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Update note 2013-02-03: This website was originally created in March 2003 to showcase URLfriend, but even then HyperCard had already been junked by Steve Jobs, who also killed off other great Apple technology, including OS 9. So this piece is obsolete, alas, unless, like me, you still use OS 9 (in my case, as a supplement to a PC with Windows 7). Although too much of the Internet isn't visible in OS 9 browsers, I still use URLfriend as an archive and notecard file of 3,500 websites I've visited, and sometimes as an easier way to visit vanished websites via The Wayback Machine. (Plus I still use OS 9 for half my computer work.)

Meanwhile, I am leaving URLfriend here for any other OS 9 diehards to download. This stack was an initial example of collaboration with Mary Jo Graça: my design, her programming. (We had continued to improve URLfriend, but it was not worth posting later versions.)

What URLfriend Does
Gene Keyes

Updated 2006-03-23; and 2013-02-03: and see remarks further below.

URLfriend is a HyperCard stack, for Mac computers up to OS 9. With one full-page, full-screen card for each URL, it:
  • Opens any URL in any browser, and enables instant switching among browsers;
  • Helps you keep very detailed notes on each URL;
  • Generates a clickable category list, showing number of URLs in each category, and then sublists of each URL therein, clickable to the URL card itself;
  • Enables easy massaging of outdated URLs without losing the original, needed for archival search in "The Wayback Machine";
  • Can create cross referenced links between duplicate or separate URL cards;
  • Can sort URL cards:
    • by title,
    • by URL,
    • by category,
    • by first visit,
    • by last visit,
    • by web-page date,
    • by browser,
    • by your "star" rating,
    • by "who": author, webmaster, etc.
  • Plus other tweaks and knacks:
    • 6 specialized "Find" buttons for the stack, besides HyperCard's own cmd-F;
    • Toggle button (back and forth between 2 cards);
    • Special button to launch the "Wayback Machine" with automatic copy-paste of a card's old URL, for quick retrieval of defunct websites;
    • Button for automatic date plus note-entry position at start or end of Notes field;
    • Automatic re-formatting hot-key for copy-pasted material (ever try to copy white type from a web page?);
    • Any card can include other hotlinks to Web besides its main URL;
    • Has a large-format design (7 1/2 x 10 3/4") with vivid user-friendly lettering and buttons;
    • Stack window is slightly smaller than screen; remains always open for instant switching between it and one or more open browsers;
    • Slow-or-fast "skim-card" options, for the whole stack, or given category;
    • Choice of browser on every card, independent of any other card's existing or re-chosen browser;
    • Can import a categorized [stack] of URLs from an HTML list of your existing "bookmarks" or "favorites";
    • Can export URLs to a 2-column HTML list: category titles, and URLs themselves by category;
    • Automatic back-up prompt when quitting;
— and all this in less than two megabytes, for 2,800+ URL-cards in my current stack.

Screen shot of URLfriend 1.0:
[original is 424 x 608 pixels, or 7 1/2 x 10 3/4"on a Mac]

screenshot of URLfriend 1.0


To download URLfriend 1.0, click icon above. The compressed file is 195 k; the unstuffed URLfriend folder is 520 k, comprising the Stack (163 k), two Read-me's (65 k each), and the Bookman font (228 k). My 1,500 URLs not included ...

Background Remarks:

Why URLfriend? Why HyperCard?

2003-01-01; updated 2006-03-23 and 2013-02-03

(See also later update 2013-02-03 above.) As a heavy duty surfer, I found the bookmark managers of Netscape and Explorer to be small, slow, clumsy, hard to use, and memory-hogs as well. At 30-60k each, my 2,800 bookmarks would become a 160 megabyte monstrosity — for only one browser. Worse still, each browser required its own bookmark format; meanwhile, I frequently switch among browsers, depending on which can better handle a given task or website. (As of now, I use iCab 2.9.8, iCab 3, Explorer 5.0, Netscape 4.75, Netscape 7.0, and Mozilla 1.2.1.)

By putting all the bookmarks in HyperCard, I was able to achieve great flexibility in handling a huge number of URLs in about two megabytes: having a full-screen, full-page card for each URL; making copious notes as I go; sorting and finding to a fare-thee-well; and instantly switching URLs into any browser I want, launched or opened right from the stack.

As well, URLs change so often, and web-pages die out so quickly, that it is a great convenience to use a unique feature in URLfriend: to keep the original URL while I try to update it, or else recycle it to find an old page in "The Wayback Machine" of The Internet Archive — with its own special button in URLfriend.

What's the catch? Well, Mac was a small niche in cyberspace, and Steve Jobs' hara-kiri of HyperCard is reviled as one of his most arrogant mistakes. Early OS X could only reach HyperCard in its so-called "Classic Environment" of OS 9. Mac's later Intel chips prevent even that last gasp. ... HyperCard was a do-it-yourself magic carpet .... now only a memory from the previous millennium.

URLfriend was co-produced by Gene Keyes and Mary Jo Graça. Neither of us could have accomplished this project without the other, because I'm not much of a programmer, and she's not much of a surfer. But she did the heavy lifting on the script; I did the requisites and much of the design work. We used HyperCard 2.4.1, a PowerMac 7300/200, OS 9.1 (and also a 68040 LC630, OS 8.1, but slower, of course).

So, if you still have a Mac that can run OS 9, feel free to download this stack.

gene.keyes AT gmail DOT com

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