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Showing posts from January, 2016

Natural Order Evaluation of Spreadsheet Cells

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Instead of just tossing this bit of history in the trash I decided to scan and post it for posterity. In the mid-80s I worked for EMS/McGraw-Hill on a series of products for the Gregg division that were used to train students on how to use Lotus 1-2-3 and spreadsheets in general. We created a product called McGraw-Hill Integrated Software (MHIS) which included a spreadsheet module (written in C for MS-DOS). The memo I wrote explaining the implementation of natural order evaluation in a spreadsheet vs. column-order evaluation in a spreadsheet is below. It was fun to see that I was able to use my computer science education to bring a postorder traversal of a binary tree to the project!









Dolphin Inc.

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Dolphin Inc. (formerly www.dolphinsoft.com) was a boutique educational software company that worked primarily for educational publishers including McGraw-Hill, Pearson, Houghton Mifflin, and Educational Testing Services (ETS) creating software for textbooks and other educational products. Dolphin's work was nominated for Codie awards several times and the Criterion product by ETS (Dolphin worked on the web interface) was awarded a Codie in 2005. At its peak Dolphin had approximately 40 employees.

The first products developed by Dolphin were on MS-DOS and the Apple II (6502 assembler!) in the 80s and the company migrated with technology into Windows and Macintosh software and then to web-based products.

The company was acquired by Byron Preiss Multimedia in approximately 1996 and then when that merger unwound, the company was sold to American Education Corporate (AEC) in approximately 1999. Dolphin continued to develop product for external clients until 2005 when the missions was c…

Dolphin Write (WordPerfect 5.1 Compatible SW circa 1995)

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Ah, remembering programming in earlier years... Dolphin Inc. created software for a variety of educational publishers including Glencoe/McGraw-Hill and its Gregg line of keyboarding software products. Part of the product included a WordPerfect 5.1 compatible word processor that I created in my basement (of course!) around 1993/1994 shortly after coming to work for Dolphin in Gibbsboro, NJ (near Cherry Hill). The product was written in C and was an interesting, if intense, project created under a tight deadline and pressure from the client to replace a word processor (NYWord) that we had attempted to adapt unsuccessfully.

A Gap Buffer approach was used for managing the insertion of text and of course implementing base WordPerfect 5.1 functionality including the Show Codes feature, endnotes/footnotes, and even basic keystroke macros was fun.

The first screen shot shows some of the features in action including indent, bold, italics, underline, footnotes, and endnotes. The Show Codes feat…