Guide to the Seymour Rubinstein collection of MicroPro International Corporation records

Finding aid prepared by Adrienne Harling and Sara Chabino Lott
Processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from the Computer History Museum’s Software Industry Special Interest Group.
Computer History Museum
1401 N. Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA, 94043
(650) 810-1010
October 2016

Title: Seymour Rubinstein collection of MicroPro International Corporation records
Identifier/Call Number: X4735.2008
Contributing Institution: Computer History Museum
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 3.75 Linear feet, 3 record cartons
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1981-1986
Date (inclusive): 1978-1986
Abstract: The Seymour Rubinstein collection of MicroPro International Corporation records consists of records that Rubinstein retained for his own use from his tenure at MicroPro International Corporation. Rubinstein was the founder and CEO of MicroPro, and an influential innovator in the software industry. Rubinstein was the lead developer of MicroPro’s flagship product WordStar, which was one of the first commercially successful software applications for the personal computer (then called a microcomputer). This collection includes records about MicroPro’s financial, legal, and personnel history as well as the marketing, sales, and development of MicroPro products, especially WordStar. It also includes a small amount of Rubinstein’s personal papers.
creator: Rubinstein, Seymour

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

The Computer History Museum (CHM) can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claims of the copyright holder. Requests for copying and permission to publish, quote, or reproduce any portion of the Computer History Museum’s collection must be obtained jointly from both the copyright holder (if applicable) and the Computer History Museum.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item], [Date], Seymour Rubinstein collection of MicroPro International Corporation records, Lot X4735.2008, Box [#], Folder [#], Catalog [#], Computer History Museum.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Seymour Rubinstein, 2006.

Processing Information

Files were originally stored in groupings of standard file folders within hanging files. During processing, the creator’s folder label on hanging folders, if any, was included as a prefix to the creator’s folder label on the standard folders. This was done in an effort to preserve the creator’s original arrangement and context.

Biographical/Historical Note

Seymour I. Rubinstein, an influential innovator within the software industry, was born in 1934. He grew up in New York, received a B.S. from City University of New York and an M.B.A. from the Baruch School of Business. Rubinstein ran his first program on an IBM mainframe 1620 in 1963, which sparked his interest in a career in computing. In 1964, Rubinstein was hired at Sanders Associates as their Manager of Programming Development for the Data Systems Division. At Sanders he developed a telecommunications software interface for CRT terminals. He went on to work as a computer programming manager, and as a consultant to a variety of firms. He designed several telecommunication software systems in the fields of banking, law firm management, and online credit card authorization. He was also Director of Marketing for IMSAI Manufacturing Corporation, providing leadership on management and product development strategies.
Rubinstein founded MicroPro International Corporation (MicroPro) in June, 1978. At MicroPro, Rubinstein served as President and Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board, and later as Chairman Emeritus. MicroPro released word processing software WordStar, one of the first commercially successful applications for the personal computer, in 1979. MicroPro had many software products, but WordStar’s success was a primary driver of MicroPro’s $70 million valuation when the company went public in 1984.
Rubinstein led the development of WordStar, working with programmer Rob Barnaby whom he had met at IMSAI. In 1990, Rubinstein was sued by former CEO of IMSAI, Bill Millard, who accused Rubinstein of stealing trade secrets to create WordStar. However, Rubinstein was not found guilty.
Rubinstein claims responsibility for creating the end user software licensing agreement, a current industry standard, as well as for innovating the practice of creating distribution agreements with foreign vendors. Both of these developments contributed to the accelerated growth of the software industry.
Rubinstein continued to be active in the software industry until the mid 2000s. In 1987 he worked on developing a spreadsheet called Surpass, which was later sold to Borland International and renamed Quattro Pro. In 1995, he founded a company called Prompt Software, which specialized in internet and intranet research as well as document management tools. In 2005, Rubinstein became the director for business development of Avatier Corporation. He also held directorships at large corporations including IMSI, InterTrust Technologies, and Prompt Software.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The collection includes financial, personnel, and legal records pertaining to MicroPro, documentation of marketing and sales of MicroPro products, and information about new product development. There is also a small amount of papers more specifically pertaining to Seymour Rubinstein himself and not MicroPro as a company. This collection does not include content about Rubinstein’s work with other companies, and contains limited information about MicroPro’s other products besides WordStar.


