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

Steven K. Roberts, N4RVE

Media – Winnebiko II

The Easy Riding Hacker – Telocator

This article by Alan Reiter really captured the technological intensity of early cellular phones… I mounted one on my bicycle in 1988, and became something of a celebrity for that alone. I remember riding the bike through Silicon Valley, and a couple on regular upright bikes passed me. The woman called out, “Look, honey, he…

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It’s a Bytecycle Built for 2 – The Columbian

I always loved visiting sponsors… getting to know my contacts face-to-face, taking plant tours, demonstrating the bike for employees, and doing a bit of local media to give the company some fresh high-tech human-interest PR.  This was a fun one, the maker of my favorite ham antennas, Larsen Electronics (now Pulse Larsen). The local paper…

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Anaconda gets visit from high-tech nomad

This was a ham-radio connection, made during the bus trip around the US after the publication of Computing Across America. We stayed with K0PP for a few days, and had the fun of connecting my 5-watt Ten-Tec Argonaut 515 rig to my host’s monobander and working a DX pile-up via QRP from a rare county…

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Larsen Outfits Unusual Office on Wheels

Larsen was my favorite antenna vendor, and I was in regular contact with my connection at the Vancouver Washington company throughout the Winnebiko II and BEHEMOTH projects. I even dropped by for a visit, giving a presentation for employees and interviewing with the local paper. This piece is in a Larsen house organ, and was published…

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Oki 491 Cellular Phone on High Tech Nomad Bicycle

This was a huge and significant addition to the Winnebiko II near the end of its epoch, and it became very well-integrated into BEHEMOTH… one of those amazing new cellular phones that were rocking the industry. Mine was donated by Oki Telecom, and this is their announcement to company employees. But it went much farther,…

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Computer Nomad Bikes Where Others Go to Fly – Oshkosh Northwestern

I spent a few days at the brutally hot 1988 EAA Convention (Experimental Aircraft Association) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. People fly from all over the world to be part of this, and the scale was stunning. Naturally, my bike was a bit of an oddity there, even though there was enough technological overlap to turn a…

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High-tech cyclists in Starkville

A visit with MFJ in Starkville, Mississippi to pick up a couple of antenna-system accessories for the upcoming BEHEMOTH led to this story in the local paper… by Elise Crow Starkville Daily News — July 8, 1988 When Steven K. Roberts got fed up with his $2,500-a-month lifestyle as a consultant in Columbus, Ohio, he decided…

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Boring life does not compute – AJC

This coincided with a major event… stopping by Atlanta to visit Oki, which donated a 491 cellular phone. This was very new technology, and for a while it was mounted just below the console of the bike. But as BEHEMOTH developed, it was completely integrated and computer-controlled. Much more about this is in my Cellular…

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Winnebiko II on CNN Science and Technology Report, July 1988

This CNN piece is from a time when I had wrapped up the Winnebiko II adventure, and was embarking on a random speaking tour via a converted school bus. The Computing Across America book was finally published, and I was starting to think about the third bike version (the one that would come to be…

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Telecommuting Through America – Mobile Communications Business

This is one of a flurry of cellular industry trade journal articles that popped out in 1988, covering the somewhat audacious and absurd addition of a 3-watt bag phone to the bike (at the cusp between the Winnebiko II and BEHEMOTH versions). If you’d like video from exactly this time, there is a piece on…

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