Author Topic: Do you remember "dBase" ??  (Read 4230 times)

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Offline GlennSprigg

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Do you remember "dBase" ??
« on: December 05, 2017, 02:40:14 pm »
Again, pre-'Windows', I remember using 'dBase-III' and 'dBase-IV' within a company....
It was a Front-Line food production company, using automated production lines, in the late 1980's ?....
I was an Elect. Technician in charge of a crew, working with a 'mostly' free hand under various Engineers.
I promoted a 'computerized' maintenance system for various trades, as the 'repairs' were fairly non logistical.
Computers in such a work-space/place was limited then! and what was available then was nothing great!,
without spending big money, at the time.....   (Boy, would that soon change!!!!   :) )

We used some of the 1st IBM PC's available then, mono screen, NO hard-disk, 2 X 5+1/4" floppies, 64-kb RAM !
Booting into DOS, or (the then Ashton-Tate's)  "dBase" that we chose to use.....
Obviously, to the uninitiated, this is a "database' application, that was designed to create/modify/search 'databases'.
Of course, this allowed the creation of the original '.DBF' data-base files that are still ref. today, as well as many others !!

ANYWAY.... 'dBase' was considered then as a computer language in it's own right!, and so apart from being able to
create/edit/manipulate DATABASES, one COULD, (and we all did!), via dexterously manipulating the 'code', to create
whole Applications, including Menu-Driven interfaces, data-analysis & reports, etc etc.
WE would also 'simulate' the 'Graphical' look of all the interfaces, within the 'DOS' style limitations.......
But we had all sorts of analytical results, including future  data calcs. from charts & curves... to the following end..

The SYSTEM specified the specific maintenance required, and when, on every part of the production lines, from conveyor
Motor gearboxes to specific machine parts....  We even found that TOO much 'maintenance' was done in some areas, as
the cost of maintenance out-weighed the loss due to down-time in some areas, when there was a fault....
Some areas, had MANY other delays down the line, which would WARRANT the amount of maintenance performed.

I guess we pushed the 'limits' of 'dBase' at the time, but we did it !!  :)   (We had fun at the time, with our future ignorance).
LATER... I used a new custom written 'language', which I still play with today for REAL (old-school) process control.
Have a nice day...
 
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Offline igendel

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 02:50:30 pm »
I learned some dBase in highschool, somewhere in the previous millennium (we also learned Lotus 1-2-3). Can't say I remember any of it.
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Offline woody

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 02:59:12 pm »
I do  ;D

I used a tool called Clipper that compiled DBaseIII code into monolithic executables. Made a lot of tools for inventory, sales, monitoring repairs etc. Startup with the DOS floppy in A:, then change for the program floppy, data floppy in B:\

Those were the days.Cool, clean procedural programming. No object oriented, class based nonsense. When variables would and constants were.
 

Online rrinker

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 03:54:12 pm »
 I used dBaseII on CP/M on my TRS-80, built a database to store my record collection.

First job out of college, I designed a maintenance database using FoxBase+ for Mac, one of the first graphical front end databases - dBase code compatible but much faster. Later on I did many project with FoxPro DOS and FoxPro Windows. It later gained more object oriented features and Microsoft bought them out to apply their database technology to Access and SQL Server. FoxPro was INCREDIBLY fast, they had a technology that would dynamically spin up an index on a given search term if it determined the query could be completed faster if it first took the time to built an index - they called it Rushmore. It also supported SQL backends, Microsoft got what they wanted out of it and after a few versions left it to languish in favor of their standard Visual languages. A real shame, because data access was so much simpler, and since the language was data-centric, it was so easy to generate any sort of complex queries. Much better than doing it in something like VB.net where you have to convert everything to XML and back.

 

Offline stj

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 12:46:51 pm »
i remember Dbase, WordStar, CPM and lots of other stuff M$ ripped-off / infringed.
only to buy out the company's at the last second each time they got dragged into court over it!!
and lets not forget Netscape / Mosaic.
the list goes on and on.
 

Offline ebclr

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 12:57:42 pm »
I still use Visualfoxpro, who is a "superdbase + visual interface, that is a very powerfull tool still valid and quick in todays reality, even after microsoft kills the product.
 

Offline sstepane

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2017, 12:59:21 pm »
And FoxPro.
Many accounting and service systems were built on dBase.
These were times, when you had to think about what next field cursor should move on tab and these were fast UIs. While you're moving mouse cursor around - half of form would be already filled in.
 

Offline DimitriP

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2017, 01:29:05 pm »
I still use Visualfoxpro, who is a "superdbase + visual interface, that is a very powerfull tool still valid and quick in todays reality, even after microsoft kills the product.

Hey....shhh....let them try to manipulate strings with .net :)


 
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Online joeqsmith

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2017, 01:41:25 pm »
Our first IBM PCs had no hard drives.  The first one we was made by Corvus (SP?).  Fairly large external unit that I want to say was 5M.   We used it to run D-BASE. 
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Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 02:02:13 pm »
Sure, I wrote a bankruptcy management system in the programming language for dBase III.  I forget the name of the programming language ("Clipper"?). 

And before dBase (or the IBM PC for that matter) was available I wrote a specialized database in MS Basic on CP/M with a record size of 192 bytes (1.5x the 128 byte sector size of an 8 inch floppy disk).  And I built the Ferguson Big-Board computer that it all ran on.  This must have been the early 1980s IIRC.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 02:06:22 pm by Richard Crowley »
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2017, 02:20:08 pm »
Wordstar!
Lotus!
DBase!

