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In praise of PB, Forum and Navarro

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  • Dave Navarro

    I owned a small computer store and consulting company in San Jose when I first heard of PowerBASIC. At the time, I was creating custom applications for clients using Turbo Basic and was increasingly frustrated by the lack of third-party support and its limitations.

    I walked into a Software, Etc. store at a mall in San Jose ready to bite the bullet and purchase QuickBasic when a clerk there (whose name I don't remember, but I will be forever in his debt) told me about PowerBASIC when I walked up to the cash register with QuickBasic in hand.

    The PowerBASIC 2.1 update had just been reviewed in BYTE magazine and they had glowing things to say about it. The review listed their address which was only a 45 minute drive away and I immediately drove there when I purchased my first copy.

    The "unlimited string space", addition of DIR$ and other "revolutionary" features blew me away and I have been a loyal user ever since.

    When Bob Zale called me in New York (I had moved and was working for a large manufacturing firm) and asked me to move to California, it was an absolute "dream come true" and my work with him was a "wonderful" experience that I will cherish forever. It hurt me deeply when I left the nest, but I will remain true to PowerBASIC as long as everyone can stand me.

    I haven't posted as much source code as I used to... The daily grind of running my own company doesn't give me the programming time that I used to have, but I continue to post what I can.


    Home of the BASIC Gurus

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  • Scott Turchin
    For me this has been a hobby, and has provided years of CHALLENGES in finishing projects I never thought I was capable of.....
    FOr that I owe major grattitude to this board and it's users and PB!

    Perhaps one day I will find a way to market one of my tools hehe and actually make some money.

    My shareware has netted a few bucks here and there though, but moreso given me a feeling of accomplishment for writing quick applications.



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  • Michael Meeks
    We'll said Bernard,

    I too, had it not been for PowerBasic, would have not enjoyed
    many of the benefits and pure profit that has been bestowed me!

    I don't have to go back to the days of Turbo Basic, or even 10 years
    to show what PowerBasic has help me accomplish.

    However,since 1994 and to March 2001, PowerBasic has contributed to my
    success & sales of over 1 Million Dollars. I sold my company the
    end of March 2001 to take on a Systems Manager job, but that is
    not the end of the story.

    And although, I have never use all of the products that PowerBasic
    has to offer, I purchased them all & upgrades, to support a company
    that has benefited me!

    I may sometimes (even on this site), shout, scream, complain, bark,
    praise or support the ideas and moderators of this site. But through it
    all, I think most of you (including all contributors), are some of the
    best I've ever known.

    Years ago, In California, I use to live in Santa Clara, just a few blocks away from a
    PowerBasic Office, where I walked into and purchased a copy of PowerBasic
    (Dos). There was one person in the office and it took me awhile just
    to find this place, because it wasn't the noraml store place. Inside, it
    looked like a small warehouse, very little help and a single computer on the

    My Point here is, I hope that our contribution to PowerBasic has helped
    it expand and further the development of its company so as to continue
    it goal of providing the the Ultimate-PowerBasic Programming in the
    world today.

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. I took
    that first drink from PowerBasic and I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't!



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  • Bernard Chapman
    started a topic In praise of PB, Forum and Navarro

    In praise of PB, Forum and Navarro

    I don't know about you but I feel I owe a great debt of gratitude to PowerBasic Inc, and to Bob Zale in particular, for providing the wherewithall to have enabled me generate a very comfortable living for myself for over a decade. I would also like to point out that I have found the value of this Forum incalculable - from the current moderator Lance Edmonds and his predecessors to the many generous contributors such as my friend Patrice Terrier who have provided assistance and code examples on this Forum that have accelerated the development of projects that would have taken much longer than they otherwise did. I am especially indebted to Borje Hagsten for his Poffs utility that allows offline searching of the Forum.

    We are an Australian software company that has been marketing a consumer software product called Insight Trader for over 11 years. It is a charting, portfolio, systems analysis technical/fundamental analysis package for trading the financial markets - Stockmarkets, futures markets, currency markets etc. Most of our client base are private citizens but we also have fair number of corporate clients - stockbrokers, financial advisers, accountants and so on.

    IT was launched in 1990 as a PBDOS compiled application and progressed through PBDK to PBDLL 5-6. It has always been written entirely in PowerBASIC. We have a large user base that needs to be serviced continuously on an ongoing basis.

