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  • Status of PowerBASIC INC

    As most of you know, PowerBASIC INC has experienced difficulties since the passing of my husband, Robert S. Zale, our founder. Fortunately, since his death several members have stepped up to help keep our forums open, to enable our customers to maintain communication with each other, keeping our forums active and useful to PowerBASIC users.

    Since Bob's passing in 2012, there have been no new product releases. But in the fall of last year we made an effort to revive the efforts that Bob had already started toward releasing new versions of our flagship products. I'm sorry to report that those efforts have recently fallen through and we have halted the active development of the next generation of PowerBASIC products. We no longer expect to release PBWin11/PBCC7, which were already in beta testing when Bob died, nor the 64-bit compilers or PB/Pro (PBWin and CC in one compiler) which were still in the alpha stages.

    That does not detract from the value of the current generation of PowerBASIC INC products. We expect Microsoft Windows to support 32-bit applications for at least another 15-20 years, which means that for years to come our products will continue to be an effective means of generating Windows applications.

    At my age (76), I feel it is best that I turn the reins of PowerBASIC INC over to someone with the experience, skills and financial base with which to resume the path of development on PowerBASIC products. While I work to make those arrangements, I will continue to operate PowerBASIC INC, although at a reduced level of involvement. As you saw in our earlier message we are reducing product prices, offering free trials and eliminating some products from our offering attempting to streamline our business while also trying to generate additional interest in our existing products.

    Thank you for your long-time support of PowerBASIC products. Your loyalty to his life's work has meant a lot to me, and I know it would have meant a lot to Bob. I will work hard to take steps to move the company forward (in new hands) and will try to keep you better informed as to the future of PowerBASIC INC.

    Regards,
    Vivian Zale
    President, PowerBASIC INC
    Last edited by Vivian Zale; 2 Nov 2016, 08:22 AM.

  • #2
    I hope you can find someone that is able to bring PowerBASIC back to it's glory days.
    www.pluribasic.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you Vivian

      This is what we all hoped to hear

      Best wishes in finding some new PB owner
      [I]I made a coding error once - but fortunately I fixed it before anyone noticed[/I]
      Kerry Farmer

      Comment


      • #4
        Please note that Vivian's first draft was originally posted above, and has been replaced.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Vivian,

          We are proposing a simple solution to you -- why not let us test out the alpha stage PBWin 64 bit compiler ?
          You can sell it to us and we can do the testing. At least, we will have some portions of our codes in 64 bits, while other portions
          we can convert them to other languages to form a full 64bit system.

          What would be your response to this?
          It is better to sell to us this alpha stage PBWin 64 bit compiler, than to mothball it until a new buyer takes over.
          You can sell it as it is where it is without warrantee !



          Comment


          • #6
            The alpha code is not testable, or it would have become beta code.

            Comment


            • #7
              Note that, it would still be viable as conversion to other languages is a tough uphill task. At least we can convert part of our programs then the rest we can use other
              languages. Mothballing it won't help PowerBasic inc. or us , just sell it and make some monies and use the monies to woo a new buyer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Let me just throw in this thought......

                PowerBASIC Inc provides - at its expense - access to an online Peer Support Forum where members may - at no cost to themselves - ask questions of other members, many of whom are longtime programmers, professional, amateur and semi-pro alike.. and who provide both hard answers and ideas for consideration - on their own time and at their own expense.

                "How do I do this using my existing PowerBASIC version NNN compiler?" would certainly be a perfectly "in-scope" question to ask in that forum.

                Are there any "this" which simply cannot be done using your PowerBASIC version NNN compiler? Yes, there are. (Most notably, "create 64-bit executable program files.")

                But when you receive that answer, at least you know where you stand and can look for an alternate solution to your challenge - or ask other programmers in that same forum.

