Hello, I'm Bob Keller, the webmaster and editor of Bob's Rock Shop, the web's first 'Zine for mineral collectors and rockhounds. Among my many other online projects I am also honored to have previously or currently serve as a founder, administrator or moderator for various public information resources including the United Sates Faceters Guild Faceters E-mail List, a virtual discussion group dedicated to gemstone faceting related topics, the Rockhounds List, serving mineral, rock and fossil collectors, the Lapidary List, serving cabbers, carvers, tumblers and other lapidary hobbyists, the Sphere Makers and Collectors List, for enthusiasts who lapidary spheres from various rocks, minerals and gemstones and collectors of lapidaried spheres, and the Grand Canyon Hikers, a discussion group for canyoneers like me who like to explore the grandest of all exposures on Earth.
The Things I Done...
I've been playing with computers since they had names like Altair and 16K of RAM was considered full boat. I still have my copy of Build Your Own Z-80 Computer, which I did. I cut my programming teeth on a pretty basic BASIC and hand assembled machine code running on a souped-up Timex Sinclair 1000. These days I like to mess around with Perl on Linux boxes...
One of my most prized possessions is this copy of H.H. Windsor's How to Make a Wireless Set, a 1911 Popular Mechanics handbook detailing the construction of a spark gap transmitter and crystal receiver, "easily constructed by a boy of ordinary ability at a small cost."
I still have copies of Dome Book, The Whole Earth Catalog - Access to Tools, and The Port Huron Statement. (You do remember the SDS, don't you?). I'm very excited about the World Wide Web and the opportunity the state of the art is presenting for ordinary people to become authors and publishers on the Internet. Well, okay, ordinary computer people, anyway. It truly is a new frontier, and I just had to move out into it.
I grew up with Laura and Lydia, my two younger sisters, and Dottie the Dalmatian on a farm on the north side of Kansas City, Missouri. I graduated from the University of Missouri with a BA in Philosophy and minor in Math in 1973. I just loved a good, civilized argument. In addition to the Show Me state, I have also lived in Estes Park, Colorado; Yellowstone Park, Wyoming; Big Sky, Big Fork, and Missoula, Montana; and Spokane, Washington. For over two decades I made Tucson, Arizona my home. If you got the idea I like living in the West, you got that right.
I've earned an AAS in Digital Electronics and also hold the FCC's General Radiotelephone Operator License with a Radar Endorsement. I'm a ham operator as well, KC7FSA. I've worked for a number of years in electronics and manufacturing and performed in various capacities as a technician, engineer, production supervisor, devil's advocate and troublemaker. I still love a good, civilized argument. I have done hardware and software design on various products using embedded microcontrollers and microprocessors, including microscopy related metrology equipment for Boeckeler Insturments and a programmable educational robotics product for Robix which interfaces an Erector Set style robot with a PC. Check out my 3 legged walker on the robotics.com web site. It even prays to its Maker... ;) I am proficient at scratch building electronic prototypes and I believe I enjoy this type of electronics work the most.
Now I work as a web site builder/developer, consultant and all around computer nice guy. So, if you've got a site to build and a budget for the project, we might have a chat about that. I like working in the rock niche, but I'll consider other web projects that I find personally interesting or challenging.
What I've found I enjoy the most for WWW projects is presenting material concerning my hobby interests. Several of my other hobby activities and interests besides rockhounding and scuba diving include designing, building and flying model airplanes, parrot and aquarium keeping, hiking and exploring in the Grand Canyon, and of course, electronics and computers.
I've touched pieces of Mars and have been kicking around the idea of building a telescope or an astronomical Schmidt camera. Why, I may even have to present some web pages of my own making on these subjects and activities as well... I haven't had so much fun with a computer since I was introduced to the Mandelbrot set.
Hey folks, I don't know about you but spam has become a critical problem for me. Enough is enough! I've reluctantly decided it is smarter to switch than continue defending the line against these geometrically multiplying time sucking parasites. I'm reluctantly abandoning my longstanding and widely published email address(es) to cut them off at the pass. You can contact me now by emailing:
If I have to change my email address again to choke off the spammers, you will be able to find my current email address published here on my personal home page. If you've ever programmed, you may recognize this tactic as a form of indirect addressing... I figure there will still be more numbers than spammers in the universe for at least a few more years, so if my email address winds up at nospam999...@rockhounds.com to keep the spam reigned in, so be it!