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Charles Ying (born on September 29, 1946 in Chongqing, China) was a Chinese-born American entrepreneur, who founded in 1973 the software company Atex Inc. together with brother Richard Ying and Doug Drane. The founders developed an automated-digital-printing press computer to replace the old Gutenberg-model. After 10 years in operation, the founders sold the company to Eastman Kodak in 1983.
During the 1990's Ying continued to nourish his entrepreneurial spirit by founding an investment group with like-minded Atex alums who would consult and assist fledgling high-tech start-up companies and even brought his own pet project to life, MyFonts.com. He served as president and CEO of Information International in Los Angeles and Bitstream Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. Computers were his hobby, his passion, his life. His understanding and appreciation of technology came from his engineering background and his gift of understanding how hardware systems operate.
Charles family left mainland China for Hong Kong in the 1950s and Charles, along with his brother, Richard, was sent to Switzerland to study at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH). After a long overseas journey from China, 15-year-old Charles found out that his parents had been unaware of the mandatory age requirement of 18 for admission to ETH. While patiently taking classes it was brought to his attention that there was a school on the East Coast in the U.S. that took students at 16, if they passed the entry exam. Both Ying brothers applied to M.I.T., passed the exam and were accepted. In a record two years, Charles got his BS from M.I.T and later added his MS in electrical engineering. He also obtained an MBA from Harvard while in the midst of co-founding his own company, Atex (software) Inc., in 1973. At the time the world was still using the antiquated Gutenberg-model printing presses, which required the pouring of hot lead into the stamp-machine until Charles formed Atex with his brother and a third M.I.T. graduate, Doug Drane. Together, from a room the size of an attic, they built and sold their first automated-digital-printing press computer to replace the old Gutenberg-model. From there it was on to The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and L.A. Times. It didn't take long until almost every newspaper in the U.S. used Atex (software) Inc. invention. In 1983, Atex had become so successful that Eastman Kodak acquired the company.