achieves simple functionality by a few key insights.

The number of objects on each screen is minimized. Objects are familiar and recognizable. Controls (button) are not hidden. With appropriate placement, the eye focuses on important objects. No Cryptic Keys. It is Fun. Introduction of emotion into software (not the type when you get a bomb).

Note the similarities with the above and some of the Apple Human Interface Guidelines. How do you introduce fun into a commercial “serious” software package? Look at the MPW 3.0 about box, that’s fun; isn’t it? Introducing emotion is a bit more difficult, but still appropriate in some instances. How many people have had an AppleLink signed with a happy or a sad face? I have. If you are developing communication or training software, you should look at how emotion can be a powerful tool.

I am not saying that you should write a word processor or page layout program that has Amanda’s style. Actually that would not be a bad idea after all. If you can make it simple enough for a child to use, you would gain a lot of insight into how to simplify an interface and retain functionality. Actually that is one of the steps I do to design interfaces. I mentally put myself in the shoes of a total novice and ask how would they like to do something, and then integrating those ideas with the needs of the power user.

Too many programmers increase the number of menu items as the number of features increase. This is a no-no. Don’t leave the user confused. Don´t think the user must be dumb if he/she can’t use your software. Don’t forget you might have Mega hours on computers and the end user may only have a few. Peter Higgs from Apple Australia in his excellent campaign for lawyers, headed it with “Use a Macintosh if you haven´t got time to learn about computers.”

Let’s strive to make our software more intuitive and easier to use. This is a much bigger challenge than writing tighter loops.

I believe in the future, when we won´t have to wrestle syntax and structure, we will be part of a transition from programmers to software designers. As we make computers faster and smarter, we can let them do our dirty jobs for us.

A aircraft designer no longer has to modify an aircraft and jump off a cliff in it to test it; he has available to him tools to make his design job easier.

I would also like to congratulate Steve Maller, Robertson Smith, and Elon Gasper; if there was more than one prize to give they all deserve one. Steve for Rescopy, Robertson for Stack Starter, and Elon for HyperAnimator. There is one unsung hero in Amanda’s stack life that I would like to acknowledge, her husband Bob, who is an inspiration to Amanda and the Hypercard community. Thanks Bob.

Amanda on receiving the award said that she would give the next recipient of the HyperChat Award a complete set of her software.

MacWorld Goodies

It was quite a spectacular splash the introduction of Supercard. The HyperCard you always wanted, Color, Big Screen, Multiple Cards... and the list goes on. At first glance, it looks good.

From the other corner of the Globe (Germany) comes another HyperCard competitor temporarily named Plus. It too has color etc. One interesting thing from a programmer’s point of view is the concept of software slots. The company will provide developers with object code so they can modify to their hearts content. I feel this will be a future trend.

I will be giving you a full report of the cards compared from a developers perspective in the near future. Another really exciting thing was the announcement of HyperTmon. This is a truly useful HyperCard debugger brought to you by Icom.

Last year I saw an expert system tool for HyperCard called HyperX, it is written entirely in Hypertalk. I thought it wasn’t polished enough to review, and it was a bit awkward to use. Well HyperX is now Xciting (xcuse the puns). It is really good to see a company that listens to the end users and constantly improves their product (improves not just adds new features). This is a product to watch out for. I will be reviewing it as I make some serious applications with it.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