Floppy Disks. The real thing, soft 5 1/4" floppies. With a mighty 360 Kb capacity.
 

Offline daybyter

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 04:05:13 am »
Borland Paradox anyone?
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 05:00:26 am »
All these names are sure bringing back memories
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2017, 10:19:09 am »
I had my last year at the university and used dBase III in combination with Clipper '87 and something that was called Clipper Tools or N-Tools (From Germany).

This was an amazing combination in those days.

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Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2017, 11:29:43 am »
 :) :) Thanks to "ALL", for your comments & personal stories !!  :) :)
It's amazing to think back on the things one could do, with enough effort, when we had nothing else !!
I think that limitation resulted in much more detailed/planned needs/results, and made our 'grey-cells' work... 8)

There's an interesting WebPage on it's history, here......
    http://www.dbase.com/Knowledgebase/dbulletin/bu03_b.htm
 

Online rrinker

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2017, 03:52:01 pm »
Sure, I wrote a bankruptcy management system in the programming language for dBase III.  I forget the name of the programming language ("Clipper"?). 

And before dBase (or the IBM PC for that matter) was available I wrote a specialized database in MS Basic on CP/M with a record size of 192 bytes (1.5x the 128 byte sector size of an 8 inch floppy disk).  And I built the Ferguson Big-Board computer that it all ran on.  This must have been the early 1980s IIRC.

 Yes, Clipper was more or less another dBase competitor, their claim to fame was it ran compiled and was WAY faster than native dBase.

 If any from the US remember the S&L crisis in the early 90's - the way they (the Feds, operating as the Resolution Trust Corporation) took over a failed S&L, they would go in on a Friday at close, take the data (typcally mag tape in those days), process it over the weekend (because people would try to cheat the FDIC insurance limits by taking out additional accounts in 'creative' ways) and then on Monday at open have a full report of how much each depositer was owed and be ready to hand it out as they walked in.
 The program that did all that matching and calculating was written in Foxpro for DOS and ran on what at the time were server class systems - Compaq Systempros - simply to get as much extended memory as possible, which Foxpro/DOS would use to cache data access.  It was the speed of Foxpro that made this possible, not all of these failed S&Ls were little places with only a couple hundred accounts. I can't think of what it was called, that was over 30 years ago. I worked there for about a year as a consultant, towards the tail end of things, so I never got to participate in an actual closing, but I did do many a practice run with the app. The data team was pretty skilled - the app was decent, but it didn't do EVERYTHING - some knowledge of Foxpro/dBase was required to help things along, or massage the data between runs. And also convert any number of record formats from the mag tape to the common format used by the app.

 I still relish my time spent on the various Foxpro projects I've been involved with, it was just so easy and quick to build data handling systems. Yes, doing string manipulation in VB.NET is an absolute PAIN. It dBase/Foxpro it's simple and easy.



 

Offline stj

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2017, 03:58:17 pm »
not mentioned yet,
back then, everybody who had a computer knew how to use the keyboard!  |O
M$ destroyed computing IMO, and created a world of icon-clickers who dont even know what a "carriage-return" is.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2017, 04:22:41 pm »
Apple was blaming Microsoft for copying the idea of mouse, icons, windows, etc.  Ignoring the blatant fact that all the concepts came, fully-developed, from the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).  Typical corporate jingoism which is something that Apple perfected.  Cue the Apple fanboys.

My employer uses a compulsory "nanny monitor" software on our PCs to monitor our computer use, keystrokes, and mouse movements.  And to enforce "micro-breaks" every 10 minutes and full breaks every hour or so. Complete with suggested exercises for desk-jockeys to prevent RSI (repetitive strain injury).  One of the suggestions is to learn the keyboard shortcuts to reduce use of the mouse.
 

Offline Be_Zero_Be

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2017, 05:41:52 pm »
I seem to recall that the origin of dBase was in a database program called "Vulcan"

Was it a Spock creation? :)

Be_Zero_Be
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Online bd139

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2017, 06:29:06 pm »
We still have a client who sends us DBF files once a week. This is using zmodem on a 14.4k dialup.

No idea what the hell they are sending this from.  We dared not ask but they pay us a metric fuck ton of cash to keep this alive. Everyone else is using CSVs and SFTP.

We actually bought some Hayes modems off eBay incase the current one packs in.
 

Offline kaz911

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2017, 06:37:46 pm »
dBase - yes plenty of dBase. And then when Norton Commander could read dBase format it was real fun. And then dBase with Image blob's and 256 colour VGA images.... Then you REALLY needed 20MB harddrive! (Or 28?MB with RLE cheat on Western Digital controllers)

SuperBase - for London Underground system.... (dBase "SQL" like with GUI frontend)

Clarion... GUI with relational database like dBase.

 

Offline stj

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2017, 01:04:09 am »
We still have a client who sends us DBF files once a week. This is using zmodem on a 14.4k dialup.

No idea what the hell they are sending this from.  We dared not ask but they pay us a metric fuck ton of cash to keep this alive. Everyone else is using CSVs and SFTP.

We actually bought some Hayes modems off eBay incase the current one packs in.

not as dumb as it sounds, point2point is pretty secure unlike the net.
 

Online bd139

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2017, 09:16:54 am »
SCP+SSH over public internet is far more secure than unencrypted telephone lines. The latter can be intercepted trivially. The former cannot.
 

Offline stj

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2017, 09:29:58 am »
overlooking the spyware in the pc maybe.

but the sender may not be using a pc.
 

Online bd139

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Re: Do you remember "dBase" ??
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2017, 09:38:10 am »
Sender is using a DOS machine we suspect.
 


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