About Chuq

This is the site of Chuq Von Rospach, a Silicon Valley computer geek currently on sabbatical and recently practicing technical community management for Cisco, photographer, and author.

I am a photographer, a writer, and a long-time Silicon Valley resident who’s worked in high tech since I moved here from Southern California in the 1980s. I am currently taking a sabbatical to focus on some personal projects, but I’ve most recently worked as a community manager for technical and developer communities and acting as a developer advocate within companies, most recently for Cisco. Previous stops in my career include Infoblox, Palm and HP (for the WebOS reboot attempt), Sun Microsystems, and various smaller companies and startups. Most of my career was spent in various roles over 17 years at Apple, starting doing technical support for A/UX but spending a lot of my time building community and email systems for them.

Contacting Me and Social Media

There are plenty of ways we can stay connected. Here are the places you can find me out on the internet:

If you need to send me paper mail, you can do so at:

Chuq Von Rospach
2784 Homestead Road #210
Santa Clara, CA 95051

If you need to call me you need to email me for my phone number. You may or may not get it (hint: I strongly prefer email).

I’m currently not looking for a new position. Having been employed at some job or another since I took my first job in high school, I decided it was the right time to take a break and so I’m learning Swift and writing an app I’ve wanted to write for many years. I’m estimating that I’ll be re-entering the job market late in 2016. You are welcome to try to convince me your position is something to make me me cut my sabbatical short.

I would love to find a position that would leverage all of my skills and interests — the photography and writing, the technical bits, the community management bits — into a single situation, but we all know life is never perfect. I am diving back into coding and refreshing my technical skills, but I still would prefer either a developer-centric community manager role or perhaps something in product management with a technical/developer focus.

Most of my computer work has involved community — even going back to the 1980s before we called it that — because I’ve always been interested in what computers could do for people and how it could enable people to interact and communicate. I discovered the early USENET and got involved in trying to organize and manage its growth.

My background in high tech is technical: I discovered computers in college and fell in love with them. Along the way I’ve been a system administrator, in technical support, a full-time coder, a MySQL DBA, a sendmail geek, a technical writer and an architect of large and complex systems. I’ve written in Basic, Fortran, Cobol, Perl, PHP, Python, C, Javascript and languages I’ve long forgotten or refuse to remember (like RPG II).

I’m at that point in my life and career where I’m thinking about what I might do when I no longer work full-time. The word “retire” has no relevance to me, but I wish I had time to be involved in other things — volunteering for Audubon, getting involved as a volunteer for International Bird Rescue or Marine Mammal Institute (or both) or just going out and travel the west coast and do a lot more photography. (All of those, along with the Nature Conservancy, are organizations I support with donations of cash and images, and I feel are worthy of your support as well).

My wife and I spent a year as the webmasters for the IHL San Francisco Spiders, designing, building, hosting and operating their web site and managing all of their internet operations. The Spiders only lasted one season; the IHL no longer exists as a league. These are not our fault. Honest.

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.

Before there was blogging, or blogs, or even web browsers, there was e-mail. And while lots of folks like to think the internet started when they created a blog, it was alive and well and busily discussing things long before blogs or social networking. For many years, we hosted mailing lists for many sports teams in both hockey and baseball. Those lists have been retired, but the archives live on. The largest and longest running of them was our Sharks list, which we ran from 1992 until 2005, and which is still going strong under new owners at Yahoo groups.

I’m originally from Southern California, born and raised in the shadow of Disneyland (Valencia High School Class of 1976) — and worked for the Mouse for four years primarily driving forklifts and delivering cheese and merchandise around the park. College (CSU Fullerton, aka the Fullerton University Center for Knowledge, as we used to call it at debate tourneys) I took a basic programming class to avoid a math class, discovered computers, and everything changed. I left college as a senior because people kept offering me money to come work with these weird computer things.

If for some reason I disappear and you can’t find me, you should look on the Morro Bay, Oregon Coast, Victoria British Columbia, Vancouver and Portland, in that order. See which shop has recently hired a barista wearing a wig and sunglasses.

We all need to remember to slow down and savor the journey.

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.

(if you want even more background, you can read this piece I wrote long ago)

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.
  • 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), and watched sunrise from the top of the Matterhorn in the park where Tinkerbell landed.
  • Refereed a high school basketball game — with broken glasses.

My Photography

Away from work my time is focused on my photography and on nature and wildlife. I’m a birder and bird photographer and I’ve gotten very interested in the National Wildlife Refuge areas here on the West Coast and I’ve been working on a long-term project to photograph, document and help raise awareness of how important they are to so many species that live in and visit these areas.

I use both Canon and Fuji and you can see the details by following the links. I’ve also written extensively about photography, especially about processing images in Lightroom, and you can visit my writing page to find them.

My photographic preference is for natural light and a realistic processing style. I do sometimes use HDR but the goal is a realistic look and natural looking colors. I rarely modify the images through cloning or other manipulations, and those images that are modified are noted in the meta-data.

Prints and Licensing

Tandem Stock Agency Logo

I do custom printing and signed prints by request. Email me and tell me what you’re interested in.

All images on this site are copyrighted and are not in the public domain. Usage of them in any form is prohibited without my explicit permission and license. If you’re interested in using an image please contact me and I’ll work with you on a quote for an appropriate license for your needs.

Some of my images are represented through the Tandem Stock agency. If you’re interested in licensing one of them, please contact them directly. For other images, please contact me about pricing for licensing or print opportunities.

Non-profit Licensing Waivers and Exceptions

Organizations that are legally defined as non-profit in their jurisdiction (in the United States, those that have 501C designation, for instance) may use images without compensation as illustrations in their web sites or publications. They may not use them as part of fund-raising campaigns without my explicit permission, but non-fundraising uses are allowed as long as proper attribution is maintained.

My writing

I’ve been writing on various topics since the early 1980’s. I’m a published fiction writer and have written non-fiction on a number of topics including Photography, Science Fiction Criticism, Ice Hockey, Apple Computer, High Technology, Silicon Valley and various other topics. If you subscribe to this site, you’ll see all of these show up at some point.

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. I was a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America for many years and managed the Nebula Awards for them for a decade.

About This Site

This site is built on the WordPress CMS and hosted on the Dreamhost service. It was built using the Chameleon theme from Elegant Themes. The fonts used in this design are Cantarell and Kreon. The design and implementation is by Chuq Von Rospach.

WordPress plugins in use on this site include (needs to be updated):

Terms of Services

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