Once up on a time we were all just cells in a spreadsheet
Ben Evans has created a great analogy when he compares the modern spreadsheet to workstations, or cells, in an enormous 1960s office block.
In effect, every person on that floor is a cell in a spreadsheet. The floor is a worksheet and the building is an Excel file, with thousands of cells each containing a single person. CC Baxter [in the 1960 classic, The Apartment] is on the 19th floor, section W, desk 861. The links between cells are made up of a typewriter, carbon copies ('CC') and an internal mail system, and it takes days to refresh whenever someone on the top floor presses F9.
This strikes true to me and I have written before about life in the 1960s and 1970s office. It is now easy to understand this relationship between all the drones at their desks and Excel or Numbers but at the time this was all normal and no one I knew envisaged the extent of modern computerisation. In those days computers occupied floors of buildings and cost millions to install and required expert tending, definitely not something to replace the Friden calculator on every desk.
Read Ben's insights here. It's fascination to see the announcement of VisiCalc and how the concept of a spreadsheet was explained to people who had spent their lives behind a mechanical calculator or typewriter.