How do you pronounce "Yves Dehnel" anyway? Here's how I did in 1972, and how I do today (Thanks
to Theodric Young for the idea.)
My first name came from French actor Yves Montand, and my last name from a
German family established in what is now Poland
since the 18th century. Here's my lineage (courtesy of
Jacques Dehnel, a genealogist who recently discovered that he was a distant
uncle of mine...)
21, 1969: Born at the Hôtel-Dieu, Paris,
France. Mother: Claire
(Paris, 1937 - Rouen, 1993) dental assistant, librarian, educator. Father: André (Warsaw,
1937) chemist, U. of
Orléans then Rouen.
1969-1975: Lived in Olivet, Southern suburb of Orléans,
France. At age 2: first two words before a microphone (fascinated by the
spinning reels of the tape recorder.) Professional ambition: to become a
1975-1979: Lived in Fleury-les-Aubrais, North of Orléans. Public elementary
school. Hobbies: reading, gymnastics, fun with school bullies (not!) Piano
lessons (never took too seriously.) Favorite subject: spelling. Terrible at art
but good at crafts.
1979-1984: Secondary school in Fleury (Collège Condorcet) and Orléans (Lycée
Pothier.) My first radio broadcast (160K) on FR3
Centre Radio with 7th grade music class, Feb. 1981. Favorite subjects: literature,
history, languages (German, Russian, English.) Classmates say I ask a lot of
questions. Hobbies: reading, bicycling, model railroads, a little programming,
breaking electronic equipment, and radio: founded "Lamballe FM" with
neighbors, broadcasting to apartment complex through a home-made wireless mike.
We had groovy jingles (240K).
1984-1985: Exchange student in Port Jefferson on Long
Island, NY. Interest in
filmmaking, especially animation.
1985-1986: Short-lived project to remake "Close Encounters" film with
classmates in Orléans, aborted after I dropped the camera during
special-effects sequence. Professional ambition: translator, perhaps. In any
case, I dislike the biology teacher, she's clueless.
1986-1987: Last year of high school in Ottawa, Canada
(father on sabbatical.) Now I love biology but hate math. I still end up
graduating with the math-oriented Baccalauréat C degree.
1987-1991: College at MIT in Cambridge, MA.
Lived at French House
(President 1990-1991). Chose Bio major because Architecture advisor missed
appointment on registration day. OK, I'll admit it, I liked it too, especially
Drosophila development genetics. Research project in quantification of airborne
contamination. Concentration in Music. Member of WMBR-FM since 1987 (producer of 4 shows.) Favorite sport:
punting (ask your local MIT nerd what it means.) Made many friends at French
House. Graduation in 1991 without definite plans.
1991-1993: Work at Brandeis University
running DNA/protein synthesis facility under Chris
Miller's supervision (awesome boss.) "French Kisses" program
debuts May 1991 on WMBR, with Christiane Katz and Laurent Valière. My mother
passes away in 1993.
1993-1995: Graduate student of Biochemistry at Brandeis. Research on Drosophila
development genetics in Pieter
Wensink's group. Growing interest in broadcasting and computing,
consideration of a career change. Founding member, Francophone Broadcasting
Corporation. Start of a computer tutoring service. I also have a fish tank. Still
interested in photography... here's my picture of Chloé, the world's
More photographs are here.
1995-1996: Gimme a job in broadcasting!!! I
become hyperactive at WMBR, as the "French Kisses" show goes through
many staff changes and turns into the Monday morning program "French Toast". The PC
consulting hobby turns serious, as I help found Computer Warehouse in South
Boston. Creation of Elsewhere International S.N.C., a computer
- 1997: A year of tremendous
growth and success for Computer Warehouse. I also assist Brian in
organizing the "L'Air du temps" festival of Francophone music
- 1998: Back in my hometown of Rouen,
France, I help
promote a local cyber-café at the Fête de l'Internet. I then get a job in Paris
with Help-Line as a
support engineer, working as a contractor to Bouygues
Immobilier. Laurent Valière's evil influence throws me back into
broadcasting, as the engineer for a French song show on FPP
106.3 in Paris. I live in Nanterre.
- 1999: Opening of espoir.net, a volunteer effort to
fight unemployment using the Internet. With the help of co-worker Rollande
Mistral and Laurent Valière, we organize job-search workshops during the
Fête de l'Internet.
- 2000: I purchase an apartment in Courbevoie
and turn it into a furnished rental unit. I then return to Boston
as Systems Engineer for Computer Warehouse. "French Toast" returns to the airwaves.
- 2001-2002: As Computer
Warehouse makes a successful transition from retail PC sales to
services for businesses, I lead the company's growing on-site service
department and design a Total Technology Management Database to better keep
track of our clients' needs.