How to Read Voice Cards

Voice Card  -  Volume 0  -  John Card Number 10  -  Thu, Jul 7, 1988 4:08 AM

There are several different ways to approach a new volume of voice cards. In each case, the goal is to (eventually) read every card in the pile.

The most obvious method is to take the direct approach. That is, push the Voices button on the Archipelago main screen and, upon reaching the index card, simply push the forward arrow and keep pushing the forward arrow until every card has been examined (at which point you will find yourself back at the index card). This method works well with brief volumes but could make for a long session if the volume contains many cards.

A more selective approach is to look through the scrolling index field and click on the most interesting titles. Any cards missed during the first quick browse can be examined later on.

Yet another approach is to attack the volume member by member. Simply press one of the member icons on either the main screen or on the index card and, starting with the member's opening message, move forward until you run into the next member's group. You can read some of the members during your first pass, and finish off the others later.

One good way to get a quick taste of a new volume is to read all the opening messages first. This is accomplished by clicking on a member icon, reading the hello card, immediately pushing the bent return arrow to return to the index card, and then pushing the next member icon in the list.

Whenever you come across a response card (with a down arrow showing in the first of the three gray browsing boxes), the best approach is often to push the down arrow, reread the card which stimulated the response, then return to read the reply. If there is more than one response you can use the pointing hand arrows to examine all the responses at once.

If you are eager to see how the other members responded to one of your cards that appeared in the previous issue, move to that card by pressing the echoes button on the main screen (or by pressing the previous volume button on the most recent volume's index card) and select your card from the index. All responses (if any) will appear in the reply boxes; just push the first responding member's icon and use the hand buttons from there.

The problem with reading a subset of the cards in a volume is that when you return to polish it off you may have to do a lot of hunting to find the unexamined cards. Fortunately, there is an easy way to tell at a glance whether you've already read a certain card. The bullhorn icon in the upper left corner of the card will turn dark as soon as a card is examined. Thus all you have to do on a final sweep is to look for cards with white bullhorns. If you would like the computer to do your scanning for you, simply move to the index card, hold down the option key, and hit the forward arrow. The computer will keep scanning until it finds an unexamined card.

The checklist function on the main screen of Archipelago is a useful way to keep track of what's been read and what hasn't. Upon returning to the main screen, the icons which correspond to examined hello cards will go dark. Thus you can tell at a glance which opening messages remain to be read. If you examine the cards in groups, member by member, this display will tell you which groups of cards have been read. When all the opening messages have been read, the appropriate item on the checklist will be checked.

Also, the Voices button on the main screen will not turn dark until all the new voice cards have been read. If the Voice button is still lit up, push it, then hold down on the option key and press the forward arrow.

In any event, it is a good idea to begin each Archipelago session by reading the editor's opening message (just click on the Cheshire Cat). This message will include a quick summary of the issue and may point out new features or make important announcements.

A final note: if you are searching through volumes of voice cards looking for a particular piece of information you may want to take advantage of HyperCard's powerful searching capabilities. Just hold down the command key and type F (for find). A little box will appear with the word FIND followed by two quotation marks. Just type the word or phrase you're looking for (it will automatically appear between the quotes) and press return. HyperCard will search through the titles, mastheads, and text fields of every card in the current volume starting with current card. If it finds a match it will jump to the appropriate place and draw a box around the phrase. If this is the wrong occurrence, just hit return and HyperCard will keep looking.