1-2-3 For Ever!
I still use Lotus 1-2-3 (for DOS) at home for all my personal spreadsheet work. My household and personal finance spreadsheets have been lovingly crafted and honed to perfection over the years, and I’m damned if I’m going to ‘convert’ them to nasty old Excel!
My first encounter with 1-2-3 was at work, in 1987. We had it running on a couple of IBM PCs, and a beefy Toshiba laptop with a funky orange gas plasma screen.
At home, I first used version 2 for DOS on my Acorn Archimedes, via Acorn’s nifty PC Emulator.
After that, version 3 for DOS came along for the ride as I transitioned through several laptops, running Windows 95, 98, XP, and now Windows 7. It now lives in an XP virtual machine on my Win7 laptop. I should be able to keep it running indefinitely, provided I can continue running an XP virtual machine on whatever host OS comes along (I’m seriously considering moving over to Linux after Win7 has run its course).
But why, you may ask, am I still using quaint old 1-2-3?
1) It’s retro. Retro is good. Plus it looks really cool running full screen on a black background.
2) It’s rock solid. It doesn’t crash.
3) It doesn’t create temp files. This has certain security benefits.
4) You can ‘draw’ lines and borders by putting extended ASCII characters in the cells via their alt codes.
5) The default font is white – you can make the text green by formatting the cell as protected. Two colours – neat!
A big thank you to Mitch Kapor and Jonathan Sachs for creating such a fantastic piece of software.