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

Steven K. Roberts

Microship Status Reports

Dark Side, with a Twist

Oh good grief, I’ve done it again. All those good intentions to blog frequently, and it’s been seven months since my last post! But I have a good excuse, and it has something to do with the Microship that I spent a decade building, ignored for a decade, then launched last summer. That, and chronic…

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Vanishing Gizmology

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…

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The Microship Puget Sound Mini Expedition

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…

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Echinoderm Envenomation and Microship System Design

by Steven K. Roberts Microship Status Report #138 January 25, 2001 “What we pass off as depth and breadth of computer knowledge is really just a pathological fascination with trivia.” — Ethan Henry, Java instructor IN MEMORIAM… This Microship update is dedicated to Alan Selfridge, who stunned those of us who admired and respected him…

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Microship Test in Wisconsin & 7,000 Mothership Miles

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…

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European Interlude

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…

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First Amphibian Launch of the Microship

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. In retrospect, of course, this…

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Life Changes and Micro-Trimaran Development

Oh my. Y’all touched my soul. Two and a half months have flown since our pivotal tale of downsizing from Mighty Hogfish to a pair of micro-trimarans, and we have a lot of ground to cover in this issue… but first, I want to profoundly thank the 75 or so of you who took the…

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Embarking on a Non-Sequitour

During the decade-long Microship project, I published 138 Status Reports as well as a few more general pieces in the old Nomadness series, and for years those have been squirreled away in a rather obscure corner of my website as clunky text pages without any images. Eventually, I want to fold everything into this archival…

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Microship Megabucks

by Steven K. Roberts Nomadic Research Labs Santa Clara, California — April 1, 1996 (Issue #101 of the Microship Status Reports) Lots of developments since our last update! The recent infusion of investment capital from the venture partners has made a spectacular difference in our productivity here at Nomadic Research Institute, and we’ve just rented the…

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