Dan Bricklin chronicles his life in the computer world with pictures and text.
From the co-creator of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet.
danbricklin.com/log
Archive of previous days
Dan's Web Site Home
Trellix
How this web site is built: You can do it, too!
Send comments to Dan at work: danb@ trellix.com
Special Sections:
MS/DOJ log
Comdex
Stowaway Keyboard
RIM Keyboard
Build your own log
Cell Towers
How long does it take to make a web site?
Server vs. Client Authoring
Watching the Boston Marathon 2000
Nantucket Conference
Dan Bricklin's Log
The life of Dan Bricklin as Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Trellix Corporation, PC industry old-timer, and amateur photographer

Built with Trellix Web
Dan smiling at you!
Wednesday, June 14, 2000
Happy Birthday Bob!
Today is Bob Frankston's 51st birthday.

It was around this day 21 years ago that Bob delivered a paper at the old National Computer Conference in New York City describing a new program he had just written that was being announced publicly for the first time: VisiCalc. In hindsight it was a great paper (I'll post it when I can find a hard copy to scan...). However, it wasn't the well received announcement you might expect. Lots of our relatives and our publishers attended. Almost nobody else cared. There were 20 friends and family and 2 "real" attendees, but as Bob recalls the two people we didn't know walked out early probably because it wasn't like the talk about the undocumented opcodes of the TI-59 calculator (a hot topic in those days). Afterwards we went to a kosher restaurant nearby to celebrate. At that conference Bob and I met Bill Gates and Ben Rosen for the first time. Bill was a young kid best known for his version of BASIC and speeding tickets. Ben was still an electronics analyst at Morgan Stanley. I graduated Harvard Business School a couple of days later.

The New York Times ran a humorous article about the tradeshow: "A Layman's Trip into the Mega-Mega Land of Computers" by Frances X. Clines. Seeing a sign with a funny name being made for the Personal Software, Inc., booth he wrote:

Even as the believers gather, the painters in the Coliseum sign room are adding to the pantheon, carefully lettering "VISICALC" in giant black on yellow. All hail VISICALC."

I found an old picture of part of the article:

Headline and byline

A picture of the quote, as written above
Humorous New York Times article from June 1979
It looked like Mr. Clines didn't fully understand what he was writing about, but we sure appreciated the quote. Interest in what it did, i.e., being an electronic spreadsheet, was low. VisiCalc didn't appear in a major newspaper or business magazine for many months after that first mention. Technology often takes a while to be appreciated and catch on.

Of course, there are always some visionaries who "get it". See Ben Rosen's write up in a newsletter July 11, 1979. He "got it". Ben left Morgan Stanley and eventually became a venture capitalist who funded Lotus, Compaq, and others, and has been chairman of Compaq for years. His brother Harold invented the geosynchronous satellite. What a family!

Here's a picture of Bob and me taken about a year later that appeared in the Boston Computer Society's Boston Computer Update, and one of him recently 20 years later. He hasn't aged much:

Bob and Dan smiling  Bob smiling, looking pretty much the same
Me and Bob Frankston in 1980, Bob at PC Forum March 2000
Bob and I first met in January 1970. We've been great friends ever since. Happy Birthday, Bob, and many more!

Previous log entries...

The permanent URL for the material currently on this home page will be http://danbricklin.com/log/2000_06_14.htm. You can link to there now and it will redirect the viewer here until the material is moved.
Topics
This log covers my thoughts on making web sites, the computer industry, digital photography, PC history, conferences I attend, and people I know or run into.
New readers may want to see my "Best of this log" page.


--OCTOBER 1999--
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31
-NOVEMBER 1999-
00 01 02 03 04 05 06
07 08 09 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30
-DECEMBER 1999-
00 00 00 01 02 03 04
05 06 07 08 09 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
-JANUARY 2000-
00 00 00 00 00 00 01
02 03 04 05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
-FEBRUARY 2000-
00 00 01 02 03 04 05
06 07 08 09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29
---MARCH 2000---
00 00 00 01 02 03 04
05 06 07 08 09 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
---APRIL 2000---
00 00 00 00 00 00 01
02 03 04 05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30
----MAY 2000----
00 01 02 03 04 05 06
07 08 09 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
----JUNE 2000----
00 00 00 00 01 02 03
04 05 06 07 08 09 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30
----JULY 2000----
00 00 00 00 00 00 01
02 03 04 05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Some Links Mentioned in the Last Few Days

Zeff Group
Florence Institute and Museum of History of Science
Mass Software & Internet Council
Fast Company
Aberdeen Group
Compaq Research Lab
Scott Kirsner's eyemodule pictures
Digital camera study
Why should a product want to be "the next VisiCalc"?
Post-it Note history
Research In Motion
Review of Serious Play
Prof. Lessig's web site
Patents and Software
PC Forum 2000 Album
Bob Frankston's Content vs. Connectivity paper
ChiaPaint demo
More...

Read the items from previous days: 30May00-8Jun00   |   19-24May00   |   16May00   |   8-11May00   |   17Apr-3May00   |   28Mar-12Apr00   |   9-21Mar00   |   3Mar00   |   14-29Feb00   |   8-10Feb00   |   24Jan-1Feb00   |   18-22Jan00   |   14-17Jan00   |   10-13Jan00   |   31Dec99-06Jan00   |   27-30Dec99   |   20-24Dec99   |   13-17Dec99   |   7-10Dec99   |   2-6Dec99   |   21-30Nov99   |   12-19Nov99   |   6-11Nov99   |   3-5Nov99   |   1-2Nov99   |   27-29Oct99
Archive  Dan's web site home page
© Copyright  1999, 2000 by Daniel Bricklin
All Rights Reserved.

Dan Bricklin's® Log
Dan Bricklin's is a registered trademark of Daniel S. Bricklin.
(Believe it or not, it's true!)