Andrew Piecka III

Aspen Computing Solutions, Inc.
4514 Beck Avenue
Studio City, CA 91602
(818) 763-4683 (818) 400-6703 (cell)

Consulting in Design, Implementation, and Project Management
of Computer Systems and Software

Highlights of Qualifications

Systems design

Extensive experience in the design of computer systems covering a range of architectures from broad networked messaging systems, through single computer based data access, data processing, and machine control systems, down to embedded microprocessor applications. Designs implemented have been marked as efficient, cost effective, logically sound, and flexible.

Software implementation

Implemented many portions of designed systems. Special emphasis on areas involving operating system interfaces including device drivers, and real-time data access and machine control. Assumed responsibility for software requiring a greater expertise such as: tight integration with custom developed hardware, debugging real-time processes, algorithms for graphic image compression and expansion, and design of human interfaces using windowing systems.


Broad experience in the design and implementation of various computer communications solutions from Ethernet based LANs using industry standard protocols, to special purpose point to point links for high speed bulk data transfer.


Design and evaluation of security for computer systems and applications, including the use of X.500 Directory standards and use of digital certificates.


Director and Senior Manager of organizations responsible for general IT architecture definition, system design, and integration. Additionally responsible for development of applications used for enterprise system monitoring and management, and process automation.


Contributed to the writing and submission of proposals for various government contracts and commercial opportunities. Generally responsible for technical sections, but also contributed to overall construction and editing.

Specific Technical Background

Platforms used: Sun Solaris on X86 based and Sun SPARC workstations, Linux on PC hardware, PIC microcontrollers, HP-UX on HP-9000 workstations, MS-DOS and MS-Windows on PC hardware, Motorola 68000 family processors especially within VMEbus systems, Intel 8051 microcontroller family, Digital Equipment Corporation line of PDP-11 and VAX computers using RSX-11M and VAX/VMS, Xerox 6085 workstation, Xerox Interlisp workstation, and Zilog Z80.

Development with the following languages: C, C++, Java, Python, PIC assembler, 8051 Assembler, 68000 Assembler, PL/I, VAX Assembler, Xerox Mesa, LISP, 8086 Assembler, Z80 Assembler, PASCAL, PDP-11 Assembler, FORTRAN, ALGOL.

Development within the X-Windows GUI environment and some experience with the MS-Windows environment.

Professional Experience

Aspen Computing Solutions, Inc. Sept. 2000 - Present
Independent Consultant

Provided consulting on various aspects of the system design, implementation, and integration of projects throughout this period. Also have acted as a general consultant providing assistance to programmers within the client company on questions involving UNIX, Linux, computer language specifics, and other general software areas. Major projects and accomplishments are as follows.


Designed the overall architecture and implemented the real-time control portions of a hybrid printing/collation system for the Screen Actors Guild. The resultant system allowed SAG to eliminate a large manual operation that merged statements printed at SAG with the actual checks received from entertainment companies. The automated system has practically eliminated mismatched statements and checks, and the associated exposure to legal issues from incorrect mailings. Applications in C and C++ on a Solaris X86 platform. GUI components written for X with Java.

Designed and implemented a library of functions that allows flexible rules based validation of printed jobs to assure the final integrity of the printed output. Later added a plugin method to allow the addition of ad hoc custom rules for further flexibility. Library written in C for Solaris on X86 platform. GUI components written for X with Java.

Expanded the capability of the Xerox LCDS print control language to provide the ability to print documents in full color. Included color for text and various embedded image types such as JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, EPS, and PDF. These can be used as logos, illustrations, or background forms. Imaging library in C++ and C.

Designed and implemented a method for separation of barcode printing commands from a print stream. The separated stream was used to control a separate inkjet printing mechanism to print the barcodes with invisible ink that can be detected with UV light. Allows clean looking documents to be printed with control marks not visible to the recipient. The otherwise invisible marks can be detected with UV light and sensing equipment to drive downstream finishing equipment. Applications in C running on a Solaris SPARC platform and Windows.

