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HyperCard and the old man of the sea.

Greek mythology tells the story of Proteus, the old man of the sea. He had the gift of prophecy, and many people wanted him to tell the future. But first you had to catch him, and that was the problem. Each time you thought you had him, he took a different shape.

So it is with HyperCard [Rights]. Each time you use it, you see something different. What is HyperCard? Is it a database? Is it a WOTD processor? Is it a graphics program? The answer is "Yes." Like Proteus, HyperCard takes many shapes. Once you think you've caught on to it, another form appears.

Ed Valauskas recently described some of the ways librarians have benefitted from the many forms that HyperCard assumes. They use it for library orientation tours or as a tool in bibliographic instruction. They have formatted it to be an interface to their online catalogs.1 Two recent examples of HyperCard show other uses: furnishing a framework to organize bibliographical references, and displaying reference data about CD-ROM technology.


BiblioStax- is a program that stores, organizes, and formats information used for bibliographies or for bibliographical references. Thus it joins a group of similar programs for the Macintosh computer that includes Professional Bibliographic System and Pro-Cite for the Macintosh; EndNote; and Publish or Perish.2 Like Bookends and RefBase, BiblioStax has its foundation in HyperCard. 3

You enter bibliographic data directly into forms firnished by the program or import them from a word processor document or an online database. You can organize and search the records in a variety of ways, selecting those that have elements in common - for example, entries about a similar subject. Then you can format the data into a number of bibliographical styles, such as University of Chicago, APA, or MLA. Finally, BiblioStax will print the entries to a text file that can be incorporated into a manuscript.

Figure 1 illustrates one card for an item in a BiblioStax database. Each entry must have a key, in this case the last name of the author and the date. You click on each field to enter information. Several of the fields (author, short work, book, collection, and pub. info.) are shadowed. When you click on such a field, another field appears that contains various subfields in which you can enter information on co-authors, volume number for a periodical, etc.

The top of die card shows four picture icons. The first, Contents, takes you to a listing of all items in the database arranged by key. The second, with the hand extracting a card, is the Select button. When it is clicked, the Select card appears with instructions on how to choose items from the database that meet certain criteria. The third icon with the printer is the Print button. Clicking this button, you can "print" a bibliography. The final icon takes you back to the home card.

When a database is finished, with all records entered and appropriate items selected for listing, you proceed with printing. BiblioStax does not actually print a bibliography but rather saves the entries in a selected form to a file that can be opened and printed through a word processor.

Click the print button, and the Print card appears (Figure 2). Click the button, "Construct from Database," name the file in the "Output" box, and select from the list of formats when you click the "BiblioStyle" box. In this case the APA format has been selected. When you click the "Do Print" button, the program will prepare a file under the "Output" name, which you then open in your word processor.

BiblioStax also permits you to construct a bibliography based on citations in your manuscript. For this purpose you use the "Construct from MS" button.

BiblioStax remains a work in progress. The manual accompanying version 2.0 lists some program elements that are still under development. The program is incompatible with HyperCard 2.0 but the publisher, Pro/Tem Software, Inc., is currently developing a new version that will work with it.


The second example of a use for HyperCard is actually a multimedia reference tool, HyperIntro- to CD-ROM Technology & Products. Like a book, it even has prominently displayed authors, Chingchih Chen and Rae Jean N. Wiggins. It is the third part of an informal trilogy by Ching-chih Chen.

The other two parts are in print format, HyperSource on Optical Technologies and HyperSource on Multimedial HyperMedia Technologies. All are published by the Library Information and Technology Association, a division of the American Library Association. The HyperCard product was prepared by MicroUse Information, Inc.

HyperIntro is a set of two computer disks. The small brochure accompanying it states it is for use on a Macintosh II or SE. We have successfully used it on a Macintosh Plus as well. The two disks contain eighteen compressed HyperCard stacks. The publisher has included the UnStuffIt application so that you can open the stacks and use them. Naturally, a hard disk is desirable, if not actually mandatory. Compared with other Macintosh programs, the required set-up is time consuming.

After you have decompressed the stacks, you click on the CD-ROM stack. A dialog box appears asking for a password. In this case we received a password assigned by the publisher to the reviewer in a covering letter. In addition, this is the first time we have received programs disks that actually bore our name on the disks themselves.) Each time you use the program, you must type in the password. Were we to compare these HyperCard stacks to a book in a library, we should say that it is on closed reserve; you need to present your I.D. card each time you wish to consult it.

Finally, you feel you can start to get at the data. But no, first, there is a title page screen, complete with accompanying music if you wish. Then with an additional click the table of contents screen appears. It lists the three principal sections to this publication: CD-ROM Technology, CD-ROM Products, and CD-ROM Usage. As you click any of those three headings, the individual chapter titles appear in pop-up menu form (see Figure 3). As shown in that figure, there are eight "chapters" in the first section. There are three chapters each in the CDROM Products section and the CD-ROM Usage section.

The individual chapters include both text and graphics, but we discovered no animation in our further clicking. There are a few sound effects provided, such as ruffling pages, and a door closing when you finally exit the program.

As a book has supporting information at the end, the icons at the bottom of the contents screen list general information about the program, a bibliography, a glossary, and help. Figure 4 shows one page" from the glossary. Happily, the icons for each section of the book appear here, so that you can move reasonably quickly back to the text proper. There is no index in the traditional print sense, although HyperCard's Find command lets you locate individual terms.

HyperIntro is an imaginative and innovative use of HyperCard. It is beautifully executed and gives an indication of what future reference tools may look like. At present, however, in terms of what these stacks contain, a traditional book-form publication could do the job as well and much more quickly. The book remains a wonderfully user friendly" tool.

Clip Art for Libraries

A few months ago we described library-related clip art by Phil Bradbury. 4 Bradbury has now released a new set of electronic clip art. Available both for the Macintosh and MS-DOS computers, it is called Library of Clip Art: Disk Version. For the Macintosh the artwork is provided in EPS and MacPaint formats.

Bradbury has divided the set into four sections, one for each season of the year. You can acquire the entire collection or an individual section. Figure 5 gives a sampling of the graphics (EPS format) from the winter section. That section has a total of 158 illustrations, not all winter related.

Anyone making extensive use of clip art with the Macintosh will want to acquire Erfert Fenton and Christine Morrissett's monumental Canned Art: Clip Art for the Macintosh, published in 1990 by Peachpit Press. The authors furnish good copies from each of the products they list and finish off the volume with an excellent index.


1. Ed Valauskas, The Corporate Realities of HyperCard," OCLC Micro 6 (October 1990): 8-9.

2. Such programs include Professional Bibliographic System and Pro-Cite [see the authors' "Mac the Bibliographer," Small Conputers in Libraries 6 (February 1986): 15-18; and "Mac's Card Game," Small Computers in Libraries 7 (June 1987): 28-321; Publish or Perish [see "Half a Loaf," Small Computers in Libraries 8 (March 1988): 34-38); and EndNote [see "How Do I Cite Thee? Let Me Count the Way," Small Conputers in Libraries 9 June 1989): 30-33].

3. For Bookends see the authors' "In the Stacks with Bookends," Computers in Libraries 9 December 1989): 3942. RefBase is published by HyperGlot Software Company, 505 Forest Hills Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37919. An article about RefBase is planned for this series.

4. Harriett and Richard Johnson, Mac Art: Tailor Made or Off the Rack," Computers in Libraries 10 (May 1990): 19-23.
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Title Annotation:library applications of HyperCard computer software
Author:Johnson, Harriet; Johnson, Richard
Publication:Computers in Libraries
Article Type:column
Date:Feb 1, 1991
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