Graybyrd's Quick and Dirty

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Wed, 28 Apr 2021

Woz: Spirit of Hypercard

Woz was the spirit of Hypercard, the software Erector set that let everyone devise their own solution to personal information problems. For a time it came free (free as in 'beer') to Apple users. For a time, it sparked a huge groundswell of educational and home "stacks" for everything from cookbooks to lesson plans and geography almanacs. Then Steve Jobs killed it. And he lied about killing it. The word was, he despised the "tasteless" outpouring of some users.

And a huge part of the wistful dream that a personal computer could be malleable to the average non-programmer, home or schoolroom user, died when Jobs killed Hypercard and any follow-ons that might have been.

I used Hypercard, a lot. And loved it. And never forgave Jobs for his vindictive dishonesty. And never trusted Apple again, except to do the avaricious thing. Woz is right: most things are far more valuable than making gobs of money. It's how one goes about it that counts.

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Advanced age brings a certain privilege of commentary. Whether these are the sage words of a wise old man, or the mumbled ramblings of an old fool ... are left to the reader. This is my work in progress. These are Graynote's diary pages.

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