Implemented the firmware for the modified Covert Counterfeit Deterrent System currency detector used by the Federal Reserve. The modifications provided higher accuracy on broader based currency quality, and lower maintenance costs. Participated in installation and acceptance testing at the customer site, and analysis of effectiveness with relation to currency quality. Firmware was implemented on a PIC microcontroller. Data acquisition done using the IEEE 488 bus.

Designed and implemented modifications to the print control software of a Xerox printing system to gather and report statistics on paper feed and delivery events while printing. Provides detailed information on stock usage when printing sensitive jobs. Applications in C running on a Solaris SPARC platform. GUI components using X and Motif.

Designed and implemented modifications to the print control software of a Xerox printing system to validate the individual sheets of check printing jobs to guarantee that all checks are printed without duplicates and stacked in the correct order. Applications in C running on a Solaris SPARC platform. GUI components using X and Motif.

Provided architectural guidance to business development teams during the pursuit of custom system development projects. Enabled project costs to be minimumized, and reasonably priced proposals to customers resulting in a number of successful project sales.

Provided pre-sales support through meetings with customers to ensure that proposed systems would satisfy the needs of the customers. Included documentation of original customer requirements, and negotiations of design alternatives that could control costs without compromising the usefulness of the final systems. Provided system demonstrations to support sales efforts.

Provided system installation support and troubleshooting both on-site and via telephone conferences.

DIRECTV, El Segundo, CA April 1997 – Sept. 2000

Director - IT Architecture and Infrastructure Development

Managed the group within the IT department responsible for: technical architecture definition and governance, new product evaluation, and coordination of infrastructure requirement specification for proposed projects.


Established the foundation and initiated the documentation of the enterprise technical architecture for DIRECTV to enforce a more cohesive and supportable IT environment.

Acted as technical lead for project and design review to ensure projects followed architectural standards for development and used standard tools.

Established a process to provide early definition of infrastructure requirements for projects allowing proactive data center preparation.

Established a product evaluation process designed to select data processing products in an efficient manner, minimizing cost and risk while ensuring best architectural fit and complete satisfaction of functional requirements.

Senior Manager - IT Monitoring and Controls

Managed three functions within the IT operations department: software tool development for management and control of production systems and applications, critical operations support of the DIRECTV Traffic System servers and network, and general systems integration support for systems constructed by the development organization within the IT department.


Developed a near real time, end to end monitoring system for the DIRECTV billing and customer care system. Allows quicker resolution for customer care operation problems.

Replaced internal Help Desk software system. Improved problem tracking, and reporting. Provided automated problem escalation through e-mail and paging resulting in reduction of response time to users by 25% or more.

Upgraded the hardware and documented the operation of the DIRECTV Traffic System, a mission critical broadcast scheduling system. Reduced outages by an estimated 75%.

As part of senior management team related to billing system operations, contributed to design and planning efforts which continually improved performance while increasing the customer base over 150%.

AP3 Consulting, Studio City, CA Sept. 1979 - April 1997
Independent Consultant

Provided general consulting on various aspects of the system design, implementation, and integration of projects throughout this period. Also have acted as a general consultant providing assistance to programmers within the client company on questions involving UNIX, the IBM PC and its operating software, the DEC PDP-11 and DEC VAX and their operating software, computer language specifics, and other general software areas. Specific efforts described in the following.

Consulting Client

Xerox Special Information Systems, Pasadena, CA Sept. 1980 - April 1997

Involved in over twenty projects throughout this period. Most projects were for the construction of specialized systems for the US Government. Usually worked on two or three projects in tandem, and several were constructed and upgraded over periods of three or more years. Projects often required effort in more than one technology. Assumed responsibilities in the following categories.

Machine control

Design, development, and integration of portions of control software for several special purpose, compressed raster graphics laser printing systems. Firmware for low level printer control, software for temporary image storage and ordering, and general software support for testing. Processors and operating software used included Sun Sparcstation with SunOS; IBM PC with real-time UNIX, MS-DOS, and MS-Windows; Motorola 68020 with VERSAdos; Intel 8031 stand alone; and PDP-11 with RSX-11M.

