Some have called me an Internet pioneer. Over the past 35+ years I have been involved in Internet and satellite development as well as project management. I try to maintain competence at the nuts-and-bolts hardware and software levels in order to earn and maintain the respect of those I lead, and to make informed and practical judgments. Since this is an “About Me”, I humbly beg the reader to forgive this bit of self-aggrandizing given that you are here to learn a little about what I do, and what makes me “tick”.
Some Key Internet Accomplishments
Built the first TCP/IP network in Minnesota (fuzzballs), 1981
- Introduced and established the first network of Sun Workstations in Minnesota, 1982
- Co-founded the Minnesota Supercomputer Center and Directed its Networking Group, 1984-89
- Deployed the first fiber optic backbone at the UofMN (MSINet), 1985
- Founded the NSF regional network MRNet in 1987, elected Chairman to oversee transition to a corporation, 1990
- Promoted light weight client-server architectures which resulted in the first Internet browser, Gopher, 1989-91
- Co-founded and designed a major Internet Service Provider (Internet Way, later UUNET France), 1994-97
- Designed satellite based multicast service adopted by Orion (WorldCast), 1996
- Principal architect and author of Loral Orion’s first global DVB IP satellite system (ODBS), 1997-2000
- Developed DVB performance and multicast enhancements while a member of SkyStream Technical Advisory Board, 1999-2002
For some years prior to 2010, I was working on development of low cost satellite IP multicasting technology, including use of advanced video compression with AL/FEC (fountain codes), spread spectrum, advanced flat antenna technology, and engagement with IETF and MIT OLPC group. It became clear that video was a key issue.
Video is becoming an extension of the web, and from 2010 until recently I have been exploring next generation architectures for a tier 1 telco, at their advanced development lab near the Bay Area. Since 2005 I have been extolling the virtues OTT and ISO Base Media File Format (as opposed to transport stream) and since 2010 have pressed for the use of Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) protocols, starting with HLS and Smooth Streaming, ending up at DASH and HTML5 w/HEVC. In the course of this work we collaborated with and entertained significant proposals from many major industry players, such as Ericsson, Alcatel, Moto/ARRIS, not to mention discussions with Google, Amazon, Netflix, etc. In conjunction with building in-house demonstrations of these next generation streaming technologies, I worked with certain industry leaders to develop the enabling low cost video transcoding technologies. We also catalyzed development of a new generation of app based player devices, usually based on Android and its ecosystem. At the end of my tenure, when we were getting ready to demonstrate the use of HTML5 media extensions, advanced web based content security, and next generation transcoding STB silicon, all resources were diverted to addressing the immediate needs of legacy market acquisitions.
I have undertaken a few related projects during the last year, and am excited to see many of these technologies coming to fruition.
Innovator and Early Adopter
As a consultant, I often serve as a change agent, scouting out new technologies, methods and relationships. Sometimes as a disruptive early adopter, and at other times as the police, raising the alarm when projects have gone too far off-the-rails. Some examples are listed, here.
Other Interests and Formative Experience
A little background about early work at Kennedy Space Center, establishing UofMN networking, ARPANet connection, NSF and state networking, various business efforts, here.
Goals & Aspirations
Having assembled and led many project teams, I know it can be useful to know an individuals views and motivation. I include a few brief thoughts, here.
You can learn a bit more about my hobbies and family, here.