[teqc] So long, partner. Gotta make tracks. (which here in the great American West means "Goodbye")

lplopresti at enter.net lplopresti at enter.net
Thu Feb 28 10:25:43 MST 2019


Lou,

I came across your name as author on a document from 1999 in a very 
recent office cleanup.

So if I may have the last question, when did you start in this field, 
and what did you do before UNAVCO?

Lawrence Paul Lopresti

On 2019-02-28 09:39, Lou Estey wrote:
> Farewell!  Adieu!  Auf Wiedersehen!  Au revoir!  Прощай!
>      Adios!  さようなら!  再見!  Tchau!  Ha det!  Farvel!  Ciao!
> 
> Today is my last day at UNAVCO.  At long last, I'm retiring!
> 
> Designing, developing, extending, and maintaining teqc (which didn't
> even have a real name
> for most of its first year in 1996!) was only a part of my job, but
> even so it has been an
> exceptional honor and privilege to provide support to a world-wide
> community of users for
> over 23 years -- which, among other things, spanned two full Solar
> Cycles (23 and 24),
> seven leap second insertions, and, after GPS, SBAS, and GLONASS, the
> addition of four more
> GNSS constellations.  Talk about a wild ride.
> 
> Although a few of its stars are now gone, this project of course would
> have been impossible
> without another constellation -- that being one of people:
> 
> at UNAVCO:
> - Chuck Meertens -- who thought I might be able to "make life better"
> for the GPS user
> community and hired me and then served as a vital "impedance to think
> into" over the years
> as we pondered and ironed out ideas together;
> 
> - Chris Rocken, Jim Johnson, John Braun -- the core of the original
> Fortran QC authors,
> who provided much needed helpful feedback and constructive criticisms
> about the qc code
> component during its initial transformation from their Fortran code to
> my C code;
> 
> - Myron McCallum -- who understood that a universal tool that could
> read a wide suite
> of raw GPS formats and write out RINEX as well (in addition to
> performing a quality
> check on it all) would be a huge boon to the UNAVCO GPS archive 
> project;
> 
> - Stuart Wier -- who worked on the preliminary GLONASS orbit code and 
> wrote the
> bulk of the current PDF teqc tutorial;
> 
> - Freddy Blume, Henry Berglund, and many other UNAVCO engineers -- who
> tested, suggested,
> provided feedback, complained (?), etc. through the years;
> 
> - Sarah Doelger -- who also provided the same great UNAVCO engineering
> support as above,
> plus was of immense help in proofreading and improving the teqc 'tips
> of week' over the
> past two years;
> 
> - David Maggert, Fran Boler, and all the other members of our GPS/GNSS
> archiving team -- who
> constantly suggested little extra needs or improvements, and did a
> huge amount of examination
> of real data at it poured into the UNAVCO archive through teqc, then
> found and reported edge cases;
> 
> plus immense support from GNSS equipment manufacturers, engineers and
> others, some of whom are:
> 
> - Trimble: Brian Frohring, Keith Trider, Tim Peterson;
> 
> - Septentrio: Jean-Marie Sleewaegen, Francesca Clemente, Thadeus
> Tuazon, David Mertens, Jan Leyssens;
> 
> - Javad: Sergey Organov, Oleg Tulabin, Vladimir Yefriemov;
> 
> - Topcon: Dmitry Kolosov, Tom Morris, Alexei Zinoviev;
> 
> - Leica: Frank Pache, Neil Brown, Justin Walford, Youssef Tawk,
> Lienhart Troyer, James Stowell;
> 
> - Navcom: Thadeus Tuazon, Kevin Dixon;
> 
> - Magellan: Dmitriy Ivanov;
> 
> - Ashtech: Robert Snow, Igor Artushkin, Dmitriy Ivanov, Dmitry Kozlov;
> 
> plus major community supporters:
> 
> - Jeff Freymueller, Mark Murray, Geoff Blewitt, Richard Langley, Jim
> Ray, Giovanni Sella,
> Nacho Romero, Neville Palmer, Ted Zhou, Kristine Larson, Dave Stowers,
> Angie Moore,
> Razmik Khachikyan, Bob King, Tom Herring, Carey Noll, David Sandwell,
> Markus Ramatschi,
> Markus Bradke, Oliver Montenbruck, Matt King, Hans van der Marel,
> Ambrogio Maria Manzino,
> Nobert Suard, Yuki Hatanaka, Hiromichi Tsuji, John Beavan, Herb
> Dragert, Michael Schmidt,
> and many, many others;
> 
> and a very special "thank you" to:
> 
> - Werner Gurtner, Univ. of Berne -- who was very patient with me early
> on when I'd ask
> questions or point out discrepancies in his mid-1990's RINEX
