Thursday, April 29, 2021

Catching up with digital nomad Steve Roberts


For Throwback Thursday I exhumed a couple of Courier-Journal columns that I wrote about Louisville native and professional nomad Steven K. Roberts. 

I first met Steve in 1988 when he came through Louisville to promote his book Computing Across America. 

The book chronicled his 1983 coast-to-coast trip on a recumbent bike he had outfitted with a Radio Shack Model 100 computer and a CB radio. With a simple keyboard built into the handlebars, Roberts was able to pedal the bike while writing email on CompuServe and composing articles for computer magazines. 

When Roberts stopped in, he still had his "Winnebiko," but this time he was traveling in relative luxury aboard a converted school bus that he parked behind my house for a couple of weeks before he headed west. 

For a couple of years, I was his base camp. I paid his bills, collected his paper mail and helped him sell his articles and his book. I still have my copy of CAA but I should have held on to a case or two of those books. You can buy one on Amazon but a used copy costs more than $50. 

Roberts sort of settled on the West Coast where he spent years outfitting a succession of boats, each one more crammed with an expanding collection of gadgets. The last was Datawake, a 1974 Vic Franck Delta 50, more of a yacht than a boat. Since 2016, he lived aboard his floating lab in the San Juan Islands between Seattle and Vancouver. 

But now his website reports that Roberts has moved onshore and is making the Datawake "available for remote workers, digital nomads, or northwest voyagers." 

If you want to book the Datawake for a trip to Alaska or just keep up with Steve and his never-ending projects, visit his Microship website or @nomadness on Twitter. 


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Follow me on Twitter @ricmanning and read my technology columns at My Well Being.


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