Welcome - Charles - HyperCard 2010-01-28

HyperCard and the HyperHandyman

This information should be regarded as historical. HyperCard can not be regarded as usable except on old Apple computers running old operating systems. Or running old systems in either emulators or virtual machines. The links here worked when this page was updated. While there are attempts to recreate the HyperCard functionality and metaphor in existence, they have all missed it's simplicity of use.

Cartoon of the HyperHandyman scratching his head.

The HyperHandyman
(when he had more hair)

To see how useful HyperCard has been to others:
  • HyperActive Software provides accounts of Success Stories
  • The 10th anniversary stack was created to enable HyperCard users to celebrate its tenth anniversary. It includes many testimonials and examples.

HyperCard was my main reason for using Macs (it was only for Apple Macintosh computers). It was the first software that I had seen that enabled text hyperlinks and user programmable buttons, text fields; integrating text, pictures and graphics. It provided an easy-to-use object oriented programming environment that could be used for almost any imaginable job a computer might be required to do. Sadly, Apple has abandoned development of the application, but it will still work on any Mac able to run System 9 or earlier, and is still the best answer I found for doing the things most people wanted a computer for in the first place (discount word processors and games machines .... or maybe not). You might still be able to find a copy: the last distributed version was 2.4.1 with an upgrade to 2.4.2 available. As of Sept 2007, HyperCard Player (allows using stacks but not creating them) was still available.

There's a note about HyperCard on Wikipedia.

To give an idea of what HyperCard could be used for, here are some things I have done with it:

  • Reading (opening) files for a missing application.
  • Graphic creation, including font and icons
  • Keeping track of phone bills
  • Address books
  • General purpose notes
  • Demonstrating and explaining optical illusions
  • Telephone directory
  • Data file reformatting/restructuring (sloshing)

The way I see HyperCard is shown by this poster I created for eHUG, the European HyperCard Users Group. (They didn't use it, so I thought I might as well put it here.)

picturing hypercard as a swiss army knife

HyperCard does have a couple of limitations: it does not handle colour well, and it does not allow the use of tabs within fields. If Apple were to address just these two issues, HyperCard could become the premier application for a palmtop Mac...

Any of the web search sites will produce a list of HyperCard links, but some of the more useful pages are: