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Re: [midatlanticretro] First spreadsheet

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  • 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 1 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
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      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 2 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
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        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 3 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
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          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 4 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
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            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 5 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
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              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



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            • 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 6 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
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                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



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              • Andy Meyer
                Somebody declare this horse dead already.
                Message 7 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
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                  Somebody declare this horse dead already.
                • Jim Scheef
                  Ok, it is dead.
                  Message 8 of 15 , Nov 6, 2007
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                    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 9 of 15 , Nov 6, 2007
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                      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
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                      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 10 of 15 , Nov 6, 2007
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                        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
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