Severo Ornstein is a mid-sized maverick who came to computing in 1954 with the aid of a climbing rope. The full story is told in his book Computing In The Middle Ages which, among other things, is a paean to the LINC computer on which he cut his hardware design teeth.
Later, he and another LINC pal had a heavy hand in devising Macromodules at Washington University. He then deserted the ranks to join the team at BBN in Boston, which was shortly awarded the contract to build the first part of the Arpanet (which eventually morphed into the Internet). That was a hard act to follow, but after leading the first delegation of computer scientists to China in 1972, he escaped to Xerox PARC where (with the expert help of true professionals) he helped to build an early laser printer (the Dover) and an oversized personal computer (the Dorado).
On the side he helped found Computer Professionals For Social Responsibility and designed the first screen-based music score editor (Mockingbird), whereupon Xerox management retired him to the hills where he designed and built a house.
For the last twenty years or so he has focused on musical endeavors and has watched from the sidelines with bemused detachment as the computer field rumbles along without him.