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6423Re: First spreadsheet

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  • Herb Johnson
    Nov 5, 2007
      Jim Scheef <jscheef@...> wrote:
      >
      > Evan,
      >
      > If Dan Bricklin didn't invent the computer spreadsheet when he wrote
      VisiCalc, who did and what was it called?
      >
      > Jim
      >

      http://www.bricklin.com/firstspreadsheetquestion.htm

      The Bricklin Web site itself addresses this question of "first".
      Bricklin himself says Visicalc was not THE first, but it had a number
      of other "firsts" in context.

      I found this and other references by simply Googling "spreadsheet
      history visicalc". Took about a minute. Another reference

      http://www.j-walk.com/ss/history/spreadsh.htm

      states specific publications (books and articles) on computerized
      forms of the spreadsheet, going back to the 1960's.

      Like ALL the other "firsts" in personal computing, there are previous
      inventions and creations. That's simply because the various "first"
      personal computers were not the FIRST computers. Bill Degnan tried to
      make this point, I believe, when he tried to use the term
      "micro-computing" to refer to some kind of one-on-one use of a
      computer with a person in an interactive, nearly-real-time, kind of
      way. Microprocessors in the mid-1970's were just another advance in
      the technical art of providing computing power of some sort, to
      individuals, for individual use instead of corporate or industrial
      use; and away from tedious hand-and-head work with pen and paper.

      Consequently, Bricklin's VisiCalc was one of many "firsts" in
      microprocessor-based personal computing; but not in computing in
      general. It takes a lot of homework and research to make a case for a
      "true" "first", in any area of invention and development. All firsts
      are qualified in some way.

      This question caught my interest, because I've just completed a
      discussion with a Web site author and researcher, who has a very good
      set of pages on the "first personal computer?" We discussed the role
      of the MITS Altair 8800, and traded considerations. I just got
      permission to post our discussion, and it's now on my Web site as:

      http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/altair_first.html

      as a dialog between myself and Doug Salot. Here's his Web page

      http://www.blinkenlights.com/

      and for the question

      http://www.blinkenlights.com/pc.shtml

      I beieve Doug was a VCF exhibitor at VCF 3.0

      Herb Johnson
      retrotechnology.com


      Herb Johnson
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