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[0] Errata

[0.1] Where to find this FAQ and comp.robotics archives
[0.2] Related FAQ's and Mailing Lists
[0.3] Contacting Companies and 800 numbers

[0.1] Where to find this FAQ and comp.robotics archives

Information for New Users of the Internet.

If you haven't done so, new users on the net should read news:news.announce.newusers In particular, the following posts are a good idea:

A Primer on How to Work With The Usenet Community
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Usenet
Hints on Writing Style for Usenet

This FAQ is currently posted to comp.answers, news.answers and comp.robotics. All posts to news.answers are archived and are available via a variety of means.

Where to find this FAQ:


Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is a description language for the Webpages on the net. It provides links and pointers to other Web pages as well as formatting the documents.

This faq is now available at comp.robotics FAQ

OSU has a very useful site for all the usenet FAQs:

The WorldWideWeb (W3 or WWW) is the universe of network-accessible information, an initiative started at CERN, now with many participants. It has a body of software, and a set of protocols and conventions. W3 uses hypertext and multimedia techniques to make the web easy for anyone to roam, browse, and contribute to. Future evolution of W3 is coordinated by the W3 Organization. The W3 has grown into an extraordinary means of finding information about organizations, people, companies, products and many, many other things. Many browsers have been developed to search the net. Some of the most popular are Mosaic, MacWeb and Netscape.

The following is a general introduction to the WWW: If you have electronic mail, then it possible (though slow!) to get W3 information by mail. try sending a mail to with a line in it saying just HELP to get back instructions. Your mail system must have a mail gateway onto internet mail. You might have to take the internet address above and ask your friendly system manager how to convert it into the equivalent mail address on the system you are using.


FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a way of copying file between networked computers. If you need help in using or getting started with FTP, send e-mail to with
send usenet/news.answers/ftp-list/faq
as the body of the message.

The comp.robotics FAQ can be found at:

CMU Location
parts 1-5
RTFM Archive.
Parts 1-5
Internet address:

UUNET Archive
part1.Z through part5.Z [use uncompress]

NIC-Switch Archives via gopher or NIC-Switch Archive directory via ftp
Use gopher to search for 'robotics'.


Send email to containing these lines:
send usenet/news.answers/robotics-faq/part1
send usenet/news.answers/robotics-faq/part2
send usenet/news.answers/robotics-faq/part3
send usenet/news.answers/robotics-faq/part4
send usenet/news.answers/robotics-faq/part5


There are a number of sites in the US, Europe and Japan that store the FAQ and archives for comp.robotics. You can find these by using the Internet search programs, Archie, Gopher or Wais.

Archives of comp.robotics and many AI-related newsgroups can now be found in appropriate subdirectories of or more directly for comp.robotics at:

Each of these newsgroups is being automatically archived on a weekly basis. For example, the gzipped tar file 94_10_08.tgz in the comp.lang.lisp/ subdirectory contains all articles that appeared in the comp.lang.lisp newsgroup during the previous week. Links to these archives also exist in many of the topical directories of the CMU AI Repository (e.g., /user/ai/lang/lisp/news/ contains links to Lisp-related newsgroups). The archives for most of the newsgroups start with articles appearing on 23-JUL-94. Comments and suggestions should be sent to

The following site, newsgroup_archives.html indexes not only the CMU AI archives of newsgroups, but over a hundred other publicly-accessible sites.

Another archive location is: In addition to the FTP archive maintained at, there are a couple of other mechanisms available:

[0.2] Related FAQ's and Mailing Lists

Related FAQs

There are a number of newsgroups with topics related to robotics. These include:

The sci.electronics FAQ can be found here. Most regularly posted FAQ's can be found at where newsgroup is the name of a given newsgroup.

Or, more conveniently, on the www at OSU FAQ-List.html

See the Microcontroller section of the FAQ for several other FAQs on a variety of microcontrollers.

Mailing Lists


(Autonomous Vehicle - Mine Counter Measure) mailing list.

This mailing list was created to provide a professional forum for exchange of information about R & D in connection with the use of autonomous vehicles and associated work packages and control concepts in the tasks of mine (or hazardous materials) clearance on land, in the sea, or from the air and space.

We wish to include individuals from the armed services, industry, federal sponsors of research, and the academic community. Subscribers from the international community are welcome.

To subscribe to the mailing list send a message to
without a subject line. In the message body type
subscribe av-mcm your-email-address
This is an open, unmoderated mailing list. Once subscribed, you may send messages directly to the list (there is no active moderator who screens messages before they are posted). To post a message to the list (which will be delivered to all members) use the address
To send a message to the list manager only use the address
To find out more about this mailing list such as where old messages are archived, and who subscribes to the list send a message to
leave the subject line blank and then type
Help in the first line of text. You should receive an email response soon.

nanomech-l mailing list

A new list for discussing the extension of micromechanical technology to nanometer precision (1 micron and below), high frequency agile manufacturing and robotics using high-precision parts, and techniques for the assembly of micro- and nanomechanical devices. Possible topics include:

The nanomech-l list is run automatically off majordomo. To subscribe send mail to with the first line "subscribe nanomech-l".

[0.3] Contacting Companies and 800 numbers

Although 800 numbers are toll free in the US, they make it difficult for people outside the US to contact them directly. A simple algorithm is to first get the area code for the company. This can be obtained from the fax number (which are not usually toll free) or using the company's city and state. (E.g. Pittsburgh, PA) and using a WWW area-code finder to find the area code. Once the area code is known then dial 1-(area code)-555-1212 for directory assistance in that area and giving the City and Company name. Another means is to use one of the many WWW available phone books to do a search on the company.
Last-Modified: Sun Aug 11 08:40:46 1996
Kevin Dowling <>