Adavicity and Unix                                                                                                  last updated July, 2009


Adavicity has played a Unix support role since the 1980’s when SunOS workstations costing $25K apiece were common in engineering environments.  Much has changed since those days.  The desktop has become commoditized and Unix had been moving into the server room until the promise of Linux threatened to unwind the Windows advantage.  Will ChromeOS from Google finally drive nails into a Microsoft coffin?


Meantime, there are many Unix applications and servers that must be supported today.  At Amtrak, porting multiple applications to Solaris 10 is providing a bridge to the future.  This includes a large C++/Motif desktop graphical train control system and a perl-based intranet schedule reporting system.  The project involves the update, intimate use and building of Apache, MySql, Java, Perl and many CPAN modules, an in-depth analysis of Solaris 10 changes, development of scripts and configuration functions and identifying the impact of TCP/IP performance enhancements in Solaris 10.


Adavicity has completed modifications to replication and rollout scripts, determination of the need for firmware upgrades, analysis of disk and network configuration and evaluation of Solaris 10 on a PC.


Adavicity supports Systems Administration, Configuration Management and Quality Assurance.  Adavicity is the primary source of Unix script development.  Adavicity automates tasks using scripts, scheduling tools such as cron, and other Unix utilities.  The preferred shell here is Korn, so Adavicity continues this tradition by upgrading existing Korn scripts and writing new ones in ksh.


To automate the build process, Adavicity uses two common tools: Make and Ant and their corresponding makefiles and XML.  To provide control and monitoring of Apache, MySQL, Java and C++ applications, Adavicity has used Korn shell scripts and SQL.  We helped automate backup/replicate process for MySql.  We also created a “unification” system that encapsulates differences among all production machines in a simple ascii file, simplifying rollout/replacement.


More Adavicity Accomplishments at Amtrak

Automated other build and deploy processes in Perl and Korn shell scripts with TCP/IP.  Modifications/enhancements to the GUI front-end “Track Model Animator” and editing software in C/C++ and Motif.  Working with Motif UIL files and UIL editor.  Served as Motif and C/C++ expert.  (Application displays a scalable track model of tracks, switches, signals, trains and other objects.)  Also programmed time setting program. 

Administer and support object client/server version management (“True”) software on Unix, Windows and HP-Nonstop (formerly Tandem) systems.  Unix system administration tasks including all aspects of Unix automation through scripting, supporting users, patch levels, vendor interface, performance and some network administration.  Also set up and configured CDE and window manager menus and resources, application resources and xinit startup of the X server and applications (turnkey).  Unified diverse Unix machines.  Taught Unix course.


Automated the release process, created suite of release and distribution tools in ksh and perl, restructured source file tree to eliminate duplicate code, instituted tracking policies, brought all internal and third party software under source control, created startup and turnkey scripts for the application on several platforms.  Also pitched in on development effort, debugging a time setting C++ program that runs on HP-Nonstop and Unix, debugging serial I/O to the program and the setting of a wall clock.  Debugged and configured tape backups, machine reboot and many other Unix administration tasks.  Also created many tools using Unix scripts and maintained TACL scripts to automate the installation of software and to configure maintain and operate the development, test and production systems.  Added users, configured startup scripts, built machines, installed SSH, configured Apache and other Unix Administration.


  • Developed CM tool suite to build and distribute the application on four platforms
  • Developed start/control/monitor/stop cradle for the application
  • Developed a unified workstation model for all desktop Unix systems
  • Located and fixed a critical GUI bug that had evaded developers for 5 years.
  • Created configuration-file-driven file transfer front-end in perl
  • Completed, enhanced and maintained 3-platform clock program and tools
  • Exercised QA regression scripts and supported 3 month 24-7 availability tests

[May 1997 – Present]


Adavicity Accomplishments at Hudson-Bergen Light Rail; Jersey City, NJ

This is another transportation company and Adavicity takes pride in helping to provide convenient and economical mass-transit.  The system is due for an upgrade but meantime performs admirably on DEC-Alpha servers running Tru64 Unix.


Supporting a Tru64 Alpha train control system can be challenging but Adavicity has risen to the challenge of keeping the system operating 24x7.  Sometimes this means getting out of bed at 2, 3 or 4 AM!  It also means creating suites of scripts to automate backups, disk space monitoring, system performance monitoring and network trouble alerting.  Disk space in particular presented a serious challenge to system stability.  After installation of Adavicity products two years ago, the system has been stable and has not crashed due to disk space issues.  In fact, the only system failures have been hardware-related.  Of these, unplanned downtime totaled one hour in the past two years.


