Dean Allen, the ingenious inventor of Textpattern, and my friend, passed away.

Like most of the people from that time, I came to know Dean by searching for software to run a blog on the web. I came across “Textpattern” some time in late 2003 on Drew’s blog, and have been playing with it ever since I got hold of a beta 6 tarball.

The rest is history. In May 2004 I joined the TextDrive VC200 motley crew and a month later Dean asked me to work for TextDrive. Everything I do at Joyent today I learned after that call from Dean took place.

I regret I have not spent more time with him in person. A couple of TextDrive/Joyent meet ups, one sunny mid-morning at the vineyards with Dean, Gail and the dogs, and glorious five days in Amsterdam where we rushed through museums, cafés and topics on technology and philosophy, waiting for Jason to meet us for lunch, and that’s it.

Looking back through the memories, it was always the way he had with words, how he managed to sneak a bright simile into a one sentence email on installing software that stopped you in the tracks and made you smile.

I conclude with a rare picture of Dean and Jason from our 2012 reunion in Amsterdam. The bib inscriptions are mine, bringing history to meet the age of the meme and somewhat capturing the spirit of the conversation I always had with these two guys.

You have changed the course of my life and I will always love you for it.

Dean & Jason