[teqc] So long, partner. Gotta make tracks. (which here in the great American West means "Goodbye")
thierry.museux at geoflex.fr
Wed Mar 6 08:39:44 UTC 2019
A huge page is turning. Monstrous work for almost 30 years.
I hope you have a good next trip.
CTO GNSS Embedded Electronic,Software, Télécom & Network
De : teqc [mailto:teqc-bounces at postal.unavco.org] De la part de Lou Estey
Envoyé : jeudi 28 février 2019 15:39
À : teqc at unavco.org
Objet : [teqc] So long, partner. Gotta make tracks. (which here in the great American West means "Goodbye")
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:
- 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
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.
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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