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VisiCalc Turns 25, Creators Interviewed 149

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the column-z-row-2 dept.
Xaroth writes "It's hard to believe that it's already been 25 years since the release of one of the world's first 'killer apps.' 1979 saw the creation of VisiCalc, the first microcomputer-based spreadsheet and the single application that launched widespread computer use among businesses. To remember this event, PC World has published portions of interviews with the three co-creators of the modern spreadsheet: Dan Bricklin, Bob Frankston, and Dan Fylstra. Alternately, check out the Software History website for more information on this and other historical bits."
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VisiCalc Turns 25, Creators Interviewed

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  • Test it out! (Score:5, Informative)

    by JThundley (631154) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:25PM (#9330716) Homepage
    Run it yourself! [bricklin.com]

    I bet there's a Linux one floating around out there, I guess I'll try to WINE this one.
  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:26PM (#9330719)
    Don't bother with that Software History website linked to in the article. There's very little content, and it seems to be mostly a placeholder and a place for people to give them donations.

    As far as I can tell, it has absolutely zero content about Visicalc, and I have no idea why it was linked to in the first place.
    • Quoth the article:

      In May, the Software History Center in Boston reunited veterans of the PC's first decade to reminisce and exchange war stories. The luminaries included the three principals behind VisiCalc: Dan Bricklin, who conceived the idea; Bob Frankston, who programmed VisiCalc; and Dan Fylstra, whose VisiCorp brought the product to a surprised world. Here are edited versions of interviews with all three.

      Given that it was the original source of the interviews, it seemed appropriate to mention it i
  • by Jailbrekr (73837)
    Would they have ever written it, knowing that, in the end, a paper clip would be used to teach people how to use a spreadsheet.....
    • Re:Would they... (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Um, ye$.

      The question is, would they have patented it?
      • Re:Would they... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fm6 (162816)
        Sure they'd patent it. They considered doing it 25 years ago, but an unimaginative lawyer told them that software wasn't patentable. More here [bricklin.com].
  • Download, anyone? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by MarkJensen (708621)

    Many Slashdot readers may know this, but there will be a good number who don't... It's not mentioned in the linked articles, but you can go to http://www.bricklin.com/history/vcexecutable.htm and download Visicalc.

  • by wizbit (122290) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:28PM (#9330734)
    Don't forget DB Master [dbmaster.com] for the Apple II [gno.org]. Sold several million copies - a modernized version of it is still used in public works offices around the world, even 20 years later.

    The original author still does DB work for this company [stoneedge.com].
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Since there were only slightly more than two million Apple II's ever made, it's pretty unlikely then "several million copies" of any software title were ever sold for it. Don't just make stuff up.
    • The site just gives me some eye, a sword, and something saying "Darkest: The World Beyond". Now, where's the Enter link? Oh, wait, there ISN'T ONE!

      I even tried Web Archive, which got me either blank pages or redirects to that SWF mentioned above...
  • Small fact... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by networkGhettoWhore (564183) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:29PM (#9330737)
    I dont think the article mentioned this, but VisiCalc was also the first (known) enterprise app to be ported from the Apple OS to a *Nix based system.
    • Other Small Fact... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:51PM (#9330875) Homepage Journal
      I dont think the article mentioned this, but VisiCalc was also the first (known) enterprise app to be ported from the Apple OS to a *Nix based system.

      Some time ago there was the question raised concerning ownership and transfer of patents, etc. of the spreadsheet, which everyone and his kid brother eventually made their own version of. IIRC the creators didn't feel they actually sold all rights or something to that effect (sound similar to the SCO/Linux debacle?) Anyone know what has been determined in that regard? Seems if it was still unresolved it would make SCO/Linux look like a tempest in a teapot by comparison.

      • Some time ago there was the question raised concerning ownership and transfer of patents, etc. of the spreadsheet

        Visicalc came out in 1979. At that time, software patents were rarely granted. (Our legal system has corrupted patents since that time.) Dan Bricklin has some information about Visicalc and panents on his website.

        http://www.bricklin.com/patenting.htm [bricklin.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, not necessarily Visicalc specifically (Sheesh, it's an ancient program!), but spreadsheets in general.

    jEdit, through its pluggable Java architecture allows the addition of user-created plug ins. One of these is the double bookkeeping plug in.