Adavicity regularly configures and supports various real-time devices connected to the servers.  Supports IT infrastructure, Oracle and Windows desktops.  We upgraded Oracle from version 8.0 to 9i, recreating all users, views, stored procedures and Crystal Reports. and maintaining data integrity with no user impact.  We also administer Oracle daily operations and backups (2 of the 3 recommended methods).

Other Adavicity Achievements:

§       Replace old, failure-prone excel VBA reporting process that took over 5 minutes to run with a fuller-featured perl script running in 2-3 seconds.

§       Upgrade “Spear 2000” database package and Oracle through nine versions (1999 to current) with no operational disruption while modifying a half-dozen interfaces

§       Enhance Excel VBA program.  Add a toolbar to accept dates as an input.

§       Create VB/WSH script to automate train performance data correction & database import

§       Automate Unix file archiving and backup using perl/bash scripting

§       Institute Configuration Management using “Perforce” CM product

[January 15, 2007 to Present]



Adavicity Accomplishments at Medco Health Solutions; Plymouth Meeting, PA

Created monitoring tools and launching scripts for testing and production in bash, SQL and perl.  Created makefile system to mirror Eclipse functionality.  Helped port various other programs from VMS and Windows to Linux systems. Tested using TOAD in an Oracle environment and Redhat Linux.  Developed two-part real-time simulator for control of pharmacy shipping system in C++ using Windows Forms, MSMQ and multi-threaded, TCP/IP backend.

[August 2008 – March 2009]



Adavicity Accomplishments at ActiveNetwork/SportsPower

This was an interesting opportunity to apply scraping knowledge and also some web technologies such as RSS.  MySql and Linuix were in use and loading of feed data was accomplished via cron calling perl.  The perl code extracted, transformed and loaded the data into the MySql database.


It was also fun to implemented web spiders, a generalized news feed reader, a team name fuzzy matching library and date recognition and normalizing library. The RSS reader was generic enough to read more than 60 RSS news sources.  Disk space was also an issue as there was so much data coming in.  Firtunately, the Unix find command is adequate for most tasks.  This project used CVS for version control.

[August, 2007 to March, 2009]



Adavicity Web Development was a web site developed by and for Lawyers.  When these non-professionals ran out of steam, they turned to Adavicity for LAMP development.  In case you are not keeping up with the acronyms, that stands for Linux/Apache/MySql/PHP.  You’ll have to look up PHP for yourself to know what that means, but I can tell you simply it is a script language similar to Javascript and perl, the invocation of which is embedded in web pages.

The case was with Pyramid Technologies.  In both, Adavicity served as the administrator of a Linux machine with a static IP address (necessary for hosting your own sites).


Complete the design and initial development of a prototype website matching consumers and attorneys using Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP development environment.  System administration for in-house Linux server.  Complete setup and maintenance of Linux Apache server and static-IP  for hosting web sites:



Adavicity contributions at the Philadelphia Stock Exchange


Wrote Unix scripted tools to allow sharing of testing resources among development staff.  Also, supported daily operations, assisted in bringing new customers online, supported customer tests, supported users and interacted with vendors.  There was a lot of programming work completed mostly on a Stratus running VOS and PL/1 and C.  If you don’t know what these systems are, don’t worry too much I doubt there are very many left in operation.  VOS is a cousin to Unix, having been developed from Multics just like Unix.

[December 1993 to May 1997]



Adavicity at Franklin Electronic Publishers


Implemented parsers to read typesetting tapes using many Unix tools such as lex, sed, grep, awk, tr (many others) and C programs.  Used trie data structures to create searchable compressed data.  Performed Unix System Administration tasks, supported PC users, wrote utilities to read tapes from HP 3000 system.




Adavicity at Sonalysts, Inc.


Developed entire display portion of radar and other sensor tracking, advance warning system.  System showed contacts against a zoomable map of the world and maintained a graphics capable history of all data.  This R&D project was well behind schedule until I joined the team -- it was delivered on time.  This system was implemented on a SunOS Sparcstation using C and Motif.


Maintained and upgraded text processing system on a DEC Vax.  Investigated and wrote proposal for upgrade to Unisys embedded system.  Supported Trident radio room software in assembly language.




At Telesciences CO Systems


Began port of embedded real-time billing data collection system to new MC68000 based hardware using psos real-time kernel and C.  Supported older 6809 based system in assembly language.  Used trace emulator, ice, and other tools.  Wrote tools, such as program flow analyzer, in C on Unix platform.