This update is a bit of a divergence from my usual breed of randomness, which typically has something to do with S/V Nomadness, development facilities, technomadic gizmology, or random noodlings triggered by any of the foregoing. I’d like to dedicate this posting to my father, Ed Roberts, who passed away in 2005. The trip to…

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When I traveled to Louisville in 2005 to shut down the old family home after my father’s death, I had no idea of the depth and complexity of the history I was about to inherit. Suddenly I was the lone curator of artifacts spanning centuries… families, Quakers, Swarthmore, GE, the 1930s modeling scene in New…

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I wonder how my life would be different if I had been more receptive to this intriguing invitation one day in April 2002. Long buried in a Eudora folder, deep in an ancient backup drive, here is a perfect example of those nexus moments in life when we make a huge decision without realizing it.…

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One of the more fun speaking gigs with BEHEMOTH was this one… presentations at the two AeroVironment sites (Monrovia and Simi Valley). I already knew the founder, Paul MacCready, through our shared interest in Human Powered Vehicles, and I remember being enchanted by his geek playground. They gave me one of their new Charger electric…

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This relic from the archives is from a time when life on the Internet involved longer attention spans than the social media of 30 years later. On the Technomads listserv, like many others, there were long-running discussions comprised of well-written impassioned commentary by net denizens, and some message threads were like interactive many-to-many magazines. The…

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Over the years, the term “technomad” has undergone a variety of interpretations, beginning in the mid-80s as a playful re-parsing of my “high-tech nomad” moniker and eventually defining a very diverse community of location-independent workers who use networking tools to enable open-ended travel. During my BEHEMOTH epoch, I corresponded with hundreds of people drawn to…

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At the very beginning of the BEHEMOTH project, I landed in Silicon Valley… and my first corporate host organism was Information Appliance, the playground of Jef Raskin (who started the Macintosh project at Apple in 1981, along with countless other fascinating creations over the course of his life). He offered lab space as I was…

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This machine was introduced in 1977, and I was technically a dealer although I never sold one (which explains the Cybertronics label on the cover page). Prices ranged from $16K-70K, and it was a radical foray into the world of “small business computers” for a long-established company that had been focused on numerical-control machines and…

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This wonderful relic from the dawn of speech synthesis is a 2-minute recording from Bell Laboratories, first published in 1962, showcasing the work of John L. Kelly and Louis J. Gerstman for the Visual and Acoustics Research Department.  I acquired this 45 RPM soundsheet in 1966, in the 9th grade, when I began working on…

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My father, Edward H. Roberts, was a lifelong member of SPE, designing plastic parts and ice cube trays for GE Erie Works in the 1940s and moving on to household refrigeration (AP5) at Appliance Park in Louisville in the early 1950s. Among his effects was a small batch of treasures from the Society of Plastics…

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