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                            Comments in the following email refer to version 3.0 of Power, D. "A Brief History of Spreadsheets"

                            Subject: RE: Spreadsheets history
                            Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 17:25:22 -0400
                            From: Dan Bricklin 
                            Organization: Trellix Coropration
                            To: 'Dan Power' 
                            CC: "'Bob_Frankston@frankston.com'" 
                            
                            Dan,
                            
                            As I said I'd do in my email a few weeks ago (I've inluded a copy below) 
                            I've posted on my web site a first attempt at addressing what's so special 
                            about VisiCalc that makes people call it the "first" electronic spreadsheet 
                            as we know them today. As to the story of coming up with the idea and 
                            refining it into a product, I have the beginnings on my site (which you've 
                            read already, I assume) and Bob and I are working on more information about
                            design decisions, exactly what happened, etc. Since we were often the only
                            ones there, I hope you'll put some trust in our story (which we'll try to
                            back up with pictures, check with friends from that time, etc.). I'll be
                            seeing some of my classmates from Harvard in a few weeks and will try to
                            get more first-hand accounts of the history.
                            
                            Here's the URL for my posting:
                            
                               http://www.bricklin.com/firstspreadsheetquestion.htm
                            
                            If you want some nit picks on your piece (if not, skip this paragraph): I
                            programmed the first "working prototypes" (not "working version") in the
                            fall of 1978 (Oct? Nov? I'll have to check -- I think it was over a long
                            weekend), not the summer. I recruited Bob to do a real, assembler version,
                            instead of the prototype in Integer Basic. The prototypes actually had a
                            better interface in some cases (context sensitive help, for example). Bob
                            was to build production code (faster speed, better arithmetic, scrolling,
                            etc.). Since one of the things that made VisiCalc special was the
                            implementation and the details only worked out in that implementation (some
                            of which we will cover in that material Bob and I are working on) Bob is
                            referred to as the "co-creator" of VisiCalc. If you want to include his
                            many contributions in the category of invention, then he certainly is a
                            "co-inventor", but there is no question he was a co-creator. Fylstra, Bob,
                            and I first talked about VisiCalc in the fall (after summer vacation I call
                            fall) of 1978. I'll get the actual dates of some of these meetings later
                            (for the record, not that many people care...). I don't think the number of
                            sold copies ever made it over several hundred thousand, but I don't have
                            the records ("about 1 million" sounds nice and if you round 500K+ up, then
                            it's probably correct). [Enough nits... Tell me if you want things at this
                            detail. :) ]
                            
                            Let me know what you think.
                            
                            Thanks again for your interest in the history of this area.
                            
                            -DanB
                            
                            =====
                            I see you've been making changes. I've been following Bob's interchanges
                            with you, and have been working on a page for my site to address questions
                            such as "were you the first?", "what was special?" etc. (I get inquiries
                            periodically regarding this stuff.)
                            
                            I'll let you know when I post the piece (over the next few weeks, I hope).
                            
                            I appreciate the amount of effort you are expending to get as much info as
                            you can. The emails from Bob and Mitch show how it is evolving and add to
                            the piece. I hope the stuff I write will help, too (though it covers some
                            of the same ground they cover...).
                            
                            As you would expect, there are quibbles over various things, but this is
                            your piece, not mine.
                            
                            -DanB
                            
                            ----------
                            From:   Dan Power[SMTP:power@dss.cba.uni.edu]
                            Sent:   Wednesday, April 28, 1999 3:13 PM
                            To:     webmaster@bricklin.com
                            Cc:     power@uni.edu
                            Subject:        Spreadsheets history
                            
                            Hi Dan--
                            
                            I like your site.  I've added a link to it from my web paper "A Brief
                            History of Spreadsheets".  There is a link to the paper from my site DSS
                            Resources at dss.cba.uni.edu
                            
                            If you have a chance I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions.
                            
                            Dan Power
                            

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