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BSD Today: Spreadsheets under BSD -- Applix, Xspread and sc

Aug 14, 2000, 20:43 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Clifford Smith)

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"Name the application most responsible for business embracing the personal computer. ... It was Visicalc, the electronic spreadsheet. Before 1981, the only way to run financial scenarios using a computer, was on a time share mainframe or a minicomputer. This was an expensive and slow process. The ability to run what-if scenarios on the desktop using the direct descendants of Visicalc, Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel, changed the nature of business itself. Bean counters of marginal skill had the weapon they needed to minimize any gap in talent or resources. CEO's began to regard the PC as something more than a very expensive typewriter."

"There has been a lot of media noise about the lack of decent cross-platform compatibility in office applications inhibiting the spread of BSD or Linux to the corporate desktop. This problem is enroute to being solved (weird new formatting stunts by Microsoft notwithstanding)."

"I spent some time running spreadsheets for a living. The office I worked in was locked in to the Win9X architecture. At the end of it, I came away with this: if you think middle management isn't ready for Abiword, try getting your Human Resources Administrator to give up Excel. The real test of the BSDs (or Linux) on the corporate desktop is going to be the spreadsheet."

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