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Multi-Touch: Article

The i-Technology Right Stuff

Searching for the Twenty Top Software People in the World

 

Bob Frankston

 

Brief Description: Co-creator of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet

Further Details:

Bob Frankston been working with computers since 1963 and with online services since 1966. He founded Software Arts in 1979 with Dan Bricklin to develop and sell VisiCalc, the world's first electronic spreadsheet program. VisiCalc remained a widely used program for personal computers for many years.

An MIT man through and through, Frankston was an MIT Undergrad 1967-1970 and a Grad 1970-1976. He received SB Degrees in both Computer Science and Mathematics in 1970 and Masters and Engineers Degrees in Computer Science (and EE) in 1974. He did graduate work at Project MAC (now the Laboratory for Computer Science), where he was involved in the Multics project. His Master's Thesis was "The Computer Utility as a Marketplace for Computer-Based Services". One area of continuing interest for Frankstonis "federated" systems - loosely coupled systems and databases as opposed to the more rigid distributed systems.

After the demise of VisiCalc he worked 1985-1990 for Lotus Development, where he created the Lotus Express product and a Fax facility for Lotus Notes and started lotus.com. In 1993 he joined Microsoft, where for 5 years he focused on the consumer use of computers, in particular, home networking, and the idea of "No New Wires Networking."

Bob's now on his own pursuing a number of projects, among them trying to explain the larger concepts of "IP everywhere."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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