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Excel® 2007 Power Programming with VBA by John Walkenbach

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Chapter 1. Excel 2007: Where It Came From

In This Chapter

To fully appreciate the application development features available in Excel 2007, it’s important to understand where this product came from and how it fits into the overall scheme of things.

  • A history of spreadsheets — where they came from, who makes them, and what differentiates them

  • A discussion of Excel’s evolution

  • An analysis of why Excel is a good tool for developers

If you’ve worked with personal computers and spreadsheets over the past decade, this information may be old hat. If you’re a trivia buff, this chapter is a gold mine. Study this information, and you’ll be a hit at the next computer geek party that you attend.

A Brief History of Spreadsheets

Most of us tend to take spreadsheet software for granted. In fact, it may be hard to fathom, but there really was a time when electronic spreadsheets were not available. Back then, people relied instead on clumsy mainframes or calculators and spent hours doing what now takes minutes.

It all started with VisiCalc

The world’s first electronic spreadsheet, VisiCalc, was conjured up by Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston back in 1978, when personal computers were pretty much unheard of in the office environment. VisiCalc was written for the Apple II computer, which was an interesting little machine that is something of a toy by today’s standards. (But in its day, the Apple II kept me mesmerized for days at a time.) VisiCalc essentially laid the foundation for future spreadsheets, and its ...

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