About

Tycho Softworks was opened by David Sugar in 1990 in Bayonne, New Jersey, to explore and commercialize the VU user interface.

Back in 1979 while in high school David Sugar authored ModemMedium, a BBS featuring an original UI toolkit and created Universal Communications to commercially sell it, as well as writing articles on OS-65U and writing a 6502 editor-assembler and several games for Ohio Scientific systems sold thru Aardvark Technical Services. Universal Communications was sold to Indescomp USA, which delivered this solution as UBBS. David became engineering director for Indescomp USA and produced firmware adaption of the Amstrad PC for the US market.

For the Apple II, and in addition to ModemMedium, David also wrote several applications sold thru Pinpoint Software. Joined with John Blankenship, David also authored a ProDOS command shell, and a new basic runtime for the Apple II as an extension to Blankenship Basic, as well as an alternate os.

In 1986 a pure C version of this toolkit came into existence, known as VU, and with it came VUBBS, a QNX based bulletin board system. This was ported to GNU/Linux as early as 1991 as a multi-user terminal UI environment. A version of this was commercially sold to the US department of Labor, and VU was sold as a separate embedded toolkit when Tycho was formed.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s David lead a team developing a breakthrough QNX based CTI platform and PC integrated voice mail and ACD system using Dialogic hardware for the Panasonic DBS phone system that was commercially offered directly thru PCSC (Panasonic Communications Systems Company).

In the early 90’s David left Panasonic to become engineering director for Fortran Corp. At Fortran David helped re-invent the interconnect business by fully automating site management, cable plants, and automated programming of PBX equipment such as the Fujitsu F9600 switch, and associated voicemail systems, all from a single point of entry management solution called Siteman. A version of this would become a Fujitsu product after Fortran was bought by US office products and then spun off into A-Z technologies (aztec). David contributed to the Linux kernel and early work on what would become the SIP standard. David was also given a voting seat on the then new ISC (International Softswitch Consortium) and was a founding member of the Embedded Linux Consortium.

Together with Rich Bodo and Martin Clinton, David helped found Open Source Telecom Corporation in 1999 and would become CTO. This was established thru the development and introduction by David of a new kind of script driven telephony application server, GNU Bayonne, which was to to telephony services what Ansible now is to devops. GNU Bayonne was adopted by hundreds of organizations worldwide, and was using as a platform to teach telephony and state programming theory at ECE University in Paris. Bayonne was also prominent in a series of workshops hosted at the University of Bordeaux each summer that David also lectured at.

As CTO David travelled worldwide demonstrating how Bayonne technology could be useful to potential customers and partners as well as providing domain expertise on telephony in general. From Macedonia David created the GNU Alexandria project to provide e-government services to the blind, which was partially sponsored by the EU and the American Foundation for the Blind. GNU Bayonne would also go on to power the Netherlands Public Lottery, voice broadcast, crm, and medical dictation systems.

In 2006 David was developing a Linux prototype mobile phone for DoCoMo labs, when he chose to focus on providing secure communication systems for general public use. Getting together with Michael De’boer and Werner Dittmann, David lead a team to produce the first independent implementation of Phil Zimmerman’s ZRTP protocol stack, GNU ZRTP, along with a complete softphone application. To manage secure phone endpoints for a complete solution, David wrote GNU SIP Witch, using a new way to do nat transversal with club legged segments packet routed at the kernel thru firewall rule coercion. This was adopted by numerous US law offices, among others.

Starting in 2007 David collaborated on a number of projects with Russell Means for the Lakota nations. David was asked to formally represent Lakota in nation-to-nation discussions with several national governments. Returning to his own people, the Cherokee, and when enrolling in COI (Cherokees of Idaho), David was drafted to the tribal council. David was then elected to a term of office as principal vice chief. With the tragic death of Chief Davis, David became chief for the Cherokees of Idaho.

Together with Haakon Meland Erikson, David organized GNU Telephony. As a Norwegian registered organization, it expanded upon the idea of GNU SIP Witch as a means of establishing communication networks without network infrastructure thru GNU Free Call. GNU Telephony was awarded by the Norwegian government for developing GFC for use by emergency services in low infrastructure environments such as war zones and for first responders to use in natural disasters.

David was asked in 2014 to join and help rescue a new startup that asserted it was developing secure chat for public use. David created Wickr’s first desktop application and then lead engineering efforts to produce their professional products, such as Wickr Pro. David also helped introduce secure voice and video conferencing to Wickr. More recently David has remotely lead remote engineering teams doing geospatial projects.

Tycho today looks to build upon that experience to introduce a new iteration of sipwitch and bayonne services.