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

NetShade 6.3.1 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN servers spanning seven countries. NetShade masks your IP address as you... Read more
Dragon Dictate 4.0.7 - Premium voice-rec...
With Dragon Dictate speech recognition software, you can use your voice to create and edit text or interact with your favorite Mac applications. Far more than just speech-to-text, Dragon Dictate lets... Read more
Persecond 1.0.2 - Timelapse video made e...
Persecond is the easy, fun way to create a beautiful timelapse video. Import an image sequence from any camera, trim the length of your video, adjust the speed and playback direction, and you’re done... Read more
GIMP 2.8.14p2 - Powerful, free image edi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more
Sandvox 2.10.2 - Easily build eye-catchi...
Sandvox is for Mac users who want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily. With Sandvox, you don't need to be a Web genius to build a stylish, feature-rich, standards-compliant... Read more
LibreOffice 5.0.1.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
f.lux 36.1 - Adjusts the color of your d...
f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake... Read more
VirtualBox 5.0.2 - x86 virtualization so...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
File Juicer 4.43 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. In computer... Read more
Apple MainStage 3.2 - Live performance t...
MainStage 3 makes it easy to bring to the stage all the same instruments and effects that you love in your recording. Everything from the Sound Library and Smart Controls you're familiar with from... Read more

ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard (Utilit...
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do everything within the keyboard without switching apps! If you are in WhatsApp, how do you schedule a... | Read more »
Tiny Empire (Games)
Tiny Empire 1.1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.3 (iTunes) Description: Launch cannonballs and blow tiny orcs into thousands of pieces in this intuitive fantasy-themed puzzle shooter! Embark on an... | Read more »
Astropad Mini (Productivity)
Astropad Mini 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off introductory price! ​*** Get the high-end experience of a Wacom tablet at a fraction of the price with Astropad... | Read more »
Emo Chorus (Music)
Emo Chorus 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Realistic Choir simulator ranging from simple Chorus emulation to full ensemble Choir with 128 members. ### introductory offer... | Read more »
Forest Spirit (Games)
Forest Spirit 1.0.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.5 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ski Safari 2 (Games)
Ski Safari 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The world's most fantastical, fun, family-friendly skiing game is back and better than ever! Play as Sven's sister Evana, share... | Read more »
Lara Croft GO (Games)
Lara Croft GO 1.0.47768 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.47768 (iTunes) Description: Lara Croft GO is a turn based puzzle-adventure set in a long-forgotten world. Explore the ruins of an ancient... | Read more »
Whispering Willows (Games)
Whispering Willows 1.23 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.23 (iTunes) Description: **LAUNCH SALE 50% OFF** - Whispering Willows is on sale for 50% off ($4.99) until September 9th. | Read more »
Calvino Noir (Games)
Calvino Noir 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: The film noir stealth game. Calvino Noir is the exploratory, sneaking adventure through the 1930s European criminal underworld.... | Read more »
Angel Sword (Games)
Angel Sword 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Prepare to adventure in the most epic full scale multiplayer 3D RPG for mobile! Experience amazing detailed graphics in full HD.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Tablet Screen Sizes Expanding as iPad Pro App...
Larger screen sizes are gaining favor as the tablet transforms into a productivity device, with shipments growing 185 percent year-over-year in 2015. According to a new Strategy Analytics’ Tablet... Read more
Today Only: Save US$50 on Adobe Elements 13;...
Keep the memories. lose the distractions. Summer’s winding down and it’s time to turn almost perfect shots into picture perfect memories with Elements 13. And get the power to edit both photos and... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $50
Best Buy has the 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price for online orders only, in-store price may vary... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gold MacBook on sale for $1149...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gold Retina MacBook on sale for $1149.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849, sav...
Best Buy has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849.99. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Shipments Expected to Declin...
Does Apple badly need a touchscreen convertible/hybrid laptop MacBook? Yes, judging from a new market forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, which... Read more
Continued PC Shipment Shrinkage Expected Thro...
Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -8.7 percent in 2015 and not stabilize until 2017, according to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker data. The... Read more
Imminent iPhone 6s Announcement Leads To 103%...
NextWorth Solutions, with its online and in-store electronics trade-in programs including http://NextWorth.com, reports that it has experienced a 103 percent surge in quoted trade-in values over the... Read more
Weekend Deal: 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros for...
Save up to $100 on the purchase of a new 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pro at the following resellers this weekend. Shipping is free with each model: 2.7GHz/128GB MSRP $1299 2.7GHz/... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

Senior Payments Security Manager - *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple , Inc. is looking for a highly motivated, innovative and hands-on senior payments security manager to join the Apple Pay security team. You will Read more
Software QA Engineer, *Apple* Pay Security...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
Business Process Engineer ( *Apple* Online S...
**Job Summary** The Apple Online Support Planning team is looking for an experienced Business Process engineer to lead key business process improvement initiatives Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
Product Design Engineer - *Apple* Watch - A...
**Job Summary** Product Design Engineer Job Description As a member of Apple 's Watch product design team, you will help to create the next generation of the world's Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.