dBase IV for VAX/VMS (was WordPerfect 5.1+ for VMS)

Zane Healy healyzh at avanthar.com
Sat Jul 20 17:23:19 CDT 2019

> On Jul 20, 2019, at 10:20 AM, Antonio Carlini via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> Lotus 1-2-3 had AL-IN-1 integration (at least that's what the announcement of it's retirement suggests. It sounds like Lotus developed and sold it and Digital just advertised it. The retirement happened in 1995.

It definitely had ALL-IN-1 integration.  The rest of that sounds right, I think it was released around 1990.  Does anyone remember when IBM bought Lotus?  That likely had something to do with the retirement, I know that by ’95 IBM had owned them for a while.  It also had Rdb integration.

> Back in 1991, all three were available on the VAXstation 4000 VLC:
> "VAXstation 4000 VLC
> The VAXstation 4000 VLC workstation is the first workstation in the industry
> to break the $3,500 price barrier.  Offering 6.2 SPECmarks (6 VUPs) of
> processing power, this system is twice as powerful as the previous entry-
> level VAXstation 3100 Model 30 system. This low price and DEC SoftPC V3.0
> software (Digital's PC emulator) or native applications, such as Lotus
> 1-2-3, dBASE IV, or WordPerfect, make the VAXstation 4000 VLC system a
> desirable alternative to PCs in the VMS environment. For more information
> regarding DEC SoftPC software, see the related article in this issue of
> Digital's Customer Update."
> I don't see a price anywhere so I can't tell how "low" it really was :-)

That would explain why the VLC I have, had both Wordperfect and Lotus 1-2-3.  Both reminded me of the DOS versions.  Unfortunately I have no idea on what the original prices were.  It would definitely be interesting to know.  I need to get organized.  I’m honestly not sure where a lot of the DEC documentation I still have is.

SoftPC sounds like it would be interesting to play with.

I’m not sure when WordPerfect ceased to be available.  I’m pretty sure you could still buy 7.1 in 2000, as I considered finding out what it would cost at that time.

Here is some info on pricing of Lotus 1-2-3…


"Prices for 1-2-3 for VAX/VMS range from $800 for single-user VAXstation 3100 systems to $67,473 for VAX 9000 systems; 1-2-3 for All-In-1 prices range from $1,197 to $94,462 on the same machines.”

Also pricing info for WordPerfect v4.2:

"Wordperfect 4.2 for DEC VAX/VMS its European debut: the pack – UKP850 on a VAXstation to UKP23,570 for the VAX 8978"

It looks like dBase IV must have been released for VAX/VMS between July of 1990 and 1991, since it looks like Borland acquired them in July of ’91, and announced continued support for VAX/VMS.

For those that don’t remember that time period, Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect for DOS both cost several hundred dollars.


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