Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [midatlanticretro] First spreadsheet

Expand Messages
  • Evan
    I don t know. VisiCalc was certainly the first mainstream / successful / easily usable microcomputer spreadsheet. But I am 99.9% sure it was not LITERALLY
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 4, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      I don't know. VisiCalc was certainly the first mainstream / successful / easily usable microcomputer spreadsheet. But I am 99.9% sure it was not LITERALLY the first computeritzed spreadsheet.
    • Dan Roganti
      For just a quick overview of spreadsheets, the wiki link below has some good historical info. I think the blog article might have been an honest mistake, in
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
      • 0 Attachment

        For just a quick overview of spreadsheets, the wiki link below has some good historical info. I think the blog article might have been an honest mistake, in light of the commercial success of the big 3. VisiCalc was probably the "first" commercial spreadsheet among them from what I've seen, but there's might have been implementations already on these machines. There's probably a lot more info elsewhere online.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spreadsheet

        =Dan
        [ "I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them"     ]
        [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/    ]
        
        


        Evan wrote:
        I don't know.  VisiCalc was certainly the first mainstream / successful / easily usable microcomputer spreadsheet.  But I am 99.9% sure it was not LITERALLY the first computeritzed spreadsheet.
        
        
        
         
        Yahoo! Groups Links
        
        <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midatlanticretro/
        
        <*> Your email settings:
            Individual Email | Traditional
        
        <*> To change settings online go to:
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midatlanticretro/join
            (Yahoo! ID required)
        
        <*> To change settings via email:
            mailto:midatlanticretro-digest@yahoogroups.com 
            mailto:midatlanticretro-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
        
        <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            midatlanticretro-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        
        <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
            http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
         
        
        
          
      • Bob Applegate
        We re going to start splitting hairs pretty soon. When the guys wrote it (Bricklen? Other?), they had never seen anything like it before, and that s why they
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          We're going to start splitting hairs pretty soon.  When the guys wrote it (Bricklen?  Other?), they had never seen
          anything like it before, and that's why they created it.  Pretty soon we'll be into the argument of whether a given
          application was a generic spreadsheet or something that looked *liked* a spreadsheet but wasn't quite as
          capable, etc.
           
          Visicalc was the "killer app" that made personal computers attractive to businesses.  Without something like it,
          it could have taken a lot longer for PCs to catch on.
           
          BTW, I was working in a computer store in the early 80s, and specialized in Atari 800/400 machines (extremely
          capable and well ahead of many other machines at the time in terms of technology).  Some suit walked in and
          wanted to see some business apps, so I showed him stuff on the Atari.  He wasn't impressed.  I brought up
          a spreadsheet and gave a quick demo, including color charts, negative numbers in red, etc.  He sat with a
          rather unhappy look for a while and finally declared the Atari was just a video game, and "all those colors looks
          unprofessional.  Businessmen don't want all that nonsense."  I always wondered if that same stiff was using
          Windows and Excel now with grayscale, or did he finally decide color was a good thing.
           
          Bob
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Evan
          Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 12:53 AM
          Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] First spreadsheet

          I don't know. VisiCalc was certainly the first mainstream / successful / easily usable microcomputer spreadsheet. But I am 99.9% sure it was not LITERALLY the first computeritzed spreadsheet.

        • Herb Johnson
          ... VisiCalc, who did and what was it called? ... http://www.bricklin.com/firstspreadsheetquestion.htm The Bricklin Web site itself addresses this question of
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            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
          • Evan
            I don t see this as splitting hairs. As someone writing a computer history book, it really bothers me when people abruptly declare a category s first
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              I don't see this as splitting hairs. As someone writing a computer history book, it really bothers me when people abruptly declare a category's first MAINSTREAM product to also be the first EVER product.
            • Evan
              I meant no disrespect to Bricklin, Frankston, and Fylstra... Doug has a good site but his definition of personal computer is too narrow for me. Met him
              Message 6 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                I meant no disrespect to Bricklin, Frankston, and Fylstra...