                I say it's better to know where you stand than to stand in limbo. YMMV.
                Michael Mattias
                Tal Systems Inc.
                Racine WI USA
                mmattias@talsystems.com
                http://www.talsystems.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have been using PB since 1997 and can fairly say its a good tool and in its current versions can do almost anything in Win32. Win64 is a brave new world that is structurally different to Win32 and it needs a completely new compiler to do it justice. I would like to have seen a finished version of Bob's 64 bit PB but unfortunately he passed away before it could be done. I confess to being just a little impatient with folks who continued to trash PB because it was not a 64 bit tool. It is a native code 32 bit compiler that has a near to 20 year history and it is a very reliable mature product.

                  Contrary to the opinion of a few, 32 bit will be with us for a long time to come, Microsoft supply Win 10 Professional in 32 bit as well as 64 bit so for customers who still run current Microsoft 32 bit operating systems, PB is a current tool for that, is fully up to date for that environment and you can be sure that a 64 bit PE executable will not run in the 32 bit version. It would seem that a few are trying to make a point that if its not 64 bit, its out of date where 64 bit even in 64 bit assembler produces bigger executable files that their 32 bit equivalents.

                  Now when it comes to suggestion as to what PB 64 should become, if it turned into a DOT.WOT visual garbage generator, I would simply not buy a pile of junk like that, if its not a "smaller and faster" Bob Zale style of tool, then it would be a "nothing" that many others have already done. It is not hard to find 64 bit assemblers and compilers and if anyone desperately needs 64 bit, all they need to do is buy it and fly it and learn all of the joys of 64 bit. You can get small and very fast 64 bit executables in MASM but its not for the faint of heart.

                  I would hope that Vivian Zale can find a successor that can run PB properly and I personally thank her for not giving up, even in the face of diversity as it has kept Bob's work alive in spite of the whiners that have kept trying to trash PB for not being a 64 bit compiler.
                  hutch at movsd dot com
                  The MASM Forum

                  www.masm32.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well said Steve.
                    Dale

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Vivian, you might want to clarify the use of the FREE version of Powerbasic (classic) a bit. Is it simply a trial with a limited use or is it truly freeware where it can be used just like the other compiler, but simply free. The latter is the better choice IMO. A truly free version with all the rights the previous (classic) had (to use commercially) will do a lot more to bring in new customers, especially with the lower prices on the paid versions. Once programmers get hooked on using PB, there is a high probability of them being willing to purchase the latest version. Turning a previous version into a freeware version was something I long encouraged both Jim Bailey and Tom Hanlin to do. With little or no resources to be able to market PowerBasic, a freeware version is a powerful marketing tool.

                      On the other side, of no more development of the PB compilers, there is a way to get some development going with much less effort. The latest versions of PB support Static Libraries. Quick addons to PB can be developed using PB itself rather than code it in assembler in the core compiler. The PB community at large could be encouraged to develop both freeware and commercial libraries in static format to help expand the capabilities of the compiler. You could add a special section to either the main website or the forums to promote both types of such addons (specifically static libraries). A special subforum could be setup for discussions about what kind of static libraries PB'ers currently need.

                      If sales of PowerBasic pick up a bit and some static libraries start filling the gaps, Powerbasic could start developing some of your own libraries. The compiler is currently quite capable and static libraries could fill much of the voids PB'ers currently experience.

                      PB users with websites could help things along a bit by noting the new free version of PowerBasic. That could help start building interest. I already posted some info about it on my blog (see: http://cwsof.com/blog/?p=935 ).
                      Chris Boss
                      Computer Workshop
                      Developer of "EZGUI"
                      http://cwsof.com
                      http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        About finding a buyer for PowerBasic, there is a new market today which may have a big interest in something like Powerbasic.

                        Maker Board market:

                        Windows 10 is now being used on a number of so called "maker boards", kind of like the Raspberry PI, but true x86 boards capable of running real Windows. Also IOT is a huge coming market and likely x86 capable boards will come along specially for IOT (Internet of Things) (possibly some of the current maker boards may be used for IOT applications). It is worth contacting some of such companies who are developing and selling such boards to see if they would be interested in buying powerbasic or just to license the current compilers specifically to sell with their boards.

