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NS Basic/CE Kudos - Other devtools considered

These are unsolicited comments from people who have used NS Basic/CE. The most recent comments are at the end of the file.

"I am so excited!! I was an early and happy user of both NS Basic and NewtCard. I was developing an application on the Newton, but I had to switch to Windows CE. I was wondering how I would start developing on my CE device. Tried VisualCE, but it's no NS Basic. Thanks for giving me NS Basic back!" -- Richard Swarn

"As your manual states, we all started with BASIC... but what an improved version this is! I've been programming in C, Pascal, and Java over the past 16 years and thought I would never like BASIC again. Your product has made me reconsider. I'm sure I'll get lots of good use from it and will encourage my WinCE-owning friends to get NSBasic. 

I have VisualStudio97 and the WinCE developers kit for VC++, but since it requires such a ridiculously dedicated environment, my aspirations for building some custom WinCE applications has stalled out. Now that I can prototype with NSBasic, I may get moving again. Thanks for making programming fun again! "-- Lee Hall

"Just a side note, for really computational tasks, the 3.0 stuff on a Jornada is really zippy. A really compute-intensive program like a simple Sieve of Eristothanese (sp?) which just beats the crap out of array allocation and execution calculates the largest prime number less than 250,000 in about 18 seconds. For reference, to write the same program on a standard RISC computer (a VAX in the specific case I was playing with) takes about 4.5 million instructions.

Not shabby for Basic and an interpretive model (or whatever is secretly happening under the covers between you and the VB engine...) "--Tom Cole, SAS

"Again I feel I out to say this is an excellent product - I love it, much better than farting around with a MSVC++. I can code where I like with this system, I'm not tied to a desktop!...I got the manual today - cracking job - the manual is excellent." - Peter Dove, England

"On a qualitative note, NSBasic seems very tidy.
You may be charmed to know... discovering NSBasic, I was reminded of how fascinating it was to use the original "TurboPascal" (1.0 and onwards) when it emerged, for $49.95, in an era when good tools were hard to find, and nobody else really believed we could port "real" Pascal compilers (and an IDE) to the Z-80 machines, then (later) the 8088 PC's, and certainly not at a commodity price point. Ha! The rest is history...
Thanks for NSBasic. Keep up the good work." - ken ritchie

"So in just a couple of hours of fooling around, I was able to get my prototype "talking" program to work using NSB, where I had spent weeks and couldn't get it to work at all using MicroSoft's VBCE toolkit!!

You've created a GREAT PRODUCT!" - Chuck Frame

"NSBasic products, and the service you provide, are really second to none, and I can't thank you enough for supporting the Jornada 820. If it weren't for NSBasic, then a lot of the applications I've written for making my life easier in using the device probably wouldn't exist, because I don't feel like investing the 700-800 USD for the full gamut of Microsoft's tools. I have nothing but good to say about your product, and I will continue to enthusiastically commend it, to all of my friends and professional colleagues!" -- Bill Stivers

Posted to  microsoft.public.win32.programmer.wince
From: "Norman Seymore" 
Subject: NS Basic, Visual CE

How do NS Basic, Visual CE, VB6CE, and VC6CE all compare?

From: "Ace Bezerka" 
Subject: Re: NS Basic, Visual CE

I've worked with both NS Basic and VisualCE.  NSBasic is pretty darn good!
You can do most anything you would do in VB 6 CE Toolkit and more.  The only
drawback (or feature depending on your perspective) is you develop the app
on the CE machine.  Very good support from the author.

Visual CE is also a pretty good database creator but is  designed for
non-programmers.  Although is does create a database app fast it is limited
in what you can do with it.  If all you need are database apps then Visual
CE is great!  IF you want more flexibility or are not creating DB apps then
look at NS Basic.

     Ace Bezerka

"Hewlett Packard visited me yesterday from Sydney. They were "gob struck" by my 8000 customers, 40000 parts, 32000 cross references, 1500 vehicles etc in our SPARKY Knowledgebase that is running on a HP Jornada with 32mb CF card and using nsbasic program.

Yep, I rewrote my Microsoft VBCE 6.0 into nsbasic.

