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Goldstar Software, The Company

The name "Goldstar Software" was first used in January, 1982, while working on a game application, which was literally cooked up during free time after an English mid-term exam. A friend named Alan Manual wrote the basic shell for a Simon game (like the old electronic games), and Bill Bach added on the bells & whistles, literally, by adding graphics, sound, and keyboard interfaces. After completing it, they decided they needed a name, and after tossing around a few ideas, Bill settled on Goldstar Software. (Alan didn't like it, but it was kind of catchy.)

Bill continued to develop applications under the Goldstar label, writing several applications in BASIC and 6502 assembler over several years. The applications covered many areas from inventory management, mailing list, games (e.g. Simon, Slots), educational software (A.L.T. - The Assembly Language Tutorial, GolfPak), utilities (Apple <-> Atari graphic conversion program, Apple DOS Disk Recovery System), and even trojan horses (Killer DOS).

The most successful retail application was a grading program which was custom-written for a teacher in 1985. This program was originally written in BASIC to finalize the feature set, but was eventually redesigned in 6502 assembler. When the final package was done in 1988, professionally-design manuals were created and the product was put on the market. At the same time, Goldstar Software became an official company in Illinois. While only 30-40 copies were sold, it was a great learning experience (and tax write-off).

From 1990 through 1997, the company subsisted part-time by writing smaller, custom applications from time to time, fixing and building computers, and even running a soft drink concession or two. Sales for the GS-2D Grader dwindled with the fall of the Apple (although the lack of any marketing by Goldstar may have had an impact as well), but the company did a good job at supporting Bill's "computer habit".

We talked for a long time about making the company a full-time venture, and on on April 1, 1997, Goldstar Software Inc. was born. Our decision to focus on the Pervasive Software product lines seemed to be a good one at the time, and we had a good supply of work to help get us started.

Since that time, we have helped over 1500 sites get their database systems in order throughout the United States (and a few in Australia). Additionally, our training classes, E-mail support, and Internet newsgroup support has helped countless others around the world. We remain dedicated to the idea that knowledge is the key and that getting the right information to the people who need it is the key to a successful business. In fact, this can be seen in that some sites we visit have fully functional systems, and we rarely hear back from them, unless they are looking into an upgrade or system change. This allows us to dedicate our time towards building new business and helping others to fix their problems.

For a partial list of companies we have helped, check out our Clients page. The run the range of sites from tiny to huge, databases from 2MB to 50GB, users from 1 to 1200. These sites span the business of air travel, manufacturing, banking, shipping, insurance, health care, and more. If we can help them, can we also help you?

Why Btrieve? Why Pervasive Software?

The Btrieve database engine is THE most stable database engine around. It is extremely fast, extremely flexible for developers, extremely scalable for end users, and requires almost no ongoing maintenance once it is configured well. This adds up to a great promise of the ideal computing environment. Developers have recognized this and developed applications in this environment for years, and the installed base is innumerable (probably in the tens of millions of users, at least).

The newer Pervasive.SQL databases have built on the speed, flexibility, and scalability, while trying to deal with some of the downsides of the Btrieve 6.15 environment (e.g. multi-engine support). Pervasive has also added the relational capabilities to the database (which was almost always available separately) in the box, providing easier access via ODBC or other database methodologies. Dealing with the use of Btrieve navigational databases in the relational world is one big hurdle, and many (including Pervasive) have stumbled here.

Since we were around in the early days of Btrieve when the ODBC access was an add-on component and not a simple requirement, we recognize the history and design of the software. We also understand the challenges which Pervasive has been meeting and trying to meet. With this understanding, we can help people to develop their solutions to meet the design of the database, not try to bend the database to meet their designs. When this happens, great things develop, and everyone is happy and successful.

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