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HyperCard Adventures (hypercardadventures.com)
204 points by vmbrasseur 26 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments

This appears to be using my port of the PCE emulator[1]. It's also used on the Internet Archive, which has a collection of HyperCard stacks which you can run in the browser[2].

I have a short tutorial[3] for running HyperCard stacks locally which might be interesting to anyone who has some stacks lying around on their filesystem, or who just wants to play around with Mac OS 9.

[1] https://jamesfriend.com.au/pce-js/

[2] https://archive.org/details/hypercardstacks

[3] https://jamesfriend.com.au/running-hypercard-stack-2014

The Psychedelic Inspiration For Hypercard

by Bill Atkinson, as told to Leo Laporte

"In 1985 I swallowed a tiny fleck of gelatin containing a medium dose of LSD, and I spent most of the night sitting on a concrete park bench outside my home in Los Gatos, California." ...


Full interview with lots more details about the development of HyperCard:


Bill Atkinson's guest lecture in Brad Meyer's CMU 05-640 Interaction Techniques class, Spring 2019, Feb 4, 2019:


Including polaroids of early Lisa development.

About PhotoCard:


PhotoCard by Bill Atkinson is a free app available from the iTunes App store, that allows you to create custom postcards using Bill's nature photos or your own personal photos, then send them by email or postal mail from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Bill Atkinson, Mac software legend and world renowned nature photographer, has created an innovative application that redefines how people create and send postcards.

With PhotoCard you can make dazzling, high resolution postcards on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, and send them on-the-spot, through email or the US Postal Service. The app is amazingly easy to use. To create a PhotoCard, select one of Bill's nature photos or one of your own personal photos. Then, flip the card over to type your message. For a fun touch, jazz up your PhotoCard with decorative stickers and stamps. If you're emailing your card, it can even include an audible greeting. When you've finished your creation, send it off to any email or postal address in the world!

.. several million people in the US and Europe did this, in the 1960s and 1970s, and none of them built HyperCard. Please include a full perspective, as emphasis on the chemical will be a plus to some, but a hard negative to many more..

I'm confused: Are you saying you think that everyone who took LSD should have invented HyperCard? Or do you think I or Bill Atkinson meant that's what LSD will make anyone who takes it do? Or that LSD is bad because only one in several million who take it invent HyperCard? Or that nobody should use HyperCard because it was invented by a drug crazed loonie? Or are there many notorious software disasters you blame on LSD, like C++, X-Windows, or BSD Unix? Can you hook me up with some PCP/IP? What are you getting at, exactly?

"Two of the most famous products of Berkeley are LSD and Unix. I don’t think that is a coincidence." -Unix-Haters Handbook


I think it's pretty clear that mistral9 means that you need more than just LSD to create something like HyperCard, and maybe you don't need the LSD at all.

I wish that thing were screen reader accessible. People are always saying how easy it was to use and I really wantto experience it, though I sadly can't. The only things the screen reader can see on the website are the power switch, the paperclip button, the disk number and the copyright footer.

Unfortunately it's an emulator of a classic Motorola 68000 Macintosh, you would need some kind of OCR technology to make it accessible

Maybe it would be possible to run Berkeley System's "OutSpoken" screen reader on the Mac emulator? (Berkeley Systems also developed the famous "After Dark" screensaver with the flying toasters.)


"OutSpoken (styled outSPOKEN) was one of the first commercially available screen readers for a graphical user interface (GUI). Its notable innovations were the use of an off-screen model [1] and the mouse pointer as a review cursor. The original Macintosh version was written by Wes Boyd and Bruce Berkhalter at Berkeley Systems. OutSpoken was first released for the Macintosh in 1989, and was the only screen reader ever available for the Macintosh prior to VoiceOver. OutSpoken for Microsoft Windows was released in 1994 for Windows 3.1, and was widely recognized as one of the first truly effective screen readers for Windows.[2] OutSpoken for Windows was developed primarily by Ben Drees and Peter Korn, with user interface design by Marc Sutton and Joshua Miele."

Oh rats, it looks like Outspoken is not compatible with HyperCard, unfortunately:


"The Outspoken user manual acknowledges some commercial applications with which Outspoken cannot be used because of software incompatibilities. chief among these is HyperCard, a very popular piece of Macintosh software. Additionally, however, there is a whole range of software which is inherently so visual that it would make no sense to attempt to use Outspoken -- all drawing programs, for instance." -Extraordinary Human-Computer Interaction: Interfaces for Users with Disabilities

I would suggest at least listening to Bill Atkinson's description of his LSD trip that inspired HyperCard, which goes into eloquent details about what was important about HyperCard, and is quite evocative.