It is a lot easier to use than programming away on a PC and then downloading the finished article." -- Mark Grahame

"Thank you very much for supporting Windows CE. I have a Philips Nino. It's powerfulful, and very tough. However, I am a computer programmer, and to me, Palm PCs have been a joke because you couldn't program on them. If I can't program on it, it's of little use to me (ie. a nifty, but expensive toy). I have Visual Studio, the MSDN Universal subscription, and TechNet. But when I tried to write a program for the Nino -- whooee! I can't even figure out what part of a program to write first. Data objects? Event handlers? Interface code? No, I want to write and execute relatively simple programs - math, graphics, etc. - right on the Nino. I do not want to "develop applications targeted to the platform". I do not have time to try to remember how make files work, or how the dang C debugger works. I need to be able to write, use, and quickly modify program code as situations change, and these are not attributes of a C programming environment on an entirely separate machine! Thank you for your attention to this issue, and again for providing reasonable programming tools for Win CE. " -- Geoffrey J. Rarick

"I have been meaning to write and tell you how impressed I have been overall with the product in terms of reliability. ALL the flakiness I was experiencing with VBCE has gone. That's like a miracle. I've told the VBCE guys that too. Obviously, your intrinsic controls must work much better than theirs or something.

I had a desperate project which was way off the rails with VBCE. Moving it to NSBasic was a lot more effort than I thought it might be (mostly to do with forms, etc.) but the project is now back on track !

THANK YOU !!" -- Greg Low

"I cannot over emphasize what a great product this is. VBCE is not even in the same league with NS Basic. The ability to program directly on my Clio is fabulous. The visual designer is a blessing. Keep making it better; I’ll buy every upgrade." -- Bill Guenthner

"I was *real* pleased to see NS Basic supported objects. In fact, that was the reason I bought it. VBCE does that and I bought that but it's really bad. I'd be ashamed to call that my product if it was.." -- Mark Gamber

"I have been using NS Basic on a Clio HPC/Pro and can really recommend it. The battery life on the Clio is 10+ hours (really), so I can code literally anywhere: the book store, the Mall while my wife shops, sitting in the car waiting for my kids to come out of school, grandma's house on Sunday afternoon. And it's about 100 times more productive than VCCE and VCBE (based on first version). Also, it's MUCH less expensive. My only fear is that MS would buy them out and ruin a great product." -- Bill Guenthner

"The product beats the heck out of the VB toolkit!" -- David Loewenthal

"I have lost a lot of time with other development tools under Windows CE. NsBasic it's the tool I need. Up to now I can do the applets I want quickly." -- Mario Barp, Belgium

"I recently purchased a copy of NS Basic/CE and I'm really pleased with the package. Its a lot like Visual Basic, but minus all the complexity. Congratulations on a fine product." - Neal J. Greenberg, Brasil

Before I bought your NSBasic 2.1, I had my doubts, having tried other shareware and freeware interpreters for Windows CE. BOY was I wrong !! In one evening I ported my lottery program to NSBasic ( a program I use to test GUI programming languages ) and it just couldn't be any easier ! Now I'm up to version 3.0 ( updating to 3.1 soon ) and starting out with the desktop version, and loving every minute of it ! :-) You WIN - Way to go !! -- Tor Sigurdsson

I wish I discovered NSBasic a year ago. I have been looking for a substitute for VB 6.0 CE for a long time. It's great developing code away from the Desktop. I am very impressed with NSBasic. -- Larry Hunt

This product looks very good-much better than vbce. -- Eddie

Since I do a little playing with windows programming, and I have some knowledge of basic, I took the plunge on VB.Net. I have used VB6 learning edition in the past and had some success on simple programming tasks. With VB6 the average development time was 8hrs for a small program. Doing the same program in NSB took significantly less time (about 2hrs). When you guys do an update, the base language stays the same....Microsoft with the VB.Net....OH MY!! I can see from now on that most of my programming will be done in NSB. What's even better is that you send a manual with the syntax and code samples with the program...Microsoft puts it on your computer and charges you through the nose for a paper copy.

You guys did a good job with this program and keeping it simple to use for novice and professional programmers to use. This group is a great place to come for answers and I have asked a few questions that have been answered promply by all. I didn't see too many compliments showing up in the relative past so I thought that I would give you one with an explanation why. -- Dave LaBenne

On a one hour flight yesterday, I did in NSBasic what I haven't been able to do in 8 months with other programs. I'm sold. -- marcatsignal

OTOH, NSB is now beta testing an substantially improved desktop IDE.

Perhaps more important, there are lots of powerful things one can do with NSB that can't be done with any other tool I've used, or looked at. Dynamic objects (create at run time), execute, eval and chain should get the juices flowing. As a pro, things like having complete error control are highly valued. eVb has 'on error resume next', but not 'on error goto 0' to turn it back off, and NSB does.

