The reactions to posting VisiCalc on the web have been wonderful. Thousands of people have downloaded their own copy to try. Articles have been written, and others who wanted to do similar things with their old software did. Here is some of what happened:

Dave Winer was very enthusiastic about it, and encouraged me to write about how it came about. I did, and posted it on the Userland web site in the posting "How I got permission to post VisiCalc". Dave tracked other old software that came out on his scripting.com site and then finally got permission from Symantec to post his old software, the outliners Thinktank, Ready!, and MORE. He established the outliners.com web site to hold his software. He then sent out mail to various members of the press who publicized it, resulting in a storm of interest around the world.

Others Dave found include Borland which put up early copies of Turbo Pascal and C on their museum web site and Dennis Ritchie who put up source of an early version of the C language that he used to rewrite UNIX in C in the early 1970's.

Some of the (English language) articles that then appeared included Dan Gillmor's article in the San Jose Mercury News "Software pioneers posting their early works on the web" and TechWeb's "Classic Software Gets Reborn on the Web".

A few days later, there were more articles, including David Hewson's article "VisiCalc is how programs ought to be" in the August 15, 1999, Sunday Times (UK) and a Cybertalk column in the Washington Post by Victoria Shannon.

Dave Winer continues to post old software info on scripting.com -- it's a good place to check if you're interested in this "developing story".

I've received lots of letters from people thanking me (and Lotus) for getting this posted and telling me why it's meaningful to them. I'm glad people like this. Getting VisiCalc posted was one of the reasons I started this web site.

Dennis Ritchie, who was instrumental in the development of the C language and Unix, sent me a letter describing his experience with releasing old software.

Thank you, Lotus, for giving the permission that made this all happen!

[This page last modified: 25Aug99]