You remember HyperCard, right? If you don’t, you’re young or a switcher from Windows PCs. If you do, then you’re a seasoned Mac veteran.
Either way, HyperCard was a desktop version of the internet’s hyper text capability way back in the day. I mean, waaaay back there. Last century. Do you still have HyperCard stacks? Keep the faith, baby. A synthetic HyperCard has arrived.
Keeping The HyperCard Faith
Alright, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours. My age. What did you think I was talking about? I remember HyperCard from my Mac youth. I cut my Mac computing teeth on stacks way back in the day.
Remember HyperCard’s $49.95 price tag? Of course you don’t. Who paid that?
HyperCard came with every Mac back in the late 1980s and early 1990s (as I was told in History class) before dying a slow, agonizingly painful death, being Steved by Apple’s savior CEO.
HyperCard stacks were cards of data that could be linked card to card, stack to stack, using hyper text links, long before there was a public internet for commoners.
Each card could contain nearly anything. Text. Movies. Photos. Links. Data fields. I learned to misspell AppleScript on HyperCard and learned that coding wasn’t in the cards for me, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
So, is there a 21st century version of HyperCard, a modern clone? Kinda. Sorta. Well, not really.
The Synthetic HyperCard
Bringing back memories and less functionality is BayCard, a pseudo HyperCard-like Mac app that claims to be a HyperCard clone. Just don’t drag out those HyperCard stacks from your floppy disk collection just yet.
From what I can see, it’s the principle of HyperCard that was cloned, not necessarily the functionality, though it’s fun like HyperCard.
BayCard was influenced by HyperCard. Like HyperCard, a BayCard document can be thought of as a stack of index cards. As a result, BayCard documents are usually referred to as stacks. Each stack contains a background that appears below all cards.
Instead of AppleScript, there’s a couple of dozen widgets which bring you functions like Pop Up Buttons, Push Buttons, Lists, Tables, Images, Text Fields, Number Fields, URL Fields, and many more. The BayCard interface is somewhat vaguely reminiscent of HyperCard.
BayCard comes with nearly a dozen stack templates to get you started on reliving those HyperCard days of yesteryear.
Included are Book, CD, DVD Collections, Notes, Serial Numbers, To Dos, and more, including the all important, Blank template.
BayCard is relatively straightforward to use, but lacks examples (for those who don’t remember the good old HyperCard days), but there are videos which show how it all works. It’s that old picture is worth a thousand words thing.
HyperCard was a good way for Mac users to create their own apps and animated games without programming skills. Ditto for BayCard, except for one thing.
Nothing you create on BayCard will exceed the functionality of a dozen free Mac apps which are already available and do much more, so it’s an exercise of love and learning and nostalgia, more than usefulness.