Tony Borries

My Love Affair With Linux

I have been working as a Linux Systems Administrator for several years. I have a passion for troubleshooting new and strange issues, learning every step of the way. I also do a fair amount of software development, mostly in Python and Java now days.

My resume has an up-to-date account of my recent work.

Wildlife Tracking

In what seems another life, I was a Wildlife Tracking consultant. I designed, built, and helped implement various tracking systems, both from a technological and biological viewpoint.

  • Sparrow Systems / JDJC Corp. (2002 - Jun 2009)

    I never had an official job title. This started out as contract work that led to a full time job. My main duties were with the company's Automated Receiver Units, a wildlife telemetry system. Using radio receivers to monitor transmitters attached to animals, we are able to deduce activity patterns and use data from multiple receivers to determine location.

    I was the Lead Developer on the Model 10-2000 Bantam receiver, a complete digital redesign and modifications of the existing RF sections of the prior receiver. My work included all of the digital development (design, part selection, and PCB layout), firmware, and PC software to configure the units and provide basic data analysis.

    In addition, I worked on:

    • development of RCA 1802 firmware for legacy equipment,
    • PCB manufacturing and assembly (utilizing National Instruments' MultiSim and UltiBoard),
    • RF and digital troubleshooting and calibration,
    • Sheet Metal part design with Alibre Design,
    • Graphics design for product labels,
    • Design and manufacturing of Yagi and Log Periodic Antennas,

    My work also included customer support; field work included system installations, testing, validation, troubleshooting, and training. On a typical project, I would arrive in the field to advise on receiver and tower placement, assist in installing towers and antennas, setup receivers, and perform validation tests. From the office, I also worked with clients on general tracking methods, data analysis, and diagnostics and troubleshooting of remote equipment.

    I also worked as the company's Systems Administrator; I maintained a hosted webserver, handled the website design, maintained the local intranet server and network (including private webserver, file storage, and VPN), and performed maintenance and backups of all company systems.

    I also sweeped the floors occasionally.

  • Camp Shelby Project (2006)
    US Army Construction Engineering Research Lab (CERL)
    I.T.S. Corporation

    This project collected data on numerous Gopher Tortoise populations in and around Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, MS.

    Here, I was a consultant from the beginning of the project, helping to plan the site setup. In addition to working with Sparrow Systems' receivers, I assisted in the deployment and maintenance of video monitoring systems and weather stations and weekly hand tracking of tortoises to provide validation. I also helped to develop off-the-shelf data loggers (temperature, humidity, and light) into a package that could be attached to the tortoises for additional data collection.

    I became an "extra" field worker and would assist in all parts of the project during the busy seasons. I was trained in the handling of the tortoises and assisted in trapping and processing the animals.

  • Fort Irwin Project (2004 - 2005)
    US Army Construction Engineering Research Lab (CERL)
    Charis Corp (ITS)

    This project was to study Desert Tortoises around Fort Irwin and the National Training Center in the Mojave Desert.

    My tasks on this project were mainly troubleshooting equipment malfunctions due to the extreme heat and sun of the desert as well as implementation of Sparrow Systems' receivers.

    I developed a software analysis package for studying activity patterns, and assisted in the development of direction finding software to study animal locations.

    I also assisted in the deployment of a 900 MHz data radio network, notable due to its 40 mile trek over Calico Peak to link the study site on the other side of the mountain range to the offices in Barstow, CA.

    I developed and manufactured a filter module for the commercial data radio that was leaking RF from its power and data lines, severely impacting wildlife monitoring capabilities. I also assisted with the manufacturing and deployment of an interface unit between the ARUs and commercial data radios.

  • Automated Radio Telemetry System (ARTS) (2002 - 2005)
    Smithsonian Institution / Princeton University

    This project aimed at setting up a general use wildlife telemetry system on Barro Colorado Island in the Panama Canal for use by a wide range of the facilities researchers.

    The installation of radio equipment in a rain forest with rugged terrain presented many unique challenges. My tasks included setting up the radio receivers, assisting in the installation of a 900 MHz data radio network, working to understand the effects of radio propagation in the tropical environment on our results, and mostly developing software to manage and analyze the data collected and run the radio network.

  • 2002
    Jones Technology Inc.
    US Army CERL

    As well as developing visualization software for data analysis and configuration of Sparrow Systems' ARUs, I also worked as an electronics technician for repair and maintenance of various research equipment.