Fret Master Beta

In 1998 I wrote the only piece of software I had intended other people to see. I wrote it in Visual Basic 4. It’s a guitar fret board mapping program. Pick a note and a scale and click a button – it’ll show you where those notes are on the fret board. It was fun and useful but really basic and lacked a lot of features. But I made it and I was proud to give it away. At some point a website called Harmony Central got a hold of it. I might have uploaded it or maybe someone else did, I don’t remember. In any event, Harmony Central was a very popular music site that contained a lot of resources for musicians including sheet music, tablature and software. Fret Master made it into the listing.

For years I’d find links to Fret Master all over the world (all linking back to Harmony Central) and I even got some email praise for it.

Eventually, freeware (and shareware) sort of fell out of popularity. I also switched internet providers so the email address distributed with the program no longer worked.

A couple years ago, on a whim, I searched for Fret Master and was shocked to find a bunch of really old links still pointing to the Harmony Central site that hosted it. All the links were dead. But then I thought to try the Internet Archive (archive.org) and was surprised to be able to download a copy of Fret Master Beta 3 (circa 1998).

I double-clicked on the .exe file only to be greeted by a crash screen in Windows 10. Something about not being able to access the registry. Damn. Then I thought “What about WINE?” Hey! It works in WINE!

My dumb little program that made it’s way around the world has found it’s way home.

Fret Master Beta 3.0 (circa 1998)

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