Whatever happened to …

… Hypercard for presentations?

Thanks, Peter Skillen, for sharing this article recently.

30-plus years of HyperCard, the missing link to the Web

It’s hard to believe but there was a time when computers went without Powerpoint!

It was a long time ago – before the amalgamation of school boards that I had my first experiences with Hypercard. At the time, my friend Grover and I did quite a number of presentations starting with “Doug and Grover …” at places like ECOO, ISTE, MACUL, WesternRCAC, and local school districts.

This was well before laptop computers for presentations. In our cases, if I was bringing the computer (yeah, a real desktop computer and you’d appreciate venues that had carts to lug it around on), we’d do our presentation on 640×480 graphic images, put them into a directory, and a graphic program would cycle through them. You just had to name them in sequence. If Grover was bringing the computer, he’d bring his desktop Macintosh and we’d create the presentation in Hypercard.

Photo Credit: kalleboo Flickr via Compfight cc

By today’s standards, the presentations are pretty blah but it was cutting edge at the time. You could link from one idea to another. What a concept!

Things moved on – the web became so intriguing and we crafted our presentations in HTML and served them up from the local computer in a browser and then the Ontario Ministry of Education licensed Hyperstudio which worked on both platforms and added all kinds of functionality to the original concept. That really opened the door for neat ways to communicate ideas.

Today, we have special purpose applications like Powerpoint, Google Slides, etc. as presentation tools but in the day…

How about your presentation thoughts for a Sunday?

  • Have you ever used Hypercard?
  • How about Hyperstudio?
  • Of course, presentations are but a small part of what you can do with these products. They are also so powerful in the hands of students. Do you have any other remembrances of using them that way?
  • What’s your preferred platform these days for presentations?
  • One of the powerful features of these packages was the scripting abilities and the ability to embed other media into the presentation. There was a time when Flash was king/queen. Were you a user of Flash?
  • One of the powerful, although time consuming elements of Hypercard was that there were no presentation templates like there are today? Do you start to yawn when you see a presentation that’s using a template that you know you’ve used before?
  • Would you say that older presentations were more powerful because it was quite obvious that the presenter put a LOT of work into making it happen?

Don’t be afraid of “death by comment”. Share your thoughts below.

And, if you have a great presentation tip or two, share those as well!

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