I started ppc development with NSB, spent some time with AppForge and developed some programs using eVb. eVb doesn't need a runtime, NSB's is small and no cost, while AppForge's is huge and costs $10 each. Equivalent apps execution speed factor rankings are AppForge=3, eVb=2, NSB=1; where lower is faster ( not to any scale). -- Charl

I've been working with NSB-CE for a few days now. It is a class A++ application. It is just what you would expect from George and his fellow developers. I see no difference in the quality of this product and the quality of NSB-Palm. I was a little surprised by that because I know the palm platform has been overwhelmingly popular. I assumed that more development time would have been allotted to NSB-Palm. Boy, was I wrong. -- Rachel

I just wanted to send an email and tell you about my experience with NS Basic. I am the Manager of Information Systems for my company and we were evaluation a number of programming languages for our inventory handheld applications. While we did not decide to go with NS Basic, it was not because it was a 'bad' product but our main programmers had more experience with C than anything else. To learn another language - no matter how simple - while there was a C package available just made good business sense.

However, during the evaluation process I got to play with NS Basic on my Ipaq and it became my companion both on and off of work. I have three kids (all boys) so I got to play with it while waiting in doctor's offices, dentist's waiting rooms, practices, between games, and of course business trips. When I had to send it back I actually missed not being able to play with it. It would seem, however, that fate would step in. After an adventure with UPS, our copy of NS Basic ended back at my company.

With some hints to my wife, I ended up buying NS Basic from my company and in the process getting an early Christmas present. :-) It is now safely back on my Ipaq and I couldn't be happier! Keep up the great work! -- Mark

have to say that I really like NS Basic. I like it much better than eVB. eVB would not even run the code for me in a HPC project. Plus I like the way NS Basic is setup better, especially with the menu editor. eVB does not have a menu editor as far as I saw. -- Chris Hoffman

I was able to recreate my eMbedded VB program in NSbasic in a few hours and it works great and is MUCH faster. -- withtao
we bought recently your amazing NS Basic CE ;-) and my colleague now works on moving our application from eVB to NSB. Everything basically goes well - especially significant (up to unbelievable ;-) speedup is great benefit for us. -- Mike Roskanuk, Czech Republic
I am currently writing an application in EVB (at the customers request) and I have to say that NSbasic is a much better environment. -- Gary Barnes, Australia

I can give you first-hand experience why I don't use eVB. I was foolish enough to actually try using the original CE Toolkit for VB. The package makes Rube Goldberg look like an efficiency expert.

I personally can't say enough about how NS Basic supports it's customers.

Microsoft's Tech Support Policy is the exact opposite. One telling item is how much MS thinks of NS Basic Corp.


Considering the competition, this is really saying something. Dollar for Dollar, NS Basic is simply the best RAD tool available for PalmOS or PocketPC. -- tim_markoski

To George, and whoever else might be instrumental in NSBasic,

While trying to learn how to build a custom research application for the Pocket PC, I deferred any decision to purchase NSBasic for several months. After all, why spend $150 for one Basic when I could get another one (eVB) for free? It's not that $150 is an insurmountable barrier. Developing my package is taking much, much, much more than that in my time. It's just that it seemed so frivolous to pay for something when there's a perfectly usable alternative elsewhere.

And, as I slowly (and painfully) learned how to get things done in this new environment, I realized that eVB just wasn't what I'd hoped it would be. I bought NSBasic, picked up more on the lingo, and (very importantly here) benefited a great deal from the Yahoo support site and NSBasic "community". Getting further into it, I did more things that I'm sure eVB wouldn't do. For example, arrays of objects is important to what I'm working on. I don't think eVB does that. And that alone would make the FileFinder demo (I just put it on the Yahoo file site) impossible to write so succinctly.

Anyway, thanks for NSBasic and the support. I hope you and your partners in the Great North feel all warm and fuzzy from this appreciation from the Great South. -- Robert L Bryant

Liked it so much we bought it! With the Demo we were able to do in 8hrs what took us months to do with a spreadsheet and macros on an iPAQ, ending with a smaller,faster and safer program. -- Bruce Dittman, Australia
"I got rid of my appforge tools because of their overly dependence on m$ visual studio. AppForge is way too overpriced for what it does. I tried your demo and I liked the fact that all nsbasic gui components, even the menu, objects can all be instantiated programmatically. Neat!" -- A. Lopez
I've been working with my old NS Basic/CE v4.1 that I purchased a long time ago as well as the trial version of NS Basic/Palm. I'm really impressed with both packages and after testing CF.NET, HB++, CASL, and AppForge, I honestly believe that NS Basic is the only way to go for ex-eVB programmers. Again, great product. I really like it and the small test programs I've developed so far in NS Basic download quicker and run faster than comparable eVB programs. I wish I had gone to NS Basic a long time ago. -- Mike DeAndrea
"I bought a copy of NS BASIC a few years ago. For a variety of reasons (all of which I now deeply regret), I developed a number of apps with Appforge Mobile VB. Yeah, I know... bad move... don't get me started on my Appforge rant!" -- Bob Sacks
"NSB is saving the day for me. If I had to do this in .NET it would have taken me a year instead of just a few months. -- Mike DeAndrea
I have enjoyed using it this week - runs so much faster. [Than eVB] -- Lisa Young
"The porting of Pocket VetGo to NSB is going extremely well. The performance improvements from eVB are amazing. In fact, the performance is so much better that I'm not only porting the product but enhancing it as well, adding many features that simply weren't an option when we were working within the eVB framework. " -- Mike DeAndrea

First: I was thrilled to be able to download the program. Microsoft won't let you do that with their up-to-date tools, even if you're prepared to pay full price for Visual Studio. I was on a deadline and desperately needed to create a demo with something. NS Basic Good. Microsoft Evil.

