1981 was a year that changed the world. It was the year that Ronald Reagan became President, marking for the first time that a “star of the screen” became our leader, the first Space Shuttle was launched and Abacus 21 was established implementing computer systems for the Hospitality Industry, specializing in Clubs, Resorts, and Homeowner Associations.
It all started back in 1971, when the software ran on primitive Radio Shack TRS 80's and IBM 5100's. At that time, most of the functionality was relegated to the back office.
10 years later, Abacus 21 re-wrote and expanded the software from scratch for mini-computers which were now becoming 'somewhat' affordable. A significant extension was broadening out to Point-of-Sale.
Why “Abacus 21”?
The name of the Company was a result of a 'contest' run by the Founder and President of Abacus 21, Butch Lesniak. As he was preparing to 'launch' the new company while still at his previous place of employment, he conducted a world-wide company contest to help in the name choice. Dinner was promised to the person who came up with the 'winning choice'.
The winner was 'Abacus', which was submitted by the Engineering Drafting Department of the Environmental Services Division located in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Drafting Department was comprised of six women all of which contributed to the submission, so consequently six dinners were awarded. The '21' was added on to avoid the 'name conflicts' with other 'Abacus' entities. It had absolutely no significance that can be recalled, although some have noted that it denotes software for the 21st Century, something unthought of back in 1981.
As Abacus 21 entered the 1990’s our repertoire of applications transitioned from mini-computer orientation to run on PC Networks. Comet, our Legacy System was the principal programming, database, and co-operating system mechanism that we used for this. Over the years in the 90's, we further expanded our application ensemble and enhanced all modules to take advantage of the inherent powers of PC's. In the early 90's our product was DOS-based, then moved to a Windows environment , then on to Windows NT Servers. After an extensive search for our next database tool we settled on Delphi and Interbase. Abacus 21 released its first prototype, a Concierge-WorkOrder System, using Delphi-Interbase in 1997.
Once we turned the page on a new century we enabled our Legacy System to run on Win2000 Servers. Abacus 21 assisted many of its Clients in shifting from Novell to NT or Win2000 servers. We continued to make expansions/enhancements to the Legacy System, including Internet enablement functions. Concurrently, we continued our development of our new Delphi-Interbase product line. In October 2000, Abacus 21 released its first production Delphi-Interbase application. During 2001, new Clients typically received some new-product modules as part of their Abacus 21 software suite.
Abacus 21 assisted many of its Clients in shifting from Novell to Win2000 Servers. In June 2002, Abacus 21 finally decided upon a 'name' for its new-product series, and called the new migration platform 'System 441'. “441” is the '21' in Abacus 21 squared, implying 'exponentially enhanced' software. All new Clients implemented in 2002 (and beyond) received the System 441 product series.
We continue to explore and adapt new adjunct technologies that can complement our new-product series -- such as Club-Resort & HOA Website developer affiliations, software component libraries, Web-enablement and inherent .NET capabilities, new POS peripherals, wireless, browser-based tools, electronic document management, Signature Capture, Access Control, Data Mining, Ad-Hoc Report-Designer Tools, and iPhone-iPad-Android Interactions etc. These new features or modules will be offered to our Clients within the normal upgrade processes (of the Client's set of existing applications) or as add-on module purchases.
The latest development in the history of Abacus 21 is the acquisition of the company by Northstar Technologies, Inc. Northstar is a leading provider of enterprise management software for private and semi-private membership-based clubs, homeowner associations and hospitality organizations. The combination of the two companies will allow the Abacus 21 clients to take full advantage of the broadened functionalities and technologies that the overall Northstar family of Software can provide.