I opened the app and read the instructions. HyperCard allowed you to create "stacks" of cards, which were visual pages on a Macintosh screen. You could insert "fields" into these cards that showed text, tables, or even images. You could install "buttons" that linked individual cards within the stack to each other and that played various sounds as the user clicked them, mostly notably a "boing" clip that to this day I can't get out of my mind. You could also turn your own pictures into buttons.
Not only that, but HyperCard included a scripting language called "Hyper Talk" that a non-programmer like myself could easily learn. It allowed developers to insert commands like "go to" or "play sound" or "dissolve" into the components of a HyperCard array.
Intrigued, I began composing stacks. None of them amounted to anything more than doodle-packed matrices of images, sounds, and aphorisms, but I eventually glanced at my wrist watch. It was 4:00 AM. Startled and quite tired, I turned in with visions of stack buttons dancing in my head.
To understand what a breakthrough that was, you have to place yourself in a time without the
(Image credit: Flickr user Karl Baron)