Wyn Hopkins in Access Analytic's May newsletter:*
The greatest trick that Microsoft ever pulled was convincing the world that Excel was just a spreadsheet.
The thing is, most of the world doesn't even get that far ... they regard Excel as just a big calculator.
But Excel can be so much more. Here's a few of the odd things people have done with it: used it as a monopoly simulator, a former student wrote a working version of the game Battleship in Excel, an artist in Japan uses Excel as his medium for "painting", I've known many people who generate their DHTML for sophisticated web pages by recycling code through Excel, plan layouts for floor tiles, the largest master list of all bootlegged Eric Clapton concerts is kept in Excel, generate lists of rhyming words for poetry, design patters for weaving.
Personally, I've used Excel to import a publisher's metadata about testbank questions so that I can improve on their random question selection to make sure I cover all the topics, learning objectives, and AACSB categories with my tests. I've also used it to slice and dice a blog into a good looking hard copy. And I got myself into trouble with path names that exceeded Windows 255 character limit while doing an upgrade: I used Excel to offload all the full paths and identified both the problem files and the strings that were causing them to go over the limit.
* Many people will recognize this as a paraphrase of something screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie had Verbal Kint say in The Usual Suspects. But that character was an amalgam of observations and behaviors; he in turn paraphrased Baudelaire in Le spleen de Paris. McQuarrie had admitted to be unaware of the original source when he wrote the screenplay.