Marino Frei


Marino Frei, electronics and computer expert

I’ve always loved technology, electricity, telecommunications and, more recently, computers and computer science. And I’ve always liked technical subjects. Looking at people in offices, shuffling paper and rushing around, I wanted to work on something more concrete and practical.

Even at a very young age I was a bit of a handyman and a do-it-yourselfer. I made models, then later, with a friend, when I was about 14 or 15, we made games with psychedelic lights. We had to connect cables, then, later, we produced complete printed circuits. I made an FM transmitter for fun. We used to read magazines and we followed plans to make everything from A to Z.

This led me quite naturally to the École des Métiers (Trades School), which I left four years later with a CFC (Certificat Fédéral de Capacité, or Swiss Skills Certificate). From then, I took a course at the School of Electricity, specialising in electronics. It was a bit brief, but we learnt how to repair appliances, trace faults and change defective components. In those days appliances were repairable ! I left with a diploma in radio-electricity. I then spent a further year to become an electronic technician. I gained lots of knowledge of electronics : we didn’t talk of computer science in those days, when there were only enormous machines to which access was impossible.

As I had not gone deep enough into the subject, I was able to join the second year of the Engineers School in Geneva, where I stayed for three years to obtain my diploma of engineering. I very much enjoyed programming using punch-cards. We gradually began to spot the link between telephony and computer science. I worked on electronic banking, telematics, and also on machines designed to recognise coins and to read banknotes.

When the company for which I was working failed to anticipate the switch to smart cards and went bankrupt, I came to Les Diablerets where I did various jobs, but then I had the dream of running an electronics and computer business from my chalet. I started the venture in 1993, concentrating on service and servicing rather than selling « boxes» of hardware.

It’s a fascinating career, changing all the time, and there are always new problems to be solved.

Cevic Informatique

079 214 03 36

Translation : Gordon Douglas