Parks, Bob 1970–

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Parks, Bob 1970–

PERSONAL:

Born May 5, 1970, in Worcester, MA; son of Walter (a tool salesman) and Barbara (a homemaker and medical secretary) Parks; married, 1996; wife's name Eileen (a librarian); children: Archer and Lucy. Education: Bates College, B.A. (with honors), 1992. Politics: "Liberal." Religion: Unitarian Universalist.

ADDRESSES:

Home— Brattleboro, VT. E-mail— [email protected]

CAREER:

Freelance writer. Wired magazine, San Francisco, CA, senior associate editor, 1995-2001; freelance writer, Brattleboro, VT, 2001—.

WRITINGS:

Makers: All Kinds of People Making Amazing Things in Garages, Basements, and Backyards, O'Reilly Media (Sebastopol, CA), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Wired, Make, Business 2.0, Outside, Men's Journal, Opera News, MSNBC, Jungle, and Popular Science.

SIDELIGHTS:

Bob Parks is a freelance writer based in Brattleboro, Vermont. Parks was born May 5, 1970, in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of a tool salesman and medical secretary. Parks attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in 1988 and graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1992. After graduating Parks moved across the country and began working for Wired magazine in San Francisco, California, in 1995. He was in charge of two sections of the magazine and directed three staff editors. Parks also developed and planned feature articles about new technologies. The following year he married his wife, Eileen, and they later had two children, Archer and Lucy. In 2001 Parks left his senior associate editor position with the magazine and moved back to the northeastern United States.

Situating the family in Brattleboro, Vermont, Parks began freelancing full time. He retained a close connection with Wired, as a regular contributing writer. He also contributes regularly to Make and Business 2.0. Parks has published articles in a number of additional periodicals, including Outside, Men's Journal, Opera News, MSNBC, Jungle, and Popular Science. Parks has also appeared on Home and Garden Television and on National Public Radio's popular All Things Considered.

In early 2006 Parks saw his first book,Makers: All Kinds of People Making Amazing Things in Garages, Basements, and Backyards, published by California-based O'Reilly Media. The book features ninety-one inventors from around the world and their unique creations by explaining the processes of creation or use of the invention with the aid of images. Other useful information, such as time and money spent on the project, where more information can be found on it, reasons for creating the invention, and concise comments from the inventor, are included in the description. Reviews for the book were mostly positive. A contributor to SciTech Book News thought that "the inventions are well-illustrated" and liked the fact that "some of the inventors appear" throughout the illustrated text. A contributor writing in the Midwest Book Review wrote that "these are lively portraits of inventors at work." James Alguire, writing on the Slashdot Web site, described Makers as "a compact hardcover book that would be at home on any geek's coffee table. The profiles are brief but thought provoking, and the whole effect provides a new view into the serious and whimsical aspects of technology. After reading this book you will definitely look at old appliances and electronics with a different eye." Alguire did comment that the font could be larger in places and thought the book should have incorporated more step-by-step images for the featured projects, but he conceded that "the included images and diagrams are high quality and give you a good impression of the gadgets." A contributor to the Make Web site concluded: "All those who love to tinker or who fancy themselves kindred DIY spirits will appreciate Parks' eclectic and intriguing collection of independent thinkers and makers."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Midwest Book Review, April, 2006, review of Makers: All Kinds of People Making Amazing Things in Garages, Basements, and Backyards.

SciTech Book News, March, 2006, review of Makers.

ONLINE

Bob Parks Home Page,http://www.bobparks.org (November 27, 2007), author biography.

Make,http://makezine.com/ (November 27, 2007), review of Makers.

Slashdot,http://www.slashdot.com/ (December 30, 2005), James Alguire, review of Makers.

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Parks, Bob 1970–

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