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2/22/2011
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Jake Widman
Jake Widman
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Great Lost Software: 16 Gone But Not Forgotten

Software comes and software goes. Most that fall into the latter category deserve their fate, because either they weren't very good or they were superseded by a better option. Though such also-rans are soon forgotten, some defunct software still holds our affections, whether because nothing as good has come along or because it was our "first love" in a category. Software may seem a funny thing to be sentimental about, but when you use a tool every day, you can grow quite fond of it. We ransacked
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Javelin was created in 1984 to be the next-generation spreadsheet. It broke the data free from their cells -- the data were called "variables" and were objects independent of their place in the grid. Variables could be connected to each other as well as to text and images, and actions were performed on the objects, not on the cells. The product won numerous awards, and the story is told that at one software awards ceremony, Javelin's win over Excel caused Bill Gates to storm out in disgust. Javelin was purchased by Oracle in 1994, which spelled the end of the product.

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