Here's the transcript published in Mondo 2000:


And the interview that's a transcript of:


https://vipercard.net maybe? It appears to be JavaScript, but it may render to a canvas, which wouldn't help much.

Click on the disk to make it start loading.

I first learned to program with HyperCard and HyperTalk. I owe my professional career partly to it. It will always have a happy spot in my heart.

Same. I learned hypercard on the family Apple II starting at maybe age 5. Made all kinds of silly stuff. Eventually learned how to make rudimentary games.

It was one of the experiences that taught me that I control the computer, it's not just a platform to run other's applications.

Most of my childhood, from age 8 to 16 or so, was making HyperCard games. I learned so much, and certainly owe my career to what I learned.

I used to checkout “The HyperCard Bible” from the library basically on repeat.

This works surprisingly well on an iPhone. Glad people are out there keeping HyperCard alive.

And perfectly on iPad 2018... amazing it’s possible to use Mac OS Classic in a browser on an iPad. The touch to mouse translation support is better than on most other apps too.

Are those old Mac shareware games still alive in an emulator anywhere?

I vaguely remember one where you battled a knight early on, and then went on to a modern battlefield... Hmm. I bet that box of 3.5-inch floppies is still sitting around somewhere.

You can browse what the Internet Archive has https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_mac

each of the disk runs in your browser, e.g. https://archive.org/details/mac_MacOS_7.0.1_compilation

Thank you!

"Enchanted Scepters" was the game I was thinking of.

It always struck me as vaguely hypercard-based, but is actually built on a different engine called "World Builder"


I've been trying to remember the name of this game for decades. I also thought it had a HyperCard feel, which inspired me at 12 years old to attempt making something similar.

I never completed that attempt, but it was my first serious programming effort and I've been programming ever since.

I never managed to finish Enchanted Scepters, but it seems I can fix that now.

I'm not going to let go an opportunity to mention The Fool's Errand [0], a 1987 Macintosh game (later ported to other systems) by Cliff Johnson. See the link for a download including the Mini vMac emulator, provided for free by Cliff Johnson himself.

This game is amazing. It's a collection of word puzzles (and some mazes and other kinds of puzzles) tied into a narrative about The Fool's journey through a world based loosely on a Tarot deck. I was too young when it came out to have played it in its time, but I came across the DOS port while playing random DOS games one night and, unlike may of the games I try out this way, I kept playing it and coming back to it in subsequent sessions. I think the modern game that reminds me of it the most would be The Witness (not including the sequel, The Fool and His Money, which I haven't yet played).

Even those who have no interest in playing should read the Digital Antiquarian article [1] about it, which contains mild spoilers.

[0] https://www.fools-errand.com/07-DL/index.htm

[1] https://www.filfre.net/2015/11/cliff-johnsons-fools-errand/

Is this actually running in an emulated Mac?

My mind is kind of blown that I'm using this in a browser on my phone, wirelessly.

appears so, yeah. probably very similar (if not the same) to the emscripten version of PCE that they use over at archive.org:


The "Credits" HyperCard stack in "Macintosh HD" seems to confirm this.

OMG the paperclip

I logged hundreds of hours on HyperCard. This is wow.

My first thought was clippy.

Then I remembered how Apple don't like extraneous useless buttons.

Edit: The paperclip was to eject a stuck floppy if/when the system crashed.

There was also a functional reason to eliminate the eject button: a somewhat common problem 'back in the day' was that users would remove/eject floppy discs before they were done being written to. This could cause corruption since there could be several seconds of writing after they clicked the save button or copied a file. Even more fun were when applications or the OS would write for a bit, stop for a couple seconds (and at this point some users would see the disc light turn off and eject the disc) to do some other processing then start writing again. Having the computer control when a disc could be ejected did serve a purpose.

True. But there was (and still is) a risk of powering down the computer before writing to disc has finished.

Plus I feel that a better user interface could have solved the problem better. But maybe its 30 years too late for that conversation :)

First thing I wanted to do was fix the HD's system folder so it could boot without the floppy. Hang on, there's no System folder on the floppy!

I think it does boot from the HD, clicking the floppy icon just chooses the floppy to have inserted when the system starts, as though the intent is for more floppies to be available?

What is this? Context?

No real context, it's just an emulated classic Mac with some installed software (including Hypercard, an amazing for the time development system that both influenced the Web and RAD tools like Visual Basic and Delphi). If you ever used such a system it is nostalgic.

Had someone thought to publish HyperCard stacks on a network using URIs, HyperCard might have become the web. I think that timeline might be a better place than this one.

That thing you said, that was the context we needed. Thanks! :)

A lot of the stacks seem to be missing?

I'm just playing GunShy now.

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