                Doug has a good site but his definition of "personal computer" is too narrow for me. Met him years a few years ago via Sellam. I say the abacus was first!
              • Sridhar Ayengar
                ... I suspect there were methods for keeping track of numeric mathematics that predate the abacus. 8;-) Piles of stones? Peace... Sridhar
                Message 7 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  Evan wrote:
                  > I meant no disrespect to Bricklin, Frankston, and Fylstra...
                  >
                  > Doug has a good site but his definition of "personal computer" is too narrow for me. Met him years a few years ago via Sellam. I say the abacus was first!

                  I suspect there were methods for keeping track of numeric mathematics
                  that predate the abacus. 8;-) Piles of stones?

                  Peace... Sridhar
                • Evan
                  Yup ... stones and drawing lines in the dirt ... and counting on your fingers.
                  Message 8 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Yup ... stones and drawing lines in the dirt ... and counting on your fingers.
                  • Jim Scheef
                    Sridhar, ... that predate the abacus. 8;-) Piles of stones? It was your ancestors who invented the zero and the positional notation of numbers. These are the
                    Message 9 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Sridhar,

                      >>I suspect there were methods for keeping track of numeric mathematics
                      that predate the abacus.  8;-)  Piles of stones?

                      It was your ancestors who invented the zero and the positional notation of numbers. These are the keys to computation. Anyone who does not agree can ask a Roman to do long division. Unfortunately the Romans gave credit to the Arabs who carried the number system from India to Europe.

                      Reference: The Universal History of Computing by Georges Ifrah.

                      Back on topic, the Wikipedia entry on spreadsheets was illuminating.
                      For a brief time we had a spreadsheet program on VM/CMS at GF. You started it up and a grid appeared on your 3270. It was totally unusable because every time you moving to a new current cell required a refresh of the 3270 screen and the delay was just too much. Some people thought that VM/CMS could replace personal computers for "personal computing".

                      The Wikipedia gives credit to some mainframe programs as the first "spreadsheets", however it is apparent that these were not the inspiration for VisiCalc. I think most people will agree that the immediacy of the PC is a critical part of a computer "spreadsheet" program.

                      Jim

                      ----- Original Message ----
                      From: Sridhar Ayengar <ploopster@...>
                      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Monday, November 5, 2007 1:36:53 PM
                      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: First spreadsheet

                      Evan wrote:
                      > I meant no disrespect to Bricklin, Frankston, and Fylstra...
                      >
                      > Doug has a good site but his definition of "personal
                      computer" is too narrow for me.  Met him years a few years ago via Sellam.  I say the abacus was first!

                      I suspect there were methods for keeping track of numeric mathematics
                      that predate the abacus.  8;-)  Piles of stones?

                      Peace...  Sridhar



                      Yahoo! Groups Links

                      <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midatlanticretro/

                      <*> Your email settings:
                          Individual Email | Traditional

                      <*> To change settings online go to:
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midatlanticretro/join
                          (Yahoo! ID required)

                      <*> To change settings via email:
                          mailto:midatlanticretro-digest@yahoogroups.com
                          mailto:midatlanticretro-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com

                      <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                          midatlanticretro-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                      <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                          http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


                    • Evan Koblentz
                      ... spreadsheets , however it is apparent that these were not the inspiration for VisiCalc. In 2004, the Software History Center (now part of the Computer
                      Message 10 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Message
                        >>> The Wikipedia gives credit to some mainframe programs as the first "spreadsheets", however it is apparent that these were not the inspiration for VisiCalc.
                         
                        In 2004, the Software History Center (now part of the Computer History Museum) sponsored a conference in the Boston area, called "PC Software: The First Decade" and Bricklin / Frankston were there.  I forget if Fylstra was there.  However, * I * was there.  Someplace (it'll take a long while to find), I have notes from a large group interview of a bunch of historians (including yours truly) with Bricklin.  I'm sure he talked about his inspirations.
                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Jim Scheef [mailto:jscheef@...]
                        Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 12:01 AM
                        To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: First spreadsheet

                        Sridhar,

                        >>I suspect there were methods for keeping track of numeric mathematics
                        that predate the abacus.  8;-)  Piles of stones?

