Not To Scale
This is the blog of Chuq Von Rospach. I’m currently the technical community manager for Infoblox, an amateur photographer, author and blogger. Those are not the same thing. I’ve worked in the high tech industry since 1979 and lived and worked in Silicon Valley since 1982, spending time at a number of companies you’ve probably heard of including National Semiconductor, Sun Microsystems, Palm and HP, and Apple Computer (17 years!), plus some you’ve never heard of and never will. In my pre-Silicon Valley days I spent four years working for Disneyland driving a forklift, two summers working for vets and assisting in surgery, and worked for a private detective that ran a repo shop. I guess I like a little variety in my life.
Community has always been a part of what I’ve done online, building and running things to connect people through technology. I was a community manager long before anyone thought to call it that, having managed mailing lists since the 1980′s, been a Sysop on CompuServe, AOL and Delphi, and an early adopter and administrator of USENET. At one point my wife and I (almost 30 years and counting! Woo!) ran the largest collection of sports-related mailing lists on the internet and we were managers of the original mailing list for both the San Francisco Giants and minor league baseball as well. My background is in programming and systems architecture, and I’ve done most of my work in MySQL, Perl, and PHP.
I’m a published fiction writer and a former member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I ran SFWA’s Nebula Awards for a decade, and was the first recipient of their Distinguished Service Award. I’m currently retired from fiction writing but I keep threatening to start again. So far I’ve resisted the temptation. Wander over to my fiction page to find out more about my writing and read some of my stories.
I am also a published non-fiction writer, a former Contributing Editor for Macintosh Horizons Magazine and MacTech, and I’ve written on many topics. I wrote a monthly book review column on science fiction and fantasy for TSR’s Amazing Stories in the early 90′s. You can wander over to my non-fiction page to find out more and see some of my publication credits.
In the 1980′s I published a magazine about science fiction and fantasy called OtherRealms, and the archives are online. It lasted 32 issues and was nominated for two Hugos (the World Science Fiction Achievement Awards) in 1989 for Best Fanzine and Best Fan Writer. I lost, but I’m proud to have finished ahead of No Award.
Today my primary love is my photography, especially of birds and wildlife, and that is the focus of this site.
If for some reason I disappear and you can’t find me, you should look on the Oregon Coast, Victoria British Columbia, Vancouver and Portland, in that order. See which shop has recently hired a barista wearing a wig and sunglasses.
I do not believe in regrets, grudges or hidden agendas. They create negativity and hold you back from your goals. Learn, let go, move forward. I believe in embracing the positive. You do not want to be the exception to this. It’s hard to get on my list. It’s a lot harder to get off.
Our house includes computers, cameras, cats and cockatoos. I have been known to watch curling and enjoy it. Also cricket. We have road-tripped extensively to see minor league baseball and hockey around the western US and Canada.
Chuq in the News
Occasionally, I end up being talked about online, sometimes voluntarily. Here are some of the places where I’ve been written about or interviewed:
- HP’s webOS Debacle More Terrible Than Apple’s ‘Worst Days’ Says Former Exec. Cult of Mac on me talking about how screwed up HP and Palm were. Even more fun — somewhere I got promoted into an executive role. Not the only time that’s happened.
- Palm gets another ex-Apple guy to run its developer community. Of course, my going to Palm got some coverage, much to the dismay of some people at Palm (even though one reason I was hired was my high profile in the Apple/IOS world) — mostly, though, other ex-Apple people who didn’t get that kind of coverage. There’s a story to this I ought to write up some day… But remember that at this point, people really thought Palm had a chance at taking Apple on. Well, so did I. And we did. And blew it…
- Palm Overrun By Twitter Apps!. And Business Insider. Got in a bit of trouble over this one for making jokes about twitter apps that some folks took seriously. Of course, look at what Twitter’s done to the app ecosystem…
- Daily Report: What Went Wrong at Palm. The New York Times on the Palm debacle.
- Former Apple vet Chuq von Rospach leaves HP — and Electronista about my leaving Palm/HP.
- Clypsis: amazingly enough, there are still a few book quotes wandering around from my days doing OtherRealms. This tickles me toes, actually.
- Chuq Von Rospach resigns as webOS Developer Relations Community Manager. So does webOS Nation
- Encyclopedia Dramatica — Tom Galloway. It would take too long to explain what this is. Suffice it to say, there are some sad and broken people in the world.
- Some ancient history — back in 1998, the work Laurie and I were doing running sports mailing lists (the biggest enclave on the internet that we know of at the time) made it in the New York Times. Woo.
Things I’ve done that you haven’t
Just for fun, here are a few things I’ve done in my life that you probably haven’t…
- Assisted as an anesthesiologist to a vet while spaying dogs and cats.
- Bodysurfed storm waves big enough the surfers stayed on the beach.
- Seen the planet Pluto through a telescope.
- Played a talking deer on television.
- Rode a bicycle 100 miles non-stop. In the rain. voluntarily.
- Got paid to write Science Fiction. (but not a lot)
- Was once the fourth largest USENET site on the net (by volume)
- Finished ahead of No Award for the best fan writer Hugo.
- Ate lunch on the deck of the pirate ship in Pirates of the Caribbean which is firing on the fort (the pirates aren’t wearing any pants)
- refereed a high school basketball game — with broken glasses.
Photos in Use
My photos are used around the net. Here are some of the places I’ve found them. If you’re using one of my images under the creative commons license, let me know, so I can link to it here.
- All About Birds – Brown Pelican
- All About Birds – California Quail
- All About Birds – Common Raven
- eBirdr: Green-Winged Teal
- Tree of Life Web Project: Greater Yellowlegs
Some of my favorite articles on this site
Here are some of my favorite pieces of writing. Hope you enjoy them.
- My Favorite Pieces
- Some thoughts on Lightroom Keywords: A detailed look at how I organize my keywords in Lightroom and some tips on how to use them to tag your images.
- A teachable moment (or why I love birding, even when I make a fool of myself)
- How not to be a doofus with a camera
- What I do for a living…
- The best April Fools Joke I never did…
- Written in 2013
- Three Days in a Darkish Room: About my journey towards being able to print quality photos and why any photographer needs to be able to do this.
- Written in 2012
- No, iOS is not a prison: why opening up the phone and disabling the “walled garden” isn’t necessarily a good idea, no matter what the geeks think.
- Homebrew vs. Jailbreak, and why what Apple is doing makes sense in their market.
- Dealing with Crap apps in the catalog: why dealing with crap in the app catalog is hard.
- The Mac App Store Needs Paid Upgrades: Why I think this’ll never happen, and what developers should do instead.
- Day Tripping Panoche Valley
- Written in 2011
- Why I don’t like photo a day projects…
- California Central Coast Road Trip (Day 1: Going on the Road (and taking a few pictures…) (Day 2: Unknown Territory) (Day 3: Along the Coast)
- Five years ago today…
- Canon EOS 7D AutoFocus Modes Explained
- Avoiding email bankruptcy (part 1) and (part 2)
- Thanks, Steve.
- My thoughts on Steve in the Guardian
- Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
- Talking about “stuff”….
- The perils of pricing: what I used to tell webOS developers about pricing their apps.
- A “spring” visit to Yosemite
- Merced Wildlife Refuge
- Written in 2010
- Written in 2009