                        PowerBasic produces amazingly small and fast applications with little overhead perfect for maker boards and IOT. BASIC is better suited to the hobby market than say C, so Powerbasic would be a real boon to such markets.

                        The best maker so far is LattePanda, which actually comes with Windows 10 on it:

                        http://www.lattepanda.com/

                        There are other maker board developers such as:

                        Jaguarboard: http://www.jaguarboard.org/index.php...x86-based.html

                        Udoo boards: http://www.udoo.org/

                        Up Boards: http://up-shop.org/4-up-boards

                        Also a new market for TV Boxes which run Windows 8.x or 10 is growing and such companies likely might have an interest in something like Powerbasic.


                        Pipo boxes: http://www.gearbest.com/tv-box-mini-...63.html?wid=21

                        (manufacturers website: http://www.pipo.com/ )

                        VOYO TV Box: http://www.gearbest.com/tv-box-mini-pc/pp_494199.html

                        Also companies which cater to the Windows 10 embedded market might be a good place to offer the opportunity to sell Powerbasic to their customers, like BSquare:

                        https://www.bsquare.com/embedded-sof...dows-embedded/




                        Chris Boss
                        Computer Workshop
                        Developer of "EZGUI"
                        http://cwsof.com
                        http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Do your bit in helping PB, spread around the generous offer of a fully functional set of trial versions. Put a link on your web site or if you can get permission, a link on forums that you visit so that more people can find and have a look at PowerBASIC compilers.

                          http://masm32.com/board/index.php?topic=5772.0
                          hutch at movsd dot com
                          The MASM Forum

                          www.masm32.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            To clarify ... the free versions have no time limits.

                            You do need a serial number, which you get when you request your free copy at the PowerBASIC Sales site.

                            Each serial number is unique to a user and should not be shared with anyone else.

                            The price of "free" in this case is simply that you register at the PowerBASIC Sales site.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ... here is a high probability of them being willing to purchase the latest version.
                              This is exactly the reasoning that convinced Vivian to release the free versions. Without new versions on the horizon, she felt that the free versions would draw in a new base of customers who would then want to purchase the new versions. She considered expansion of the customer base as crucial not only for sales, but also for making the company more attractive to potential new buyers.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Vivian. I am sure that making these decisions was not a trivial exercise or easy. Thank you for clarifying the status of PB (the company) and the various products. I hope your efforts to sell the company are successful.
                                Donald Montaine

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Steve Hutchesson View Post
                                  Now when it comes to suggestion as to what PB 64 should become, if it turned into a DOT.WOT visual garbage generator, I would simply not buy a pile of junk like that, if its not a "smaller and faster" Bob Zale style of tool, then it would be a "nothing" that many others have already done. It is not hard to find 64 bit assemblers and compilers and if anyone desperately needs 64 bit, all they need to do is buy it and fly it and learn all of the joys of 64 bit. You can get small and very fast 64 bit executables in MASM but its not for the faint of heart.
                                  I disagree. What you call "DOT.WOT visual garbage generator" would immediately open up the Linux market for PB programmers, thanks to .NET Core.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I am not well known here. But I feel the need to say, that I wish you all the best, Mrs. Zale. PB is a great product and like so many others I do hope that there will be a future for this compiler.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      There is a simple solution to your view Knuth, develop in a DOT.WOT visual garbage generator. Fortunately PB has always been a binary compiler and it is still its main strength. Over time we have heard it should be a HTML generator, an OLE container, a COM app and more recently a DOT.NET front end yet all of these things have already been done. If you want to try and write for Motorola MAC, Linux (any hardware platform) etc ... write in C (not ++) or JAVA.
                                      hutch at movsd dot com
                                      The MASM Forum

                                      www.masm32.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Still using PowerBASIC today for applications development. Great compiler. I hope the right opportunity manifests to continue it's evolution across new platforms.
                                        Bernard Ertl
                                        InterPlan Systems

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