The story is really about the personalities
involved, though...and the crazy experiences. The
time I got called in from the gym, the time I got
picked up in a snowstorm--and left at work, the time
the boss kicked his own door down...
Here's what some readers had to say about FoxTales:
read your book FoxTales.
It is a very good book for anyone in this computer
programming industry. I felt compelled to send you
an email, after reading the book. Here I was reading
your book, while most people in this world were
celebrating the New Year’s Eve night.
programming in the dbase language right after I got
out of high school. I had my own company run by me
and my father. I wrote all the code while he sold
the applications. I began using a product called
Alpha4. It allowed the user to make screens and
menus, without writing any code. If you wanted code
you used something like dbase. Then a friend of the
company told us about Foxbase.
So I was able to get my hands on a copy and loved it
from the beginning. I could compile, and make
Exe’s for customers and
even get paid for my work. <g> As soon as I was able
to use Foxbase for about
a week, I read an article that Fox Software just
released Foxpro. I had
to have a copy. I bought it and had it
overnighted to me. I
have been with Foxpro
ever since. I loved 2.0 and moved of course to the
Windows world. I still use Foxpro2.5 and mostly
VFP8. I go to all the DevCons
and have been involved with Fox for quite awhile
now. I feel like the lady in your book, how she got
up to the microphone and said
Foxpro has changed my life. It has, for me as
well. I came out of high school and had no real
drive toward anything. A customer paying for me to
write software was exactly what I needed for my
pride and self esteem. I could tell people I was a
computer software engineer,
things most people do not understand.
did a great job on your book. I am still shocked how
little you received from Dave Fulton and Fox
Software. Obviously working in a different
structured environment had to be difficult. I just
wanted to say Thanks for everything you did for Fox
Software, without people like you there would be no Foxpro, and I don’t know
where I would be. Thanks.
I was at
your keynote address at the GLGDW and met you
briefly afterward. I received a copy of your
book and read it over the next two days. I
just wanted to let you know that even though I'm not
a real programmer, (I know just enough to be really
dangerous), I enjoyed "Fox Tales" very much.
It's an interesting topic to start with and it's
well written. I found myself sorry that I was
finished with it when the last page came along.
Thanks very much for the book.
finished reading your book.
only was it interesting to read about the
origins of FoxPro - but your descriptions of the
challenges, uncertainties, schedules, timelines,
pressures, creative surges, accomplishments,
disappointments and applause all brought back so
many delightful memories of the 36 years since I
created my first program.
Loved it - it's a wonderful little book.
I just finished reading Fox Tales and wanted
to tell you what a thoroughly enjoyable read
it was. Not only was the material itself
terrific, but your personal insights and
ability to 'tell the tale' really make this
At about the same time that you were working at
Fox Software, I was working as a programmer
and head of IT for a bank holding company.
We mostly wrote mainframe code in those
days, but I'd used dBase for a couple of PC
applications and was beginning to play
around with Fox. Of course, as soon as I
started using Fox I was hooked. Then, at
about the same time that all of you at Fox
Software went through the trauma of the
merger with Microsoft, the powers that be at
the bank I worked for decided to outsource
the entire IT function, leaving me and most
of the 15 or so people who worked for me
essentially out of a job. Faced with a
decision between going to work for EDS or
setting out in a new direction, I took the
opportunity to start my own business and
decided to use FoxPro as my primary
development tool. It's a decision I've never
regretted, and I'm still in business today.
Now, having read what was going on at Fox
Software during those same years, I have a
renewed appreciation for what it took to
bring this terrific tool to market. Thanks
for sharing the story.
I want to tell you how much I enjoyed your
book! I ordered it the day I received
an email blast from Hentzenwerke about it.
UPS delivered it at work Friday. I
took it home and right after supper I hit
the couch with it. In between taking
care of the “Trick-or-Treaters” my wife told
me I was loads of fun to talk to, since I
had been so engrossed in the book I hadn’t
said a word to her all night. My
youngest, fourteen, was out and we rarely
get an evening alone and here I was tied to
a book. I couldn’t go to bed until I
finished at 2:00 in the morning. I
enjoyed it so much because I knew the
company’s history from the outside and was
always curious about how it really was on
the inside. The book was not only
enlightening it brought back many old
memories. I’m fifty-two years old and
have used Fox products almost since its
beginning. I still use VFP, for how much
longer I don’t know.
I was at an Ashton-Tate conference in
California and Fox had a booth there.
To this day it astounds me the Ashton-Tate
allowed Fox to demo at their conference.
My memory is no way as clear as yours but I
think Fulton, Walker and Christensen were
their running some demo that showed Fox’s
speed. As soon as we got back to our
office in Birmingham our company switched
from dBase to FoxBase.
I went to all the DevCons in Toledo. I
was on the betas. I read most of the
Compuserve beta traffic. I remember
that “Foundation Read’ thread. That
first DevCon was special. I remember
when Fulton ran some program that put a
zillion little windows all over the screen.
People went wild. I think I might have
said a couple of words to you at that
conference. Something like, “So you
are one of the developers. What did
you do?” To which you replied “I
worked on the Report Writer”. I may
not have that right but at least that is my
recollection. As I remember it you
were standing against a wall outside one of
the conference halls. You seemed like
a quiet, even shy, type guy. I may
have that wrong of course. You are
right about the size of the room changing
the atmosphere for the second conference
keynote. But I think 2.0 just blew
everyone away. It was so astounding at
the time. I think it could be argued
that 2.0 was one of the best DOS apps ever.
Even though DOS is long gone and you say
your best code was on VFP 3.0’s form tool, I
believe you should always be extremely proud
I definitely enjoyed reading about Fulton.
It seems his boss demeanor was certainly
different than his jovial, wise cracking,
good old professor, keynote presenter
demeanor. I once met a guy in Alabama
that said he had worked with Fulton in that
company he had with his first wife. He
said Fulton always liked money and things,
so I guess Fulton is happy now.
My only complaint about the book is that I wish
you had written a little more about your
Microsoft years. But if MS is anything
like I perceive MS as being, then maybe that
was not possible. And I realize of
course this wasn’t a MS story. You did
say a lot with that one line about their
being a rumor about MS going to drop VFP.
As an outsider,
my uninformed perception was that it would
have happened if it weren’t for developer
I always thought it odd that Tom Rettig died
around that same time even though it was
always said it was from natural causes.
But again thanks for the book and God bless
you with whatever you do with the rest of
I just finished your
book and since, in the epilogue, you
expressed your hope that I, the reader,
liked your tale I felt compelled to write
and let you know that indeed I did. I have
worked with FoxPro since the FPD2.5 for DOS
days and all subsequent DOS/Windows versions
dating from around 1993. I wanted to let you
and all your cohorts know how much I, for
one, appreciate all that you did.
I have been programming since the late 1960s
and have never enjoyed a platform as much as
Thanks to you all.