Ron Schnell

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Ron Schnell
Ron Schnell in New York 2011-08-10.jpg
Ron Schnell in 2011
Born (1966-11-10) November 10, 1966 (age 52)
Other namesRonnie Schnell, Ronald Steven Schnell
Alma materSyracuse University
Known forspeaking at NYU (age 14), co-founder of Mail Call, CTO of Paul'16

Ron Schnell (born Ronald Steven Schnell on November 10, 1966; sometimes Ronnie Schnell) is a computer programmer in Weston, Florida and was co-founder of Mail Call in 1997. He was the CTO of Rand Paul's 2016 presidential campaign.[1][2]

Life and work[edit]

Schnell began programming in 1975 (age nine), on the IBM 360 mainframe.[3][4][5][6] In 1981, he tested and spoke about SETL (for VAX minicomputers) at NYU's Courant Institute.[3][4][5] In 1982, Schnell wrote a chat program for Telenet called NET-TALK, while at the Maryland timesharing company Dialcom; this led to helping test the BBC Micro.[7] Schnell wrote[8][9] the text adventure game DUNNET in 1983 for MacLisp[a] and 1992 for Emacs Lisp.[b] After high school, Schnell attended Syracuse University from 1984 through 1986,[c] and was a DJ on WJPZ-FM

Between late 1986 and throughout the 1990s, Schnell was a Unix kernel consultant.[d] He moved to the west coast, and founded his first startup in 1990, Secure Online Systems.[10] He co-founded Mail Call in 1997 in Florida; the product used IVR and back-end text-to-speech (subscribers could call a toll-free number, and check their email via the telephone—Mail Call was before the invention of the smartphone).[11][12][13] From 2002-2005, Schnell was a divisional vice president at Equifax.[14][e] Schnell was general manager of The Technical Committee in Seattle, a court-mandated computer-software-nonprofit that monitored Microsoft's compliance with a federal court ruling.[15][f]

Starting in 2013, Schnell became an adjunct professor of Computer Security[g] at Nova Southeastern University.[16] In 2015, Schnell also became CTO of the Rand Paul presidential campaign; he hosted a hackathon in San Francisco during July 2015.[1] Schnell designed the app[h] for Paul'16 (featuring a hidden game, vote feedback, donations, and virtual-selfies).[17][18]

Personal life[edit]

Schnell was married in 1994, and has two children. Schnell's home automation system, which he helped specify, was profiled in 1998.[19] Schnell plays Segway polo, and in 2007 co-founded the Polo Bears team.[20]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Linda Stevens (July 21, 1981). "The Whiz!". New York Post. ...14-year-old Ronnie one of NYU's youngest undergrads this summer. He's helping to test a new computer language called "Pseudo-Parallel SETL." ... He started at 9.
  4. ^ a b Lee Comegys, United Press International (October 18, 1981). "A computer genius at 14". E.W. Scripps Company. p. E-10.
  5. ^ a b Miller, Robert (1981). "Evening news". Independent Network News (US). Season 2. New York, New York. Tribune Company. WPIX. ...Rockland Community College...
  6. ^ "Hilcrest Boy your average next door computer genius", Rockland County Journal News, 23 August 1981
  7. ^ John Coll (October 1982). "The BBC micro dials the world". No. 3. Acorn User. pp. 20–22. ...Dialcom Gold computers are [P]rime 5000 units and are connected to a worldwide network of similar machines. ...If I want to send a letter to Ronnie Schnell in New York, I type MAIL SEND RONNIE and my system directs the letter to him. ...We use the system for exchanging computer programs. His copy of Defenders was sent over by electronic mail... (More on Ronnie later.) ...Telecom Gold can turn up some surprises. One day I typed the NET-TALK command which enables you to talk to people on the network. ...I asked if he [Ronnnie] did any serious programming or whether he just mucked around and played games on the system. I was put firmly in my place by being told that he had written the international conferencing software we were using! ...I asked how old he was. The reply was 16! It will not surprise you that a short time later Ronnie received a BBC computer system. He has since been invaluable in helping to prove the file transfer software Acorn have developed. ...
  8. ^
  9. ^ Richard Stallman; et al. (2015). "GNU Emacs manual, 17th edition, updated for Emacs 24.5" (PDF). pp. pdfPage#24 aka printedPage#2, as well as pdfPage#429 aka printedPage#407. ISBN 978-0-9831592-5-4. Acknowledgments. Contributors to GNU Emacs include ...Ronald S. Schnell.... ...M-x dunnet runs an[sic] text-based adventure game.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Notable Websites", Fortune, July 1998
  12. ^ "Hello? You've Got E-mail", Family Circle, October 1998
  13. ^ "E-Mail, Phone Home", Working Woman, February 15, 1999
  14. ^ Thomas Claburn (May 7, 2004). "Microsoft Signs On For E-Mail Program". Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  15. ^ Cade Metz. "How Microsoft Learned to Stop Worrying and (Almost) Love Open Source". Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  16. ^ "College of Engineering and Computing / About Us". Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  17. ^ Nick Corasaniti (September 2, 2015). "Rand Paul Campaign Makes Pixelated Pitch, Through an App". New York Times. ...Paul campaign is releasing a smartphone app... Ron Schnell, the chief technology officer of the Paul campaign and architect of the app.
  18. ^ Chris Plante (September 2, 2015). "Rand Paul's presidential app is no joke". ...Paul (R-KY) released an app promoting his bid for the [presidency] ...chief technology officer of Paul's campaign, Ron Schnell... who served as the chief architect of the app...
  19. ^ Julie Jacobson (February 1998). Julie Jacobson, ed. "System Spotlight: Super Sundays!". Electronic House. Vol. 13 no. 1. Kenneth D. Moye, EH Publishing, Inc., Wayland, MA. pp. 54–57. ISSN 0886-6643. ...sports-centric room of a Florida family... nine-screen video wall... the Schnells decided to design a video wall.... Ron, a software engineer by trade and technical tinkerer in his free time, had his own ideas for the video wall, but he couldn't do it alone. ...six surveillance cameras.... whole-house cable network ... face-to-face [video-conferencing].... With a little tinkering, Ron gave two of the small TVs... any channel at any time [capability via] X-10... commands to various lights and appliances... [via TV] remote, an X-10 keypad, or any touchtone phone.
  20. ^


  1. ^
  2. ^ Ron Schnell (1992-07-28). "dunnet - text adventure for e-lisp". USENET.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "EMAIL AUTHENTICATION SUMMIT, Federal Trade Commission, November 9, 2004" (PDF). Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Joint Status Report on Microsoft's Compliance with the Final Judgments". Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  7. ^ Ron Schnell (2014). Barbara Chiarizia and Sarah K. Webster, ed. "Hacking 101: Using social engineering increases security attack effectiveness" (PDF). Coast Guard Journal of Safety & Security at Sea, Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council. United States Coast Guard. pp. 25 through 27. ...About the author: Mr. Ron Schnell is an adjunct professor of computer security at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale Florida...
  8. ^ Released in September 2015; works on most iOS v8+ and also Android v2.3.3+ smartphones.

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