I don't only enjoy finding and fixing up old Macs — I really like old software. I find the new stuff much harder to understand and use, as the more complexity that goes into it the less efficiency comes out of it, in my view. And I happen to have a full, boxed version of HyperCard 2.3. Thus one thing leads to another.
A few days ago, I discovered on an old CD from a 1995 magazine cover a Shareware HyperCard program called "Dock" by an obviously brilliant man by the name of Randy Ayling, an American who was living in France in the 90s. I have been exploring it on and off in the days since.
The program functions somewhat like a wiki with automated links like wiki tags, but it works on as little as a 9" Compact, is text-based, and extends the functionality of your basic Hypercard (full program, version 2.1 or above) in interesting ways, to thousands of cards and to trees of inter-related knowledge in principle. It is brilliant and eccentric, having some basis in Asimov's science fiction, and containing well-informed philosophical references to artificial intelligence and to the history of science.
The program is a small challenge to learn, as the documentation is also eccentric, being provided in the program itself, as a tree of ideas leading off in many directions. Where to begin? Anywhere at all, basically. At first glance, it looks like it doesn't do much, but on closer inspection it turns out, I think, to be one of the most interesting software programs I have encountered in a long time, taking the user well beyond the usual rolodex approach to the Hypercard app. It is a fully-fledged, and well-conceived, integral, automated hypertext system. It works as a sort of text-based idea-keeper/ memory extender, capable of "growing" with the one doing the writing, and of reminding him or her of paths travelled.
I am considering using it for research/ thought collection, as it could easily accommodate 20 years of intellectual development in ways that, like this development, are going to be far from linear. So I am in "Where have you been all my [academic] life?" mode presently.
For example, the research for a thesis or a book could be sketched in gobbit-sized chunks, all linked together in an electronic tree, all growing together in a structured way. A text-based system is also precisely what is needed for thinking through ideas, documenting books read, pondering implications of one idea for another, etc.
For a Hypercard program, it is sizable, as it comes in at just over 4MB. It adds a great many menu items to HyperCard when it is invoked within HyperCard, while not changing HyperCard per se. As I cannot find it online anywhere, including in Info-Mac archives and such, I would be open to suggestions as to where to send it for access so that others can explore if it is of any interest.
And yes, in principle, it could even be used to document a Macintosh collection and record bits and pieces about the models acquired over time, together with (B&W) PICT graphics and such.
All of this on something like a Classic II if desired. So there's a use for the thing!