    Every accountant to whom I introduced this to (it's free as in gratis and libre) has told me how much more productive they are using this set up than using plain old spreadsheets.

    Basically, the goal of computing is to mimic and make easier real-life processes.
    • and it only takes 2Gb RAM to run it in sluggish mode.
    • by RidiculousPie (774439) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:39PM (#9330798)
      What's the difference between what you describe and the idea of Lotus Improv [fact-index.com]?
      Improv was a truly innovative system, which I think represents a logical method of fast data handling.
      Also, could jEdit have been developed if VisiCalc and Improv had not come before it?
      • Lotus Improv (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jenglish (11188)
        Lotus Improv certainly sounds like something truly nifty (Google for it, there are a handful of articles about it on the web besides the one cited above). Which reminds me of Lotus Agenda, another reportedly supercool application that you can only read about today.

        I wonder how many other revolutionary applications Lotus developed and later buried?
        • AmiPro was consistently the best reviewed word processor, then Lotus bought it, destroyed the code base, and started over with WordPro. Which bit large.

          AFAIK they didn't develop it, but they definitely buried it.
        • Re:Lotus Improv (Score:3, Interesting)

          by I_M_Noman (653982)

          Lotus Agenda, another reportedly supercool application that you can only read about today. I wonder how many other revolutionary applications Lotus developed and later buried?

          You're correct -- Agenda was beyond cool. It remains my favorite piece of software ever. Damn, that thing ran my life for about three years. Then Lotus bought Organizer from Threadz and killed off development of an Agenda for Windows.

          As to your other question, let's see...Agenda was best-of-breed, as was was Magellan. I alwa

      • Nonsense. Improv wasn't innovative in any sense of the word. Lotus Improv was nothing but a GUI port of Javelin. Now Javelin was innovative, basically an OLAP spreadsheet that was like nothing else on the market when it came out. Lotus cloning it (and then killing their clone) shouldn't get anybody's praise.
    • by JoeShmoe950 (605274) <CrazyNorman@gmail.com> on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:39PM (#9330800) Homepage
      Not to be a flaimbait or anything, but I think that your completely wrong about Visicalc. Computers aren't designed to mimic things from the real world. Many good programs don't. The spreadsheet is productive, very. In fact, it doesn't mimic paper+calc+pencil for doing banking, it superceeds it.
      • by nelsonal (549144) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:57PM (#9330907) Journal
        I agree with you, but we're both probably spreadsheet experts. Have you ever seen a user with only basic training, and a limited understanding of math? They know certain things are possible (because they saw us do them) but to them the spreadsheet is not intuitive. To us they are. Once you grasp relative v absolute references (and cell naming) you are usually on your way to being unstoppable.
        One thing that would be nice would be a sheet that had a different display for user input data and calc'd data (I have my own shorthand but wouldn't it be nice if the sheet just formatted them automatically?
        My employer spend millions of dollars redesigning their database input and report forms so they would be the same as the old mainframe systems. Dumb to us, but most users were rendered helpless by something different, even if it was more efficient. Something that looks like what a user is comfortable with is sometimes more useful than a powerful, flexible, but different tool.
      • by benzapp (464105) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @09:01PM (#9331271)
        Not only that, but the original designer of VisiCalc describes this very issue in the article, and how the uniqueness of the spreadsheet made it very difficult to describe to the public at large. Only through immersion in the technology can you really understand and appreciate it.

        so, you forgot to preface your post with RTFA.

      • by OscarGunther (96736) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @09:10PM (#9331341) Journal
        The spreadsheet is productive, very. In fact, it doesn't mimic paper+calc+pencil for doing banking, it superceeds it.

        And yet VisiCalc was designed to mimic a real-world operation. IIRC, industrial planners used to have large blackboards divided into grids and each square in the grid could hold a number or an equation. When a number was changed in one square, all the dependent squares had to be recalculated. Of course, the concern was that something had been missed. I believe Bricklin heard one of his professors describe this process and chose it as his model for what eventually became VisiCalc.

        I think I read this in Cringely's Accidental Empires.

      • ...The spreadsheet is productive, very...

        I can only partially agree with you. Spreadsheets are great tools, but what I see are people using them for everything; i.e., for jobs they were never intended to do.

