Glider PRO

Glider PRO

Infobox Software
name = Glider PRO

caption = Glider PRO startup screen for Mac OS 9.
author = Casady & Greene
developer = John Calhoun
released = 1991
latest release version = 1.1.2
latest release date = 1995
latest preview version =
latest preview date =
operating system = Mac OS, Mac OS X

genre = Arcade

website = []

Glider PRO is an Apple Macintosh game first published by Casady & Greene in 1991. It is the final installment of the Glider series to date.When Casady & Greene went bankrupt, the rights to the series reverted to the author, John Calhoun, who opted to give a few versions of the game away for free on his website.

The game

Game basics

In the game, you fly a paper plane around a house trying to get all the stars in a house. To play, you have to float on air currents created by vents, or fans, or slide on greased surfaces. There are also obstacles and enemies, like furniture, flying paper darts, balloons, paper shredders, and the like. There are also prizes you can get to increase your score, which are all clocks, or to help win the game, like rubber bands to shoot at balloons, aluminum foil and helium.


The game comes with one real house called Slumberland, and one demonstration house. Beyond this, a sizable number of houses are available for download on fan sites.

Versions of the game

Differences between OS X/Carbon and System 7-OS 9/Classic versions

Glider PRO was initially released for System 7 and was continuously updated through a Mac OS 9 version, the final release on the "Classic" Mac OSes. It was later ported to Mac OS X as a native Carbon application, and while this version has reworked graphics and a more muted color scheme it lacks a variety of preferences and the built-in house editor present in the Mac OS 9 version. PowerPC Mac OS X users can still run the Mac OS 9 version of Glider in the Classic environment, giving them access to the multitude of additional preferences and the house editor.

Glider PRO ("Classic") CD

This was an update that included Glider PRO, new houses, and a few utilities.Houses:Art Museum,In the Mirror,Davis Station,Castle o' the Air,Teddy World,Land of Illusion,Imaginehouse PRO II,The Asylum PRO,Nemo's Market,Titanic,SpacePods,Rainbow's End,Leviathan,Grand Prix,Metropolis,and obviously Slumberland, Empty House and Demo House.

In addition, the utilities Moving Van - A utility for moving graphics and sound between houses and libraries (and any combination of the two), and Foundation Mover - A utility for sliding an entire house over (in terms of on the map, if you ran out of room) and CD-ROM special instructions and some graphics libraries were included.

House building

Houses are created using the built-in house editor in the "Classic" version.

tandard backgrounds

These include:
* Rooms of many decors, including tiled, Asian tapestry, and a personal library.
* Meadows, fields and gardens.
* Sewer and basement backgrounds.
* Day and night skies (with a "stratosphere" piece acting as a crossfade).
* A standard decor of roofs and exterior walls; compatible with the cerulean day sky only.

tandard objects

Objects directly available in the room editor can be sorted in the following general categories:

* A variety of floor vents
* Ceiling variants of a few of these
* Table Fan
* Candles and other ablaze objects
* Invisible blowers of customizable size and direction

* Lamps
* Windows

* Four different clocks
* Extra Glider
* Battery
* Rubber Bands
* Grease
* Aluminum Foil
* Invisible Bonus
* Magic Star
* Sparkle
* Helium
* Slide Rectangle

* Stairs
* Mailboxes
* Transport Ducts (floor / ceiling)
* Doors
* Windows
* Invisible Transport

* Five normal switches, including a Thermostat
* Invisible Switch
* Invisible Triggers
* Sound Trigger

* Tables
* Shelf
* Cabinets
* Filing Cabinet
* Wastebasket
* Milk Crate
* Counter
* Dresser
* Bar Stool
* Steamer Trunk
* Invisible Obstacle
* Manhole
* Books
* Invisible Rebounder

Appliances, etc.
* Paper Shredder
* Toaster
* Mac Plus
* Electric Guitar
* TV
* Coffee Machine
* Electrical Outlet
* Stereo System
* Microwave Oven
* Cinder Block
* Flour Box
* Compact Discs
* Custom Picture (import your own)

* Dart (Another type of paper airplane)
* Balloon
* Copter (Spinning paper airplane)
* Bouncing basketball
* Water Drip
* Cobweb
* Fishbowl

* Ozma
* Mirrors
* Mouse Hole
* Fire place
* Flowers and Vases
* Closed Window
* Teddy Bear
* Calendar
* Bulletin Board
* Clouds
* Faucet
* Rug
* Wind Chimes


Glider PRO allows for houses to include custom backgrounds, objects, sounds and sounds via embedding of 'PICT', 'STR#' and 'snd' resources in the house's resource fork. A few of the game's existing interface elements can also be altered this way. Most houses, including all that shipped with the game, do include at least custom graphics. An interesting design point is that custom objects are on their own essentially background elements, but can be made interactable with the help of the game's many different invisible objects.

Fans have exploited design bugs as well as constructed patches to alter houses and/or the program itself even further; the extreme makeover remains Ward Hartensteing's "house" "SeaCaves", which completely renews the game into an undersea adventure of a dolphin to free a magical starfish.

