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When Bruce Bastian, the co-inventor of WordPerfect, died this week, it sent me back more than 30 years to when there was a legion of DOS-based word processing applications, and then there was WordPerfect – the only one that mattered.

Even though I once traveled to meet with WordPerfect in Utah (near its Orem headquarters), for the launch of WordPerfect for OS/2, I don’t think I ever met Bastian. By 1994, he’d sold the company and moved on to become an LGBTQ activist. Still, he built WordPerfect with Alan Ashton, whom I did meet in passing, and what they created wrote the script for virtually every word processing app to come.

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