Professionally, Craig Smithpeters is into television. For fun, he likes to travel,
hike with his dog, and read. Equipped with a BS in Information Systems from the
University of South Florida and an MBA from the University of Florida, Craig
migrated to Atlanta, another humid locale. He is now Manager for Advanced Technology
and Standards for Cox Communications, the third-largest cable provider in the
Craig was actively developing applications for set top boxes (STBs) when Java
became a viable platform for the devices. In the late 1990s, a European-based
consortium put forth the Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) standard for interactive
television, based on the Java language. Meanwhile, some American STB manufacturers
were looking to build Java technology into their products to make the development
of applications for them easier. Craig says, "I was already engaged in that,
so it was a natural transition to begin working with Java technology in 1999.
At the same time I was developing a lot of server side systems as well, and Java
was much easier to write, so it was kind of a rapid transition, but once I started
working with Java I was like, 'My goodness, the time I've wasted with things
you don't have to worry about in Java!'" .
Craig is acquainted with Java technology as user, project lead,
and developer at Cox and previously at Nielsen Media Research, the
television ratings company. He says, "I've been involved in just
about every aspect of Java technology that has been around for the
last few years. I'm a big fan!" Some of his past projects include
development and implementation of technology strategies, as well as
development of Java client applications for STBs and other embedded
devices and mid- to large-scale Java server applications. In his current
role within the Multimedia Engineering department at Cox Communications,
Craig manages all aspects of deploying OpenCable and the OpenCable
Applications Platform (OCAP) specification. He also leads many related
iTV projects for Cox.
Craig has also been busy helping set standards through the Java
Community Process (JCP) program, Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) project,
Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), Society of Cable Telecommunications
Engineers (SCTE), and Cable Television Laboratories (CableLabs). Cox Communications
joined the JCP in 2002, and as the company's representative, Craig has become
highly involved during the last year and a half, to the point of running
for the Executive Committee.
He is currently leading Java Specification Request (JSR) 242
Digital Set Top Box Profile, nicknamed "On Ramp to OCAP." He
notes that the process for putting together JSR 242 was "interesting
because we were the impetus behind the groundswell of support,
and we had organized meetings even before we took it to the JCP.
We got in contact with folks at Sun about what we had in mind,
and the JCP was great in helping us out and leading us through
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