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Skyberries and Voidmelons or Voidberries and Skymelons

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HyperCard and Minitel

On the 25th September, I went to an IxDa event on Interaction Design from Yesteryear, with talks on HyperCard and Minitel.

Minitel was a system used in France from 1978, which allowed users to do online banking, chat, see a telephone directory, access pornographic services and in later years, email.

One of the reasons for its success was that it was free to get a Minitel device and instead you paid per minute to use it. At one time half the population of France were using it, but its popularity decreased and the service was turned off in 2012, much to the dismay of some users.

There is debate as to whether this made French people accept Internet banking and so on more easily or if they were reluctant to embrace the Internet as they already had Minitel.

The second talk was about HyperCard, an application for the Mac, which was released in 1987. The presenter actually had an old Mac there and demonstrated how to use HyperCard. He explained how good it was for prototyping at the time. "It's better than Axure."


I also bought Douglas Coupland's Shopping in Jail that day, which I enjoyed reading.

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I used HyperCard on an SE30, usually for working on other people's projects though.

Ah, Hypercard. That takes me back - I loved Hypercard, and have seen some pretty nifty applications for it. It was still sort-of-working in 1996 (there was an awful hack to give it colour abilities), and I'm sad that it never got updated, because for getting things up and running, it was unparalleled.

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