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What is NewtCard?
NewtCard lets you put text, drawings, pictures and sound into a stack of smart cards. Add buttons to navigate, fields to collect data and scripts to bring your project alive with the tap of a pen.
NewtCard is a Hypercard-like environment for Newton devices.
It is a database-like application which is both powerful and user friendly. It treats your data as if it were a stack of cards. You may have one or more layouts of information on these cards - these different layouts are called backgrounds.
On each card, you can have two broad classes of items: buttons and fields. Buttons do something when you tap on them; fields are containers for data, which in some cases may also perform actions. You can put buttons and fields on individual cards, or on the background. In this case, they are shared among all the cards with that background.
Cards and backgrounds can also contain drawings. You can also associate scripts with stacks, backgrounds, cards, buttons and fields: these allow you to program additional functionality into your stacks.
Each of your stacks, backgrounds, card, buttons and fields have information stored about them. These items of information are called properties.
NewtCard has the following components:
Is it like HyperCard?
NewtCard is set up for the Newton environment, and conforms to the Newton User Interface guidelines as much as possible. It therefore has a different look and feel than an application that is designed for the Mac or Windows operating system. The result is that the package feels "normal" when usedon a Newton device.
One example of a difference is in the way the draw module works. In Hypercard, you are restricted to bit mapped graphics. NewtCard uses the same Draw module as NewtWorks does, which is object oriented. Once you1ve drawn a shape, it's easy to move around the screen, resize or rotate. There's only only draw module to learn, and it's easy to copy things back and forth from NewtWorks.
Can I import Hypercard stacks?
No. The major difference is that the scripting language is different. However, stacks that look and act in a similar fashion are not difficult to make in most cases.
Can I import data into cards, ala HyperCard, from my Mac? I know how to create text-delimited data files that would hold my fields and records.
Yes. On the Mac side, you'll run a terminal emulator, such as ZTERM, and paste the text you wish to send. On the NewtCard side, you'll open the serial port in a script and do a series of INPUT statements to capture the data. You can then put it into NewtC ard fields or write the data to an indexed file.
What kinds of things can I put on cards?
Drawings, pictures, text, fields and buttons. There are currently 10 different types of buttons and 15 types of fields, from simple text and titles to pickers, checkboxes and popups. There are even time and date pickers! All of the objects can be extensiv ely customized, right on the screen.
How can I add drawings? Pictures?
You can make your own drawings using the Draw module, or use another paint program and cut and paste to NewtCard. You can also cut and paste clip art from companies such as Pelicanware.
Xport Lite is included to make it easy to import pictures from your Mac or Windows computer. It lets you transfer PICT images from the desktop and paste them into NewtCard stacks.
The screen shots of NewtCard seem to show the Works paper drawing tool. I have had my MP2000 since April but I've NEVER seen the graphic tools bar! Where is it or how can I pop'em up?
It's a module that is included as part of NewtWorks on the eMate, but not on the MP 2000. We have received special permission from Apple to include it with NewtCard (and only with NewtCard). However, a cool side effect is that NewtWorks can then use it as well.
Can I add sounds?
Yes. There are a number of sites on the web that specialize in collections of sounds for Newtons (as well as shareware programs to copy them into downloadable files.) Once loaded onto your Newton, they are available right away to use as sound effect when open or closing cards, stack, backgrounds, or as sound effects when a button is tapped.
How do I do scripting?
Scripts can be added to Stacks, cards and backgrounds. They are executed whenever these items are opened or closed. Scripts can also be added to buttons or fields: they are executed when the object tapped.
Scripting is done using BASIC, an easy to learn programming language is the mostly widely used in schools and business. In particular, a subset of NS BASIC is supported. NS BASIC has been available for Newton devices for almost 3 years, and has users in over 40 countries. It has quite a number of powerful extensions to take advantage of the Newton environment, yet will look quite familiar to people who have programmed BASIC before.
There's no need to know how to program to use NewtCard, however.
How is NewtCard different from NS BASIC?
While NewtCard does contain an NS BASIC code processor, it is a very different environment. NewtCard is an easy way to organize information into a stack of cards; while NS BASIC is a much less structured environment that is good for building applications from the ground up.
Is it easy to learn?
Yes, NewtCard is easy to learn. Much of it is fairly intuitive: you should be able to use it without resorting to the Handbook very often. HyperCard has been successfully used for years by fifth graders - NewtCard is not more complex.
What documentation comes with it?
The primary documentation is the NewtCard Handbook. This is a 140 page spiral bound book that goes through all the features and describes their use. Included on the diskette as well are the 2 sample stacks that are used in the Handbook.
A copy of the NS BASIC Handbook is also included. You won1t need to use this unless you get into scripting. The NewtCard Handbook discusses some of the differences and extensions that have been made to the language so it works effectively with NewtCard.
How much memory does it use?
NewtCard itself uses about 200k of space, either in internal memory or on a card. The amount of memory a stack uses will depend on the number of cards in the stack and what is on them.
Can I share the stacks I create? How?
NewtCard has a PackIt command that turns a stack into a Newton package, that can be emailed, beamed, or using the included X-Port Lite utility, uploaded to a Mac or Windows machine.
Once uploaded to another machine, it can be moved around and downloaded as any other package. After you download it to another Newton device, it can be unpacked and run by NewtCard.
A freeware NewtCard Player is available now so you can distribute stacks to users who don't have NewtCard. It is available from our downloads page.
What does it cost?
$99.95 US funds.
Where can I buy it?
NewtCard (like NS BASIC) is available at most locations that sell Newton software. It can also be ordered from the NS BASIC web site (www.nsbasic.com) or by phone 416 264-5999.
Q. Will there be a discounted price for NewtCard if your already own NSBasic?
Yes. We're mailing to the registered users of NS BASIC. However, if you don't want to wait, send us an order and note in the comments section that you're already a licenced user. The deal is NewtCard for $69.96 + shipping, a savings of $30.00. Right now, it expires January 31, 1998.
How does support work?
We are fully committed to making NewtCard the essential tool for the Newton. All products require support: especially those in their first release. Our support is internet based. We have a number of support methods in place for the product:
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