Personal notes, photos and videos from Dan Bricklin.

In the following video, Dan Bricklin reads from his book, “Bricklin on Technology”, about the first public announcement of VisiCalc, in June 1979.

First shipment received Oct 19, 1979

Peter Jennings, one of Dan Fylstra’s partners at Personal Software/VisiCorp, was responsible for their MicroChess program that helped fund the early advance royalty payments for VisiCalc. He has details on early sales of VisiCalc:

“The first copy of VisiCalc for the Apple ][ (Version 1.37) went out the door on October 17, 1979. By the end of the month, we had shipped 1293 copies.”

“October 17 * Personal Software releases VisiCalc for the Apple II, for US$99. (Over its lifetime, over 700,000 copies are sold.)

“Dan Bricklin came up with the idea for an “electronic spreadsheet” while still a graduate student at Harvard Business School. He and Bob Frankston founded Software Arts, Inc. in 1979 to explore the idea and VisiCalc was the result. First demonstrated at the National Computer Conference in June 1979, the Apple II version of VisiCalc was shipped on October 17, 1979.”

A sidebar to the article “Ten Years of Rows and Columns” published in Byte, issue 13/1989, pp. 326-328. “BRICKLIN: When we were just about to ship, Apple told us it had this new language board that could give us 16K bytes more memory. We put in a quick fix to use 10K bytes out of the total. VisiCalc came out October 17, 1979, at $99, and people paid hundreds of dollars for the board just for the extra 10K bytes of memory.”

“October 17, 1979 Personal Software (Software Arts) releases VisiCalc Software for the Apple II retail price $99. Copies shipped per month rise from 500 to 12,000 between 1979 and 1981. First released by Dan Bricklin and Bob Fransen on May 11, 1979.”