A computer operator and programmer, he grew up in, Wyoming, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan, but didn’t complete his education there. Instead, he got a job as a tab operator, working with punch cards and patch panels. He taught himself to program on the IBM 1401 using Assembly code. In 1963 he decided to move to Berkeley and living in a place on the edge of the Berkeley campus when he heard about a job for a computer operator at Berkeley Lawrence Laboratory. He ultimately interviewed for a position at the Berkeley Lawrence Laboratory in Livermore as a computer operator where he taught himself FORTRAN II.
He decided to go back to school attending Cal State, Hayward majoring in Math. He was able to attend school full time, working as an operator at Livermore on the weekends. He received his Bachelor’s degree in 1966, and Livermore hired him as a programmer.
He received his Master’s degree in 1968 after which he joined Tymshare, a time sharing company, selling computer time and software packages for users. He, along with Ann and Norm Hardy, Bill Frantz, and Joe Rinde developed the idea of using remote sites with minicomputers to communicate with the mainframes.
The minicomputers would serve as the network's nodes, running a program called a "Supervisor" to route data. He wrote the assembly code for the SDS 940, and with the architectural design contributions from Norman Hardy; this was the beginning of the Tymnet network.
He also designed a specialized mini-computer, known as the Tymnet Engine, to support the Tymnet Supervisor. In November 1971, the first Tymnet Supervisor program became operational. In about 1979, Tymnet Inc. was spun off from Tymshare Inc. to continue administration and operation of the network. The network continued to grow, and customers who owned their own host computers and wanted access to them from remote sites became interested in connecting their computers to the network. This led to the foundation of Tymnet as a wholly owned subsidiary of Tymshare to run a public network as a common carrier within the United States.
This allowed users to connect their host computers and terminals to the network, and use the computers from remote sites or sell time on their computers to other users of the network, with Tymnet charging them for the use of the network.
The IPSS : the public multilateral worldwide Tymnet network the internet connected to ... and reduced.