Three who set up shop in Bellevue

The story of how the three founders of a small company called IQ Technologies came to the Seattle area illustrates why the area has been successful in attracting the microcomputer industry.

IQ Technology makes a device called a ''Smart Cable,'' which helps solve the often serious problem of connecting one manufacturer's peripheral to another manufacturer's computer. In place of expensive, custom cables, The Smart Cable uses electronic circuits to connect a wide range of devices without difficulty.

Joe Walsh, the originator of the concept, grew up in the Bronx. After graduating from college, he moved to San Francisco ''because there was sailing.'' After a few years he grew restless again, and decided to move to Australia. He went so far as buying a ticket on a flight that left from Seattle. Driving through the Pacific Northwest for the first time, he fell in love with the area.

When he reached Seattle, the weather was gray and heavily overcast. ''I paid a little extra for an apartment with a view of the lake. Some two months later, I woke up to sunshine. Opening the curtains, I was thunderstruck to discover a view of mountains, snow-capped mountains the like of which I had never seen before,'' Walsh reminisces.

Walsh's partner, Peter Dean, is an Englishman. He came to Seattle to work for Boeing in microelectronics.

''I've had opportunities to move away. But I've lived a number of places and I like this the best. From my house it is only 15 minutes to sail and 30 minutes to ski. And there is still a spirit of adventure here that you don't find in other places,'' he says.

In addition to the amenities, there are a lot of business opportunities, adds Byron McCann, the company's third founder.

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