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RE: [midatlanticretro] Re: First spreadsheet

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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 1 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
      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 2 of 15 , Nov 5, 2007
        Somebody declare this horse dead already.
      • Jim Scheef
        Ok, it is dead.
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 6, 2007
          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 4 of 15 , Nov 6, 2007
            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:
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          • Bryan Pope
            ... Was this horse wearing a red shirt? Cheers, Bryan
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 6, 2007
              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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