Monday, September 13, 2004


egilh project #6: Excel 5

What: Microsoft Excel 5. Translated parts of the software and the screenshots. Made daily builds on a 486 with OS/2.

When: early 90s

Lessons learned:

  • Builders doesn't trust technical translators. The build kit I got, deleted all the intermediate files. As a result it took the best part of a day to make a build even if you just changed a string. Not the way I like working. I'm pretty much a feature driven development guy: add a feature or fix a bug, make a quick build and make sure it works instead of adding tons of stuff and hoping for the best. I changed the make files and brought the build time to minutes instead of hours.
  • You can do anything with Excel! Through the years I have seen it used for everything. The majority of the translation work was done using macros in Excel as well. We had huge lookup lists of existing translations and (slow) macros that did search and replace.
  • In Microsoft you can retire at 35! The boss of my boss retired to study art.

(Update: formatted the text better)

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