In 1991 Albin Hessler released the EasyPtr package to the world. It was quite revolutionary for its time, combining a powerful SuperBasic extension with a true WYSIWYG dialog editor. I was a young lad back then, about 12 years of age, and luck would have it that Albin was friends with Jochen Hassler, who happened to be working with my dad. If it wasn’t for Jochen I probably would never have owned or used a QL, by the way, but I digress. Due to my connection I was one of the first people getting their hands on EasyPtr and I actually still remember the excitement I felt when reading through the manual for the first time. Yeah, I was probably never what you would consider a “normal” child.
I reported back a few bugs I found through Jochen and after a few days I got a package in the mail with a copy of a QL game called “Brain Smashers” as a thank you. I was overfilled with joy and it actually still pains me a bit that I have never really thanked him for it because, believe it or not (and most people knowing me today will probably opt for “not”) I was just too shy back then! But I actually still have it after all these years, including the ring binder manual.
Albin was also head of the local QL chapter, often the meetings were held in his home, and in time I considered him a friend. Along with Jochen we traveled to a lot of QL shows in a road-trip kind of way all over Europe for years to come, which was really a lot of fun. And when Albin and Jochen left the QL scene I continued this tradition with Jochen Merz for even more years, including many trips to the USA that I remember quite fondly.
After I had written what is now called WMAN2, the window manager that could handle the new high colour drivers, voices grew louder for an update to EasyPtr to support the colours, too. So, after much prodding by some very persuasive people, mainly Per Witte I guess, I finally gave in and updated EasyPtr around 2004. This was a huge task because while later products from Albin Hessler like CueShell were very well written, EasyMenu’s code was, let’s say, a bit harder to read and maintain. Due to the amount of work this update was released commercially. It sold very well at the official release meeting in England, but after that I never saw another cent coming from the island… I can only speculate if no more copies were sold or if the license fees just never reached me. So apart from the handful copies sold through Jochen Merz this was not a successful venture, but as the package was also such a huge part of my childhood I still don’t regret doing it.
Finally last month I got an inquiry about how to obtain a copy which triggered me to do the next logical step in EasyPtr’s live: releasing it for free. So here you have it, in all its glory:
A bit late perhaps, but better late than never, right? So enjoy, tell me if you like it or hit the tip jar if you want, it’s completely up to you. Have fun with it!