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

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE

High Tech Nomad chapters

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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Taking Care of Business

by Steven K. Roberts Palo Alto, California — February 23, 1987 11,687 miles Sitting at a desk in a cluttered room on a sunny California day is not unlike being chronically married and walking past a nude beach. Through this wide suburban window the sky is blue, the trees are green, and the shadows are…

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San Francisco en Passant

by Steven K. Roberts Mountain View, California — February 12, 1987 11,652 miles It was a crisp morning, foggy enough to romantically mute the distant San Francisco skyline, cool enough to make the ride exhilarating, early enough to eliminate any sense of hurry. Perfect conditions for a float across the bay and the long trek…

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Sonomarin Snapshots

by Steven K. Roberts Sausalito, California — February 5, 1987 11,565 miles Suddenly there begins another mad macrophase. The changes struck with our last wild descent, an abrupt transition at the dusky end of an exhausting 50-mile day. BMW’s and solar-heated redwood hot tubs. Vanity plates and chocolatiers. Evidence everywhere of treats turned de rigueur,…

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Accident and Aftermath

by Steven K. Roberts Healdsburg, California — January 23, 1987 11,450 miles It began dramatically, as befits the coast. Looking down through Minolta 8×20’s on the backs of soaring hawks, wingtips like splayed fingers playing the thermals with precision. Wide-eyed flight down a tightly coiled road, losing 700 altimeter feet in moments only to hurl…

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Changing the World in Mendocino

by Steven K. Roberts Mendocino, California — January 15, 1987 11,363 miles Nowhere is the infinite interconnectedness of human relationships so clear as in a succession of small coastal towns, isolated from the rest of the world—towns small enough to be interdependent, yet large enough to be vigorous; places rugged enough to discourage the lazy,…

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A Week of Movement

by Steven K. Roberts Mendocino, California — January 12, 1987 11,324 miles Rolling! Suddenly the deeply familiar texture of life on the road mingles again with the chronic unfamiliarity of daily movement. In the week since leaving Eureka, our range of experiences has been so diverse that only the most abstract of themes could begin…

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Be It Ever So Humboldt…

by Steven K. Roberts Eureka, California — January 1, 1987 We would have pedaled down to Ferndale today if it hadn’t rained. For over a week we’ve been planning our New Year’s Day departure from this place that has grown too familiar. All through December the sun shone brightly—by Christmas I was so sure that…

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25 Years in an Afternoon

by Steven K. Roberts Eureka, California — December 20, 1986 “You reeka,” I want to shout at the guy beside me—a greasy specimen of street life who has elected to spend this sunny Saturday in the library devouring a book of The Family Circus cartoons instead of shuffling around outside with palm outstretched. He’s not…

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