    This month's "Shares" magazine - the premier Australian newsstand monthly magazine on the Stockmarket - devoted an entire article to reviewing our product. It was embarrassingly flattering. Just a few quotes from the article:

    "... and Insight Trader is the best product we have examined"

    "You can chart literally years of data for the All Ords or the Dow and on the same screen have a tick chart, one minute bar chart, five minute candlestick and course of sales point and figure chart - all updating simultaneously in real time. This is serious professional stuff."

    "The package's overall look and feel is strong. Graphics are crisp and lightening fast. Toolbars and facilities are logical, well set out and easy to use."
    The really satisfying thing is that most of our competitors products are written in C or C++. To have an independent and experienced software reviewer rate our PowerBASIC product in these terms I think is a credit to the whole PB team who have produced a compiler of such outstanding performance. Small fast EXEs, direct access to important functionalities, support for multithreading etc etc have enabled developers such as ourselves to compete successfully against products using other platforms generally regarded as being essential for any serious commercial programming.

    I am frequently asked by other programmers who have seen our product operating - "Of course you have written this in C". This then gives me the opportunity to launch into extolling the virtues of the PowerBASIC compiler.

    There was a recent thread (now closed) that canvassed examples of commercially successful PB applications. I would like to add our product to that list.

    I would also like to share with you just one example of the value of this Forum that has actually revolutionised my life.

    In November 1999 Dave Navarro posted some code for a small utility called "Webget" that he wrote to download pages from a Website to a file. I took that example and developed it extensively to the point where we are servicing our client base in very sophisticated ways with what we have called our Web Updater. From a single click on a menu item in the main Insight Trader program (typically performed once a day or once a week depending on the client) this standalone utility will launch and will transparently perform all of the following tasks in sequence:

    1. It goes off to third party websites and downloads free end of day data for the whole Australian Stockmarket and updates the client's database.

    2. It goes off to third party websites and downloads free end of day data for the whole US Stockmarket and updates the client's database.

    3. It goes off to the Sydney Futures Exchange website and downloads free end of day data for the whole Australian Futures Market and updates the clients database.

    4. If a client has paid for an upgrade to a new version of the Insight Trader program it will determine whether the software installation on the computer installation is licensed to that client and if so will download and upgrade their software to the new version.

    5. If there have been any minor enhancements or bug fixes to a client's existing version of the software it will download and install this update.

    6. If there have been any changes to any associated utilities it will also update these.

    7. If it detects the client to be a financially current subscriber to our "Database Manager" service then the latest stockmarket adjustments and fundamental data are downloaded and installed and their database adjusted.

    8. If the Web Updater itself has been upgraded then the Webupdater will download and install the new version of itself.

    9. If the client has been suspected of behaviour that would violate the terms of their licence agreement then they can be quietly and gradually deregistered in a way that will activate after a given period of time.

    1,2 and 3 are extremely attractive facilities for the client and are a major marketing advantage.

    4 and 7 have done away with sending out thousands of upgrade disks every time we invite upgrades to the latest version. It is also much more convenient for both ourselves and the client than emailing upgrades. A database of email addresses is a real pain to maintain, and clients have a habit of not informing you of changes. Also many of them are naive and don't understand how to process attachments and require frequent handholding support that is very time consuming.

    5, 6 and 8 enable bug fixes for current and previous versions of the software to be attended to before the client is even aware that there has been a problem and minor enhancements to the software to improve functionality are simply performed. This has given rise to the concept of dynamic software because it is being continuously updated.

    A major attraction of this system is that it shifts the responsibility from the software company being obliged to deliver the goods to the client - to the client being obliged to collect the goods from the software company. The advantages of this paradigm shift cannot be overstated.

    The benefits conferred by this new system of software and data delivery based on Dave Navarro's Webget program have been incalculable and have freed us from much tedious physical and mental work and reduced costs to a fraction of their previous levels. I can highly recommend a system such as this for a company in a similar position to ourselves. And it compiles to only 76K.

    If you are like us, servicing a large user base of clients all screaming for new features - even immediately after you have just released a new version - you will feel empathy with Bob Zale and his team who despite their best efforts never manage to satisfy the insatiable appetites of users of his compiler. I never cease to be amazed at the level of productivity of the PB team and especially the value for money of the PB compilers - even at the current abysmal exchange rate of the Aussie dollar.

    To conclude - thanks to all on the PB team, thanks Bob, thanks Lance and thanks to all the contributors to this forum.