October 17: Spreadsheet Day
In case you missed it, October 17 was Spreadsheet Day, so named because it was the day on which VisiCalc was first released in 1979 for the Apple II personal computer.
To borrow a line from the 1970s US cigarette ad, “We’ve come a long way, baby.”
The Science Goddess, who is responsible for the Excel for Educators website gushed, “Personally, I think every day should be Spreadsheet Day. But then, I was also disappointed when I couldn't change my Facebook status to show that I am in a relationship with Excel.”
Her advice for the day? “Simply go forth and double-click. Open Excel and play around.”
The theme of this year’s celebration was “Spreadsheets for Students”. Spreadsheet Day co-ordinator Debra Dalgleish posted a several contributions on her Contextures Blog, including a time tracker to help students track their lecture hours and course work hours.
Less immediately useful, but slightly more amusing was a video offering from Mike Alexander’s Bacon Bits blog that showed a crap-shooter who logged his every roll of the dice on a spreadsheet to track his mounting and losses.
“The best part is when he opens the spreadsheet at the end to catalog his losses, then proceeds to let us know that he’s available for Craps coaching,” comments the Excel expert.
For aficionados of the spreadsheet story, here are a few choice morsels extracted from the Spreadsheet History page maintained by Excel MVP and author John Walkenbach. He was more circumspect than the Science Goddess in his advice for the big day: “Please celebrate responsibly.”