Second: I've only done a small amount of work with it so far, but, I like it. It looks great for putting together the kind of simple screens that I need to do.

Third: I like the streamlined approach that you seem to have taken. Microsoft anything leaves me feeling bloated. It looks to me like your performance advantage has come, at least in part, by putting together a cleaner product that efficiently does what it's supposed to and doesn't have tons of useless extra stuff hanging around.

Fourth: The installation was quick and easy. I like that. A lot.

Finally: I like the price. Considering that it worked the way I needed it to, it was darn good value for the money.

I will shortly need to put together an IrDA link, based on IrCOMM, to one of our devices. If you can point me towards any kind of explanation or sample code that does that using NS Basic, I'd be very happy. (I'm running Windows Mobile 5 on an HP iPAQ 1950.)

The real test will come when I need to put some custom hardware into the iPAQ. I'll be feeling my way along trying to get NS Basic to talk to the hardware. I may be back in touch at that point.

So, great product which was available when I needed it. Thank you.

Best regards,
Brian Falter

"There is no doubt now that NSBasic is the match for any SDK for Windows Mobile." -- Al Richey

By the way, I must say working with NS Basic is such a dream, our development time is negligible to that of before. I love it, and am happy to let others know. If you ever need a testimonial let me know it would be a pleasure.

Great product and this is the first time I've needed support and I must congratulate you on the quick reply.

We deal mostly with scanners, ie: Symbol, Datalogic, PSC. We were stuck with using their development platforms and had just moved to .NET, but .. Not a real fan of .NET as soon as we came across NS Basic we jumped ship.

I suppose it is just a learning curve but NS Basic gives us all we need and with the Active X's available there really isn't anything we can't do now, we already used the /n Software group of active x's in our desktop development so it was easy to move with those across with NS Basic.

We are a B2B company developing EDI translation and integration software we also own and run 1 of the 4 major VAN's in Australia, the development of mobile applications was the next natural step, hence the introduction of NS Basic.

Jim Gatsios, Australia

"Just wanted to take a moment to thank you and your team for developing NS Basic and for all the excellent support -- and patience -- you've provided over the past two years as I migrated Pocket VetGo from eVB to NS Basic. Actually, migration isn't the correct word. I actually redesigned Pocket VetGo from scratch and rewrote it in NS Basic/CE. I found that NS Basic/CE is a much easier development environment than eVB or .NET. The resulting executable requires a much smaller footprint, loads faster, and performs dozens of times better. Also, the learning curve to transition from eVB to NS Basic/CE is minimal compared to going to .NET.

I've been working with NS Basic/CE and NS Basic/Desktop for two years now and will never develop in any other environment. Good job on creating these development environments and thanks again for the excellent support. I've never received such personal attention to requests for help and such quick responses. You guys are really the best and should be the model by which the rest of the software industry measures itself.

Thanks again for everything." -- Mike DeAndrea, CEO; Developer of Pocket VetGo

"After lots of harrasment trying to convert some of my projects to vb.net I now decided to save myself a lot of trouble and use only NSB for mobile projects. I noticed that it has greatly improved from v6.5." -- Rolf Brandt

"Ns Basic/CE 7 is fun to work with. Thats a lot of enhancement and improvements in comparison to my earlier versions! It feels much more like the evb tools and includes some of the features I liked with appforge I like also the active X control manager" -- Dr. Horst-Peter Heimes
"Das NS-Basic ist perfekt. Ich selber programmiere mit Purebasic und bin froh, das ich mit NS-Basic die Lücke für Pocket-PC's füllen kann." -- Falko Luensmann, Germany
"NSBasic/CE version 8 is the version we've all been waiting for. At long last, the NSBasic that has always bested Visual Studio in ease of use now trumps it in single-exe runtime simplicity and built-in app installer generation. These new self-contained features make NSBasic the undisputed champion of Windows Mobile development, hands down. Every time I give Visual Studio a shot at the title, I end up coming back to NSBasic." -- Bob Hodges, MS.c, Programmer/Analyst, Microsoft
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