John A. Watlington

While the personal computer has had a great impact in our lives, I believe that an even greater change will be brought by the home server. A home server provides computation and storage resources for home services. Think of it as a hot water heater. You don't need to know where it is, you don't need to do anything to it (other than replace it every fifteen years or so), you just expect hot water to come out of the right faucet. Similarly, the home server can run applications within the home, which input and output through network connected sensors and displays. It is usually integrated with a home gateway, a natural location for providing services both inside the home and on the public Internet.

I'm currently working for One Laptop per Child, architecting and building the school server. In order to maximize the potential of the laptop, its applications are designed for operation stand-alone or with a group of other laptops. The school server operates as a resource-rich peer to the laptop.

I worked for France Telecom R&D, in their Boston (Cambridge) laboratory for four year, looking for new services within the home. I also participated in the Communications Futures Program at MIT and Cambridge Univ., particulary in the Broadband Working Group.

From June 2000 through September 2002, I worked at a small startup, Ucentric Systems, located in scenic Maynard, Mass, doing hardware development and system architecture. Ucentric was developing a new consumer device, the Home Server, but ended up concentrating on media delivery within the home.

I'm on leave of absence from my doctoral research at the MIT Media Lab, with Dr. V. Michael Bove, Jr. I have been associated with the lab since I was an undergraduate (Class of '87), building a variety of image processing systems, and structured video projects using them. Six of those years were spent as staff, designing, building, and playing with, a scalable image processing system, Cheops.

One of my primary interests is computer architecture - how to design machines to efficiently perform a given set of tasks. The tasks I am interested in performing are the acquisition, manipulation, and presentation of sensory information. Motion image information in particular, although audio and text/still images also interest me.

A strong second interest is structured video (also commonly called object based video.) These are motion images which are composed at the receiver from descriptions of the objects in the scene and a controlling script, and were the subject of an very early thesis of mine: Synthetic Movies.

After growing up in Tennessee and Peru, I've spent the last two decades living in and around Boston. I married my wife, Santina, in '94, and we are the proud parents of two boys, Ian and Nathan.

My mom and dad's hobby has been recording the Watlington and Hammond family genealogy. Two books contain some of their work to date: Watlingtons of West Tennessee and Our Hammond and Hale Ancestors. I just finished self-publishing a cookbook of my Mom's recipes.

Solid State Dump, a short-lived art installation

A while back when I had the time to build hardware just for fun, I had the chance to enable some of Karl Sims' early visions: an Interactive Video Kaleidascope and Genetic Images