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

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE

Computing Across America

The Winds of Change

Computing Across America, chapter 29 by Steven K. Roberts April 10, 1984 — Slidell, Louisiana Science is spectrum analysis; art is photosynthesis. — Karl Kraus When you live on a bicycle, certain things take on larger-than-life significance. Hills, for example, never mattered much when I drove a car, and back roads were just that: back…

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Mississippi Revisited

Computing Across America, Chapter 28 by Steven K. Roberts April 8, 1984 We ain’t got no accent, man, but ah kin shore tell yore from the noath. — Teenager in Vancleave, Miss. It was a land of spring green, little yellow flowers, and open, windy fields. I rode along with the sudden feeling of being…

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A Grand Farewell

Computing Across America, Chapter 27 by Steven K. Roberts April 2, 1984 (photo above by Dan Burden) Panaceas are a dime a dozen.— Kacy Branstetter The first big issue of the panhandle involved a fork in the road. I pedaled south from fragrant Tallahassee, the dogwoods and azaleas flashing in the sun, flowers brightening even…

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Fears, Burdens, and Dreams

Computing Across America, Chapter 26 by Steven K. Roberts Tallahassee, Florida — March 22, 1984 photo above by Dan Burden The bicycle is a learning machine. — Dan Burden Every subculture has its gurus and pioneers. The early wizards of the microcomputer world were elevated to legendary status within a decade of the industry’s birth;…

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Another One of Those Fantasies

Computing Across America, Chapter 25 by Steven K. Roberts Tallahassee, Florida — March 18, 1984 photo above by Dan Burden Now, when I start singing, you duck…— instructions for taking a shower As the miles unfolded, I became increasingly fascinated by the intertwined threads of connections. It was not uncommon to meet someone randomly, crash…

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The Campground Culture

Computing Across America, Chapter 24 by Steven K. Roberts Anastasia State Park — March 6, 1984 Travel makes a wise man better but a fool worse.— Thomas Fuller I awoke in my tent, confused by the insistent sound that pierced the night and shattered my dreams. I was still groping for the telephone with a…

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The Other Woman

Computing Across America, Chapter 23 by Steven K. Roberts Gainesville, Florida — February 14, 1984  And the road, like a woman, lies down before him.— Nancy Johnson, “Ballad of Spooner,” Mellow Lady Security vs FreedomCommitment vs ChangeLove vs Wanderlust Must those be forever mutually exclusive? Freedom and security, freedom and security — the dilemma keeps resurfacing like the…

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Traveling for the Moment

Computing Across America, Chapter 22 by Steven K. Roberts Northern Florida — January 31, 1984(photo above by Katy Peden, Clearwater)  You’re taking the trip and the trip’s taking you in equal measure. If it takes you five years to finish, the pace will still be exactly right.— Barbara Bernstein There are many ways to travel. You can drive…

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An Awesome Voyage

Computing Across America, Chapter 21 by Steven K. Roberts Gulf of Mexico — January 22, 1984 I’m just a son of a son, son of a son,son of a son of a sailor.— Jimmy Buffet I wandered the docks of Fort Zachary Taylor with a yellow plastic band affixed to my wrist — one of those…

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Life is a Beach

Computing Across America, Chapter 20 by Steven K. Roberts Key West, Florida — January 19, 1984 It’s better to burn out than fade away.— Neil Young Nothing had changed, but everything was different. I rode the familiar streets, taking a serpentine route to where I supposed the action was. I didn’t have the money to stay…

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