William in Mindo, Ecuador

William J. Watson

Internet mail: wjw AT alumni DOT rice DOT edu
Phone: (541) 505-8930
Eugene, OR 97405-1727-2542


At present, this page provides little more than links to a few of my favorite pasttimes and activities, with a few hints about my employment history and background. Eventually, I hope to set up some additional pages for each, and provide better links. This will have to do for now... (I've just grabbed my Texas WWW page, and done a minimal update.)

I have a few photos that I pushed up to Flickr, and also maintain a profile on Facebook.



I spend far too much time dancing for my own good, in Corvallis, Eugene, elsewhere around the country, and sometimes abroad! (The Northwest Folklife Festival is a really amazing event! Check it out!)

I'm a member of the Corvallis Folklore Society, the Eugene Folklore Society, the Portland Country Dance Community, Northwest Folklife, and the Country Song and Dance Society.

I call contra dances and have a web page of resources for contra dance callers.

Live Music

Since moving to Oregon, I haven't caught as much live music as I did in Austin, but enjoy what I can get here. In addition to the live music at various contra dances (see above), Albany's River Rhythms is a good bet.
Here's what I used to say in Texas: I enjoy the music of many bands, but don't make my way out to see & hear them as often as I might. I've probably seen The Austin Lounge Lizards and Brave Combo more than any others, (except for the ones who play for contra dances). A good place to go for live music is The Cactus Cafe at UT's Texas Union. They have a good sound system, bring in good musical talent, and, as part of a state building, they prohibit smoking! (Gee, it HAS been a while since I updated this page. Austin banned smoking inside public places, then Texas did so too!)


I also enjoy eating out at some of the interesting dining spots around town, though I haven't had as many opportunities to do so as I would have liked of late. (I created an HTML listing of my favorite Austin eateries back in about 1993, and have a list without commentary of ones here in Corvallis, but it's not ready for on-line use. The local Chamber of Commerce maintains a very current list of dining spots. In the meantime, let me recommend Just A Few places to go:

Fine Italian dining, my pick for Corvallis' best restaurant
New Morning Bakery
A very friendly bakery, with soups, salads, cakes, and other sweets
Novak's Hungarian Restaurant lies in Albany, but is definitely worth the trip. I highly recommend their cabbage rolls!


I like to cook, but don't do it nearly as often as I'd like. Thus, I mostly end up cooking familiar favorites, rather than doing much experimentation. Here are a few of my recipes. I'll type up more Real Soon Now.


I enjoy many different outdoor activities, including canoeing (white-water, when I can find it), camping, hiking, and bicycling quiet backroads. I even made up a Bandana Map to help folks navigate the rapids on the Guadalupe River.

My sister and I hiked up to the summit of Mt. Whitney the summer of 1998 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a trip from Pasadena taken by our great-grandfather, two of his brothers, and their father. Our grandfather climbed Mt. Whitney, too.

I'm a member of the Sierra Club's Many Rivers Group (based here in Eugene), in the Oregon Chapter. (My parents and grandparents were also Sierra Club members.)


I dabble in genealogy. You can see what data I have, and find a few links to some better references.

What do I do for a living?

I work as a consultant/contract Electrical engineer. My last "regular full-time jobs" was working for Tripod Data Systems, a Trimble Company in the "At Work Computers" engineering group on the hardware design of hand-held "data collectors" (rugged PDAs).

Prior to moving to Oregon, I worked in an architecture and ASIC design group on ServerNet projects for Tandem Computers, Inc. (which merged with Compaq Computer Corporation during my tenure, which after I left, merged with HP). I had duties including design of esoteric architectural bits and of some ASIC pieces, acting as "speaker to power supply designers," sitting in far too many meetings, and working with our patent attorneys. I handled the technical side of applying for many basic ServerNet patents (as an inventor on over a seventeen issued so far), and acting as a member of the core team that designed the ServerNet protocols. Tandem hired me in March 1989 to work fault-tolerance aspects of the "Integrity S2" project. I've worked on S2, some successor projects, and the Cougar/PUMA/ServerNet efforts. Compaq acquired Tandem in the summer of 1997, and subsequently "merged" with HP.

Before Tandem/Compaq, I worked for a little outfit called KMW Systems Corporation. They were acquired by Andrew Systems. Before KMW, I worked at ROLM Corporation, which was sold by its founders to IBM, and then to Siemens AG. (You don't sense a trend here, do you?)

You can view my View William Watson's profile on LinkedIn.

Who am I?

I received my BS degree in Electrical Engineering in May, 1983 from Rice University. (While there, I spent much of my time at the student radio station, ktru.) Although I grew up in Gainesville, Florida, I was born in Norman, Oklahoma. Don't worry, though. My family left there before I turned two, so most of the side effects have worn off.