Furthermore, a debugging feature in the Mac OS 9 version of Glider PRO allows all of the graphics and sounds in the game (including the ones that cannot be directly replaced by a house's resource fork) to be overridden by alternative graphics. This is done by placing a file named "Mermaid", containing all of the replacement graphics and sounds, in the same directory as the Glider PRO application. This feature was forgotten about by the time Glider PRO was released, but John Calhoun later rediscovered it in April 2004. As of today, at least three houses exist that exploit this feature.

The word "Mermaid" was used as a reference to three lines from the poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock:

::"We have lingered in the chambers of the sea::By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown ::Till human voices wake us, and we drown."

The first of these lines also appears in the About box of Glider PRO.

Community and future of Glider series

Probably due to its House-creating ability, Glider PRO has enjoyed an active and involved fan community during most of its life. A periodical zine called GliderTech was published by Paul Finn between 1995 and 1997 - Glider PRO's heyday. GliderTech published editorials, house reviews, house building tips and each issue was accompanied by a house or two with some examples of obstacles or techniques that could be used in houses. (GliderTech issues can be found for download on various house repositories, and the actual zine is an OS 9 application.)

Following 1998 or so, with brief bumps coinciding with the release of the OS X version and the emancipation of Glider PRO, the community activity dropped, but a [ Yahoo! group] is still active. John Calhoun has mentioned that he'd like to create a successor to Glider PRO that goes back to the roots of Glider (for example, by having fewer objects and all-indoor houses) but that it will have to wait until he's done with his work at Apple.

The Intel transition and its effect on Glider PRO

Influx of new house creators may over time grind to a halt following Apple's decision to switch the CPU architecture of their Mac computer line-up to Intel microprocessors. Only the "Classic" version of Glider PRO includes a house editor, and since Classic runs the now abandoned Mac OS 9 operating system which only functions on PowerPC processors, Glider PRO enthusiasts buying a new Intel-based Mac will not be able to build houses without resorting to a second, PowerPC-based Mac (or emulation of one).

Glider PRO for Mac OS X will continue to run on Intel-based Macs through the Rosetta compatibility layer, but the potential for a Universal Binary (that runs natively on Intel and PowerPC alike) is highly dubious at best.

In 2006, Mark Arenz teamed up with Calhoun to construct [ Glider Web] , an Internet-enabled version of Glider Pro built in Flash. Users can build and share houses online as well as play classic houses such as Slumberland and Castle O' The Air.


(a): The number of rooms in the whole house(p): The number of rooms you can actually fly the glider into

Absolute Glider

*Author: Ryan Tooley
*Rooms: 323 (a)
*Big house, with lots of custom art, and different places like a jungle gym and restaurant

Art Museum

*Author: John Calhoun
*Rooms: 138 (a)
*Fly through an art museum. Paintings are actual, real paintings.

Castle o' The Air

*Author: John Calhoun
*Rooms: 85 (a)
*A castle. Fun house, with traps, dungeons, and dark passages

Christmas in Lumberland

*Author: Matthew Hershberger
*Rooms: 107 (a)
*A log house in the winter. See Lumberland, below

Davis Station

*Author: Johnathan Chin (aka Paul Finn) and john calhoun
*Rooms: 65 (a)
*Fly on a train track, station, grain elevator and a small house

Death To Barney

*Author: Matt Wolfe
*Rooms:488 (a)
*Fly on several missions to embarrass Barney. A house with a surprise ending

Grand Prix

*Author: Paul Finn
*A driving-themed house, with pictures of cars and road signs.

House of Food

*Author: Matt Wolfe
*Rooms:320 (a) 205 (p)
*Really big house, hard, you get points for hitting pictures of food

ImagineHouse PRO

*Author: Paul Finn
*Rooms: ?
*Some say it is better than II, but lots of fun rooms!

ImagineHouse PRO II

*Author: Paul Finn
*Rooms: 279 (a)
*Fly through 4 houses, and the basement

In the Mirror

*Author: Paul Finn
*Rooms:97 (a)
*Short house, strange things appear in mirrors


*Author: Matt Wolfe
*Rooms:115 (p) 260(a)
*5 houses, lots of bonuses, and a big basement.

Land of Illusion

*Author: Ward Hartenstein
*Rooms: 80 (p) 303 (a)
*A good house, with illusions like disappearing helium and shrinking houses


*Author: Matthew Hershberger
*Rooms: 71 (a)
*Like Christmas in Lumberland above, a log house


*Author: John Calhoun and Paul Finn
*Rooms: 127 (a)
*A skyscraper at night. 11 floors tall

Mighty Morphin' Power Glider

*Author: GliderZero
*Rooms: 26 (a)
*A short house that includes an "incredible shrinking glider".

Nemo's Market

*Author: Ward Hartenstein
*Rooms: 32 (p)
*A fun house with lots of custom graphics, but if you miss a star in the "shopping sprees", it is all over.


*Author: John Calhoun, Paul Finn, Steve Sullivan, and Ward Hartenstein
*Rooms: 403(a)
*A long house, the one that ships with the game.

External links

* [ John Calhoun's Glider page] - has for download Glider PRO and 4.0 and a few house packs, and links to fan sites
* An interview with John Calhoun: [ Part one] , [ Part two]

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