OT: Anyone know what's become of picobotics.com?

Hi All,
I used to order servo controller boards from picobotics.com. They had some really nice 16 bit resolution boards with optional A/D channels
as well as configuration of a servo port as digital I/O. Their stuff was nice and reasonably priced and the guys were very responsive regarding a firmware bug I once found in one of their boards. But, the picobotics.com domain seems to be under the control of a domain parking company, and I get a generic message from their phone number.
Anyone know if these guys are history, and if not, how to get a hold of them?
Thanks, Aaron
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Looks like their site went down around March: http://web.archive.org/web /*/picobotics.com
So - they're probably history.
-Michael
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Michael wrote:

Nah, that would mean I vanished in Aril :-) http://web.archive.org/web /*/dontronics.com http://web.archive.org/web /*/dontronics-shop.com
Don...
--
Don McKenzie

Site Map: http://www.dontronics.com/sitemap
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Michael wrote:

You can't use that site for anything more than a guess (and I lock them out, since they have no reason to make permanent copies of my pages; fortunately their bot respects the robots.txt file). There's always about a six-month delay in adding pages to their archive.
In any case, the owner retired a little while ago. I don't know what happened to his product line.
-- Gordon
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wrote:

Of course it's a guess - but it's an educated guess.
There are perfectly good reasons to archive web pages. I welcome them with open arms - if my site is temporarily knocked out - people can just look at the archived version.
-Michael
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Michael wrote:

Sorry to disagree, but no one has the right to copy someone else's Web page in its entirety without the owner's explicit permission. IA never asks permission, and has a very weak opt-out mechanism that is non-existent if the Web site is transferred or abandonded. The content of Web pages belong to the people who created that content. At least Google and other search engines cache just the last copy of a page, the cache is at least somewhat recent, and they respect no-cache directives far better than IA.
As I said -- and as the IA pages itself indicates -- their cache is usually 6 months out. How is that useful if a Web site is temporarily down? Unless you like to go by really old news. So, again, why is it useful to keep a running cache of old and outdated information of someone else's site?
-- Gordon
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What about the Wayback machine: http://www.archive.org/index.php
Andy

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Andrew Schwartz wrote:

Indeed. An interesting side effect of this is that downloading most web pages is technically illegal since most web pages are implicitly copyrighted (via the Berne convention) and most web sites neglect to provide explicit download permission. Your web site at <http://www.budgetrobotics.com/copyrite.html> and my web site at <http://gramlich.net/copyright.html provide this explicit permission, but the vast majority of web sites do not bother; for the vast majority web sites, download permission is implicit rather than explicit.
>> IA never

>> The content of Web pages belong to the people who created >> that content.
Indeed. It is up to the copyright holder to decide the conditions of content distribution. This right is for the duration of the copyright which is currently extremely long (typically over a century in duration.) After the copyright expires, the work reverts to the public domain.
>> At least

The ultimate purpose of the IA is to provide future historians with a resource to see how the web evolved from its infancy into whatever it evolves into. The wikipedia article:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Archive
explains the rationale behind the project. It makes sense to me.
-Wayne
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Wayne C. Gramlich wrote:

I don't buy it. It's a rationale made to fit what someone already created. You don't save all your garbage. You make a time-capsule with representative items, not everything everyone has ever owned and maybe threw away.
What IA *claims* to do (it ends up benefiting lawyers the most, as you probably know) could be far better done by an all-voluntary explicit inclusion that could still consist of tens of millions of Web pages, and would still provide all the historial benefits that IA claims for its mission. In fact, a more careful selection of included Web sites would be far more useful to historians. It's hard to imagine historians of the future being interested in the 1,771,561 Web sites dedicated to someone's Siamese cat.
-- Gordon
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My brother is a field archaeologist, and he spends most of his time looking for people's garbage heaps - they are the real treasure troves for archaeologists.

Edited history would end up being just that - history edited by governments to reflect the particular view of their time they wanted us to see. It's actually more interesting to have the whole lot...
(I personally use the Internet Archive so I don't have to keep track of past versions of things like our website...)
--
rich walker | Shadow Robot Company | snipped-for-privacy@shadow.org.uk
technical director 251 Liverpool Road |
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Rich Walker wrote:

Who said anything about governments editing history? I'm talking about people agreeing or not agreeing that things they created and intended for a given purpose are not used beyond that purpose.
The fact that you like IA to keep track of your old sites is great. I prefer my own CD-Rs which cost like 9 cents each, but to each his own.
-- Gordon
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You're aware of the dubious long-term prospects for CD-R's, yes?
--
rich walker | Shadow Robot Company | snipped-for-privacy@shadow.org.uk
technical director 251 Liverpool Road |
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Rich Walker wrote:

