From the Diary Of

Alex Merkher

I came to US from Latvia, when I was 13. My mother was an Engineer, and my father a Teacher.  I have been married to my High School sweetheart for almost 35 years, and we have three lovely daughters.

I got my BS in Computer Engineering from Brooklyn Polytech, and an MS in Telecom Management from Stevens’s institute of Technology.  My career started in the defense industry as an Electrical Engineer for Grumman Aerospace, where I worked on Navy Jets with many engineers from the LEM program. After that I worked primarily in the Financial and Telecommunications sectors.

I have always been technically inclined. I took apart cameras and radios before I was 9 (with a surprising track record of putting them back together again). I was fixing small appliances and electronics for friends and family while in school, and I had a feeling that I will be going into an engineering field. About a month before midterms of my senior year of high school, I found out that our small school actually had a COMPUTER class! The two TRS-80’s in the back of that class looked like something out of science fiction, so I immediately approached the principal to ask him to allow me to take the class. He said, that as long as the instructor was OK with it… So I spoke with the instructor, who told me that they were almost half-done with the course, and there was no way that I could catch up.  I asked if he would let me take the class if I passed the mid-term.  He grudgingly agreed, smirking derisively.  For the next few weeks I went through the course materials on my own.  When the time came, I asked the instructor to give me both exams – the midterm and the final. After acing them both, I spent the rest of the year writing basic games on those TRS-80’s, and helping the instructor with the class.  This unusual introduction to computers has firmly cemented my future career plans.

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