Art without engineering is dreaming;
Engineering without art is calculating.

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE

Bikelab Notes

Phil Donahue Show, Road Stories, & Aquatic Teaser

Bikelab Notes #17 — June 5, 1992 by Steven K. Roberts IN THIS ISSUE: Phil Donahue Show Road Stories  Sensory Input Capacitors Hints of Aquatic Nomadness “If it needs to be stronger, we make it bigger. If that makes it ugly, we chrome it.” — Harley-Davidson engineer, speaking anonymously during discussion of structural engineering and materials science.…

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Update from a Kentucky Rainstorm

Bikelab Notes #16 — May 10, 1992 by Steven K. Roberts IN THIS ISSUE: Update from a Kentucky rainstorm Donahue show and other plans Antennas, PPP, SPARCbook, CDROM, and more magic “Is that Evil Knievel?” — overheard comment from a clueless passerby who, fortunately, didn’t stop to investigate further.   Ah, I love it. Despite cries…

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Bikelab Report #15 – The Mother of All Layovers

by Steven K. Roberts Nomadic Research Labs IN THIS ISSUE: High-tech Nomadness Returns! The Mother of All Layovers The Mothership BEHEMOTH Technical Update    CELLULAR PHONE     HAM STATION     PNEUMATICS     FORTH DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM and MAC STATUS     UNIXCYCLE     HP-95LX PALMTOP “I’d rather be lucky than talented. Luck doesn’t take any work.”…

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Bikelab Report #14 – Post-Nomadic Stress Disorder

by Steven K. Roberts — Silicon Valley, California December 31, 1991 “The difference between art and work is that work has a deadline.” —David Berkstresser Post-Nomadic Stress Disorder… and Quest for Humans Damn, I hadn’t anticipated this… but I should have. Working obsessively for a few years on BEHEMOTH and then abruptly relocating it to the…

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Bikelab Report #13 – Mothership and Mini-reviews

by Steven K. Roberts — Silicon Valley, California October 30, 1991 “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” —unknown cyclist on RAGBRAI, passing me on a 90-degree day as I cruised easily with Cusco on the stereo and ice water circulating through my helmet. Shakedown post-mortem Well, I’m back at the lab. Three months of…

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The Rhythms of the Road

After 3+ years of intensive development work, BEHEMOTH finally got some road time… beginning with RAGBRAI in Iowa, then a languid yet difficult mini-adventure up through Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. It is dreamlike in retrospect… not an open-ended life epoch like the first two versions of the bike, but a sort of frantic escape from…

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by Steven K. Roberts — Silicon Valley, California June 22, 1991 “You know you’re going slow when you’ve got dead bugs on the BACK of your bike.” — the always-quotable David Berkstresser, watching me trundle slowly up his driveway during a test ride. It’s getting close. Suddenly all priorities have changed — the things that distracted me…

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Bikelab Report #10 – Antenna Farm

by Steven K. Roberts — Silicon Valley, California May 28, 1991 “Daddy toys!” — concise assessment by Julia Selfridge, age 2, upon being introduced to BEHEMOTH for the first time. Well, there are now 49 days to departure, and I’m in the D phase of the PFD phenomenon that most concisely describes my work habits (Procrastination…

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David Berkstresser and Cecil be da Mill

Bikelab Report #9 – BEHEMOTH Bike Tech

Photo: David Berkstresser at Cecil, the Rockwell milling machine in the Bikelab. (Cecil be ‘da Mill) 3:15 AM. It’s becoming a familiar time — a favorite one, even. This time of day, there are few commercials on the radio to disrupt the back-to-back jams. There are no phone calls, few stray beeps from the SPARC,…

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Bikelab Report #8 – Satellite Datacomm

This is part 2 of this issue of the Bikelab series… the topics are so different that they really need to be separate posts.   Given that passionate buildup, I guess I owe you a whiz-bang development in bike-tech this issue! OK, here it is: BEHEMOTH is now connected to the network around the clock, via…

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