        Example: recently I had a user ask me to split a large file up into smaller files of ~60K records each. Why? So that they would fit in his spreadsheet. Instead, I offered to show him how to use the systems query product to get the information he was looking for. It opened up a whole new world for
        • In this case, the spreadsheet was a hindrance to productivity.

          I would disagree. The spreadsheet was a HUGE help to his productivity. Without a spreadsheet, he'd have been doing the work in a word processor, or worse, on paper.

          But I grant your point that using a tool when a BETTER tool is available can carry a huge opportunity cost.
          • I see your point, but I must still disagree.

            If he had not had a spreadsheet, he probably would have come to me first and asked for a report (like back in the good old days when nobody had a PC on their desk). At which point I would have showed him how to use the query manager (a 20+ year-old product) and, voila!

            Using your logic, if he were building something, one would say he was more productive for using a crescent wrench to bang in a nail, instead of walking over to his neighbor to borrow a hammer.
    • The spreadsheet only has no real-life corollary because Visicalc made doing it by hand completely and utterly obsolete. Writing a letter isn't really sped up a whole lot by using a computer (as compared to writing it by hand, or on a typewriter). Spreadsheets are a whole different story. They were done by hand at one point, but changing some numbers and carrying forward all the calculations used to be a full time job for some people. Now it's 10 seconds with Excel. Think on that for a bit. :)
    • by saddino (183491) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @10:52PM (#9331817)
      The spreadsheet has no real-life corollary

      Technically, it was real-life [thefreedictionary.com] that gave Bricklin his idea in the first place. To quote:

      Bricklin has spoken of watching his university professor create a table of calculation results on a blackboard. When the professor found an error, he had to tediously erase and rewrite a number of sequential entries in the table, triggering Bricklin to think that he could replicate the process on a computer....
    • Basically, the goal of computing is to mimic and make easier real-life processes. The spreadsheet has no real-life corollary, whereas Java and specifically the Object Oriented paradigm model the real world to a T.

      Not to flame...but you sound like a very, very recent OOP convert.

      The goal of computing is NOT necessarily to mimic and make easier real-life processes. Look at Tetris. Does that have any real-life equivalent, blinkenlights notwithstanding?

      And OOP is really bad (or at least awkward and ineffici
    • How come Excel doesn't handle hexadecimal? Sheesh, I have to use calc.exe instead. Is there a decent free spreadsheet that is not so geek-challenged?
  • by Hobart (32767) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:34PM (#9330763) Homepage Journal
    Visicalc
    Mail-from: : SU-NET host SU-LOTS-A rcvd at 3-Jan-83 0246-PST
    Date: : 3 Jan 1983 0246-PST
    From: : K.Kanef at SU-LOTS-A (Bob Kanefsky)
    Subject: : Visicalc
    To: : Songs at SU-LOTS-A
    Parody-of: : Physical (Olivia Newton John)

    Visicalc
    Parody written by Bob Kanefsky
    Idea suggested by Judy Anderson

    Been working out the figures day and night,
    Making good column'ation.
    I gotta add them up just right --
    And know what they mean.

    I pencil in the fields I \guess/ you want,
    Adding and subtracting duly,
    Movin' my eraser up and down and
    Horizontally.

    Let's get Visicalc,
    Visicalc.
    I wanna get Visicalc.
    Lemme get your budget done,
    Your budget done.
    Lemme get your budget done,

    (chorus)

    I been patient, I been good.
    Tryin' to make a hand-drawn table.
    My interest in your figures wanes --
    You know what I mean.

    I'm sure you'll understand my point of view;
    We know each other fiscally:
    You gotta know you're gettin' up
    My semi-annual fee.

    (chorus)

    (chorus)

    Let's get annual,
    Annual.
    I wanna get annual.
    Let's get into annual.
    Lemme get your budget done,
    Your budget done.
    Lemme get your budget done,

    (I know there was another version of this in an old Atari magazine that said something about "lemme see your diode's rock", but Google hasn't seen it. ;)
  • Ah ... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Sonic McTails (700139)
    Hmm, a program from 1975 is still better then Execl 2004
  • Some Special on TV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aliens (90441) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:38PM (#9330791) Homepage Journal
    I remember watching something about the early days of PC's and there was an interview with one of Visicalc's creators and he discussed the first time he showed it to an accountant.

