Archives for January 2008

HyperCard lives!

Tidbits reported from MacWorld on, a new website from CodeFlare that can not only run existing HyperCard stacks, but it will also allow users to write their own web apps using HyperTalk. Not open to the public yet, but stay tuned.

posted January 31, 2008 by matt | permalink | Add comment

SimCity Societies helps explore climate tradeoffs

An interesting component of the latest installment of SimCity Societies, introduced back in November, is the ability to play out climate scenarios by designing cities that either expand or limit their greenhouse-gas contributions. Want to avoid coal powered electricity? Well, then you need to invest heavily in solar panels and wind power… which in turn drains your budget… better start funding research to make these alternatives cheaper. As you monitor the health of your city and the environment, you notice the environmental and economic impacts of your decisions and, significantly, the complexities of the tradeoffs.

For years, we’ve been involved in the design of software and curriculum to help students study the science of global climate change. We’ve found that once kids understand the science, they are perplexed as to why we’re not doing more to address the issue. The challenge has always been helping them understand the economic and social complexities that impact our everyday decisions (and this is often beyond the curriculum scope of the science teachers we work with). This game looks like a promising step to help kids explore these issues.

posted January 31, 2008 by matt | permalink | Add comment

Bug: Footpedal settings getting corrupted

Platforms affected: Macintosh + Windows
InqScribe Versions: 2.0.4 only

We've recently come across a bug in the latest version of InqScribe (v 2.0.4) where footpedals appear to suddenly stop working.

A typical problem: You've set up your footpedal, everything seems to be working fine. You quit InqScribe for the day, return later, start InqScribe, and all of a sudden your footpedal is no longer working. So you run the footpedal setup wizard again, and things seem to work...for a while, but soon it's corrupted again. You do this a few more times and the footpedals stop working altogether.

There are two problems here:

i. You have multiple footpedal assignments conflicting with each other as you run the wizard repeatedly.

ii. All of this is being caused by a bug we've just discovered where the saved footpedal settings get corrupted. This affects both the Macintosh and Windows versions.

We are actively working on an update that will fix this problem. Look for a new version soon.

In the meantime, here's what you can do to work around it. We know it's not ideal, but it'll get you working.

How to work around it:

Recommended method

The easiest way to work around this problem is to revert back to a previous version of InqScribe. Version 2.0.3 does not have this problem, so you can download and install that. Your license should work fine with it.

Mac Version 2.0.3
Win Version 2.0.3

Alternative method

If you have to use 2.0.4, then here's what you can do:

1. Reset your shortcuts

This will clear the corrupted settings.

(Note that this will delete all of your shortcuts, so you should write down any that you want to save first.)
a. Select "Edit->Edit Shortcuts..." from the menubar.
b. Click on the "Reset to Defaults" button.
c. When asked "Are you sure..." click "Reset".

(Alternatively, if you have a lot of shortcuts you've already defined, you can go through and delete every footpedal shortcut on the list in step b.)

2. Re-run the footpedal wizard

Reassign your footpedal with clean shortcuts.

3. Leave InqScribe open

The bug occurs when you quit InqScribe and the settings are saved. You can safely hibernate/sleep your computer and the settings will be retained, so long as you don't quit.

If you *have* to quit, then just reset the shortcuts and re-assign them again when you start up.

posted January 29, 2008 by ben | permalink | Add comment