Charlie Pyne

After leaving GDA, my initial interests at Harvard were extracurricular. A group of friends from the college radio station and I invented a device known as a blue box which allowed us to take control of the telephone network and make free phone calls around the world. This was a fun challenge, but it turned out that AT&T, Harvard and the FBI were not amused. The national publicity for this episode was probably my 15 minutes of fame. The resulting year off lead me to a job in computer programming, which has been my career ever since.

I returned to Harvard and majored in Applied Mathematics (aka Computer Science). In 1966 I married Betsy Merrick, whom I had known since our high school days (She attended the Spring Dance and is pictured in The Milestone). After graduating in 1967 and working briefly in a (draft-deferred) job at the Pentagon, I served in the Navy for a couple of years in Iceland where I used my computer skills to help keep track of Soviet submarines. Betsy accompanied me and also worked for the Navy. We were able to do some travel and even learned a bit of Icelandic.

On return to the U.S., I joined AutEx, a start-up company in Wellesley, Mass. which was developing an on-line block trading computer network for stock brokers. Betsy and I bought a 250-year-old in Norfolk, Mass. where we have been ever since and which has been a continuing restoration project. I worked at AutEx for many years and became their head of development. After going public the company eventually became a division of Xerox.

In the early 80s I decided to go out on my own as a consultant designing financial trading information networks. I worked quite a bit on Wall Street and for a while had a New York apartment, but was still able to get to Norfolk on the weekends. During the 90s I returned to my programming roots and developed software packages for personal computers while picking up a couple patents along the way. Although my clients have been all over the country, I have been able to do most of my work at home in Norfolk.

Betsy and I have two children. Our son, Charlie, is a database administrator with Partners Healthcare in Boston. Our daughter, Sarah, is just finishing her Masters Degree and hopes to be an elementary school teacher.

A year ago I had an angioplasty and a stent put in my heart. Since then I have participated in a cardiac rehab program and continue to exercise regularly. My interests have included ham radio, flying, restoration carpentry, genealogy and baroque music. For the past year both Betsy and I have been experimenting with retirement. We both like history and travel and are half-way through a project of visiting all the state capitols. We also have a house on Block Island, which we get to whenever we can.