the secrets of Monks

Brian Thomas runrev at
Wed Dec 22 16:32:25 EST 2004

At last, the conclusion to the longest running project in the history 
of interactive media. Thanks again to everyone who helped build the 
If Monks had Macs (or Windows) library.

Runtime Revolution has just released a stack of scripts and tips as 
to using Revolution/Dreamcard for multimedia. The stack may not be of 
much help to the wizards on this site who have been so helpful to 
over the years that I have been working on Monks. Nonetheless, it is 
a good resource for you to know about and point out to new multimedia 
developers. And the stack does share a wonderful technique that 
Jeanne A.E. deVoto worked out for me so Monks could display life-size 
(museum sized) paintings on small computer screens. You can download 
the demo/codeshare tutorial through revOnline or by using this link:

The two main differences between the new edition of Monks and last 
year's is that:

1). Sophie, our ebook reader is now compatible with Mac OS 10.3. Also 
all the ebooks have been revised and a new one added. The new ebook 
is H.G.Wells The War of the Worlds. (I haven't tried to make it as 
compelling as Orson Wells did, but I have added an introduction that 
argues that the story is as timely at today's headlines.) This new 
version of Sophie and all the ebooks is a free download from Richard 
Gaskin's web site. If you already have a copy of Monks you can just 
replace the old Sophie folder with the new one (being careful not to 
toss any notebooks you may have created out.

2). I have included all my latest experiments in digital video and 
photography -- all my efforts to take the ideals out of the library 
and into the streets.

These additions are all available on my web sites.


For those of you who may not know what the hell this post has been 
about, here is a brief timeline of "the longest running project in 
the history of interactive media":

The first library of fun and games and serious ideas that was called 
If Monks had Macs was built with Apple Computer's HyperCard, 
compressed onto two floppy disks and released as freeware in 1988. 
That was before the creative success of the CD-ROM (which began the 
following year with the Voyager Company's release of "Beethoven's 
Ninth.") In 1995 when the Voyager Company published the first 
commercial version of Monks I made the mistake of requesting that 
they add this line to the back of the package:

"Brian Thomas is currently working on If Monks had Windows."

I failed to achieve this goal three times -- I failed in: Oracle 
Media Objects, SuperCard, and mTropolis. Nonetheless, all that time I 
was re-working the library's provocative text to make it beautifully 
illustrated, quick and deep. Now I have succeeded in bringing If 
Monks had Macs to Windows as well as to Mac OS X thanks to 

For more info see my web site.


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