The collection is arranged into 3 series: Series 1, Administrative records, 1978-1986 Series 2, Sales and product development, 1981-1986 Series 3, Personal papers, 1983-1986

Related Collections at CHM

PC Software Workshop: Word Processing, Lot X4311.2008, Catalog number 102658157.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

MicroPro International Corporation
Rubinstein, Seymour
Word processing -- Software
WordStar 2000


Administrative records, Series 1, 1978-1986

Series Scope and Content

This series contains records pertaining to financial, personnel, and legal matters having to do with MicroPro International Corporation. Financial records include financial reports as well as in-house documents for financial planning and analysis. Personnel records include employee directories, Rubinstein’s folders containing work related to specific MicroPro employees and colleagues (titled by person), and a substantial amount of content related to a corporate reorganization process. Within the corporate reorganization folders are planning documents related to reorganization as well as summarized comments from exit interviews in which recently terminated employees expressed their views about MicroPro’s management. Also in this series are legal records including documentation about a lawsuit in which MicroPro and Seymour Rubinstein were defendants. This series is in its original order.

102762111 Accounting : FY 86 profit plan 1986-01-31; 1986-02-04


102762112 Accounting : financial memoranda and correspondence 1985-1986


102762113 Accounting : general 1984


102762114 Accounting : memoranda and correspondence 1984-1985


102762115 Accounting : presentation to F. Adler and B. Janeway 1985-06-10


102762116 Accounting : MPI financial reports 1985


102762117 Accounting : consolidated statements of income 1986


102762118 MPI annual reports 1984-1985


102762119 MPI controllers reports 1985-1986


102762120 MPI financial planning and analysis reports 1985-1986


102762121 Operating plan - financial plan - 2nd quarter forecast 1981-02-26


102762122 Untitled revenue spreadsheet by software product name undated


102762123 Excess space (10th bldg. & 4th) 1985-03


102762124 Excess space (10th bldg. & 4th) architectural drawing and lease 1983-12


102762125 Corporate director's guidebook 1978-01


102762126 Personnel : resumes 1980s


102762127 Personnel : general 1982; 1983; 1985


102762128 Personnel : alphabetical employee information list and list by employee number 1982; 1985


102762129 Personnel : MicroPro pixie addresses 1986


102762130 Personnel : divisional employee information list 1982-05


102762131 Personnel : compensation committee 1984-1986


102762132 Personnel : compensation committee meeting 1986


102762133 Corporate reorganization : exit interview comments 1982


102762134 Corporate reorganization : MPI guiding principles 1982-08


102762135 Corporate reorganization : general 1982-1985


102762136 Corporate reorganization : renewal of Tamsys distribution agreement 1984-09


102762137 Corporate reorganization : MicroPro Ireland Ltd. 1984


102762138 Management termination agreements 1986


102762139 Reduction study 1984


102762140 Applicants for president and CEO 1983


102762141 Review with Chip 1981


102762142 Fred Pood 1981


102762143 Bruce Van Natta : review with Bruce 1981


102762144 Bruce Van Natta : SynchroSound case #14 1980


102762145 Bruce Van Natta : miscellaneous 1981


102762146 Don Fluken 1981


102762147 Bob Grayson undated


102762148 Fred Schuchardt 1981-1982


102762149 Ric Giardina 1981


102762150 Stan Reynolds undated


102762151 William Janeway 1982-1983


102762152 Adler & Company, Institutional Investor Conference, New York 1983-06


102762153 MicroPro International Corporation debenture purchase agreement 1981-03-11


102762154 MicroPro International Corporation debenture purchase agreement with associated attachments and exhibits 1981-03-11


102762155 Equity offering documents 1982


102762156 MicroPro board of directors resolutions 1982-06


102762157 Adler purchase agreement documents 1982-1983


102762158 David Gold, Esq. 1985-03-05


102762159 Frederick P. Furth (Furth, Fahrner, Bluemle & Mason) 1985


102762160 Legal MPI : Heller Ehrman, et. al. 1982-1984


102762161 Legal MPI : Parziale vs. MicroPro et. al. 1978-1982


102762162 Woodard, Hall & Primm 1986-08-05


Sales and product development, Series 2, 1981-1986

Series Scope and Content

This series contains records related to employee travel to conferences, MicroPro product and sales-related literature, press releases and press coverage, data about sales activities and customers, and new product development as well as already released products. A considerable amount of documentation about WordStar can be found in this series including information about WordStar sales, features, releases, and more. This series is in its original order.

