Create a 2 pages page paper that discusses dan bricklin and visicalc. Dan Bricklin and Visicalc Dan Bricklin Dan Bricklin invented visicalc, as he was not satisfied with the progress of the computer related innovations.He invented visicalc in 1978 to simplify the complicated spreadsheets. His invention of the visicalc spreadsheet brought recognition not only to his name but the company he worked for – Apple Computer.

The credit of inventing visicalc goes to both — Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston, as Dan Bricklin helped Bob Frankston in writing the programming for his novel electronic spreadsheet. It was the time when Dan Bricklin was pursuing his master degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. They started a company by the name of Software Arts Inc., to develop this product (Belis par. 2).

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Bricklin was awarded the Grace Murray Hopper Award by the Association for Computing Machinery in November 1981 to reward him for his innovative product but Bricklin could not get it patented till 1981, as before that the Supreme Court did not allow patents of software programs (Belis par. 5). Great thing about Dan Bricklin was that in stead of feeling the financial loss for not getting visicalc patented, he was proud that he had helped the world through the innovation. His satisfaction rather than monetary benefits mattered to him the most (Belis par. 6).

Visicalc

Visicalc was the first spreadsheet invented by Dan Bricklin and his companion Bob Frankston. The visicalc spreadsheet program was opened for the public in 1979, to run on an Apple II computer. Visicalc brought in a new parameter in application software. before the arrival of visicalc, microprocessor computers got the desired support from BASIC and some games. With the introduction of visicalc, it was categorized as the fourth generation software program. Earlier calculations were done through manual spreadsheets, which required time and financial resources. Any change in a single digit required re-computing the entire sheet, including each single cell. Visicalc made it possible to change any cell resulting in automatic re-computing of the whole sheet (Belis par. 1).

The past Apple machines could not provide answers because there were limited tools. Continuous debugging was the only resolve to single out the problem by looking at memory in the restricted debugging, which was slower than the DOS DEBUG, as lacking symbols. It was a time-consuming process of patching and retesting and then re-programming, downloading, and testing again and again (Belis par. 3).

The II version of visicalc became available in the fall of 1979 and the process for writing versions for the Tandy TRS-80, Commodore PET, and the Atari 800 began afterwards. Computer retail stores started selling visicalc at US $100 in October 1979 (Belis par. 4).

Visicalc was bought very soon by Lotus Development Corporation. Here, it was developed into the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet for the PC in 1983. (Belis par. 5).

Future progress on visicalc was made by Mitch Kapor, the founder of Lotus who released the famous Lotus 123 spreadsheet in 1983, enriching it with his past programming expertise with visicalc to develop 123, which was based on visicalc.

Work Cited

Belis, Mary. “The First Spreadsheet – VisiCalc – Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston.” 30 January 2012. About.com &lt. http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa010199.htm&gt. http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa010199.

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