Spreadsheet day

Spreadsheet day takes place annually on October 17. The purpose of Spreadsheet day Is to commemorate the date that VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program for personal computers, was released – October 17th, 1979.

A spreadsheet is an interactive computer application for organization, analysis and storage of data in tabular form. Spreadsheets are developed as computerized simulations of paper accounting worksheets.The program operates on data entered in cells of a table. Each cell may contain either numeric or text data, or the results of formulas that automatically calculate and display a value based on the contents of other cells. A spreadsheet may also refer to one such electronic document. Spreadsheet users can adjust any stored value and observe the effects on calculated values. This makes the spreadsheet useful for “what-if” analysis since many cases can be rapidly investigated without manual recalculation. Modern spreadsheet software can have multiple interacting sheets, and can display data either as text and numerals, or in graphical form.

A spreadsheet consists of a table of cells arranged into rows and columns and referred to by the X and Y locations. X locations, the columns, are normally represented by letters, “A”, “B”, “C”, etc., while rows are normally represented by numbers, 1, 2, 3, etc. A single cell can be referred to by addressing its row and column, “C10” for instance. This electronic concept of cell references was first introduced in LANPAR (Language for Programming Arrays at Random) (co-invented by Rene Pardo and Remy Landau) and a variant used in VisiCalc, and known as “A1 notation”. Additionally, spreadsheets have the concept of a range, a group of cells, normally contiguous. For instance, one can refer to the first ten cells in the first column with the range “A1:A10”. LANPAR innovated forward referencing/natural order calculation which didn’t re-appear until Lotus 123 and Microsoft’s MultiPlan Version 2.

Besides performing basic arithmetic and mathematical functions, modern spreadsheets provide built-in functions for common financial and statistical operations. Such calculations as net present value or standard deviation can be applied to tabular data with a pre-programmed function in a formula. Spreadsheet programs also provide conditional expressions, functions to convert between text and numbers, and functions that operate on strings of text. Spreadsheets have replaced paper-based systems throughout the business world. Although they were first developed for accounting or bookkeeping tasks, they now are used extensively in any context where tabular lists are built, sorted, and shared.

LANPAR, the first electronic spreadsheet on mainframe and time sharing computers was introduced in 1969. LANPAR was an acronym: LANguage for Programming Arrays at Random. VisiCalc was the first electronic spreadsheet on a microcomputer, and it helped turn the Apple II computer into a popular and widely used system. Lotus 1-2-3 was the leading spreadsheet when DOS was the dominant operating system. Excel now has the largest market share on the Windows and Macintosh platforms. A spreadsheet program is a standard feature of an office productivity suite; since the advent of web apps, office suites now also exist in web app form. Web based spreadsheets are a relatively new category.

Since its beginnings, Spreadsheet Day has grown to become a day for celebrating both the advantages and the aggravations of working with spreadsheet software. The idea for spreadsheet day came about on February 2010, when the importance of spreadsheets in day to day business operations, and in fact living, became apparent to its creator. By the following October, celebrations were underway.

17 October is also

  • Black poetry Day
  • Hagfish Day
  • Four Prunes Day
  • Mulligan Day
  • National Edge Day
  • National Pasta Day
  • Wear something Gaudy day
  • National Support your local Chamber of Commerce Day
  • Medical Assistants Recognition Day

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.