102762163 National computer convention June 1982 ADTTTS NCC 1982


102762164 NCC 1983


102762165 PC expo & Europe 1984


102762166 SICOB - Paris, France 1984


102762167 SICOB Paris, France ATTTTS/S 1982-08


102762168 West Coast Computer Faire 1984


102762169 West Coast Computer Faire 1982


102762170 COMDEX, Las Vegas 1982


102762171 COMDEX, Atlantic City ADTTTS/CO 1982


102762172 COMDEX, Las Vegas ADTTTS/CO 1981


102762173 Computer adventure ADTTTS/CA 1982


102762174 Computer faire, inc. 1985


102762175 Hanover faire ADTTTS 1982


102762176 IBM PC faire San Francisco ADTTTCO/IBM 1983


102762177 NCC Chicago 1985


102762178 The international software update II 1985


102762179 Product literature 1984


102762180 MicroPro press information 1983


102762181 MicroPro promotional packet for OEMs and value added distributors 1981


102762182 MicroPro news releases 1986


102762183 MicroPro Editorial Coverage 1986


102762184 Pricing 1985


102762185 User interface proposals 1985


102762186 Sales report actual vs. forecast 1985-03-11


102762187 Competitive information 1986-03


102762188 Sales & backlog analysis 1985-1986


102762189 Cancelled orders domestic & international 1982-1983


102762190 Software sales orders & booking status 1982-1983


102762191 Value added dealers plan 1985


102762192 Sales address list 1986-03-04


102762193 East coast customer visits 1985-02


102762194 Executive account visits 1984-10-16


102762195 OEM agreement 1985


102762196 WordStar 4.0 1984-1985


102762197 WordStar 4.0 recommendations 1985


102762198 Rob Barnaby 1984-06-11


102762199 MicroPro vs. Microprose 1986-08-07


102762200 Company memos - chronological 1983-1986


102762201 Unix - chronological 1986


102762202 Ventura 4 1985-1986


102762203 NewWord 1986


102762204 Project testing 1985


102762205 New product plan proposal undated


102762206 Working papers 1984


102762207 Database info. 1984-12


102762208 Integrated products 1984


102762209 Thinktank 1984


102762210 New product development undated


102762211 MicroPro strategic planning 1986


102762212 Mark Meyer's proposal to develop applications using InfoStar 1983-07-14


102762213 Weekly reports WS2000 1985


102762214 Easy 1986


102762215 WS 2000 awareness tracking study 1985


102762216 InfoCorp report - WS2000 Rel 2 vs competition 1986-01-14


102762217 Bound reports on WordStar 2000 1984-1985


102762218 Project planning overview - WS 2000 1985-03-05


102762219 WordStar 2000 product development undated


102762220 R & D 1986-03-14


102762221 WS 2000 publicity 1985


102762222 WordStar 2000 Press Packet 1984


102762223 WS2000 roadshow 1984-10


102762224 WordStar 2000 press announcements 1984-1985


102762225 Press releases 1985-1986


102762226 WordStar 2000 general : memorandum 1985-1986


102762227 WordStar 2000 general : copy protection 1983-1986


102762228 WordStar 2000 general : correspondence 1985


102762229 WordStar 2000 general : printer info 1985


102762230 WordStar 2000 general : sales 1984-11


102762231 WordStar 2000 general : upgrades 1984-1985


102762232 WS2000 prelaunch : IVAN pre-launch PDNP/i 1983-1984


102762233 WS2000 prelaunch : WordStar 2000 publicity 1984-1985


Personal papers, Series 3, 1983-1986

Series Scope and Content

This series includes records pertaining more specifically to Seymour Rubinstein rather than MicroPro as a company. There is some documentation related to conflicts between Rubinstein and venture capitalist and MicroPro shareholder Fred Adler. Public addresses given by Rubinstein can be found in this series, as well as personal legal matters. In addition, this series contains records of Rubinstein’s testimony for a court case in which he was a witness, and some material regarding his own lawsuit in which he was sued for theft of trade secrets (but found not guilty). This series is in its original order.

102762234 Notes & memoranda 1985


102762235 Thoughts on withdrawl undated


102762236 SIR proposed communications undated


102762237 SIR chairman emeritus professional biography undated


102762238 SIR speaking engagements 1983-1986


102762239 Itineraries - SIR 1985


102762240 Insurance forms - SIR 1986


102762241 Legal - personal : change of name 1983


102762242 Legal - personal : Harvey Goldfine 1985


102762243 Legal - personal : Seymour Rubinstein deposition : Killian, Van Natta vs. Millard, et. al . 1986


102762244 Legal - personal : Bancroft, Avery, McAlister, Killian, et. al. vs. Millard et. al. 1983; 1985-1986


102762245 Legal - personal : SIR testimony - corrected pages, selected exhibits, AJK, BUN vs Millard et. al . 1983; 1986


102762246 Legal - personal : Levi & Jones, Accountants, Inc. 1984-1985


102762247 Legal - personal : SIR 1984-1986


102762248 Photograph of unidentified woman undated