Magic Tree

From Mark Pelczarski:

Polarware did change hands twice in the late 80's. In the latter years they published the Electric Crayon series for young children, and also published a series of Sesame Street titles. The company later became fully merged into the second buyer, and the Polarware name disappeared.

In the meantime, after dropping out of the company in 1987, I started playing around with software for MIDI, the new music interface standard for computers and electronic instruments. I played steel drums in a band, Stainless Steel. The software originally was designed to provide percussion and bass parts during practice sessions. But the computer became a regular part of the trio's performances in small venues that could not afford a full-size steel band.

Soon MIDI OnStage was published under the company name Magic Tree. The product itself lived a short life because of design changes in the hardware for which it was written, but it was among the first software programs written for professional musicians.

image The second incarnation of Magic Tree came with the development of a CD-ROM called TripGuide travel-planning software in the early 1990s. The mapping technology behind that software was eventually licensed to other companies.

In the early days of the Internet I taught one of the first courses to be offered solely online. To make it work I had to build my own server and wound up writing an early web-based discussion board program called dialogue. Besides using it for my own classes I made it available for free and dozens of colleges and universities around the globe are used it for their early online courses. That would be the last real use of Magic Tree for software, although from time to time I would stamp its logo on one website or another until the domain name was sold in 2007.

It's not the end of the stories. But we'll let this be the end of at least a few of them.

I hope you enjoyed looking at some of the ancient software archives on the previous pages, or that you enjoyed a nostalgia trip if you were present the first time around. Thank you for visiting!

- Mark

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

"Imagination without learning is like having wings but no feet." - Joseph Joubert


For more about Penguin Software and Polarware, Jimmy Maher interviewed Mark Pelczarski and Antonio Antiochia for a few articles in his Digital Antiquarian blog, which has some great historical looks at entertainment side of the entire software industry.

Digital Antiquarian, The Magnificent Penguin
Digital Antiquarian, Transylvania
Digital Antiquarian, Comprehend
Digital Antiquarian, The Magnificent Penguin Hangs Up His Tuxedo
Digital Antiquarian, Hall of Fame