    The accountant supposedly started visibly shaking and proclaimed "Do you realize just how much time this will save me??"

    I just found that bit interesting for all the people who hold onto "the good old days" and question if computers have really helped or hindered us.

    In my mind I try to imagine just where we would be if we still only had large main frames. The power of the PC is truely amazing.

    (sorry just got back from a workout and am high on endorphines (or whatever they are))
    • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:41PM (#9330816)
      What's interesting is that it doesn't actually save any time, it just means that they do more, and different kinds, or financial reports.
      • by rewt66 (738525)
        Yes, the amount of time spent doing financial reports has pretty much stayed the same. But the ability to create scenarios, to play "what if" games, has led to much better financial information being available to corporate planners.

        It's like many other situations: You'll pay for as much information as you can get, rather than just get the same information more cheaply.
    • by gkuz (706134)
      In my mind I try to imagine just where we would be if we still only had large main frames. The power of the PC is truely amazing

      Isn't revisionist history wonderful? You're obviously unaware that computerized spreadsheets were running on mainframes nearly 15 years before VisiCalc. Look here [dssresources.com], for instance. Supercomp-Twenty was a strong mainframe-based spreadsheet at about the same time as VisiCalc. To suggest progress would not have been made without the PC is specious at best.

      • by aliens (90441)
        Well I don't think that everyone would have a Mainframe to connect to, to run spreadsheets. Now every business large and small can easily keep records that would have been done by hand.
    • The accountant supposedly started visibly shaking and proclaimed "Do you realize just how much time this will save me??"

      Wow, I've never seen an accountant visibly shake!

      • Wow, I've never seen an accountant visibly shake!

        Try turning in an expense report, complete with the itemized receipts, from a trip to Japan back at a US office. I suspect it was more a mental seg fault than quivering in delight, however...
        • I've found a way around this. Occasionally when staff members are sent to unpleasant, unstable, or otherwise unruly countries, they have to pay a bribe or two to get across borders, pay off customs officials to get their work equipment through the airport, grease the local police to get their passports back, or whatever. My boss just has it written up in the expense reports as an "airport tax." That's a nice phrase that's specific enough to pass the accountants, but doesn't really let on what happened, b
    • In my mind I try to imagine just where we would be if we still only had large main frames. The power of the PC is truely amazing.

      Hold on there for a minute. DEC VAXs had DECCALC [okstate.edu] , email, chat, clusters, paint programs, EDT (like emacs) fortran, etc. etc. in 1979

      Unfortunately, all the hardware is probably dead now, and it was very expensive when new. On the other hand, the uptime was better than PCs, and there were no problems with users installing viruses, games, and other crapware at work. Users interfa

    • The accountant should have said "Do you realize how many fewer accountants my company will need??
      Then he'd really have a reason to shake.
  • by Whitecloud (649593) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:41PM (#9330810) Homepage
    Excellent quote from Dan Bricklin:

    I think that community is coming back. With the Web, blogs, e-mail, and cell phones, we're seeing a resurgence in community. Technology is now something for bringing people together.

    Visiclac kicked off ebusiness, email gave us instant global communications, mobile phones let us do that on the move, whats next?

  • You mean.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by dj245 (732906) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:44PM (#9330831) Homepage
    You mean to tell me that solitare was not the first killer app?
  • by argoff (142580) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:50PM (#9330865)
    Boy, if they would have, it would have stopped alot of the anticompetitive business practices that's happened in the 25 years since, they could have locked out execl before it even happened.
  • Most spreadsheets are overkill for most tasks.

    I wouldn't mind some cut down spreadsheet software, a number-processing equivalent of a plain text editor compared to a full blown word processor.

    Shouldn't be too hard to create something like this, I'm sure. EasySheet. KSheet. GSheet. OhSheet!

    Too much software has been enticed by the lure of features and complexity, at the expense of simplicity and doing what most people need it to do.
  • This is fascinating -- I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a scholar of software history, but I did witness the whole visicalc revolution and this is the first time I've ever heard that Dan Bricklin had co-authors! I'd always heard that he hacked the whole thing together himself and the only help he had was figuring out how to package and sell the thing.