GraphicConverter 10.4 - $39.95
GraphicConverter is an all-purpose image-editing program that can import 200 different graphic-based formats, edit the image, and export it to any of 80 available file formats. The high-end editing... Read more
OpenEmu 2.0.5 - Open Source game-emulati...
OpenEmu is about to change the world of video game emulation, one console at a time... For the first time, the 'It just works' philosophy now extends to open source video game emulation on the Mac.... Read more
beaTunes 4.6.13 - Organize your music co...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Vienna 3.1.9 :e81515b: - RSS and Atom ne...
Vienna is a freeware and Open-Source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa, for the OS X operating system. It provides... Read more
Safari Technology Preview 10.2 - The new...
Safari Technology Preview contains the most recent additions and improvements to WebKit and the latest advances in Safari web technologies. And once installed, you will receive notifications of... Read more
Cocktail 10.3.1 - General maintenance an...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for macOS that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
1Password 6.6.4 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Together 3.8 - Store and organize all of...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Features Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop... Read more
iExplorer 4.0.12.0 - View and transfer f...
iExplorer is an iPhone browser for Mac lets you view the files on your iOS device. By using a drag and drop interface, you can quickly copy files and folders between your Mac and your iPhone or... Read more
1Password 6.6.4 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is now availa...
| Read more »
Ticket to Earth beginner's guide: H...
Robot Circus launched Ticket to Earth as part of the App Store's indie games event last week. If you're not quite digging the space operatics Mass Effect: Andromeda is serving up, you'll be pleased to know that there's a surprising alternative on... | Read more »
Leap to victory in Nexx Studios new plat...
You’re always a hop, skip, and a jump away from a fiery death in Temple Jump, a new platformer-cum-endless runner from Nexx Studio. It’s out now on both iOS and Android if you’re an adventurer seeking treasure in a crumbling, pixel-laden temple. | Read more »
Failbetter Games details changes coming...
Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games' dark and gloomy sea explorer, sets sail for the iPad tomorrow. Ahead of the game's launch, Failbetter took to Twitter to discuss what will be different in the mobile version of the game. Many of the changes make... | Read more »
Splish, splash! The Pokémon GO Water Fes...
Niantic is back with a new festival for dedicated Pokémon GO collectors. The Water Festival officially kicks off today at 1 P.M. PDT and runs through March 29. Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their assorted evolved forms will be appearing at... | Read more »
Death Road to Canada (Games)
Death Road to Canada 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get it now at the low launch price! Price will go up a dollar every major update. Update news at the bottom of this... | Read more »
Bean's Quest Beginner's Guide:...
Bean's Quest is a new take on both the classic platformer and the endless runner, and it's free on the App Store for the time being. Instead of running constantly, you can't stop jumping. That adds a surprising new level of challenge to the game... | Read more »
How to rake in the cash in Bit City
Our last Bit City guide covered the basics. Now it's time to get into some of the more advanced techniques. In the later cities, cash flow becomes much more difficult, so you'll want to develop some strategies if you want to complete each level.... | Read more »
PixelTerra (Games)
PixelTerra 1.1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1.1 (iTunes) Description: The world of PixelTerra is quite dangerous so you need to build a shelter, find some food supply and get ready to protect... | Read more »
Tokaido™ (Games)
Tokaido™ 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Discover the digital adaptation of Tokaido, the boardgame phenomenon that has already sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, and... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple’s iPhone 6s Tops Best-Selling Smartphon...
In terms of shipments, the iPhone 6s from Apple bested all competitors for sales in 2016, according to new analysis from IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.... Read more
Logitech Rugged Combo Protective iPad Case an...
Logitech has announced its Logitech Rugged Combo, Logitech Rugged Case, and Logitech Add-on Keyboard for Rugged Case for Apple’s new, more affordable $329 9.7-inch iPad, a complete solution designed... Read more
T-Mobile To Offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus...
T-Mobile has announced it will offer iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition in a vibrant red aluminum finish. The introduction of this special edition iPhone celebrates Apple’s 10... Read more
9-inch 128GB iPad Pros on sale for $50-$70 of...
B&H Photo has 9.7″ 128GB Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $70 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 128GB WiFi iPad Pro: $649 $50... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP...
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
Save $230 with Apple Certified Refurbished 13...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ 2.0GHz non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $230 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for up...
B&H Photo has the Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar... Read more
Today only! 15-inch 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch B...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ 2.7GHz Space Gray Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $300 off MSRP for today only. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Director, *Apple* Program - ERP & Cloud...
Leading Pharmaceutical / Biotech Company is announcing a Director, Apple Program - ERP & Cloud Platform Architecture Lead opportunity in Northbrook, IL. Purpose & Read more
Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
Starte Dein Karriere-Abenteuer in den Hauptst...
…mehrsprachigen Teams betreust Du Kunden von bekannten globale Marken wie Apple , Mercedes, Facebook, Expedia, und vielen anderen! Funktion Du wolltest schon Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.