Subject: hi dan,
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 06:03:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Rene Pardo
would you help me clear up misconceptions about the
world's first real electronic spreadsheet?
Visicalc, Supercalc and TKSolver which appeared in the
late 70's did not have the natural order, forward
referencing ability which was the cornerstone
requirement of any quality spreadsheet software.
Dan, you may recall that people had to "manually
recalc" the spreadsheet to refresh the screen as many
times as the cells kept changing - to deal with
I co-invented the electronic spreadsheet in 1969 which
use I sold to Bell Canada, AT&T and its operating
companies, and Long Lines and General Motors etc from
It was called LANguage for Programming Arrays at
Random because it in fact did include forward
There is a long patent application history which
followed through until 1983 when the software patent
was issued and I licenced Apple Computer within 90
days of it's issuance.
The software operated on GE 400 series timesharing
computers and Honeywell 6000.
I have no hard feelings towards Bricklin and
Frankston, but surely they know they did not invent
the electronic spreadsheet. When I sometimes read
their comments regarding why they didn't patent their
spreadsheet it just surprises me, because a) they were
NOT the inventors of the spreadsheet b) Visicalc
didn't even incorporate forward referencing.
I went through over 10 years of appeals until the CCPA
(Predecessor Court for the Federal Circuit) overturned
the Patent Office and told them to issue our patent.