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History of Cardbox

Cardbox 3.1 is a distant descendant of the very first Cardbox, which was published in 1982. Cardbox has evolved a long way since then, but always with the same team behind it. Our goals are the same now as they were then – simplicity, speed, power – but of course with computers 1,000 times faster and disks 10,000 times larger, Cardbox today can provide features that were unimaginable thirty years ago.

Here’s a very brief summary of what has happened to Cardbox since the beginning:

1980 The first versions of Cardbox start running, on 8-bit microcomputers running CP/M.
1982 The first commercial version of Cardbox is published for us by Caxton Software in London.
1983 Versions of Cardbox appear for 16-bit computers running MSDOS, including the newly released IBM PC. Portable Cardbox is developed for the manufacturers of the world's first portable PC, the Osborne 1. Cardbox-Plus appears. Published directly by our subsidiary Business Simulations Limited, it has many enhanced features and comes in both 8-bit and 16-bit versions.
1984 Networking and multi-user versions of Cardbox-Plus are launched. Pioneering features include invisible file and record locking and the instant mutual update of records between users. Epson Computer Corporation bundles Portable Cardbox-Plus on a ROM chip in the world’s first laptop, the Epson PX-8.
1986 A lightweight version, called Personal Cardbox-Plus, appears.
1988 Version 3 of Cardbox-Plus can be programmed using any programming language you want. We call this technique “coprogramming”; when Microsoft reinvent the concept a few years later, they call it “OLE Automation” (later, “Windows Automation” or just “Automation”).
1990 Version 4 of Cardbox-Plus doubles the maximum record size. Picture Cardbox is launched. This is the first non-Windows database to contain built-in support for compressed images.
1991 Cardbox-Plus for VAX/VMS appears.
1994 Cardbox for Windows 1.0 appears.
1996 Version 1.1 of Cardbox for Windows.
1999 Version 2.0 of Cardbox for Windows.
2004 Version 3.0 of Cardbox for Windows appears. It includes a completely new client-server architecture for networks and the Internet.
2012 Version 3.1 of Cardbox for Windows appears. This is fully file-compatible with version 3.0, but is licence-free. This makes it easier for users to experiment with Cloud-based solutions.

As you can see, we’re in this for the long term. We engineer our software solidly so that it’ll go on working for ever, and whenever we have to expand the database format to handle bigger records, or more records, or images and objects, we make sure that your old databases stay readable. If you have a Cardbox database on a 5¼” floppy disk from the mid-1980s then you may have difficulty finding a computer that can read disks of that size; but once you’ve read the disk, Cardbox can convert your data to the latest format so that nothing is lost.

© 2013 Cardbox Software Limited
"Cardbox" is a registered trademark of Cardbox Software Limited
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