This month, I glanced at my historical watch. HyperCard will soon be 25, I noticed. What ever happened to it? I searched around and found venture entrepreneur and coder Tim Oren’s 2004 eulogy for the program, written the week that Apple withdrew the software from the market. HyperCard’s problem, he argued, was that Apple never quite figured out what the software was for.
“What was this thing?” Oren wrote. “Programming and user interface design tool? Lightweight database and hypertext document management system? Multimedia authoring environment? Apple never answered that question.”
Perhaps software with purpose that no one really know is what we need in education.
I loved HyperCard, the first thing I used on a computer that felt compelling and magical. The web is still full of HyperCard references. How could you not love:
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For a short time HyperCard made me feel as if I could program and I spent countless hours playing with all sorts of stuff, making resources for school, fun and even sold a few stacks. I hope the various efforts to teach pupils programming (scratch, hackasaurus) provides half as much fun.
Hat tip: Jacquetta