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

Steven K. Roberts

High Tech Nomad chapters

Naked at the Epicenter

This little snippet from my Miles with Maggie series took place two months before the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that shattered our newfound Santa Cruz complacency. The foreshock impressionistically recorded here was but a teaser… yet deeply intimate somehow, coming as it did on the edge of sleep. The impact on the psyche was intense,…

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Standing in the Window

Somebody on the net recently asked me what my days are like. The popular image, I’m sure, is of a bustling Winnebiko lab with scurrying white-coated technicians fitting glittering surface-mount subassemblies onto a frame of high-tech composites and tightly laced bundles of optical fiber and coax. Surrounded by Sun workstations, I coordinate the efforts of…

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Born Toulouse

by Steven K. Roberts New Orleans, Louisiana — July 14, 1988 There’s a sort of melancholy about this city, you know, a strange melancholy that excites the lusts and touches the soul… and every descent from our balconied French Quarter suite into street-level turmoil makes the keyboard fingers itch. Stories lurk in the dark eyes…

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The Other Woman

©1987 by Steven K. Roberts Ithaca, NY (13,231 miles) August 21, 1987 The road, once begun, never stops. Tonight in Ithaca, over a fine dinner of linguine and wine, coffee and sorbet, we spoke of travel. Hitchhiking marathons of 17 years ago were revived in candlelight; freight-hopping adventures came to life with all the gritty…

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Hiking Heaven, Hiking Hell

by Steven K. Roberts June 29, 1987 Calf Creek (Garfield County), Utah This is hard-core wilderness.  The Escalante River area is a violent, convoluted land, a twisted marriage of desert and mountain with much infidelity on both sides.  Madness happens here; the land kills the unwary without remorse, yet delights the eye with so many…

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Kinetic Madness 1987

by Steven K. Roberts Eureka, California — May 25, 1987 12,257 miles Eureka? Again? Is this a time-warp? If you’ve been following these tales for any time at all, you know we spent five weeks here over the winter… and you also know that we couldn’t have possibly pedaled back up the coast as fast as…

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Escape from the City

by Steven K. Roberts Pigeon Point, California — May 15, 1987 12,140 miles F I N A L L Y ! ! ! I’m on the beach at Half Moon Bay, the evening calm almost disquieting after the unrelenting noise of the City. It feels good, damn good… Maggie and I grin at each other every…

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Roughing it in Palo Alto

Photo: Sailing with Norm Goldblatt on San Francisco Bay.  Texting while Driving in 1987 This posting to my Computing Across America column on GEnie came near the end of the Silicon Valley layover between the Winnebiko II trek down the Pacific Coast and the jump to Ohio to resume through the Northeast and down the coast…

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El Camino Reality

Photo: The Computing Across America crew at the GEnie booth, 1987 West Coast Computer Faire. From upper left: Tom Hoobyar, Steven K. Roberts, Ray Rolls, Maggie Victor, GEnie booth personality, Kelly Monroe.  by Steven K. Roberts Palo Alto, California — April 5, 1987 11,870 miles Ah, Stanford in the Spring. LCD characters wafting through a beery…

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Silicon Valley Delights

by Steven K. Roberts Palo Alto, California — March 10, 1987 11,729 miles Eyes wide, steadying myself against a massive redwood high in the Santa Cruz mountains, I stare at the distant campfire. Sparks soar into the trees through a column of suffused smoky light; black shadows stab the sphere of fireglow with every human…

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