                        It was your ancestors who invented the zero and the positional notation of numbers. These are the keys to computation. Anyone who does not agree can ask a Roman to do long division. Unfortunately the Romans gave credit to the Arabs who carried the number system from India to Europe.

                        Reference: The Universal History of Computing by Georges Ifrah.

                        Back on topic, the Wikipedia entry on spreadsheets was illuminating.
                        For a brief time we had a spreadsheet program on VM/CMS at GF. You started it up and a grid appeared on your 3270. It was totally unusable because every time you moving to a new current cell required a refresh of the 3270 screen and the delay was just too much. Some people thought that VM/CMS could replace personal computers for "personal computing".

                        The Wikipedia gives credit to some mainframe programs as the first "spreadsheets", however it is apparent that these were not the inspiration for VisiCalc. I think most people will agree that the immediacy of the PC is a critical part of a computer "spreadsheet" program.

                        Jim

                        ----- Original Message ----
                        From: Sridhar Ayengar <ploopster@...>
                        To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Monday, November 5, 2007 1:36:53 PM
                        Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: First spreadsheet

                        Evan wrote:
                        > I meant no disrespect to Bricklin, Frankston, and Fylstra...
                        >
                        > Doug has a good site but his definition of "personal computer" is too narrow for me.  Met him years a few years ago via Sellam.  I say the abacus was first!

                        I suspect there were methods for keeping track of numeric mathematics
                        that predate the abacus.  8;-)  Piles of stones?

                        Peace...  Sridhar



                        Yahoo! Groups Links

                        <*> To visit your group on the web, go to:
                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midatlanticretro/

                        <*> Your email settings:
                            Individual Email | Traditional

                        <*> To change settings online go to:
                            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midatlanticretro/join
                            (Yahoo! ID required)

                        <*> To change settings via email:
                            mailto:midatlanticretro-digest@yahoogroups.com
                            mailto:midatlanticretro-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com

                        <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                            midatlanticretro-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

                        <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
                            http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


                      • Andy Meyer
                        Somebody declare this horse dead already.
                        Message 11 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Somebody declare this horse dead already.
                        • Jim Scheef
                          Ok, it is dead.
                          Message 12 of 15 , Nov 6, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Ok, it is dead.


                            --- Andy Meyer <ysgdhio@...> wrote:

                            > Somebody declare this horse dead already.
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                          • madodel
                            ... He s dead Jim. :-) Mark -- From the eComStation Desktop of: Mark Dodel Warpstock 2007 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada: http://www.warpstock.org Warpstock
                            Message 13 of 15 , Nov 6, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Jim Scheef wrote:
                              > Ok, it is dead.
                              >
                              >
                              > --- Andy Meyer <ysgdhio@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >> Somebody declare this horse dead already.


                              "He's dead Jim." :-)


                              Mark


                              --

                              From the eComStation Desktop of: Mark Dodel

                              Warpstock 2007 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada: http://www.warpstock.org
                              Warpstock Europe - Valkenswaard close to Eindhoven, the Netherlands:
                              http://www.warpstock.eu


                              For a choice in the future of personal computing, Join VOICE -
                              http://www.os2voice.org

                              "The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the
                              growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their
                              democratic State itself. That in it's essence, is Fascism - ownership of
                              government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private
                              power." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Message proposing the Monopoly
                              Investigation, 1938
                            • Bryan Pope
                              ... Was this horse wearing a red shirt? Cheers, Bryan
                              Message 14 of 15 , Nov 6, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                madodel wrote:
                                > Jim Scheef wrote:
                                >
                                >> Ok, it is dead.
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> --- Andy Meyer <ysgdhio@...> wrote:
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>> Somebody declare this horse dead already.
                                >>>
                                >
                                >
                                > "He's dead Jim." :-)
                                >
                                Was this horse wearing a red shirt?

                                Cheers,

                                Bryan
                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.