Oleg Vishnepolsky

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Oleg Vishnepolsky
Oleg Vishnepolsky in 1984.jpg
Oleg Vishnepolsky in 1984 at the time of S2 creation
Born Russia
Nationality American
Fields Computer science
Known for S2 Spreadsheet, Aphorisms, Executive, OS/2 TCP/IP
Notable awards IBM CEO Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, 1992

Oleg Vishnepolsky is the author of IBM's S2 Spreadsheet. Vishnepolsky also authored TCP/IP stacks for OS/2 and IBM POS terminals. He also is known as an aphorist.[1][2][3]

S2 spreadsheet[edit]

While employed at IBM's Thomas Watson Research Center Oleg Vishnepolsky created a Lotus 1-2-3 compatible program S2 in 1984 at about the same time as Lotus was developing 1-2-3. S2 became popular within IBM and was distributed worldwide to 50,000 users. S2 matched 1-2-3 feature by feature, and had a similar user interface. Additionally, S2 had an ability to connect to IBM mainframes via TCP/IP and pull data from IBM databases such as IBM DB2 and IBM SQL/DS.[4] It also had features that allowed for easy visual connection between formulas and their dependencies - those features were later adopted by Lotus 1-2-3 and Microsoft Excel.

Controversy[edit]

In 1986 S2 caused a major controversy because of the legal concerns stemming from the fact that Lotus had filed and won lawsuits against 2 other companies for infringing on the Lotus 1-2-3 copyright. Additionally, IBM at the time was negotiating a major marketing deal with Lotus to market 1-2-3 under IBM's name. A reporter from PC Week got a hold of S2 program and ran an article speculating that the rumored deal between IBM and Lotus was coming apart.[5][6] This PC Week article caused an uproar in the executive circle of IBM. Upon further investigation and given the fact that S2 was already in the hands of 50,000 people the decision was not to withdraw S2 from circulation and allow Vishnepolsky to continue development of S2. However, Vishnepolsky got disheartened by the deal between IBM and Lotus and lost interest in continuing S2 development. He moved to another project and went on to develop TCP/IP for OS2 and IBM POS terminals.

Career at IBM after S2[edit]

Vishnepolsky was active in Internet protocols development and specifically in TCP/IP. He worked in the group of Barry Appelman, a significant Internet notable and the inventor of instant messaging. Appelman's group as a whole proved critical in IBM's early embrace of the Internet despite having a competing family of protocols IBM Systems Network Architecture. Vishnepolsky authored TCP/IP for OS/2[7][8][9] in 1986 and for IBM POS terminals in 1990.[10]

Career after IBM[edit]

According to an SEC filing of 2007[11] Vishnepolsky was CTO of 24/7 Real Media having worked at Doubleclick, AOL, and Prodigy_(online_service) in executive positions prior to him joining 24/7 Real Media. Vishnepolsky was also CTO of Inforocket/Liveadvice, an expert site.[12] According to the aforementioned SEC filing, Vishnepolsky received an outstanding technical achievement award from John Akers, the CEO of IBM at the time. According to[13] he launched first in the financial industry website for Prudential Securities.

Quotes[edit]

  • "With a help of a computer we can make millions of mistakes a second."
  • "No gain is a pain."
  • "It is ok to put your head in the sand if you keep your mouth shut."
  • "Advice is best taken like Russian vodka: in small doses but large quantities."
  • "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him how to fish and you create an environmental problem."
  • "We live for the moments to die for."
  • "Small actions beat big intentions."
  • "What does not kill me, makes me consume alcohol."

More can be found at [2] and [3]

Weight Lifting[edit]

According to a YouTube video posted in 2014 by his daughter Rachel, Vishnepolsky is an amateur powerlifter. In the YouTube video Vishnepolsky is shown to perform a seated chess press of 520lb. [14]

References[edit]