Foxy Database Nostalgia


In the past month there have been several occasions where legacy FoxPro databases and applications have been topics of discussion at work. That got me thinking about the good ol' days and made me a little misty-eyed. I started my IT career in the early 1990's as a FoxPro developer. It was something I just kind of picked up with the help of a great mentor (thanks, Randy!).

This software was ahead of its time in many ways. It was a file-based DBMS with blazing lookup speeds thanks to Rushmore optimization and sported a full development environment with a screen builder and report builder that allowed you to create and distribute powerful standalone information systems. At one point, you could develop solutions that would run on DOS, Windows, Mac and Unix. In the early 90's! Remarkable.

I actually still have the first application I ever wrote. It is in a 3-ring binder with detailed documentation including screen diagrams (no screenshots back then!) and two 3.5" floppies as the installation media. The labels on the disks are dated April 5, 1993. If I can find a machine with a floppy drive in it, I just might try installing it later.

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