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

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE

Early Years

Words’worth 1983 press release

It is strange, building this archive 35 years later, to see that this press release was put out just as I was also getting the wild idea to sell my house and move to a computerized bicycle. Clearly I was covering all bases, or was at least unwilling to burn bridges with a crazy technomadic…

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Words’worth Assistant Wanted

Freelancing alone in my Dublin house was becoming overwhelming, with debt, overload, frustration, and a sense of dread. I was desperate to find a solution, but the real one did not occur to me until a month and a half later, when a bike ride changed everything. I often speak of my time in Columbus as inspiring long-distance…

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Words’worth Documentation Services

by Steven K. Roberts ARE YOU CAUGHT IN A DOCUMENTATION BIND? If so, you’re not alone. It’s getting mighty hard to find engineers with good writing skills these days. Ever since the “education revolution” of the permissive 70’s and the engineering schools’ subsequent reluctance to demand competence in the humanities, a strong combination of verbal…

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Structured Design Attitude Problems

I’ve never pretended otherwise… I’m not a good employee. I’ve mostly managed to avoid it over the years, with a lack of economic stability to show for it, but what the hell… it has mostly been fun.  This little snippet torn from an old notebook is near the end of my brief flirtation with being a software…

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Cybertronics Offers Data Collection Systems – Kentuckiana Purchasor

My best custom engineering contract back in the late ’70s was with Corhart Refractories (part of Corning Glass), and involved designing and building rugged industrial terminals for the factory floor. I wrote of the design in my engineering textbook, and it was even profitable. One huge regret, though… after I shipped the first three, along…

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Daisy Wheel Printer Paleo-Graphics

A relic from an evening in 1977 (despite the title on the image), using the Cromemco Z-2D computer, BASIC, and the Diablo daisy-wheel printer micro-positioning. This hung on my wall for years. This is the system….

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Cybertronics in Louisville

I’m guessing at the precise date of this as the original is lost, but it is almost certainly late 1976. The little insert with the computer photo in the upper right was added much later when I posted this ancient scan somewhere, and I am leaving it for context… but there is another post with much more detail…

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Cybertronics flyers from 1976

Way back in 1974, as a 22-year-old in Louisville, I started a small electronics business called Cybertronic Systems to help fund my growing microprocessor addiction and begin my escape from the employment treadmill that was already looming as a dangerous life habit. Within about a year, I was doing enough sales out of my apartment…

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An Excruciating Feghoot

This excruciating feghoot has been languishing in my old paper HUMOR file for decades, copied from a mid-70s issue of The Isolated M, a little ‘zine published for remote Mensa members by the late Harper Fowley. I do not know the name of the author… I am only the dutiful scribe, slaving at the keyboard…

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Portrait of the Computer as a Young Art Form – RagTimes

I’m very fond of this piece from an obscure magazine published in Louisville in 1975-76. I believe only two issues were ever produced, and it was founded by Ernest Johnson, David Caudill, and friends. What I find fun about this is that it captured a glimpse of my life long before the bike, and even…

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