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  1. #1
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    Old DOS/Windows 3.11 Database Nutshell/Nutplus

    HI,

    Has anyone heard of this golden oldie. And have any recent experience with it or its replacements. Nutplus was an inexpensive, relational database program. I could setup a new database in a very short time. Output and printouts were pretty basic, yet useful. Still have the floppies, but it does not run well under DosBox on W7. Can export it to Access, but all my files are on 5 1/2 and 3 1/2 floppies. Am considering using an ancient computer to load Dos 6.22 and Windows 3.11 [actually it will run well only with 6.22].

    My need is to get some Business files off of them. And to find a Database that maybe on one of the backup disks with important information.

    Leading Edge once owned it, then Nashoba Systems? and now Fairhaven. Though they try to move people to convert their files to a different format and run under FileMaker.

    http://www.fairsoft.com/nutshell-and-ultra-plus

    This appears as an orphan page referring to client 9 and nutplus and ultraplus.
    http://www.fairsoft.com/id15.html

    Wikipedia Entry on the start and Filemaker and where nutplus fit in.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FileMaker#History
    ""FileMaker began as an MS-DOS–based computer program named Nutshell - developed by Nashoba Systems of Concord, Massachusetts, in the early 1980s. Nutshell was distributed by Leading Edge, an electronics marketer that had recently started selling IBM PC-compatible computers.[1][2]""

    Also is there a quick database out there that is quick, light and fast to setup? I took a college level class on Access, but it is more involved than I need. Or is there no longer any such products? As an example Excel, which I use, seems to become more powerful and extra features are being added, I really do not need.

    Thanks for reading this and anticipate answers, even if in the negative.

  2. #2
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    The first question is whether or not you really need a relational database. Answering that question typically requires answers to a number of questions such as how large the data is, how it is structured, and how many users interact with the data. If the answers are fairly small, only a few relations, and one user, then something like FileMaker or Excel is a very reasonable answer. On the other hand if you really need a relational database to work with the data, then there are only a few choices I would recommend. Access would be number one simply because it is readily available and there is good support for it. Otherwise you might consider mySQL, or SQLite - but both of those will require a fair bit more "care and feeding" to install and maintain than an Access database. Some other factors to consider are 1) the importance of maintaining the structure and the integrity of the data, and 2) the expected lifetime of the application. If the answer is 1) very important, and 2) many years, then I would stick with Access.

    You seem to be under the impression that Access is not quick, but that is definitely not my experience - with no more than 5 or 10 simultaneous users, it works quite well. As to it's footprint, light certainly isn't the case - you generally have the "weight" of the full MS Office installation, but on a modern PC, that does not take a large percentage of the resources. Installing Office (or Access standalone) does take a bit of time, but isn't a complex process compared to other alternatives. And once you have that complete, creating an Access database only takes a few minutes, but importing the existing data is likely to be the challenge. We've done a number of conversions, and in most cases we ended up exporting the existing data to either delimited text files or to Excel, and then importing it into Access.

    Feel free to post back with more detailed questions or concerns and one of us will try to help.
    Wendell

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the quick reply. It will only be one and I really just need to find database/s created and/or backed up prior to 1992. I did try over 10 years ago to import to Access but another project got in the way.

    My needs are not complex, so the simpler the better. I wish to keep the learning curve to a minimum, as I do not see a need at this time to learn a complicated program. Too much other projects on my plate.

    But your very detailed explanation is very helpful and who knows what direction I will take. I will do something. Looks like biggest hurdle will be finding a box with a 5 1/4 floppy drive. It has been all Laptops for me for last 10 years.

    Again thank you for your answer!

  4. #4
    jwoods
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    Quote Originally Posted by hortnut View Post
    Looks like biggest hurdle will be finding a box with a 5 1/4 floppy drive.
    You might take a look at this USB 5.25 Floppy Controller...

    http://www.deviceside.com/fc5025.html

  5. #5
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    Another suggestion: I keep a WinXP Desktop with a combination 5.25" and 3.5" floppy drive in it [also a 250MB Zip drive] against the times folks may need something from old disks. There's one issue, the computer had to have a BIOS capable of two floppy drives and not many of the last few years have that support. Another issue I found is that the floppies have to be write-protected before inserting in the drive as WinXP can screw them up and keep from recovering files.

    The drive I use was made by Epson and I have a couple more stored. A Search on the 'net shows a pricey unit:
    http://www.amazon.com/COMBO-FDD-DRIV.../dp/B00B86WN0A

  6. #6
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    Nutplus

    I have used this software since 1989. I am a newly retired IT Consultant/Programmer with nearly dozen computer languages under my belt. I have found no replacement for this software. I have tried other Dbases, Access, cobol, etc. I even purchased the upgraded Ultrplus. I resolved to maintain two older computers running Windows 95 and Windows xp. But XP does not come with Lprn print driver, so DOS won't print from the software. I am okay with running the software on the older computers.
    Quote Originally Posted by hortnut View Post
    HI,

    Has anyone heard of this golden oldie. And have any recent experience with it or its replacements. Nutplus was an inexpensive, relational database program. I could setup a new database in a very short time. Output and printouts were pretty basic, yet useful. Still have the floppies, but it does not run well under DosBox on W7. Can export it to Access, but all my files are on 5 1/2 and 3 1/2 floppies. Am considering using an ancient computer to load Dos 6.22 and Windows 3.11 [actually it will run well only with 6.22].

    My need is to get some Business files off of them. And to find a Database that maybe on one of the backup disks with important information.

    Leading Edge once owned it, then Nashoba Systems? and now Fairhaven. Though they try to move people to convert their files to a different format and run under FileMaker.

    http://www.fairsoft.com/nutshell-and-ultra-plus

    This appears as an orphan page referring to client 9 and nutplus and ultraplus.
    http://www.fairsoft.com/id15.html

    Wikipedia Entry on the start and Filemaker and where nutplus fit in.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FileMaker#History
    ""FileMaker began as an MS-DOS–based computer program named Nutshell - developed by Nashoba Systems of Concord, Massachusetts, in the early 1980s. Nutshell was distributed by Leading Edge, an electronics marketer that had recently started selling IBM PC-compatible computers.[1][2]""

    Also is there a quick database out there that is quick, light and fast to setup? I took a college level class on Access, but it is more involved than I need. Or is there no longer any such products? As an example Excel, which I use, seems to become more powerful and extra features are being added, I really do not need.

    Thanks for reading this and anticipate answers, even if in the negative.

  7. #7
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    I just checked the free LibreOffice Base I have installed, version 5.0, and it doesn't list the company name, might be helpful to know the file name extension.

  8. #8
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    You could create a Virtual Machine and install W3.1 to run the software. Then you have the software on modern hardware and backup / recovery is simple - one directory.
    Use VMware or VirtualBox, both have free versions.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #9
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    There is another way run old software under Windows. The program is called Vdos (https://sourceforge.net/projects/vdos/)

    I originally was steered to this program from a Wordperfect for DOS site but I was able to configure it to run several other DOS programs I have including Alpha 4 which is a relational database using dBase files. It doesn't require programming skills to create a usable application.

    The nice thing about Vdos is you can use your Windows printer to print reports.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hortnut View Post
    Nutplus was an inexpensive, relational database program.
    Nutplus wasn't really relational but like other programs of it's era, it looked like it was. I can think of no earthly reason to keep this thing going unless it's just long enough to export the data.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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