    I wonder what other software myths will fade or be debunked in the next twenty years.

  • by bokmann (323771) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @08:02PM (#9330934) Homepage
    I didn't even realize it until I saw tihs article, but my first programming gig was with Visicalc...

    It was 1982, I was 13, and a guy paid me $50 to create a spreadsheet for him that would let him calculate his cost per share of some stock he was buying over multiple purchases (dollar cost averaging).
  • Bricklin and Frankston did some innovating work in (the quite stable) VisiCalc... not to be outdone, in 1982 Microsoft released Multiplan 1.0 which was a pioneer in some, shall we say, more infamous terms. It was a revenue bomb, and it's miscalculations cost customers umpteen $$. I remember hearing somewhere that the legal threats due to Multiplan almost shut down Microsoft's early operations.

    Apparently, rumor was that SCO was hired to port Multiplan [google.com] (to various *nix's I would guess).

    Anyway, it's inte
    • Anyway, it's interesting that one of Microsoft's first attempt to unseat a software application was targeted at Visicalc. Did they succeed?

      Nope. In fact, Microsoft kept failing at spreadsheets until long after Lotus 123 became popular. It wasn't until Microsoft was able to leverage Windows that they finally gained a foothold. Of course, that's a story in itself.

      Interestingly enough, the whole Windows story has a lot to do with VisiCalc. You see, VisiCalc took all their hard earned money and put it into creating a piece of software known as VisiOn. VisiOn was the first PC GUI for DOS. Given that Graphical User Interfaces had been the domain of expensive Unix machines, this worried Microsoft a great deal. So they announced Microsoft Windows.

      In typical Microsoft fashion, they really didn't have anything. But they managed to spam the media and make everyone put off purchasing VisiOn in hopes that this mystical "Windows" would be a far better investment.

      The early betas of MS Windows were actually nothing more than a way of multitasking different DOS apps. By pressing certain keys, you could switch from one "Full Screen Window" to another. About that time, Apple introduced the world to a true WIMP interface. This caused Microsoft to change directions. When the first version of MS Windows was delivered, it allowed for multiple programs to run in tiled windows. One window could be maximized at any time, thus obscuring the other windows. To be blunt, this sucked.

      Windows 2.0 was only slightly better, but it sucked too. Windows 3.0 finally hit the mark by delivering a full WIMP interface and a program manager. Why Microsoft thought the program manager was a good idea when the Macintosh showed otherwise, is a mystery that will forever remain unsolved.

      • by hemp (36945)
        I seem to recall Control Data Corp (CDC) buying it from Bricklin, et all for several million and then CDC proceding to screw it up and had the advantage back to Microsoft.

        So I think they probably got out at the best time.

        I also seem to remember GEM (better product IMHO) coming out around the same time, so the marketplace had plenty of competitors at that time.


        • I also seem to remember GEM (better product IMHO) coming out around the same time, so the marketplace had plenty of competitors at that time.


          Didn't GEM go on to become popular on various early handheld devices? In fact, I seem to remember that it was GEM handhelds that first introduced the "Graffiti" handwriting recognition that was later used in US Robotics Palm Pilots.

          • GEOS, my friend, GEOS. Started out on the Commodedoor 64, got ported to the Apple II, then got ported to the PC, and various handhelds (even Nokia 90xx/91xx Communicators - the 92xx units run Symbian). GEM was Digital Research's GUI meant to complement CP/M, and got slammed by lawsuits from Apple.
        • BTW, a version of GEM still exists ... OpenGEM [shaneland.co.uk] and GEMini. -jh

        • While I've never actually heard of VisiOn, I do know CDC (one of my former employers) and my guess is if it didn't turn a quick profit, they laid off most of the workers and put the remainder in maintenance mode. I came on after this era, when they were in the "sell profitable divisions to appease shareholders," which kept them in a happy place with stockholders until there were no profitable divisions left and they died a quick and painless death.

          GEM, on the other hand, I do know - my Jr. High School Ele
      • I think you are confusing TopView, which was an IBM product, with early versions of Windows.

        TopView was a disaster but it probably killed any of the competitors, including multidos and VisiOn. It was actually IBM pulling the Microsoft stunt of advance annoucement to kill your competitors.

