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VisiCalc (wikipedia.org)
17 points by afhammad on March 24, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments

32k people. 32k.

Note that's the TOTAL ram required to run it - I'd assume most of it was actually taken by spreadsheet data.

I don't know what to think of this then "Bricklin and Frankston's original intention was to fit the program into 16k". To me it means the program binary couldn't fit in 16k, so I'd assume the code was between 16k and 32k. Supposing the largest manageable spreadsheet being 26 cols * 1K rows, filled with 2 bytes, that's ~5kB of user data.

Anyway, if they managed to write a useful spreadsheet in 20kB it's even better.

Note this: "However, Apple eventually began shipping all Apple IIs with 48k following a drop in RAM prices and so this was no longer an issue. "

The 16k/32k/48k that apple shipped was the total ram in the machine. VisiCalc had to fit there to - no swapping/overlay was employed.

26(cols)1K(rows)2(bytes) is already 52KB. They were obviously storing things more sparsely than that - I think it was 100 rows or even less (which, at 2 bytes/cell would be in line with your 5K estimate).

However, 2 bytes is not enough for floating point values, and cells could also contain text. Whatever it was, it was more complicated than the simplest array, though probably not by much.

off by ten shame

The following articles says 27kb, and 63 columns and 254 rows limits.


Yes, that is the Wikipedia page for a spreadsheet application called Visicalc.

And yes, it's still available to download http://www.bricklin.com/history/vcexecutable.htm

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