In honor of Minitab Statistical Software’s 40th Anniversary, I thought I’d share ten interesting facts about Minitab’s history. I had a lot of fun compiling these! Minitab has several employees that have been here since the very beginning (or close to the very beginning!), and I got a kick out of picking their brains and hearing them share how the software has evolved over the years.
1. Minitab Release 13 was the last version of the software to ship on floppy disks. At that time, it took twelve 3.5” disks to deliver the software!
2. Minitab Statistical Software, originally developed in 1972, shares a birthday with compact disks (CDs), digital watches, hand-held scientific calculators, and the video game PONG. To see other pop culture events that occurred in 1972, take a look at this post.
3. The first Minitab feature that catered specifically to the quality market was Control Charts, which debuted as part of Minitab Release 7 in 1989. This release was also supported on 27 different computing platforms—including Prime, DEC/VAX, and Sun OS3.
4. In 1972, in order to install Minitab Statistical Software on your IBM mainframe, the software had to be delivered via 5 boxes of “punch cards.”
5. Minitab’s popular StatGuide, a resource in the software to help users interpret their results, debuted in Minitab Release 13. The Project Manager and ReportPad were also added to this release.
6. The first Minitab version that included high resolution graphics was Release 5.
7. The first release of Minitab Statistical Software to run on Windows was Release 9.2, which also offered advances in graphics, general and industrial statistics, and macros.
9. “The MINITAB Student Handbook” was published in 1976 and was developed as a guide to show professors how to integrate the use of Minitab into the statistics classroom.
10. Minitab was originally developed in 1972 by three statistics instructors at Penn State University. One of the original developers, Barbara Ryan, is Minitab's current president and CEO. (A personal message from Barbara regarding Minitab’s 40th Anniversary can be seen on Minitab.com.)
You can use Minitab to find out what day of the week your own birthday will fall on this year by typing your birthday into a Minitab Worksheet like so:
Choose Data > Extract from Date/Time > To Text. Enter your birthday column, and choose Day of Week > Okay.
To view other Minitab milestones, check out Minitab’s timeline on the 40th Anniversary Page.
What Minitab fact most surprised you?