        Windows was always run in graphical mode, and was a good deal later than VisiOn. You are describing accurately the pre-3.0 tiled versions of Windows, however. I worked with those as well. The fonts were so bad that it did
        • I think you are confusing TopView, which was an IBM product, with early versions of Windows.

          No, I'm talking about the pre-release stuff that Microsoft sent to the computer mags of the time. They described how a slight change to your DOS code would make it "Windows Compatible", which basically meant that it could be suspended and replaced on the screen at any time.

          As for preannouncing, my source is the book "Barbarians Led by Bill Gates", an insider's description of what happened inside Microsoft. It's r
        • 2.x was just fugly. Other than that, MS-DOS Executive being the shell, and no text below icons, the UI was much like that of 3.x.

          http://toastytech.com/guis/win203question.gif is a screenshot of 2.03, and it's remarkably like http://toastytech.com/guis/win30help.gif (a screen of 3.00a)
      • In typical Microsoft fashion, they really didn't have anything.

        That was the invention of what came to be called vaporware.

        Why Microsoft thought the program manager was a good idea when the Macintosh showed otherwise, is a mystery that will forever remain unsolved.

        A rumor says that it was Bill Gate's pride. Although in many ways Microsoft was willing to copy, they also had a "not invented here" attitude and included their own creations not on objective merit, but from emotional attachment. (They'd s
    • Howmany people know what VisiCalc was? How many people know what excel is? I'd say they succeeded.

      Like a lot of great computer scivement, VisiCalc lacked good marketing.
      • Howmany people know what VisiCalc was? How many people know what excel is? I'd say they succeeded.

        Like a lot of great computer scivement, VisiCalc lacked good marketing.


        It was flying off the shelves in its heydey.

        Excel is ubiquitous (at least partially) because it is part of the de facto office suite, and preinstalled on so many machines.
  • by Gatton (17748) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @08:17PM (#9331022)
    Feel free to mod redundant if it's already been posted but I didn't see it.

    Read this website several months ago and it's quite detailed. Maybe more than you wanted to know but it's very detailed and is a good read.

    Implementing Visicalc [frankston.com]

  • In other news, Microsoft announced today that they have filed a patent application for a "spread-sheet," as evidenced by Excel 2003. They claim that the earlier art is irrelevant, as the test is whether people associate "spread-sheet" with Microsoft's current intellectual property. This stems from Microsoft's original "0s and 1s" patent, ripped off here from a story from The Onion [funehumor.com].
  • by trudyscousin (258684) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @10:41PM (#9331758)
    ...who reads the name "Software Arts" and thinks of the innocence it implies?

    There once was a time when software really was art. Now, it's a steely business. Back in 1979, Bill Gates was only some weenie whining because people were pirating paper tapes of his BASIC.
  • by Sabu mark (205793) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:35PM (#9332021)
    I'll bet you a million dollars that there's at least one company, or even more likely a government agency, that still uses VisiCalc because they never had the motivation to update all their data.
  • From: http://www.arkko.com/ioccc.html
    Size of source code: 1,536 bytes
    Source: http://www.formation.jussieu.fr/ars/2000-2001/C/c o urs/COMPLEMENTS/DOC/www.ioccc.org/2000/jarijyrki.c
    Makefile: http://www.formation.jussieu.fr/ars/2000-2001/C/co urs/COMPLEMENTS/DOC/www.ioccc.org/2000/Makefile
    E xternal files: http://www.formation.jussieu.fr/ars/2000-2001/C/co urs/COMPLEMENTS/DOC/www.ioccc.org/2000/sheet1.info

    Usage: make jarijyrki; ./jarijyrki sheet1.info
  • This is ridiculous. Everyone knows SCO invented the spreadsheet, these guys just ripped it off. It's impossible for mere individuals to make spreadsheet software -- it's far too complex an undertaking. You need hundreds of millions of dollars of R&D and that can only be provided by a reputable company like SCO.

    Ken Brown of the ADTI will be releasing a ground breaking book soon, which will prove it!
  • are there any nice MS disses? Like "fsck Excel, we invented this crap"?

    "/Dread"
  • I read this as, "VisiCalc Turns 25, creators interned."

    Serves 'em right, I thought.
  • SuperCalc rules!

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