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I hooked up with Dan Bricklin last week when I was in Boston. I met Dan in the mid-1990’s when he was starting up Trellix (which I was an early investor in). I still remember the day I cracked open my copy of Visicalc for the Apple II (I think it was copy 200–something. It was the actual copy used in Triumph of the Nerds as Dan didn’t want to risk losing one of his few remaining copies. We got it back eventually from some Oregon Public Radio dude, but that’s another long story.) I adore (and worship) Dan – Visicalc and my Apple II had a huge impact on my life as it was an integral part of my first real introduction to computers (beyond a high-low game I wrote on some mainframe somewhere and a day of APL in front of a Frito-Lay computer with my Uncle Charlie.) I remember /SL and /SQY like it was yesterday. Of course, this led to a thousand hours playing Ultima and Choplifter, but that was more an issue of lack of self control as a teenager.
Dan has been spending a lot of time thinking about Open Source issues over the past year. He’s written extensively on it and just created a video called A Developer’s Introduction to Copyright and Open Source: Why a Lawyer is a Developer’s Friend (eek – lawyers – scary). Given all the issues surrounding Open Source licensing and copyright issues these days and based on the synopsis, Dan’s video looks comprehensive and highly relevant (I’d expect nothing less from Dan.)
Dan promised that my autographed copy is on its way. You can buy an evaluation copy here and a corporate training edition here. And – no – I don’t get a commission on this one – just karma points. Maybe Dan will also send me an autographed copy of Dan Bricklin’s Demo Program (I lost mine in a move somewhere.)