Publisher Arnoldo Mondadori – Mondadori’s Company Archive
Publication Date…. 04/07/1988
Publication Number…. 0012
Page Number…. 0004
Title ….LOTUS ALLOWS US A GLIMPSE OF THEIR THREE – DIMENSIONAL WORKSHEET
Summary…. Exhibiting at the Italian Convention Lotus 1-2-3 releases 3.0,in their pre-release version.
Author…. Roberto Mazzoni
Type …. News
Creation Date ….05/30/1988
Fifth edition of the Lotus Convention Italian
Main Article Text
The fifth Italian Convention of Lotus has come to an end. There were numerous guests in attendance and just as many products announced or promised.
However, once again, the focus was on Lotus 1-2-3’s main product, their spreadsheet, which was presented in a three-dimensional version.
We are referring, of course, to their release 3.0, which, using linked sheets, presents a layered vision of the various parcels of information. Simplifying the concept, the three-dimensionality of version 3.0 consists in having a main sheet on which one can merge the partially calculated results from inside other secondary sheets, so as to produce budget consolidation (or perhaps something else) without having to create gigantic spreadsheets. Examining one preliminary version of the product, we can see that the user interface had not changed, however, they have added to cell address a letter designating the sheet, which precedes the row and column indication. Working in this environment is like writing with a wp that can handle different windows. The fact is that the spreadsheets can be displayed one at a time, or the screen can be divided into horizontal portions visualizing, simultaneously two or three different spreadsheets. This type of layering is found to improve the organization of any work, putting, for example, the macros in sheet number two (B) while the data is stored in sheet number one (A). Also, the graphics module has been improved by incorporating the printing function and which features the various types of graphics permitted (bars, cakes or lines) in a vertical window which is open to the side of the worksheet. The spreadsheet has colossal dimensions: 8,192 rows and 256 columns repeated on 256 levels, for a total of 536,870,912 cells!
Of course, a work area this wide does not lend itself to be managed with Ms-Dos, although it is possible to do so. Therefore, it is highly likely that the Lotus 1-2-3, version 3.0, becomes the product dedicated to Os 2 while the current version (2.1) will remain in circulation for MS-DOS. The sheet width has been increased in terms of capacity so that each single cell has the range to be able to insert notes of up to 512 characters long. Other new features of the product include the ability to view red negative numbers and the already defined collaboration of all the new basic commands that are present in version 2.0.
The official launch of the Italian version of this product will take place next September. As mentioned above, however, the meeting was not entirely focused on 1-2-3, but shown were also the revised and enhanced versions of four other Lotus products: 1.1 Manuscript in Italian, which will be available in May at a price of 850,000 lire; Freelance in Italian and Graphwriter II both ready and available at the price of 850,000 lire each; Symphony 2.0 in Italian for 1,150,000 lire.
In addition to the products that were presented, John Catalfamo, head of Lotus Development Italy (via Lampedusa 11 A – 20141 Milano – Tel. 02 8432567), clarified with a speech by summing up the company’s future policy in respect to Os 2,saying that the transition from the old system to the new operating system will be very gradual. Catalfamo justified this conservative choice, citing figures from a market research that Lotus had commissioned in Great Britain. The survey wanted to determine how many users intended to use Os 2 in the short and medium term. The results show that only 6% of respondents immediately intend to adopt Os2 while, in the short term, the percentage of users who will have any recourse will be 20%. We must, however, wait until the end of the decade before the new operating system, covers 50% of installed machines.