> documentation, and, later on,
> became a friend engaging in many technical, philosophical, and
> personal discussions.
> (We miss you, Werner.)
> 
> Anyone who has been on this list for awhile needs no reminding that
> you are part of
> a large world-wide group of teqc users (including a couple dozen
> engineers here at UNAVCO)
> with which to confer, plus there are the on-line teqc resources at
> https://www.unavco.org/software/data-processing/teqc/teqc.html
> and past emails at https://postal.unavco.org//pipermail/teqc/ which
> now includes over 100
> 'tips of the week'.  And just running `teqc +help` outputs the various
> command line options.
> 
> A separate email from UNAVCO management will follow describing what
> the path forward is going
> to be.  (In the meantime you can execute `teqc +patton` for some humor
> and/or inspiration --
> an option which has been around since almost the beginning and has
> been periodically updated;
> it's in every version of teqc that you have and is perfectly safe: you
> just execute teqc with
> that one option ... or '-patton', whichever.)
> 
> Hopefully, I've at least demonstrated the art of the possible,
> including wrangling (*) all
> GPS/GNSS formats that came into the UNAVCO archive (covering data
> going back to 1986) with
> a single, unified command line interface, providing simple ways of
> examining that data, and
> making that same interface available on a wide variety of operating
> systems (which included
> both big-endian and little-endian processors -- for those of you who
> know what that means).
> You've also benefited from my being a physicist and geophysicist,
> having actually done field
> work (including geodetic field work: GPS ground and helicopter
> campaign work in and around
> Yellowstone, and even helping to install a few PBO permanent sites,
> including P197; see
> tip of week 2025,
> https://postal.unavco.org/pipermail/teqc/2018/002558.html), being
> comfortable
> with (and usually insisting upon) talking directly with engineers, and
> essentially being
> an interface that you could directly contact any time, any day, with
> questions about teqc
> and this whole complex GPS/GNSS technological rodeo -- for over two 
> decades.
> 
> Here at the end, I thought perhaps a funny historical side note may be
> of interest.  In the
> fall of 1996 the first version of what was going to become known as
> 'teqc' (which I coined
> for 'translate, edit, quality check') was nearing a first limited
> release, a name was yet to
> be decided for it.  Up to that point I had been just referring to it
> internally as 'rt' for
> 'RINEX Tool' -- or, in my more cynical moments, as 'RINEX Analysis
> Tool' or 'rat' -- but it
> was increasingly clear that 'rt' didn't really capture what it was all
> about.  Given that
> the core quality check algorithms in it had come from the earlier
> UNAVCO code 'QC' (for
> 'quality check'), which itself was quite well known in the early and
> mid-1990's, and given
> that Chuck had first hired me to replace 'QC' with a more stable and
> portable C or C++ code
> base, Chuck suggested naming it 'QCplus'.  However, as you all should
> know by now, the default
> behaviour with no options is to try to read some input and output
> RINEX, and in order to do a
> quality check on the input you need to use the '+qc' option.  After
> thinking about this
> suggestion for about two seconds, I told Chuck there was no way in
> hell I was going to spend
> years explaining to people that in order to do a quality check one
> would have to execute
> the command `QCplus +qc ...` -- so then I came up with the 'teqc'
> acronym.  (All true.)
> 
> Well, partners, it's now time for me to saddle up and take off in
> search of new adventures,
> new challenges, and new horizons ...  Gotta ride.  Daylight's burning.
> 
> cheers,
> --lou
> 
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Louis H. Estey, Ph.D.                                 (retired)
> 
> "If the universe is the answer, what is the question?"
>                                                -- Leon Lederman
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> 
> * That's the North American western use of the word 'wrangle'.
> 
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