VisiCalc 1979 chosen to upgrade California’s visionary $1B accounting software system

Sacramento, Calif. (CBS) — In a major technological coup for the Golden State, Gov. Gavin Newsom has licensed the legendary accounting software VisiCalc to upgrade the state’s $1 billion Financial Information System for California (FI$Cal).

California State Auditor Elaine Howle recommended the upgrade after FI$Cal’s 15-year development cycle came to an end on Monday.

FI$Cal is a fiasco wrapped inside a boondoggle inside an enigma that lacks crucial features such as bond and loan accounting tools, and will not include the transition of the state’s annual financial reporting from the the old system,” Howle said.

“Continuing the project could hurt California’s credit rating, increase borrowing costs and damage the state’s credibility among investors,” Howle said. “After spending $1 billion since 2004, it’s time to move forward to 1979.”

Members of the public can download the state’s new accounting software for free. It runs under Windows or MS-DOS and is only 27,520 bytes long.

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