Final integration and test of a distributed video terminal controller for an image scanning and verification system. Design, development, and integration of a display panel for the Xerox Covert Counterfeit Deterrent System. Processors used include Zilog Z80 stand alone, and Intel 8751 microcontroller stand alone.

Overall development of firmware for the Xerox Covert Counterfeit Deterrent System. Used Motorola 68030 and Intel 8031 processors stand alone. Real-time data processing for determination of counterfeit currency.

Messaging systems

System configuration and software implementation of portions of several messaging systems installed in several agencies of the U.S. Government. Specifically responsible for the implementation of the communications interfaces for the reception and transmission of messages. Also performed modifications to the existing message distribution processing engine responsible for automatic message analysis and determination of recipients. Modifications were made to improve efficiency in several areas, and to tailor the system to specific agency needs.

Device drivers

Designed and implemented special purpose device drivers for standard interface hardware as well as special Xerox developed interface hardware. Processors used included Sun Sparcstation with SunOS; IBM PC with UNIX and MS-DOS; VAX with VMS; PDP-11 with RSX-11M; Motorola 68020 with VERSAdos; and PDP-11 with Xerox Aspen executive.


Design, development, and integration of special purpose drivers for serial communication. Included uncontrolled asynchronous, modified HASP, HDLC, and ADCCP lines. Design, development, and integration of special purpose parallel communication protocols for high speed interprocessor links. Implementation of Xerox Network Systems Courier protocol in the Xerox Interlisp and Viewpoint environments.


General support and development for special purpose databases for the storage of raster scanned graphics for demand printing. General support for special purpose database for a message processing system. Processors and operating software used included IBM PC with MS-DOS and MS-Windows, VAX with VMS, and PDP-11 with RSX-11M.

User interface

Development and integration of windowed user interfaces for message processing systems, and an image retrieval and print system. Processors and operating software used included IBM PC with UNIX and X-Windows, IBM PC with MS-DOS and MS-Windows, and Xerox 6085 using Viewpoint.

Image scanning and compression

Provided general support to aid in the implementation of specialized hardware to scan, compress, decompress, and print graphics images. Provided analysis of scanned data, verification of compression algorithms, and demonstration programs. Compression algorithms used include CCITT Group 3 and Group 4, and Xerox IMG.


Participated in the writing of several proposals throughout this period. Systems proposed ranged from embedded microprocessor applications for real-time data acquisition and control, through small printing systems involving scanning, archiving, and printing of image data, to large scale networked messaging systems.

Consulting Client

Conrac Corporation, Alston Division, Duarte, CA Sept. 1979 - Sept. 1980

Performed maintenance and debugging of the Alston Traffic, Engineering, and Maintenance Information System. The system is responsible for collecting and reporting telephone system traffic information. Maintenance and debugging effort included: report output despooling, real-time data acquisition, disk buffer maintenance for real-time data acquisition, and device drivers for hardware interfaces. All development was done on a PDP-11 using RSX-11D.

Hughes Aircraft Co., Missile Systems, Canoga Park, CA Sept. 1978 - Sept. 1979
Member, Technical Staff

Designed and developed real-time guidance software for Hughes developed Maverick missile microprocessor. Support software for interface of a PDP-11/70 and the Hughes microprocessor development station, including a device driver for the RSX-11M operating system.

Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, MA

Digital Computation Group, Special Projects Sept. 1973 - Sept. 1978
Member, Technical Staff

Aided in three projects for the Fiat Company of Italy. All involved data collection, processing, and display of tool cost, tool wear, and production line information. All projects were based on PDP-11 computers and linked with DECNET when multiple processors were used.

Skipper Group Sept. 1972 - Sept. 1973
Member, Technical Staff

Worked on a method of removing kidney stones without surgery using an ultrasonic technique. Also aided in interfacing two automatic medical test equipment stations to a PDP-12 system.


Bachelor of Science, Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1972

Special Graduate Studies, Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1975-1976


Member, MIT Educational Council - Student Admissions
Professional Member of the ACM
The Triple Nine Society

Member number: 10640
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