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ancient history

The first library of fun and games and serious ideas that was called If Monks had Macs was built with Apple Computer's HyperCard, compressed onto two floppy disks and released as freeware in 1988. That was before the creative success of the CD-ROM (which began the following year with the Voyager Company's release of "Beethoven's Ninth.") The Voyager Company published the first commercial version of Monks in 1995. The following year HyperCard Heaven published an online interview with riverText’s director that is full of amusing anecdotes about those early years.

The following letter was published in the HyperCard Heaven comments section a week later.

I am elated to read this interview with the man I consider to be the best HyperCard programmer around, not because of his code, but because of the quality and elegance of his finished product. What little success I have had with my HyperCard efforts, I attribute to trying desparately, and never succeeding, to mimic Brian's work. I am old enough to have been in WWII and have a visceral hate for the Nazi regime and am one of those folk who cried when I saw The White Rose for the first time, and I still do every time I look at it.

--Bill Massey

The new 24 volume Monks includes a complete redesign and rethinking of the handful of original free volumes. The new works are not only larger, in color and better designed -- they are also wiser and more thought-provoking. And they now work native in OS X and on Windows. However, because of their central place in the history of interactive media many people ask to see the original free classic Macintosh-only volumes. See "When Multimedia was Black & White" for a great presentation of the world from which Monks emerged. If you find in your closet or at a yard sale an old beige Mac that looks like a coffee maker you might wish to look at them as well. The original version of Monks and a slightly revised version of the original White Rose are archived here.


"I am one of those folk who cried when I saw [your] White Rose [program] for the first time, and I still do every time I look at it."


© Brian Thomas, 2009
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