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6 January 2019 James Weiner Tidbits

"Hello" written on the screen of an original Macintosh

Hello and welcome to the Hypertalking blog!

My name’s James Weiner and I have a bit of a collecting bug, problem, disease, curse, blessing… whatever you want to call it!

I primarily collect and restore Apple-related hardware, software, literature, and selected merchandise dating from 1983—94.

Yes, weird dates I know.

It’s because of three things:

  1. I need some kind of limiting factor to bound my collecting and to limit how out of control it gets.
  2. It’s a time period that covers most of my childhood and subsequent discovery of my love of all things weird and computer-y.
  3. It’s the year the Apple Lisa came out until the year that Apple’s products started to really go off the rails (plus I’m biased towards 68k Macs)!

This and that

As well as Apple bits and pieces, other interesting stuff that tickles my fancy creeps in too. Sometimes for instance Unix-based GUI machines like NeXT computers or Sun Sparcstations. I find NeXT interesting because of its transmogrification into today’s OS X (now macOS), iOS, tvOS, etc. I met Sun machines as a child as my father worked on them – in fact they’re where I first saw email being used – and I vividly remember the grey and purple aesthetic and how huge the CRT monitor on my dad’s desk was!

I’m also partial to historically significant mobile devices all the way from the obvious Apple Newton Messagepad through to devices from General Magic, Psion, and Palm (very much inspired by Bill Buxton’s collection).

HyperCard

One focus of my collection is anything to do with HyperCard by Bill Atkinson. Everything from The Manhole (whose developers went on to create Myst), to Culture 1.0 (a proto-wikipedia on many floppy disks), to Laserdisc-enhanced encyclopedias.

I also like to create software using HyperCard and I’ll be making my HyperCard Stacks available here for download. It’s also what gave me the idea for naming this site – HyperTalk is the scripting language created (by Dan Winkler) for use in HyperCard.

In summary

My interest in collecting and recording my collection is a fascination with the human element. This manifests in three ways:

  1. The history of discoveries and breakthroughs, the personalities involved, how they failed and succeeded. There are many brilliant dramas in the short history of computing!
  2. Human-computer interaction design. How do we make computers and, more importantly, the software on them usable and useful to us soft-brained humans?
  3. Nostalgia. It would be dishonest of me to not admit to a huge dollop of sentimentality for the software and hardware I either used or dreamed of using whilst growing up. Now I’m an adult I can get myself all the toys!

Friends of mine with similar interests will be joining me on this blog and I hope you’ll enjoy all that we have to share 🙂

In the meantime do also find and follow me on Twitter and Instagram!