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Apple HyperCard technology was inspired by an ‘acid’ journey in 1985

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When Bill Atkinson took a small “scale” containing acid (LSD) one night in 1985, little could he have imagined that his journey would lead him to create HyperCard technology at Apple . And that this in turn would serve as the basis for the creation of the World Wide Web a few years later. But that’s how it was.

Apple HyperCard technology was inspired by an ‘acid’ journey in 1985
Apple HyperCard technology was inspired by an ‘acid’ journey in 1985

Bill Atkinson has an impressive resume. He worked at Apple between 1978 and 1990 , years in which he did key work for the company. He was responsible for the design and development of Apple Lisa’s GUI interface and was part of the original Macintosh team. He created the MacPaint drawing application and designed QuickDraw, the toolbox used for Lisa and Macintosh graphics.

He was also responsible for creating the concept of HyperCard , which is the story we are dealing with. According to the recent publication Mondo2000, Atkinson stated in an interview in 2016 that the idea was born after a trip with LSD (a drug that Steve Jobs also tried in his youth) one night in 1985 in Los Gatos, California:

This psychedelic journey inspired him to create the technology on which years later web browsers and the WWW would be based

Thanks to this experience, Atkinson claims that was able to develop HyperCard . This technology included “graphics, text, buttons and links that take you to other cards or decks. Apple incorporated this program into all of its computers starting in 1987, allowing millions of people to create their own decks of knowledge and opening the door to other technologies such as AppleScript.

The main disadvantage of HyperCard is that it was anchored to each computer’s hard drive. The next big leap was made with web browsers and the creation of the WWW .

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