HyperCard, Apple's “information toolkit,” is one of the more unusual programs to appear in the last three years. Its distinction has as much to do with the way it combines graphics, text, and sound into a cohesive whole as with the fashion in which Apple has made it available to the public. Its inventor, Bill Atkinson, forced Apple to give away HyperCard with every new CPU and bundle of System software and utilities. This strategy allowed HyperCard to fall into the hands of millions of Macintosh users and demonstrated Apple's devotion—however unintentionally—to the notion of democratizing computer power, a hallmark of the hacker ethos. In due course, HyperCard has become a major component of the programming fabric for the Macintosh, largely because it epitomizes programming as an art, not an exercise.
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