On Wednesday, October 20, VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet available for personal computers, turned 32.
“Invented by the Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston, VisiCalc is often considered the application that turned the microcomputer from a hobby for computer enthusiasts into a serious business tool. VisiCalc sold over 700,000 copies in six years.”
“Conceived by Dan Bricklin, refined by Bob Frankston, developed by their company Software Arts, and distributed by Personal Software in 1979 (later named VisiCorp) for the Apple II computer, it propelled the Apple from being a hobbyist’s toy to a useful tool for business. After the Apple II version, VisiCalc was also released for the Atari 8-bit family, the Commodore PET, TRS-80, and the IBM PC. [Wikipedia]”
To celebrate the anniversary of the VisiCalc that paved the way for much of what the Google Docs team has been able to do today, the Docs team invited Bricklin and Frankston to Hangout On Air.
And for you spreadsheets fanatics out there — you can download and run a working copy of the original IBM PC VisiCalc spreadsheet program from 1981 at Dan Bricklin’s site.
“Users around the world tuned in to the live public stream as Dan and Bob shared the history of VisiCalc, their thoughts the spreadsheets of today, and their visions for the future,” said Teresa Wu, Community Manager.
Watch the full video below: