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Essential Guide to Computing: The Story of Information Technology, The by E. Garrison Walters

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Application Software

It isn't clear when the term application entered the computing lexicon, but the word reminds us that for a long while an extremely high proportion of time spent on computers was in just getting them to do useful work. Application software refers to programs that, once written, can be used over and over again to accomplish tasks not related to the care and feeding of the computer. We'll talk next about two major categories of application software—word processing and spreadsheets—and also reference the rapid rise of voice recognition software.

Spreadsheets

The first electronic spreadsheet was VisiCalc, which appeared for the Apple II in 1979. Designed by Dan Bricklin, a Harvard MBA student, VisiCalc was an instant hit; it quickly ...

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