Certainly no better or worse than a third-party Web site that may or may not exist tomorrow. Or suffer a hard disk crash with your data on it. Or...
-- Gordon
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I did a little looking into their disaster-survivability planning, and it was better than anything I could put together at the same cost to me :->

--
rich walker | Shadow Robot Company | snipped-for-privacy@shadow.org.uk
technical director 251 Liverpool Road |
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Rich Walker wrote:

Indeed, there's no beating free!
-- Gordon
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Andrew Schwartz wrote:

That's what we're talking about. It's more formally called Internet Archive, or IA. Here are my problems with it:
1. According to the site, if you block the IA crawler, "It will remove all documents from your domain from the Wayback Machine." THIS IS NOT TRUE. It never has been true. It is a flat-out lie, in fact. The documents remain in their index. Nothing is ever "removed." If you change your robot.txt file to re-allow inclusion everything comes back. When I pointed out to their staff that the exclusion directions were found on a page labelled "Removing Documents From the Wayback Machine," and that following the directions didn't actually remove anything, the guy couldn't comprehend what "removing" meant. I pointed him to a definition of the term on a well-respected Internet dictionary. He still didn't understand.
2. According to the site, if you block the IA crawler, "It will tell us not to crawl your site in the future." This is also not true, though this is up to interpretation. The exclude directive only turns the crawler away *at that moment*. The crawler keeps coming back to check.
3. Their crawler is a really stupid bot, especially compared to other search engines. It's all or nothing. Apparently you cannot tell it to exclude media by type, as most every other search will do. Frankly, I'd be fine if it could be made to archive only static pages and not downloadable content, and only those pages not in directories I don't want crawled. I am in business on the Internet, and there is a liability involved. I can't have 10 year old example programs and files floating around that someone may find, try to use, then blame ME because they don't work with modern PCs and OSs. You don't even have to be in business to be exposed to libaility. It's there even if you have personal, non-commercial pages.
I could go on, but it boils down to this: Web sites that want to archive of their content will do so. They'll archive the material they think is worthy, and not the material that is old, useless, or carries an unnecessary liability. IA could make their tool far more useful, if they wanted to. I don't think they really care.
-- Gordon
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wrote:

have you ever heard of a robots.txt file?! This stuff isn't rocket science. Furthermore, your argument simply doesn't make sense. By publicly posting information on a publicly available website, you have put your content that you are so protective of in full public view. It's like putting up a billboard in times square and then getting pissed off when people take photos of it.
To me - you just sound one of those people that loves to get pissed off at anything that they can possibly get pissed off at, and then make a public stink about it.

Hmm - most of the websites I've checked have a month or so old cached version. Maybe they just don't care about your website. Regardless - even if it still only backs up every 6 months - that's still good enough for many purposes.
Either way - it's a fantastic way of looking back at the history of the Internets.
I'm not going to post on this issue any further, as it is, in my opinion, a non issue. Feel free to get in the last word - you know you want to.
-Michael
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wrote:

Have you tried decaff? ;)
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Michael wrote:

Of course I have and you haven't been reading my posts. IA's public disclosure of how they use their robots.txt file is absolutely not what they actually do. They make false claims regarding the disposition of already-cached content. IF (and a big IF) you were aware of their service when you started a site, you can lock out the ia_archiver bot from the beginning and you won't be in their index. But if they have indexed your pages, even once, even if you now use a robots.txt file, YOUR CONTENT WILL NOT BE REMOVED, despite their claims otherwise.
The truth, most site owners don't even know about IA, and because IA never bothers to contact Website owners for permission to copy their pages, most people are unware of the infringement going on. And if they do learn of it, they read some bogus explanation of how to have their content removed. Only it's not removed at all. IA in fact keeps the pages (after you've asked them to be removed) and just doesn't display them. Sorry, but this is called LYING.

I'm not posting what I don't want to be archived, and I'm assuming it will be (unless I mark it as not archived, which I don't). I'm fully aware that a Usenet posting is basically forever, and I'm surprised you would confuse a text posting with a Web site that I take days, weeks, and months to create and maintain, and which may contain considerable intellectual property I may wish to exercise more control over. Furthermore, when I want to remove something, I can remove it. For some reason IA thinks they should be the decider. Who the f*$k nominated them for the job?
I'm not arguing IA doesn't have its uses. It can be fun and educational. I simply would prefer them to be honest - what a concept! - about their retention and caching policies, and actually do what they say they will do. I happen to think this isn't too much to ask.
-- Gordon
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As a result of stumbling across the deeper levels of this post, I just searched for BudgetRobotics on the IA site, and it looks like access from thier side is indeed blocked, now. Maybe they finally took the desired action as a result of this discussion ? Or is it still on there ? ( I didn't do an exhaustive search ... )
On a more useful note, this post pointed out to me something that I wanted to include in *my* robots.txt since I don't want archived copies of my site while under fine tuning.
FWIW - JCD
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