CompuSol and EccoPro
By Friedhelm Dohmann
CompuSol established in 1986 was an official reseller of EccoPro under Arabesque and later NetManage. CompuSol continued to support its EccoPro user base after NetManage abandoned the software and discontinued development at the end of 1997. Shortly thereafter in 1999 the owner/moderator Tom Hoots at the EccoPro forum at Compuserve established a new tech support group at Yahoo under the name "eccopro". At that time the original Yahoo user group "eccopro" and CompuSol had the official original Ecco Pro download free available online per FTP linked to NetManage, see http://coolthingoftheday.blogspot.com and http://jkontherun.com. Please see also the license agreement discussion and email exchange between CompuSol and NetManage of April 2004 http://www.compusol.org/ecco/netmanage.html. Two years earlier on 08/27/2002, after several interruptions of their free FTP downloads, NetManage allowed CompuSol to distribute a free zipped version of the last original installation dated 8/27/1997. This version is available at http://www.compusol.org/ecco/401e32.zip. For history buffs, all original installers for EccoPro, Version 2 and Version 3 are still available at the Member Download area of the CreativeServices site.
On 5/11/2005 on request of many of the original "eccopro" Yahoo user group members, CompuSol created a manual EccoPro installation for users of Win XP SP2 called "EccoFilesSystem.zip" which was freely distributed to other support groups which used it as their free distribution copy still in use today at YSWT's http://forums.eccomagic.com/.
|EccoPro Version 3.0|
For nearly 20 years CompuSol is spearheading the effort to keep EccoPro alive - like in direct discussions with NetManage's Archie Roboostoff, today product manager at Borland, NM's general counsel Steve Mitchell and Jeff Sonnabend during the failed push in the summer of 2005 to release the source code (please see also http://www.mail-archive.com).
NetManage kept stalling and stalling with nothing to show for. We had several programmers who had offered to work on the open source project. A third party code which hindered the open source release, the database kernel, was and is still licensed by Borland. In the end it was no surprise that after NetManage was sold to Micro Focus in Great Britain, Borland after buying Micro Focus hired Archie Roboostoff as part of the deal (see https://www.linkedin.com/in/archiedr).
Most of the EccoPro history referenced on the Internet is based on original documents and pages owned by CompuSol and published in the years 2000 to 2005. Please see Arabesque Facts, the 93 Press Release, the Arabesque Vision, Tom Hoots' Ecco History, and why Ecco failed (EccoPro as a business case) by Chris Thompson's article "The Ecco Case". There are also several original PDF copies of PC Magazine articles created from archived copies of PC Magazine at CompuSol from 1993 and 1997 available at ecco93.pdf and pcmecco.pdf.
In 2007 Tom Hoots the original owner and creator of the Yahoo Support Group "eccopro" and Nick Gordon who followed Tom past the baton to Friedhelm Dohmann of CompuSol. Tom Hoots wrote on 3/1/2007: "I passed the baton" to Nick, but I'm not sure what that entailed in regards to the "ownership" in Yahoo's eyes -- and that was long, long ago! I was the one who originally started the group, though, and if Yahoo actually recognizes sentient human beings, I'll state that you certainly have my permission to change the group in any way you see fit!"
CompuSol hosts many free tools and help files released to CompuSol by their originators, like all Catalyst Tools and Call Commander Pro by John White. Many of these tools are also hosted free inside the file section of the original "eccopro" Yahoo tech support group http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/eccopro/join. Additionally, in March of 2010 CompuSol produced a 52 minute instructional video available as sectional video downloads at CompuSol's online portal "http://www.creativeservices.us".
|EccoPro Version 4.01|
In 2007 a Chinese Programer with the handle Slang started to give freely to the user community by creating the Ecco Extension. Thanks to the incredible work of Slang, the Extension injects itself into the native Ecco source code, and removes so decade old bugs while creating countless new features. CompuSol recognized early the need to update the EccoPro installation process for new operating systems like 32-bit and 64-bit Vista, Windows 7/8 and 10 and developed a Windows compliant installer for EccoPro. In early 2013 Slang offered Compusol to add the Extension to the CompuSol Installer to give new EccoPro users an easy start.
To keep up with a younger generation and their PDA and Smartphone use, CompuSol simplified the PDA synchronization process of EccoPro in cooperation with MotionApps http://www.motionapps.com to make the desktop installation compatible with webOS and the Palm Pre by using MotionApps Classic V2 emulator(see hotsync.html). In 2013 with the help of a public fundraiser, original EccoPro team members of Arabeque donated $1000, CompuSol developed new two-way EccoPro synchronization software after HP discontinued the Palm Pre. MyPhoneExplorer supports not only Calendar, Contacts, Tasks but also EccoPro Outlines, unlimited TLI's and related sub-items for the MPE Notes synchronization to Android Phones and Tablets. CompuSol will continue to create new templates like the recently released enhanced Project Manager Template with a detailed 26 minute high-resolution instruction video and the new Legal Billing Template to fulfill the need for a uniform set of billing and task categories for law firms as recommended by the American Bar Association.
Brent Wayland who worked at Arabesque with brilliant developers like Ed Sheppard, the little known chief architect of Ecco and the man that provided technical brilliance behind version 2 and other original team members including Ravi Pandya, Charles “String of Pearls” Seybold, Fredric Wamsley, Hubert “Group Scheduling” Hoover wrote on 11/30/2012: "Friedhelm, thank you again for your ongoing dedication. The entire Ecco universe is fortunate to have you and Creative Services. Fortunate indeed."
Additional External References to EccoPro and CompuSol (please note the timeline of the links):
http://forums.eccomagic.com EccoMagic Forum
http://portableapps.com/node/5137 Using ECCO on USB Drive
http://osdir.com osdir.com, ECCO under wine under Linux
http://www.theconglomerate.org The conglomerate
http://www.guardian.co.uk The Guardian, London
http://projectmanagementnews.blogspot.com Project Management
http://www.fredshack.com/docs/pim.html Information Managers