This snippet from the old Microship blog (in the Blogger platform) captures the approximate moment when I started working on the platform-independent toolset that came to be called Shacktopus… something that can best be visualized as the equivalent of a 2012-era smartphone but weighing about 15 pounds and looking like a very fat laptop. In…

Read More

My life changed rather dramatically after the first real Microship adventure… relationship upheaval, a health issue, and a subtle but inexorable shift in passions. I found myself less and less able to visualize the planned expedition, yet the massive inertia of the 8-year project kept me working on it for another two years before finally…

Read More

Note: the photo above is not a black spiny sea urchin… I did not get a chance to take a picture of the one who got me, nor any of his Cozumel brethren. This is a green one, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, whom we invited aboard for a visit and close examination one day in 2018. The black…

Read More

I’ve been doing this for so long that it hardly seems strange… until I think about it for a minute. I mean… it’s Monday night in a campground at the foot of Mount Shasta. I’m reclining on a king-size bed suspended above my old pickup truck by a 44-foot gooseneck trailer, tapping on a Mac…

Read More

by Steven K. Roberts Microship Status Report #136 July 19, 2000 “Glue is something that can wet two surfaces and then harden. Adhesive is something that can wet two surfaces and then harden more. Synthetic Resin Adhesive is something that can wet two surfaces, harden, and sell for over $5/oz.”— Albert Einstein Notical Interlude OK, this…

Read More

Above: Microship website in early 2000 by Steven K. Roberts Microship Status Report #135 April 11, 2000 “Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.”— Albert Einstein PSST… Hey, Wanna See the Microship? Ahhh, Springtime. A young man’s fancy turns to boats, road trips,…

Read More

by Steven K. Roberts Microship Status Report #134 January 31, 2000 “Art without engineering is dreaming; engineering without art is calculating.”— Steven K. Roberts You know, it’s been a very long time since I wrote about the high-level specification that’s driving all this. With all the recent additions to the nomadness mailing list and our gradual…

Read More

by Steven K. Roberts Microship Status Report #133 December 6, 1999 “It should be illegal to yell ‘Y2K’ in a crowded economy.”— Larry Wall, creator of the Perl language Winter is returning to the Pacific Northwest, and we struggle through the acute phase of Seasonal Affective Disorder with a rigorous regimen of Backlight Therapy — an…

Read More

Ah, this one really takes me back to a simpler time. This was a break from the immersive Microship project, which by then was an all-out mad push hampered by unanticipated absurdities (like the landing gear) as well as the ongoing necessary distractions of speaking tours, interviews, and research. My partner of the epoch hailed…

Read More

This posting to the huge Nomadness mailing list was a pivotal one… it was the first reality check of the Microship with deployable landing gear. The event was described in the local paper a few weeks later, but the text below tells the story in much more satisfying geek detail, and the entire decade-long project…

Read More