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

How to manage your time in Bakery Blitz
It can be tricky, especially when you risk burning your kitchen to the ground if you forget a cake in the oven, so make sure to use these time management tricks to keep your bakery running smoothly. Don’t collect the money right away [Read more] | Read more »
Model 15 (Music)
Model 15 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Music Price: $29.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The Moog Model 15 App is the first Moog modular synthesizer and synthesis educational tool created exclusively for iPad, iPhone and... | Read more »
How to deal with wind in Angry Birds Act...
Angry Birds Action! is a physics-based puzzler in which you're tasked with dragging and launching birds around an obstacle-littered field to achieve a set objective. It's simple enough at first, but when wind gets introduced things can get pretty... | Read more »
How to get three stars in every level of...
Angry Birds Action! is, essentially, a pinball-style take on the pull-and-fling action of the original games. When you first boot it up, you'll likely be wondering exactly what it is you have to do to get a good score. Well, never fear as 148Apps... | Read more »
The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 slither.io mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that slither.io has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of Agar.io can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Apple refurbished 2015 iMacs available for up...
Apple now has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are... Read more
Indian Smartphone Market Grows Annually by 12...
India’s smartphone market grew by 12 percent year-over-year, with 24.4 million units shipping in Q1 2016. The top five vendors stayed the same, with Samsung in the lead, followed by Micromax, Intex... Read more
Get Notifications When Your Friend’s Phone Ba...
Calgary, Canada based Stonelight Pictures has announced the release of Battery Share 1.0.1, its new utility for iOS 9 supported devices. The company notes that people are spending more time on their... Read more
11-inch 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for...
Amazon has the current-generation 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MJVM2LL/A) on sale for $749.99 for a limited time. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more
Price drops on clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs by up to $250. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799, $200... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $130-$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1169 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 2.7GHz/... 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
SanDisk Half-Terabyte SSD Optimized for Every...
SanDisk Corporation has announced the SanDisk Z410 SSD, a cost-competitive, half-terabyte solid state drive (SSD) that enables manufacturers to design for a broad range of desktop PCs and laptops.... Read more

Jobs Board

Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation WHY YOU LL LIKE IT You ll be the Big Apple You ll solve problems You ll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
*Apple* Subject Matter Expert - NTT Data, In...
…in Owings Mills, MD has a 6+ month contract position available for an Apple Subject Matter Expert. TITLE: Apple Subject Matter Expert LOCATION: Owings Mills, 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.