Rumors or Reality...
Date: 27 Years ago11 Aug 1987 12:00 am
From today's issue of Computer Currents (pg 8, 8/11/87) comes the following.
This is intended to up the net's Macintosh rumor frenzy level! Sure hope
they don't mind:
Apple Computer has unwrapped several new products including the widely-rumored
HyperCard program (developed by Macintosh software wizard Bill Atkinson),
Multifinder (a multitasking program codenamed and referred to in earlier
reports as Juggler), the Apple Fax/Modem, and the ImageWriter LQ (a 27 pin
[that's twenty seven pin] letter quality printer). All four products were
scheduled to be on display at the Macworld Expo show in Boston this month.
The most important of the new products is HyperCard, which Apple officials
variously described as "a fundemental piece of Macintosh;" "a new building
block for Macintosh technology;" and"an erector set for creating applications."
The program uses the metaphor of cards as files of information that can be
accessed and manipulated in a free form manner described as "hypertext" after
the term coined by Ted Nelson in his book 'Computer Lib' - considered a
visionary work on the future of computing.
A key feature of HyperCard is that it allows full-text searching without the
need to pre-index information and individual cards or stacks can be cross-
referenced. You can also search or browse by "scanning" groups of items,
which will display them automatically in an almost animated sequence.
"It's an English-like programming language underneath a visual interface,"
explained Atkinson. The program also includes an array of painting tools
which Atkinson says are more powerful than those offered by MacPaint.
Just as the original versions of MacPaint and MacWrite were bundled with
the original Macintosh, HyperCard will be included with every new Macintosh
sold as of August 11, 1987. For current Mac owners the program is available
for $49 (suggested retail price). It requires a minimum of 1 megabyte of
RAM to run and at least two 800k disk drives (although Apple recomends a
minimum of one 800k dirve and a hard disk). The program also works over
the Appleshare network.
Apple, which has already seeded 100 developers with the product, expects
HyperCard to generate hundreds, and eventually thousands, of new commercial,
academic and freeware programs it calls "stackware." One such program being
developed is a multimedia version of the Whole Earth catalog which will
include graphics and sound. [39clocks interjects: I really wonder about Apple's
motives for giving 4th dimension to Guy Kawasaki. Did Kawasaki know a lot
about HyperCard while he was working at Apple? If so, he must have believed
that 4th dimension was vastly superior to HyperCard. But from a developers
perspective, if I develop a HyperCard application I know that there will be
a huge audience of users who will be able to run it. With 4th dimension on
the other hand, I have got to shell out $500 to $600 for the program, a few
hundred for run time modules and by doing so, charge a lot more for the
product, which will decrease the number of interested purchasers.]
"The number one issue [with HyperCard] is it allows you to customize data
instantly," notes Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies in San Jose.
"HyperCard is not a database, it's an informational browsing tool," explains
stackware author Danny Goodman. Goodman, a computer book author by trade, has
written two stackware applications to be published by Activision this fall.
"[writing software is] something I've wanted to do for years, even before I
got a Mac, but traditional languages were beyond my patience," says Goodman.
Goodman's first program, due out in September, is Busines Class (under $50)
which functions as a kind of souped-up, interactive travel guide with detailed
information to help in planning trips around the world, including currency and
time conversion, postal rates, emergency care facilities for 65 countries, and
an international directory and direct dial capability available from within.
[by the way, there is a screen dump of this application in the article and
it looks to me like you can either define (or possibly draw) new window and
dialog box styles or that Bill Atkinson has injected a few mutations to
speed the Mac user interface's evolution.] The program also includes tips on
social customs in various countries (for example, in Bulgaria shaking the
head left to right means "yes" while nodding is "no"). "It's intended for
anyone who conducts business overseas either by telephone, mail or in person,"
says Goodman, who is also planning a strictly domestic version of Business
Goodman describes his second stackware program, Focal Point, as a "client,
project and deadline manager" which he first developed to help in his freelance
writing business. It's scheduled to ship in October.
If Apple delivers its new Multifinder software on schedule, every Macintosh it
ships after September 15 will have the ability to do multitasking - ie,
operate more than one program at once - which is also a key function in
Microsoft's OS/2 software not due out until next year. Multifinder will be
bundled with each Mac after September 15 (it will also be available for a
suggested retail price of $49 as part of a four disk Macintosh system tool
update for current Mac owners).
One offshoot of the acceptance of Multifinder, according to Apple, is that
desk accessories for the Mac are likely to become more like little programs
that can be launched when the computer is booted up and instantly available.
The first Multifinder application from apple is PrintMaster, a program that
allows background printing. Apple officials say Multifinder has a very high
level of compatibility with Macintosh software, more so than its earlier
Switcher program which allows users to toggle or have access to a series of
applications without rebooting. [I guess I've been forgetting to reboot]
THE APPLE FAX MODEM
Scheduled to ship this November, the AppleFax Modem, priced at somewhere under
$699, combines facsimile capability (both receiving and sending) and a 9600
baud modem in a package small enought to stack on top of one of Apple's 800k
external disk drives. The half-duplex modem won't work for connecting to
online services, but will allow users to transfer files to other AppleFax
modem users. [is this Apple's attempt at a 9600 baud protocol] With the
FaxModem, Macintosh users will be able to send and receive files to or from
any GroupII or GroupIII (the predominant fax transmission standard) facsimile
machines worldwide. A graphic or typically Mac-oriented software program
(e.g. you select an envelope to send a letter) is included to help operate the
FaxModem. To send to another fax, you select the FaxModem much as you would
proceed to output to a printer, using the Mac's Chooser option. [these guys
never cease to amaze me...] You can also transmit to multiple fax machines
off a distribution list. Macintosh documents sent via fax, complete with
text and graphics, can be printed out at 216 dots per inch resolution -
somewhat below the 300 dpi resolution of the Laserwriter [but exactly the
resolution of the new ImageWriter LQ].
The ImageWriter LQ is a 27-pin, letter quality, wide carriage printer, with
optional color ribbons and an array of paper options such as up to three
cut sheet feeders,"push/pull" tractor feed, bottom feed, AppleTalk option
for network sharing, and envelop feed. The 250 character per second printer
includes Courier, Symbol, Helvetica and Times faces and output at 216 dpi -
three times the normal Mac screen resolution and twice that of the Imagewriter
II dot matrix printer. The ImageWriter LQ will be available in the 4th quarter
of 1987 at $1399. Apple also announced it will discontinue production of
its previous wide carriage model, the ImageWriter 15 when the ImageWriter LQ
- By David Needle
end of article.
Is that enough to whet your appetite? [all (almost) bracketted comments are
|MacWorld Expo Rumors...|
|1||27 Years ago10 Aug 1987 1:22 am||Christopher Chow|
|Rumors or Reality...|
|2||27 Years ago11 Aug 1987 12:00 firstname.lastname@example.org.…|
|Hypercard (was MacWorld Expo Rumors...)|
|3||27 Years ago12 Aug 1987 2:33 am||Runge|
|MacWorld Expo Rumors...|
|4||27 Years ago13 Aug 1987 2:16 am||Dan Graifer|
|5||27 Years ago13 Aug 1987 4:59 am||Christopher Chow|
|6||27 Years ago13 Aug 1987 12:51 pm||Michael Khaw|
|7||27 Years ago13 Aug 1987 6:08 pm||David W. Berry|
|8||27 Years ago15 Aug 1987 10:02 am||rbl@nitrex.UUCP|