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

The Computer Lab’s Beyond Cyberpunk Hypercard stack

From the archives: Before the World Wide Web did anything, HyperCard did everything.

Update 2019: It’s Memorial Day weekend here in the US, and the Ars staff has a long weekend accordingly. Many will spend that time relaxing or traveling with family, but maybe someone will dust off their old MacIntosh and fire up Hypercard, a beloved bit of Apple software and development kit in the pre-Web era. The application turns 32 later this summer, so with staff off we thought it was time to resurface this look at Hypercard’s legacy. This piece originally ran on May 30, 2012 as Hypercard approached its 25th anniversary, and it appears unchanged below.

Private Investigator Training – Christa Stephens

Brian Taylor: Sir, let’s put it this way; we have sufficient evidence that will significantly reduce the amount of alimony you have to pay to your ex. Yes, Sir. That’s all we can do for now. Take care. (Hangs up the telephone).

Christa: So, that’s it?

Brian: That’s all we can do.

Christa: So like, I wish, like, we sort of had a little more drama out of this case.

Brian: It’s about getting the evidence that you need to help the client out.

Christa: Maybe if, they had a meth-lab in their house cookin’ it out?

Brian: Who cares? They could be baking cookies in that house, as long as it’s enough evidence to reduce the client’s alimony.

Christa: Maybe they’re insomniacs that just like to hang out? Maybe they’re movie-buffs that love to watch old movies all night? Maybe they’re junkies, and have all the needles layin’ about, helpin’ each other out, and they have to do it in their foot ‘cause they’ve run out of room all up here? How do you know they don’t breed special-tops dogs? Maybe they’re just work colleagues and they’re workin’ on a special project all night? Maybe his bed’s just more comfortable?

Brian: Christa… It doesn’t matter. We were paid to find out where she goes at night, and that’s what we did. End-of-story.

Christa: Maybe they just love to rub each other’s feet, huh?