Magazine article Computers in Libraries

HyperCard for the Apple IIGS

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

HyperCard for the Apple IIGS

Article excerpt

For the past three years, users of the Apple II series have been forced to watch with envy while Mac owners have had fun using HyperCard, Apple's software tool kit for the Macintosh. Now all that has changed, at least for Apple IIGS users.

In December, at the AppleFest Conference and Exposition held in Long Beach, California, Apple announced the introduction of HyperCard IIGS for the Apple IIGS computer.

Available in mid-February, HyperCard IIGS will contain the full functionality of HyperCard 1.2.5 for the Mac with some specific enhancements to take advantage of the improved performance and color capabilities of the IIGS.

As with HyperCard 1.2.5, HyperCard IIGS is based on the index card metaphor. Stacks are made up of cards that can contain different backgrounds, fields, and buttons. At press time, many issues were still unsettled, but it may be assumed that HyperCard IIGS will have a fixed card size like HyperCard 1.2.5. However, fields will not support multiple fonts and styles as HyperCard 2.0 now does.

Scripting Language

HyperCard IIGS will contain the HyperTalk scripting language found in the Mac versions. Users will be able to link cards and stacks and perform the same programming operations now possible in HyperCard for the Mac. These functions will include the use of text, graphics, video, sound, and animation. According to Apple, HyperCard IIGS will also contain debugging tools to speed development of stacks.

In addition, HyperCard IIGS users will be able to take advantage of Mac HyperCard stacks. While it was not crystal clear, it is assumed there will be a built-in conversion utility that will allow Mac HyperCard 1.2.5 stacks to be converted to IIGS format. Whether UGS stacks will be convertible to Mac HyperCard stacks remains to be seen. If this utility is not implemented at this time, it would be reasonable to expect to see it in future upgrades to HyperCard 2.0.

HyperCard HGS will leave Mac users envious in one particular aspect: color. HyperCard IIGS has been designed to take advantage of the advanced sixteen-color graphics capabilities of the IIGS.

System Requirements

HyperCard IIGS will require an Apple IIGS with at least 1.5 megabytes of RAM (2 megabytes are recommended), UGS System Software 5.0.4 or greater, one 800K disk drive, and a hard disk.

The program will be distributed initially via authorized Apple dealers with a suggested list price of $99.

HyperCard TIGS will come with a large collection of ready-to-use stacks as well as templates and card designs to help users create their own. These stacks should be similar to what is available in the versions of HyperCard prior to 2.0.

The stand-alone kit will include six program disks in 3.5-inch format and three manuals. Included in the disks will be nine ready-made stacks for productivity, learning/games and creative applications.

IIe Users: What to Do?

What does this mean for Apple IIe users? Since a ITGS is required, IIe users will be faced with two choices: upgrade to a UGS (available from Apple); or get a Macintosh.

IIe users who don't require color in their stacks might look at the Macintosh LC. The LC has the advantage of being a Mac, and, with the addition of an optional card, can run thousands of Apple He programs. For those with an appetite for color, the UGS upgrade route is the way to go. …

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