I am constantly amazed at how many people I meet who still even remember the old hydraulic calculation programs I developed in the late 1980’s. And probably I am more impressed by the number of designers who still use the programs regularly.
A few colleagues have progressed all the way from the old TI Calculator programs through the NorthStar Basic Suite, through the PC-DOS Class 2000 programs through Hypercalc I, II, III, 4, 5, and 6.
So the first question is always the same: “When’s version 7 coming out?”.
In about 1997, shortly before I closed Crowley Design Group, I was working on a Hypercalc for Windows program, which was a woefully underestimated, understaffed, and overly ambitious project for this one man development team. Over the course of the next three years Windows went through three significant revisions, each adding complexity along with new features. With each Windows revision, my project seemed to grow, with its own set of added features. The market wasn’t there for a commercial project, and the project was put to rest.
Recently, because of my daughter’s skill at designing pages that Google seems to like, I have been asked by several of the old Hypercalc users to finish the task of a Windows compatible version. Several factors favor such a project. First of all, I’ve got the time now that I’ve passed my 65th birthday. Secondly, since I last took on the project I have become a lot more aware of operating systems, portable software, and language alternatives. And finally, programming languages and database systems have gotten significantly easier for a variety of reasons.
So check back in a few weeks to see the latest developments in this project.